‘I do not know what Nelson Mandela will tell Nkrumah and others at dinner tonight

xenophobic violence and several  violent rape cases in South Africa are disheartening

By Philian Zamchiya

Dear Reader. It is 1549 hrs and my SA 8127 flight from the majestic Windhoek in Namibia has started to descend into mother city. Read Cape Town. The spoilers on the wings have started to open. I am by the window and marvelling at the natural scenic view of the mother city. I can’t reconcile this breath-taking beauty with the realities of gothic stories about the ongoing murder of women, children and fellow Africans in this land. An innocent three year old girl, Courtney Peters, was raped and murdered in cold blood. Amy- Lee de Jager, a child in pre-school, was kidnapped. The 25 year old beautiful Leighandre ‘Baby Lee’ Jegels was murdered. That voice of our African sister, Uyinene Mrwetyana, is no more. She was raped and killed at 19 years. Janiko Mallo a 14 year old girl was gang raped and murdered in cold blood. Just to mention a few as I hear but all in the hands of us men. Reader, I try to keep my eyes closed but all I can see are vivid images of some rogue South African brothers crushing fellow African brothers with boulders to death in a heartless manner. I cry. I wonder what Nelson Mandela will tell Nkrumah and others at dinner tonight wherever they are. We have let Papa down. With that roving mind I race back to the ‘citizenphobic’ attacks against my person by the ZANU PF government in Zimbabwe. Arrested, tortured, framed in perpetuity, butchered and poisoned to death as is happening to many other ordinary citizens today. It is not just about me. I start to think where is humanity in mother Africa? That spirit that sayeth I am because we are. That maketh one say, ‘I am well if you are well also’, when a neighbour asks about wellbeing. Where I come from they say, ‘tinotamba kana mweitambawo’. Perhaps in English that is why they answer how do you do with how do you do. Yet our African lives are hollow if we lack love. Remember the Bible. Faith, hope and love shall remain. But the greatest of these is love. If the defenceless sound of a dying African girl-child and a fellow African brother in your hands maketh you go to bed with smiles then Lord, I plead you make it the end of times. We have failed. We weep. Yet you and me cannot give up. Not now. It is not just about today. It is about the future of an African child. That African child’s dream to work and live in 55 African countries. It is also about our girl child Celani and all of them. Reader, it is none but us the ordinary people who can build an extraordinary Africa. One built on blocks of love. One that overflows with love like the mother’s heart. Only then can we all say welcome to the mother’s city from the heart. Far beyond airport billboards. Reader, am in.


Philian Zamchiya is a political and social commentator.He writes in his individual capacity