The Rooted Rope Weaver

To stay grounded isn’t human. We grow, we change, we move, but most of all, we speak. With every heartfelt word we say to a person, we form a thread. No matter how short or how thin, we still have a thread.

The longer we linger, the more threads join the very first one you built. Nobody realises how many heartfelt words we say because when a person makes you comfortable, the words just flow. Those are enough words to turn many tiny threads into a string. I used to think the string was the peak but looking back now, I realise that its just the start.

All strings attached and I form a rope. The thicker the rope gets, the stronger the bond. Its literally impossible to not have a connection even after the person is out of sight. Problem is, the longer the rope gets, the further these people seem to move, taking with them the other end.

A lot of people used to be so close to me. I could see their smiles when they glanced at this rope that we built together. Dare to scream. Dare to tell a person all of this; that you created the bond and its just so hard to cut it and act like it was never there. Its too much to forget.

My actions say it. But nobody hears me anymore. They don’t even see me! Sadly, I’ve gotten to a point where even the words I don’t say are still forming string, still weaving. To see you again, I have to stop weaving. I just don’t know how to tell my heart to stop saying the things it says or feeling the things it does.

I keep hoping one day you’ll be stuck and follow the rope. Of course you’ll find me. I have changed and I have grown but I’m in the very same spot with my door wide open. The fact that I can’t stop weaving only makes it worse for me. I’ve formed so many ropes, I wouldn’t even know which ones to follow for who. I just watch everybody move further as I keep weaving.

I wish I could get up and find a lot of you but everything is tangled. Its all gone wrong. But you know, they say that if nothing is wrong then nothing is true. Got me wondering if to know me really is to love me. I’m still here, rooted down the very spot you found me in, still weaving ropes with hopes that each of you will return to me someday…

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The First Time I Ever Met ‘The Dictator’

The easiest way to become a legend is through sport. Beside the doping scandals here and there, sport legends are loved for a lifetime. In politics, however, it is a whole new situation. Your fan-base remains divided, no matter how much good you do. You are either loved or hated and so it remains even after they die.

Growing up, the adults around me spoke of him very often. Some said that during his time, people who had qualms with him disappeared. Some said, during his rule, his countrymen generally lived best and citizens that existed even after his rule owed everything to the man that built their foundation.

They say his twenty-seven year rule was the downfall of his country. They said that he was a selfish man, who had his fun whilst in power until he was pushed off the throne. Apparently, he gave away all the countrymen had. In nationalising everything, he gave inadequate people big companies to run. He left his country to rot in poverty while other countries and the politicians that came after got rich off the sale of the state-owned companies that he left after 27 years, all in the name of privatisation.

Seeing as views were biased, I decided to research this man with the help of history books. Wow! Views truly vary. South Africans praised him, Zimbabweans praised him and so did the Namibians, Malawians, Batswana and even the Angolans! All but Zambians seemed to picture an angel when this man’s name came up anywhere. That was then. Things have changed now.

When you hear the word ‘dictator’, you expect a man that looks like Idi Amin maybe. A face that exudes total cruelty and a presence that demanded your fear! I got none of that when I visited the home of the man so many people spoke ill of. I met this old man with a limp, gleaming as he saw my father. “My son!”, he exclaimed.

I felt no sudden race in my heart, no fear to approach him, no lump in my throat… This old man looked so humble, limping towards us with a huge smile and his white handkerchief in hand. So fragile! All I wanted to do was hug him! And I did. This is an account of the first time I met my grandpa, founding father of Zambia. Dr. Kenneth Kaunda.

Yours truly,
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