Pre-War Resilience

Part Three of Mothers of the Revolution: Oral Testimony of Zimbabwean Women

Irene Staunton: Publishing Director, Baobab Books

It is only against such odds from early childhood that one can begin to understand the enormous strength, fortitude and resilience of black Zimbabwean women:

My worst years were between 1952 and 1954. During that time I had nothing and life was almost impossible. When I married, my husband had nothing and no cattle at all but by farming, sewing and selling clothes, I managed to raise some money to buy a few cattle. Sometimes I made about twenty dollars from my sales and we would put this with whatever my husband had earned from selling furniture, and then I bought cattle at the shows. ... I now have ten head of cattle and two oxen... --Rhoda Khumalo (67)

I had eleven children with my husband [He] died when my last child was two year's old. ... After my husband's death, I realized that I wasn't the elder wife, my children had no chance of a good life, because my husband's first wife and their children inherited the farm. So I decided to look for somewhere to build my own home ... this I found in Moyana's village. It was just before the war came to that area. --Margaret Viki (145)

Zimbabwe OV Literature [Politics]