Daddy, it’s almost 6 months since you travelled to that land far far away, the land you always spoke about in most of your songs. The land that King Solomon called the land of the dead, where no one can no longer persue the matters of their heart. The land that King Saul went to through a spirit medium to speak to a dead prophet Samuel when he couldn’t hear from the Lord. The land that a young Joseph cried on his mother’s grave, Rachel on his way to Egypt after his brothers had sold him as a slave.
Oh Daddy I know not where you have gone, or what it is you do in that land of the dead. I wish to see you there, in that land far far away, Kure Kure as you always sang. I long to see you my darling Papa, to see if you are sad or resting like the prophet Samuel rested. It’s a realm you always sang about, it’s a realm you always tried to teach me about but I never listened. I argued with you even, and told you I only worship the God of Israel, I don’t worship no spirit mediums neither will I ever consult dead people, I would say to you.
“But people in the bible consulted dead people Jean. King Saul did it and he spoke to the spirit of Samuel. Joseph did it and he heard his mother’s voice from the grave. God never condemned them for that. It’s one thing to worship the dead my daughter, it’s another to cry out to them to hear from God.” You told me this Daddy and I debated with you, and I told you you were wrong.
Daddy what if I told you today that I eat my words back, you were not wrong.
Daddy, what if I told you that today, almost everyday I cry, I cry so much today my eyes are blood red. Daddy what if I told you that I don’t write on my blog anymore, because I am crying for you, and I feel like no one in this world cries for you, except for me and it hurts me, that they celebrate your death, and the possessions you left behind.
What if I told you Daddy that my three year old son Chaka asked me a few weeks ago why you died? He always asks to see the pictures of the ambulance which took you away the night you left your body. It’s like he can see you on that cold night in Zimbabwe on May the 10th, as you took your last breath and they took your body away.
Daddy what if I told you that a few months ago I told myself I will never write an essay again. I told myself Daddy, that I will never publish another article on my blog, because there was no point, because you won’t read it, like you used to, because you are gone.
What if told you Daddy, that I don’t write on my blog anymore, because only your opinion ever mattered to me. I would write an essay, no matter how controversial and unpopular yet I would know that one day my Daddy would read it. And you always did, especially when my essays would go viral. Then you would call me, or send a long voice note. You would tell me I had written an excellent piece, and it was a global article. You would tell me the whole world was reading it. I would say “No Daddy, it’s just viral in Zimbabwe, not in the world.”
But you would rebuke me and say “What are you talking about, don’t you know that you are a global writer.” Then I would laugh because I thought you were being ridiculous, and exaggerating the power of my pen.
But you are the only person who understood my pen more than I do. Today I will give anything to hear you tell me that my article is a global article. I will give anything to hear your feedback, because each time I wrote, you were always behind me. You were a force in my life, a wind beneath my wings.
Daddy, my dearest Papa, my Chief Never Gasho, my friend, shamwari yangu Daddy, what if I told you, that you ripped a part of my heart when you left me, and it feels as though for six months I have never stopped crying. If my tears for you could be collected, there would be an ocean in your name.
What if I told you that today, I went jogging, listening to your songs as I ran. I went to the park, and for 40 minutes as I ran, I thought of nothing but you. Then the Lion King song played, my favourite song, he lives in you. As I was running back home, I passed through the church, where I used to pass through with the children during summer, as we went to the park. My husband even took a picture of me on those church steps. Today I sat down at the church, on those steps, because I was tired and wanted to cry. Looking at the graveyard, I read a few tomb stones and I cried so bitterly Daddy. I wished like Joseph I knew where they laid you, I wished I could also sit at your grave and weep.
I cried that Daddy can you not see me. Can you not hear me? I saw so many black birds around the graves, and I wondered is that your spirit. I cried that Daddy even Racheal comforted her son Joseph from the grave, when Joseph called her spirit, and she saw the anguish of her son, as the sacred texts say, can you not comfort me too my Papa. Why am I the only one who mourns you Papa, I asked you.
But I heard nothing, and I stood up and walked away. I chose to walk in the graveyard. I came back home and alone I cried in the bathroom.
Then I remembered the words of my husband 3 weeks ago, he was comforting me as I wept for you, and he told me that you are always there, and I should talk to you whenever I feel lonely and sad, because it’s only your body which is dead, but your spirit lives. My husband told me to find a way to connect with you Daddy, a way that I used to connect with you before you travelled to the land of the dead. He suggested it was through Dreams, because you treasured my dreams, and called me a dreamer. He said I should pray and ask God to show me you in a dream. I did, and you came in my dream, you were in the water, but you never said anything. I touched the water, longing to hear your voice, but you never spoke back.
I haven’t heard from you, not in the dream. But today when I came from home from jogging, after I had sat at the church and cried to God and you, I was reminded that it was my pen that connected me to you. I was reminded that it was not only my pen, but the way I used to use it that used to awaken you, when you lived. When I wrote on my blog, somehow you used to read my thoughts here, in your own time.
I have so much to tell you Daddy, Chaka is only three and has never met you, but he talks about you like you were his friend. I remember when I gave birth to him and called him Chaka, you told me he was a chosen boy, because you had already seen him in the spirit before he was born. So maybe you are his friend, maybe he knew you before.
Just 3 week ago he asked me, “Why did Never Gasho die?”
Arise my darling Papa from your place of rest, please arise, and read my pen.
What if I told you Daddy that I am writing a book. I am doing something you always wanted me to do. You were a reader Papa, a bookworm you were, I wanted you to hold my book one day, like how you held and read many books of many men and women who wrote before me.
Oh Arise Papa, wake up, and tell me that the book I’m writing is worth it. I’m halfway through it, and everyday as I write this book, when I feel weary and want to give up, I listen to the song you sang for me that “Jean my daughter, you can do it baby.”
Arise my dearest Father and bless my pen, you always wanted me to make it, you always told me the spirits of the ancestors are in me, including the spirit of Gadziguru and your mother, but I refused to believe it.
Your Friend Political Pastor sent me the voice note you recorded a few hours before died, you did say Daddy that “vachanditsvaga vachandiwana.” You said that you are now going, and those who will seek you will find you, but they will not find you unless they seek you.
Daddy, it’s me Jean, your daughter. Do you not remember me? I walk a lonely road, I always did. Even when you lived, I walked alone. But when I wrote, you understood me.
I am seeking you with everything in me. Today I have cried so much, you always said in your messages, that until you know what you are crying for, and why you are crying, and when to cry, your tears mean nothing. But today for the first time, I feel like I know why I am crying.
Awake my dearest Papa, my ancestor, only you are my ancestor.
The last essay you read and gave me feedback was my prophetic article on Ginimbi I wrote it last year around this time when he died. It went viral all over Africa. You read it and sent me the longest feedback you ever gave me. I had written that no one believes in me in Zimbabwe, that there were less than 20 people of Zimbabwean origin who believed me. Yet you sent me a long voice note, and said, “You know I’m part of the 20 Jean. I have always believed in you mwanangu, in everything you write.”
What if I told you Daddy that today the only reason I believe I wrote about Ginimbi was so you could send me that voice note and tell me that even though not many people believed my pen, you did. That was the last feedback you gave me about my pen.
Daddy, what if I told you today that I believe in you too, more than I ever did when you were here. I was stubborn because I always thought I was the spiritually enlightened one. But you were always the wise one Daddy and you had a lot of spiritual knowledge about the realm of the dead. So many times you tried to teach me about the mysteries of the living and the dead but I refused to listen. What if I told you Daddy that I’m so sorry. I am sorry I took your wisdom for granted oh Great Chief.
I want to enter into the realm of the dead that you always spoke about just to see your face and hear your voice again. What if I told you Daddy that though I always wrote my essays for the world, today this one is just for you, because my pen is my medium of communicating with you.
Arise my Father from your place of rest, and read this piece, like you always did. Read this Daddy, because these are my tears for you, and only you can wipe them. Give me feedback Daddy, like you used to, you don’t have to send a whatsapp voice note, because you can’t talk anymore. You don’t have to tell me I’m a global writer, to make me happy, just tell me you have heard my cry through my bleeding pen…in your own way…speak to me…Papa.
And say something from beyond the grave, my Chief, my ancestor, anything, even if it’s just your smile…because if you don’t, I will never stop crying…
Your daughter forever, the one who loves you the most…