My friend Tinashe Njagu captured the images below on a trip to his rural home (we call it Kumusha). It’s sunset in rural Zimbabwe, the best time to work on your field (munda) it’s not too hot, not too cold.
Armed with a hoe, a peasant mother and child go through the field slowly and steadily. The picture provoked a question that l has been asked many times. Where are the men in these pictures of impoverished Africa? In rural Zimbabwe this is a typical sight. The mother wears the pants in the home. The men gone to a distant land is in search of “greener” pastures. They seldom find them green, and more often than not only return home when all their energies have been spent elsewhere. Like Charles Mungoshi’s character Lucifer, in Waiting For The Rain put it – home is where you come back to die.
Absentee fathers are a common sight and when they do become present barely know their own son’s daughters and struggle relate to them and to fit in to their roles. They are home for a few weeks, gone for months….how can they ever fit in.
If we want to find the core problem of our problems in society….this is where we should look. When families become fractured, communities and countries soon follow down that fractured path…and what was once a fracture soon becomes a crater.