Philisa Creatives invited me to a Twitter Chat conversation on heritage, culture and language!.
If you are familiar with Twitter, then you know how the tweet limit imposes a certain a brevity of expression… The questions required me to reflect deep and even rediscover myself a little bit. I hope you learn about me and yourself too; as you answer along these questions in your own context.
I present to you Beaton’s Cut featuring the unspoken thoughts, deleted comments and extended answers from the Philisa Creatives Twitter QnA
1) How has your identity as a Zimbabwean shaped your journey to understanding/fulfilling your purpose in life?
Okaaaaay… where to even begin, I guess I will go with what people say on the streets, that being Zimbabwean should be qualification one can add to their CV.
To be honest there are days when I wake up and wonder how terrible I must have been in my past life to have come back to this life or maybe it’s a boot camp to train one for what comes after….
We adapt, keep it moving and still find time to laugh from rock bottom.
*Chikuru Kufema* Shona street lingo which translates to literally: What is important is breathing.
2) How are you using your craft to better Zimbabwe? What legacy are you leaving for future generations/ how will you be remembered after you are gone?
I capture the history that is unfolding around me as the future becomes present and the present past. In order to know where we are going we have to know where we have been…
I encourage and support those around me to honour their journeys and to never die with stories untold. In some circles, I am known as an Uncle Of Bloggers. I like to think I am helping shape the next generation of content creators that carves out a niche in the digital frontier, laying a claim to their voice and identity. And oh, there’s richness in our shared experiences.
In the same way that rock paintings have shed light into the lives of those who were here before us, I hope that the words I leave behind on The Beauty & Chaos Of The Place I Call Home will also be an anchor for those who come after me to know who they are and where they come from. That is the spirit behind my blog…. -Immortality.
3) At Philisa Creatives, we’re on a mission to help children celebrate with pride their African heritage & native languages. For many of us, the road to get there has been long & hasn’t always come naturally.
What’s your personal experience with embracing your heritage, native language & culture?
I have struggled. My mother is Shona from the Karanga Tribe of Zimbabwe, my father was a descendant of a Tsonga Tribe that migrated from South of the Limpopo. What is native language to one born in one country, descendant from another; living between two tribes, never quite belonging to either and an education that taught one to think, speak and write more fluently in neither of those…
4) If there was one tradition you could keep or erase forever from your culture, what would it be? Why?
As one who walks a blurred line between intersecting traditions and cultures I am always asking myself why we cant get along, we cling to our tribes, stereotypes and hate, nobody ever really knowing who started what and when and why… is it simply because someone looks different, talks different, comes from a different place….
In the grand matrix of the universe, we are all migrants we started of somewhere and ended up here…
5) What is that one thing you think says Zimbabwe the loudest?
Using double words to greet or respond on the streets;
6) What’s your fave slang phrase or word?
Wastuk I have no idea what language or where that started or even what it really means but it is provocative and used to express something that has gone as wrong as possible.
7) If you HAD to give yourself a new name, what would you call yourself? Why?
Xinyori it’s a royal ancestral name that can only be used by those of my lineage…. And if I told you I would need to find someone to pay me to write a story where a character with your name undergoes more troubles than someone in a Gillian Flynn novel…
8) What’s your favorite Zimbabwean meal & can you cook it?
Nhopi – a sort of porridge or custard made from pumpkin, butternut, squash, mealie meal and peanut butter… I cant cook it but my maternal grandma and my mother used to make it, if I close my eyes and imagine the smell, it takes me back to a time when all I had to worry about was how many more sleeps till Christmas so I could get new clothes….
9) What is your favorite Zimbabwean landmark? Why?
Great Zimbabwe… Nothing else says Zimbabwe as much as the stone ruins from which the country’s name comes from… and the poet in me cant help notice the irony of how it’s so majestic, ancient and oh so ruined…
10) What do you love most about being Zimbabwean?
The way How Far? is a phrase that has nothing to do with distance… It’s a loaded question from someone enquiring your plan as to paying a debt… and we always have a plan up our sleeves dabbling in a bit of this and that to put food on the table and keep the debt collectors away…
The sun will rise tomorrow