Listen to Zimbabwe 2, a 62-year-old woman from Bindura, Zimbabwe. Click or tap the triangle-shaped play button to hear the subject.
DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 17/05/1955
PLACE OF BIRTH: Bindura (Mashonaland Central Province)
OCCUPATION: business owner
EDUCATION: Cambridge O-level and secretarial college
AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:
The subject spent most of her life in Zimbabwe but has traveled to the United Kingdom and the United States for short vacations. She moved to South Africa in 2011, where she was living at the time of this recording
OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH: N/A
RECORDED BY: Nadia Barnard
DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 04/01/2018
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:
I was born in Bindura, that is, er, Mashonaland. And, er, it was a family of five, two sisters – I was the oldest sister – and three brothers. Anyway, it was an average family. My mum used to work in the, in the suburbs, in the kitchen, you know, and my father was a gardener, you see. So, financially, well, we were struggling, so I had to work, to help my mother, so I started working at a very, very tender age. She started her own stall of vegetables. She got a place where, at the vegetable market, where we had our own stall there. So I would wake up early every morning, 3 a.m., go to the farms, get some mealies, some mealie cobs, come back at the market, cook them; by 8 o’clock those mealie cobs should be ready to sell. And if I’m not busy with that, I would go to the farms, working the fields, to get my school fees, because I was at a boarding school.
We met when we were doing inter-school competition. [Subject laughs.] That’s where we, we, we met. So, we started off as friends; it was really nice. We started off as friends, and I used to tell him, you know, I don’t like this; then, in the end, we realized we had the same things in common. He liked music, and I liked music: the pop, you know those days, pop music. So, from there now, the friendship developed in the relationship. That’s how we got married, until he died. So, my marriage: It was an excellent marriage because my husband was my friend, he was my — you know we could share in everything, because we knew each other as friends, so we knew what he wanted; he knew what I wanted, you see. So we, we really had a lovely marriage.
So we did a lot of vacations. So he just did a booking; it was a surprise. We went to Kariba; there I found myself, ah, we’re going on a boat. We left the car in Kariba, says, “Where are we going?” He says, “No, we are just going the two of us.” So we went; we went on a boat; we went to Bumi Hills. We got there; we were welcomed by champagne. [Subject laughs.] It was very nice; that I will never forget. And in the morning, they would wake up, wake us up with the drums, the African drums. [Subject imitates sounds of drums.] That was the wake-up call. Because he wouldn’t go anywhere without me, and I wouldn’t go anywhere without him.
Because at times you rush to make a decision, and then you realize, ah-ah, I shouldn’t have. Now, now I’m here because of that decision I did that time. I — and now you can’t reverse it, you see. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned. And, er, also, in trying to help people. My husband used to say to me, “You, you, you, you do too much.” I would go out of my way, but he, now that, at my age, you realize some of them — they don’t even look at it that way. But you say, ag anyway, at least they’ve improved themselves, at least God used me to help them. Not that I wanted them to pay back, you see, but just because you didn’t want them to suffer.
So in our Shona culture, if you give me bread, you cook, whatever; for me to show that I’ve had enough, I must leave some in the plate. If I don’t leave anything, you keep on giving me more. But in the English culture, if I leave some in the plate, you think I’m being ungrateful. Anyone who is coming, like, er, when my mother was around in the rural areas, she would just call people [subject continues speaking in Shona], just calling them, come, we have got, er, mayewu here, come and drink, we’ve got pap, we’ve – you know, anything. We would just cook, and then we’d just be calling people to eat. So when they eat, they must leave something; then we know they, they had enough. And also when he has a visitor, in our culture, you don’t just say, “Yes, I want to eat.” You say no. Then I will say, ah, no [subject continues to speak in Shona]. You know? We have to persuade you to eat! Then you sit and eat. [Subject laughs.] You don’t just say yes; you have to say no, then we, we have to beg you. [Subject laughs.] So my children used to say, “Mum, you’re forcing them; they said no!” I said, “No, they’re not going; they must sit down to eat.” [Subject laughs.]. So I say, “No, no, no, you’re not going. Eh, get, Maggie; put on some water; we are cooking. No, you have to stay!” So, because that is our culture; then they know they are really welcome.
TRANSCRIBED BY: Nadia Barnard
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 08/01/2018
PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A
TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A
DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY: N/A
COMMENTARY BY: N/A
DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A
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