Weirdly nostalgic thoughts run riot inside my head,

as I step on the soil of my childhood.

This semi-arid land of kwa Zambe

jealously flanked by the Jenya range,

Greets me with the traditional east wind,

which no longer is the bearer of rain.

As my feet make contact with the hard earth,

that spawned the beginning of the end,

it feels unresponsive under my stranger’s feet,

Now wrapped in colourful city sneakers.


The formerly vibrant homestead,

cowers like a cornered army in retreat,

battered into submission by years of neglect.

The once proud thatched huts,

now stand like drunken recruits

at a vigilante inspection parade.

The once formidable matriarch’s kitchen,

completes the picture of tangible degeneration.

A vulgar caricature of a generational change.

A forced changing of the cultural guard

Whose impact families have to contend with.


The eerily crumbling violated homestead

Stands in stark opposition to the flourishing mango trees,

Gracefully and defiantly swaying in the east wind.

The rich green and yellow mangoes on every branch,

not a burden for the trees firmly entrenched in the soil,

Neither a visible sign of strain for them from the midday heat.

“Masikati”, a voice timidly greets us from the depth

of the branches of the biggest mango tree.

And then another voice and still another.

Thoughts of vengeful village apparitions assail us.

Immediately replaced by a collective sigh of relief

As the voices reveal themselves to be neighbours,

Harvesting where others had sowed and left.


Suddenly not far on the western horizon,

A few dark clouds hold court above the Makoni area.

The harvesting neighbours from the mango tree

peer knowingly at the clouds, and quickly depart with their loot.

The dark clouds drift menacingly towards us.

Zambe is instantly blanketed and darkened.

The heavens open their pent up floodgates.

We beat an undignified hasty retreat,

accompanied by a violent sheet of heavy rain.

Drenched in minutes, the cars are little comfort,

but it is the only refuge we know and have now,

Until we retrace our route out of Zambe, in Gandanzara


By Obert Mandimutsira


7 Responses to "Gandanzara"

  1. Moses Chirewa  February 3, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Hey Bambo ! Brilliant piece. Didn’t realise you still had it in you! Seriously, consider a career change and focus on writing.
    Don’t considerate robbery time spent writing!
    You’re a prolific poet!

  2. Rudo  February 4, 2015 at 1:14 am

    An appt description of many ‘Zambes’ around the country. I enjoyed your writing style, more of tthat, please.

    • Obert Mandimutsira  February 16, 2015 at 6:54 am

      Hi Sekuru, now how did you come to read this poem? Thanks for the comment.

  3. Delene  February 4, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Obert, what a pleasure it is finally reading one of your poems. It was so well written and descriptive that I could picture myself there. Isn’t it amazing how time changes everything. please share more …….

    • Obert Mandimutsira  February 16, 2015 at 6:52 am

      Thanks Delene, you are too kind. Hope to share more in future.

  4. Wynne Musabayana  August 16, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Obert. I happened upon this piece quite by chance. Wandidzosa kumusha kwa Gandanzara, Chikuruwo village. Brilliant. Keep it up. My regards to Lilly and family


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