I’m going to be honest, 8 days into 2017 and I’m still trying to summon that over hype sense of excitement and energy that I usually greet a new year with…and I’m missing the mark quite dismally. Understandably so, though. A very good friend of mine passed away last month which led to me entering the new year with a profound sense of loss, hyper-awareness of my own (and everybody I love’s) mortality and a respectful appreciation for time. From within my cocoon of sadness and grief I can still appreciate the opportunity that the 355 still-to-be-lived days of 2017 have to offer, and have a strong sense of how I want to spend them.
“The family is like the forest: If you are outside it is dense; if you are inside you see that each tree has its own position” My personal reading choices when it comes to non-fiction veer off in two rather opposing spectrums. On one swing of the pendulum you will find my deep appreciation for the fantastical and magical, which is anchored within the realm of wild possibility. On the opposite swing of the pendulum, my reading subject matter choice is anchored in stark, bleak reality relating to African identity and history, especially addressing colonisation and slavery. Most African and Black History remains untold, one-sided and/or incomplete and that’s why I appreciate authors like Yaa Gyasi, who take on the daunting task of bringing “our” stories (with their colourful, painful histories) to life through fresh, informative narratives.
I am writing this with every window in the room I’m currently occupying open, a glass of juice to my left (with fast disappearing ice-cubes swimming about on the surface) and a thin film of perspiration taking up residence across my entire body. In short, it’s hot! And with great heat comes great responsibility…and climatic cliches. To the uninitiated (or the initiated in need of a refresher – pun not intended, but still hilarious) this is a quick guide as to how you know you’re deep in the stronghold of a Zimbabwean Summer.