The Root






Version 2





It’s 4am and I’ve killed my wife and my brother. Insane right? Oh well…

I now have to clean up my blood stained hands. So much blood. It’s hard to imagine we store such copious amounts of this sanguine liquid. I might as well use the sheets…the stained sheets. Ndavauraya. Kasi nhai ishe ko pandakatadza ndepapi inga ndakaedza nepese pandino kwanisa kuratidza Michelle that I loved her. Look at what she has made me do ko Andrew anozoitasei nhaii mwanawagu anochengetwa nani, shuwa Mwari inga makati munorangarira ani nani zvake ko inini mandirasasei nhaii. Shuwa Mwari munerusarura. Mwana Wangu nhaii Mwari inini ndiri nherera mwana Wangu oitawo nherera? Inga zvinonzi hamupe munhu nhamo kaviri ko apa mandipa chimwe Chironda wani. Well everything is stained right now, from our holy matrimonial bed to this blood bashed altar, my wife’s beautiful face to this bruised facial ornament and from my loving hands to these murdering tools- it’s all stained. Hanha yangu haisi kana kurova am just worried about Andrew but I feel like am forgetting to do something.
I’m hungry, I must eat something before the police come. Yes I’ve called them already. At the door I look over my wife and my brother, lying there as if asleep. Such peaceful slumber it seems. They deserve it. I wonder if they can see me. And if they can, I hope they see that I would do it again if I could. Ten times over. Ten. Ironic, the strokes I counted standing at the door, watching his lean self going in and out. Ten. Handisi mhondi inini But nhasi Michelle naBen vandirwadzisa, I had spent 5 years in Ethiopia ndichishanda kunge nhapwa only for them to do that to me. Manje ndazvipedza whatever they had going on.
“The fruits of love,” I recall the words of the fat brown bearded priest at our wedding. That was a beautiful wedding. Probably the best day of my life. And now it has come to an end I realize, staring at the “fruits” of it on my bedroom floor.
You can only give so much in this life, at times you just become depleted . I realize this now and as I look at these dead bodies I’m failing to understand where I got it all wrong. And if they are dead, why is that it is my throbbing heart that feels dead?
My mind is spinning. Right now I’m thinking of the classic Othello. Maybe I loved too well and not wisely. Except here lies the damning proof- that’s what makes us different.
I digress from the issue at hand; I must eat, Time is fast running out. What to eat now, it might be a long while until I can have a “decent” meal. As am walking to the kitchen I meet my son Andrew making his way to the bathroom, we make eye contact and am praying he does not see the guilt on my face. He comes up to me and says “Nhai Daddy what does God look like?”. Am now confused why would he ask such a question at this hour in the morning,I quickly answer“just like you Mwanangu” I respond awkwardly “just like you”, I repeat, this time more to myself. I’m now worried about the question but Still I don’t regret my actions-but what will happen to Andrew when am gone. In the refrigerator I find some pork sausages(absolutely love those), some egg salad and juice. I’ll just have that with a tin of baked beans and some bread. Perfect. My upper lip is bleeding. I taste the blood as I eat. I’m trying to focus but my mind has taken me prisoner. Where did I go wrong? How did I not see it? Why could I not see it? Was there ever a fool like me? My ego, my dear ego, whispers : there’s nothing new under the sun. True. But I’m a novice in an alien situation. I owe it to myself to process all this. Where to begin? Let’s start five years ago.


She snail walks in the aisle. We had been waiting for what seemed like forever. But she’s here now. Phew. She’s here and she’s so beautiful. God I’m lucky! My eyes are plummeting with tears. I’m beyond happy. I can’t wait to begin my life with this woman, this beautiful elegant woman. She reaches the altar, stops for what seems like a fraction of a second, looks at Ben, my brother, then down to Keith and Simba, then her husband to be;who is now seemingly fighting world war three with his tears. So this is it. We are doing this. I swallow hard, my palms are sweating and I’m burning in this tuxedo. I’m going to ruin the pictures with this overexcitement fused with panic of mine. Simba gives me a good squeeze on the shoulder, he sees it too- I’m panicking. Calm down Max!
The ceremony has started. The pastor who is officiating is giving his “love is good” speech or whatnot. I just want to do this, whisk away my beautiful bride, have her to myself. I mean we have been celibate for a few weeks now and I just can’t wait for the liberation that follows hereafter. He gets to the part every bride and groom dread-“if anyone here……or forever hold your peace”. My mouth has partially become the savanna. But why should I be worried. Behind my wife, I see Simba and Keith grinning like idiots and Ben whose furrow is set into three distorted lines. He

hates this part just as I do. He looks up to me and tries to smile. That moment is gone, she’s mine. Everyone here loves us.
We open the dance floor as culture would have it. And I finally get to talk to her. She’s happy. “Can you believe it’s finally done? Look at the deco…,” she goes on and on like any pre-bridezilla. I’m happy she’s happy..

8 June-it’s her birthday today. I have just called Jane to make sure that everything is in place. I have been planning to take her to Mhondoro Safari Lodge. She loves it there. I’ve also made breakfast for her. Holding securely the tray, I make my way to the bedroom and I find Ben and my wife holding hands. Maiguru and bamnini playing chiramu I suppose. And he’s probably woken up early to wish her well too, I concede fighting other thoughts. The two are my best friends and I love them profoundly. Ben I have always taken care of ever since we lost our parents to HIV and AIDS in the early 2000s. So really, it has just been him and I against the world; and fight it we have zveshuwa. I quickly move over to my wife’s side, hand her the tray and join Ben who has started singing the birthday song. We sound awful. She’s sleepy. Well, sleepy but also giddy. Truth is even akarara she exudes that recherché look. We have finished straining our voices to make meaningful sounds and she’s just picked a few of the sliced fruits on the tray. I help her out of the bed and blindfolded I take her outside for surprise number one. She’s complaining about being blindfolded. She had spent the whole of last year and half of this year talking and reeling about her dream car-KIA Sorento. So I pulled some strings for her. I remove the blindfold. The look on her face is priceless. She is beaming, her face has lit up and her upper lip is folded into a smile, I find it weird but it’s one of my favorite looks on her. Her folded upper lip is now trembling in repeated “OMG’s” and “Thank You’s” and at that, the pools in both her eyes give in. I want her to have to have the best of everything; just to prove the apple does fall far from the tree. Growing up, my father ill-treated my mother and I just promised myself I wouldn’t be like him. And looking at these joyful tears, it seems I am doing my best.

We spend the evening at Mhondoro Safari Lodge, Ben included. It’s been great, the food has been spectacular, as well as the company. We have just finished dessert and we are merely having idle talk. I receive a call. “It’s work,” I mouth and excuse myself. I return to the gazebo and Michelle and Ben are no longer there. Taking a walk I suppose. They probably hear footsteps and they emerge from behind the gazebo. Michelle quickly makes her way back to the table, eyes on the ground. Hanzi muroyi royera kure kuti vepedyo vagokureverera. I suppose I should have seen it then. The awkwardness that followed hereafter. But a fool in love sees no fault, no betrayal- that was me.

Reflecting on this now drives me off the edge. Ben!!!! Ben chaiye!!! I took him to private schools, which I had never had the privilege of attending, always provided for him and treated him as I ought to- my own. It’s never enough is it?
I make a futile wish. I wish I could give him back his life right now just so I could take it away again. Probably in a more brutal manner than before. As I wait for the police, I’ve come up with seven different ways I could have taken his life. Insane? Probably is. But let me paint the picture for you

To Be Continued………….



Whenever  l’m alone I hear my grandmother’s voice crying and saying to me Munombo tirangarira here pamunoenda kwamunoenda nevamunoenda navo, munorangarira here kuti tirikowo  kana kuti munofunga kuti tivete kunge imi munozviti munoifamba nyika yacho.Munoziva here hondo dzatinokurwirai zuva neZuva, kana kuti munofunga tivete kunge imi munozviti munoifamba nyika. Sometimes I want to answer her and explain how things have changed; how things don’t work the way they used to.  How I can’t tell my people that I hear her voice and if I do they’re quick to say “mweya yetsvina”

How!? I do not understand

I can’t explain to her that her image, her fight, her resilience has been tainted into something evil, something I cannot publicly hold on to

I can’t hold on to you ambuya, I want to scream, even though your ethos, your mantra runs within me.Another Voice says to me Nyarara and listen and just don’t forget that you are an African boy. I’m reminded that I have to make amends with my ancestors…and that i’m a body of people who are crying not to be forgotten…..Moyo Wangu unochema nemi Ambuya kasi chondokwanisa ndopasina mazwi angu hapana anomanzwa.

And you must think I’ve abandoned you. Lost in the sea of these people, you think I’ve forsaken you. I see it. In my dreams I see the way the tears are canvased on your face, the way they run wild from your eyelids; it screams betrayal. The silence of your tears is deafening.But how can I betray you when you’re in me and I in you? Handina kukanganwa kwandinobva handina kurasa nzira dzenyu Ambuya-Nzira dzedu. Ndinozviziva kuti ndiri Muzukuru waBiri naGanyire vakarova Zambezi neMhapa ikamira. Ndinozviziva kuti ndisutinoriga zvuru neZvuru. Ndinozviziva kuti ndisu varidzi vechiroro dziva. Ndinozviziva kuti mhepo iri pandiri ikuru kwandiri Ambuya kasi ndodini nhaii nyakutumbura?

I wish you could understand. In this world; the man who holds the print in black and white runs the world. Where’s yours?

In me? In us? They won’t buy it Ambuya.

The black and white print has become doctrines, facts, knowledge, and in this sea who I’m I to go against that current?

That’s the curse of having our doctrines, facts and knowledge in blue print…

Vabereki vedu vacho vachina chovotiudza mairirano nemararamiro maiita. Nzira dzenyu hapana achaziva, inga ndimi makati kuziva Mbuya huudzwa zvino tonangepi kana tisina otiratidza matsimba okufamba nawo…

Now you stand before me, once again loaded with accusatory statements :

“Why do you behave as if your face is an ornament? Your body a trophy, ready to be awarded to the highest bidder? All these self-absorbed acts. So self absorbed all you see is you. You’re losing yourself. And I only stand here pleading with you because you forget that you’re a mass of people, beliefs, mantras and ethos begging not to be forgotten. My patience is fast running out of the hourglass, don’t make me give it up. Don’t forget me, don’t forget us…”

And I want to respond, but you’ve vanished from me. Where’s your face? Don’t hide yourself from me. God knows I haven’t changed, I have just adapted.

Stop taunting me. What God you ask?This God. Our God! The one from the ascribed scriptures.

Ambuya don’t patronize me with those eyes. They pierce at my soul and You think I want to get lost in this but Hell what can I do, they have ascribed scriptures. What do you have?

“Scriptures are no worthier than what I bring to you-sacrifice. We don’t have to take it in from a book; we live it. Why do you need the writing on the wall to tell you to love one another? We didn’t need that. It was natural. You think the book guides you, I feel it gets you lost in a tangle, but you won’t see it from this angle.

Get up will you and see the world from here. I’m not here to discourage you, I’m saying LIVE it. We didn’t need the book. You say it’s the life. Probably is; but how ironic the more you get entangled in the fine lines of the book, the life, more lives are guillotined on a daily basis. WAKE UP and LIVE IT. Be IT.

We were love. We were not taught into it. Be it-lest you further get lost in this hole.

For my sake, Be it, lest my efforts “atrophy into dust…”.


Ambuya!!!!!! Fambai neni ndinoda kutevedza matsimba enyu ndinoda kutevera nzira dzevari mandiri. Izwi  ndarinzwa. Izwi revari mandiri vanochema kurangarirwa.

Mukombe ndichatora ndochera kubva muhari yemadzi Sahwira ndodira pasi. Munwe mupembere kuti mupwere arangarira Machembere ekwake!!

Gare Gare ndichauya



Name(s): Tinotenda Gatsi and Faith Mwarewangepo

Location: Harare Zimbabwe
Age: 21

About the Authors:

“This is Tinotenda Gatsi and Faith Mwarewangepo and together we are The Root. I write because
I’m a giver. What I see, experience, live and imagine, I must share. In our writings we seek to
share the lives of many, in their different forms and spectrums, the smiles of many, the love of
many reaching yonder, the dried up tears of others and the unvoiced fears of many. It’s a
gratifying way of giving; even in its most darkest shade and gloomy state, the pen and the paper
will deliver it in a beautiful reeling manner- why we write. We can but give through the pen. In the
writings we become what we in this life could not become: a Picasso with a pen, a Marylin
Monroe on stage and as the words dance off the pen to the canvas like a Michael Jackson doing
the moonwalk, we become what we could not be in this life. Pause. Let’s not forget the culture.
We do it for the culture. For so long, our stories and our fights have been oozing out of the
stranger’s mouth. Writing is a way of reclaiming our story, our fight, redefining the mirage and
coloring our world as it ought to be- filling in the blank slate. “Tabula rasa”, the blank slate, it all
comes down to filling in the blank slate with our wild imaginations and giving color to the grey
Lastly, if not US then WHO?”


Contact Details:    Instagram @just__perere__263    @fayyy_tepa