Just because I was very poor, the confidence of even hanging around with some privileged guys was never with me
By Bhekani Dube
“Into the experience of all, there come times of keen disappointment and utter discouragement-days when sorrow is the order of the day and it is hard to believe that God is still the kind benefactor of His earthborn children; days when troubles harass the soul, till death seems preferable to life. It is then that many lose their grip on God and are brought into the slavery of doubt, the bondage of unbelief.” (E.G.White. Prophets and Kings pp162)
In my entire life, experiencing hardships has been a great school of my life. I have lived all the lifestyles of any troubled person that you could think.
The emotional pain I endured, physical suffering I went through, being underprivileged has a greater portion into my entire life, but I have never in a single day thought to do crime nor to curse God and die as per the suggestions of the wife of Job.
It is my time to share with the entire world the truth within me, the everlasting truth that God bestowed in my soul so that I help someone out there.
I am not a rich person, I am not even a well being who manages to make a living under all normal circumstances, but I am a resilient person when it comes to pursuing what’s right and meeting my goals.
I grew up as an underprivileged boy who would wear a torn apart short that covers only the private parts. At the back, you would see ashy dusty buttocks because of seating down on the soil.
I never abandoned going to school, despite all those hard embarrassing circumstances.
After finishing grade seven, the situation forced me to be on my own, to find anything possible that would make me survive for another day.
I stooped so low as to the point of herding cattle for different households at different times, earning peanuts, just to make ends meet.
Life handed me some lemons, and the situation of Job befell me, hence not sick with boils as he was. One would think that I was an orphan, yet I had both my parents alive.
It’s not like they had abandoned me, but they were in a situation on their own that needed divine intervention.
As I kept on working as a herdboy, I was experiencing different lifestyles in those families I stayed with.
As Africans, each home has its traditions and beliefs.
So I was getting experience in a daily basis. In some instances, I would be forced to worship the ancestors, going through a session of being under the smoke of different herbs I can’t tell from which trees.
I would sometimes be forced to be in a church that I didn’t even understand how they were worshipping. Nevertheless, God never left nor forsaken me.
Life went on, and every day my burning desire of bettering my future and society grew. I always envied other kids who wore shoes, and I always asked myself how it felt like to wear shoes? “Will I ever wear a shoe? Will I ever one day also wear trousers? A long sleeve shirt, a tie, a suit? Will I ever have the guts to propose love from a girl?”
Just because I was very poor, the confidence of even hanging around with some privileged guys was never with me.
I would be isolating myself and lived like an abnormal person.
One thing that kept me moving forward, was this burning desire of becoming an artist. I would ask for art books from the children at primary school, those who never ran out of exercise books.
I would do fine art, drawing cartoons or even drawing my image copying from the mirror.
When I looked at my drawing, I would see it perfect and have confidence that one day I will become a known artist.
Life went on, and I became a man, a believer who was an extremist.
Trusting that all this suffering is the act of the devil who wants me to stop believing in God. Despite me being so faithful in that way, life continued to be so hard to me.
So so hard in such a way that no one ever respected me in the society I lived in.
But I kept worshiping God and trusted that things will change. I would wake up in deep thoughts, yet my mind would be shut, never to see a bright future.
Whenever I tried to pray, I would see my faith with a crisscross of webs and anxious confusion with the fear of even being stroked. These sticky webs of worries, fears and mental pains did not destroy the love of reading and the love of God. My prayer was always that, “If it is thine will to live this life the rest of my life, let it be O’ Lord.”
In all this that I came through, I learnt a lot and I became a person of a great mind. My faith in God Almighty was strengthened while going through trials and tribulations. I learnt some important qualities in life that have kept rooted in my belief and gave me the strength not to give up:
• The power of life and death lies on your tongue; I learnt to speak things into existence. I learnt to declare and decree what I want in my life. I learnt to speak positive words in my life than negative. I declared that I am a winner, not a loser
• I learnt not to think when I have gone over a subject once, that when I am talking to someone, I will retain in his mind all that I presented.
• I learnt the eloquence of silence, when one gives peace to an angry spirit, he is just intoxicated as the man who has put the glass to his lips.
• I learnt that my mind must be trained not to look at self. It should be trained to look away from self, to dwell upon themes that are elevated and ennobling.
• Let not the precious hours of life be wasted in dreaming of some great work to be performed in the future while the little duties of the present are neglected…
This is Bhekani Dube’s second book in English. He is the author of two published books. My Painful Secret, and Umusi Wexhegu. He is also a panelist on Digital Sunday Express. He also has released two musical albums. The books are still selling at R150, to get a copy contact him on: 0626513392. Email: email@example.com. Facebook: Bhekani M Dube. Twitter: Bhekani Dube the poet.
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