We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Kindness Across Cultures: Stories to Prove We Care. Each post highlights present-day andfolktale examples.
Zimbabwe has vibrant sunsets and the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls. People cherish the beauty surrounding them including family, especially as the average life expectancy is only age 45. They know life is precious for everyone. Absorb the beauty yourself by viewing these birds atop trees in Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe taken by by Steve Evans. He has granted permission for Story Crossroads to use this image.
Please note, “Zeroth” means immediately preceding what is regarded as first in a series while “Zenith” means at time at which something is most powerful or successful. By partaking in this A to Z Blog Challenge, my mind has been–even before the beginning of it and to the very end–been on the kindness of others from around the world. All these kindnesses build on each other until we are to the zenith or the most successful that we can be as part of humanity. A reflection of the 2018 Blog Challenge experience will be out on May 7th as will others participating.
Present-Day Zeroth & Zenith
Runyararo Children’s Home is run by Harvest Christian Fellowship and held at a high school. They care for about 10 children and cover all their costs from food to school to clothing. Some people help sponsor from the United States though mainly people from Zimbabwe help. Learn more here: http://www.zimbabas.co.zw/runyararo-childrens-home/#.WuYs2YjwaUk.
Past Zeroth & Zenith (Folktale)
This Zimbabwe tale entitled “Children of Wax” was collected by well-known author Alexander McCall Smith in his book “The Girl who Married a Lion and Other Tales from Africa,” published by Pantheon Books.
Here is a summary:
A couple wished to have children. Finally, they were able to have children though each time they were born, the children were made out of wax. The parents loved them as they would any children. Though, with the children being made of wax, they could not go outside during the day. Instead, they did their chores and playtime at night. The father made a hut that was gloomy and completely dark so they would be protected during the day. The youngest of the children, Ngwabi, longed to see the sun. The other children tried to sway him from such dreams and they all knew he would melt and be no more. As the years passed, the desire intensified until Ngwabi ran out from the hut. He did not get far before he melted. The other children could only wait until nighttime. The oldest child molded the wax into the shape of a bird that Ngwabi loved so much. The other children gathered leaves to be the feathers and placed on a branch. When the sun rose, they children watched through the tiniest of slits of the hut as the wax bird came to life and flew away. The children knew their brother was happy and free.
Interesting Notes on Kindness
- The parents loved their children despite the differences of wax versus flesh and gave as much as they could for them to be safe and happy
- The children were obedient and kind and a joy to their parents
- The children tried to protect Ngwabi from the sun and sometimes kindness for others is unknown until the unthinkable happens
- The children molded and created the wax bird to honor Ngwabi as a small kindness for what he loved
- A higher power of some kind blessed that wax bird to life and offered that mercy to the family so Ngwabi was happy and free and the other children were happy knowing Ngwabi was happy
What stories of kindness do you know associated with Zimbabwe? Anywhere in the world – past or present? Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.
While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 23, 2018 with free performances May 21-24, 2018 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2018-schedule/).
We thank our funders such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.)