Saturday, July 15, 2006


Little Simbarashe Edmore Jowa was laid to rest in Brampton on Saturday. As the last shovelful of dirt was thrown onto the mount that is to be the permanent mark of what was once a vivacious young boy, I felt renewed pain in my heart. The kind of pain all parents feel.

For Simba’s parents and others who have lost children, it is the pain of finally realizing that “my son, my daughter” is really gone.

For the rest of us, it is the pain of knowing that it could have happened to us. It is the kind of pain that comes because you want to take some of the pain off Edmore and Nyaradzo’s hearts, but you know you cannot.

I did not know Simba or his parents. In fact, when I first heard the sad news on CTV on Monday night, I was not paying attention, so all I heard was that two kids were rescued from some creek and one drowned. It was sad news but I was removed from it.

Then the following morning I bought the Toronto Sun newspaper and there his picture was, beaming like all kids of his age always are. The name “Simbarashe” hit me hard. He could only be Zimbabwean. As I read the story and recalled what I had half seen on TV the previous night, my heart sank.

I had just left my own seven-year-old son at home. He is as active as Simba must have been. I imagined someone calling me with the sad news that my son has been in an accident. Just the thought scared me and my heart went to the Jowas immediately.

Today, as I joined hundreds of other Zimbabweans, Canadians and other nationals celebrating Simba’s last day among us, I marveled at how Simba managed, in death, to bring us together.

My wife and I met a number of people we had last seen years ago in Zimbabwe, some of them relatives we did not even know were here in Canada. No doubt other people had similar experiences.

Simba’s departure even brought out the best of speakers to rally the Zimbabwe community together and urge more unity and full integration into the Canadian society, so Simba’s living peers could live longer and prosper, closer and around his final home than to move away.

Simba, to me you are a seed that we planted today here in Canada. God took you away from us for a purpose and that purpose is to unite us all the children of Zimbabwe.

Rest in Peace Big Guy and we shall always sing your song, “NdiJesu Chete.”


No comments: