by Wadza Mhute
From 1976 to 2008 in an ever-changing country, from civil war to civil unrest – a story of three generations of women in the same family. They experience displacement within and without against the backdrop of Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from civil war to independence and economic inflation.
MaiRati is a widow, who loses her farm to her husband’s brothers after his death. The inheritance laws in 1970s Rhodesia do not include women. Still she survives.
Rati briefly fights in the civil war where she endures physical and psychological trauma. To escape forced conscription in the rural areas she travels to the city and marries Lovemore, a businessman who becomes wealthy after Zimbabwe’s independence. Along with his wealth come mistresses or “small houses.” Rati shares her husband with other women.
Her estranged daughter Muni immigrates to United States to escape the dysfunctional home. She attends university on a scholarship and struggles as an international student. A crisis at home forces Muni to return and confront her past.
The three women run from their circumstances but struggle in their new homes.
This is a story of family, immigration and its struggles, as well as a story of discovering oneself in the midst of hardship. It is a story of undiagnosed trauma and returning to ones roots to begin again.
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