I am a daughter of the earth Of the sun that warms your face and your heart Born underneath a Rhodesian sky of blue Surrounded by love, home and community so strong At times you may see a tear fall Unexplained Or a smile from far away It is a memory that has come through that no one can share with me It is a place and time forgotten to many of a life of simple joys, struggles, war and Peace.
Don’t think your power so strong over me that I get hurt too easily, Don’t think you know me, because of what you have heard another say My heart to you is a stranger only Rhodesians can understand It sings to the beat of an African drum, It soars on the wings of the fish eagle, the sweet sound of the English robin, the Bull Bull, It stands in majesty of the lion and the lioness, the rhino and respects the power Of the Wild. I am a daughter of the African soil in a place that knew security in the home, amidst terror in the war. I am a daughter there and here in Canada, I am a stranger.
Yes you can get my lunch and bring my tea, you say, here’s your two cents tip for being my Secretary, Just because you have an education do not think you work in your field, You have no Canadian experience, and we have the power to give it to you or not Be careful what you say to her, you say when you know I am listening, I say the same about you when I speak of you to others. They grew up with servants I hear them say, We grew up with people to help that was needed, there was no washing machine, and dryer No day care which you so admire. Don’t look down on us and judge us because you do not understand our hearts. So now you will make us your servants, welcome us as professionals and then make us crawl?
I saw the women in my community Struggle as they came together in The Catholic Women’s league and Indian Women’s League Communities filled with young and vibrant women Old people wanting to see our next generation succeed Through oral tradition many things were passed down that you would not understand Nor believe.
The church know the truth about evil that can make even a person’s body change shape, The locals called them gogolos Some call them shape shifters You call it superstition.
I am a daughter of the vote, the families who fought for and won the vote for fair education, rights and taught me to be strong, but it is not in Canada so you do not respect me because you do not know, nor care to know my Rhodesian heart and history. Be open minded you say, open minded to what? I grew up watching women in mini skirts and bikini’s and not being afraid to wear whatever they wanted,
Yet here in Canada I am told the woman has to watch how she dresses, even my mother forgetting how fortunate she was to have that support and love, To wear what she wanted without fear and live by hard won rights passed down through generations Instead here, the fight is for prayer rooms without crosses, To get women to wear “decent” clothes To wear the burka and cover their faces and live in fear Of the Muslim community and their power.
Report harassment, then they turn around and say you Are the one saying it You are the one obsessed. I am not the one who keeps bringing it up in new workplaces Trying to turn everyone against me. This is the Canada I live in.
I am a daughter of the earth, a place long forgotten by many; A Dad who did not want the Black government in power because he thought they would Run the country into the ground. A Dad who made me salute the Rhodesian anthem with pride and bought records of artists singing Rhodesian’s never die.
I am a daughter of Africa, of a people who reconciled with hope when independence came, Yet heard about the farm attacks, the need for guns with permits, and to watch I am a daughter who was the first of a generation to go to a mixed race and co-ed school, not sent away to be a border till in my late teens.
I am a woman, Strong, kind and gentle and I can stand with resolve for what I believe, I am a daughter of Rhodesia, a daughter of the Vote. Belinda Fernandez, Toronto, May 26 2019
when all is darkness and I feel my weakness and helplessness, give me a sense of Your presence, Your love, and Your strength. Help me to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry me, for, living close to You, I shall see Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things. Amen. By Saint Ignatius of Loyola