Official name : Nicole Natsai Chimanikire
Stage name : Chief_natsai
City and country :Harare, Zimbabwe
Proffesion/occupation : Youth advocate
Email address:

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Mourning of the soul

I cried the other day.
I needed a hug I could drown in.

When they shut the borders down
The symbol of freedom lost, had my heart like Jack after Jill, tumbling right after.
It was like every door they locked when they announced lockdown, bottled up my soul in a space only my demons resided in.
That void space was my house, my home.
And the demons were a family
A family who forged stones and boulders
Trickles of memories I would rather find a way to forget
Ironic, how a global pandemic inhibited my ability to make a run for it but dug deep to get to the core of what had been bleeding my heart and mind

Feeling caged in, is exhausting.
Just, gasping for air in the very place you sleep.
God put so much oxygen in the air and yet your life is suffocating you?
Doesn’t it seem ironic?
Hands of anxiety wrap around your neck like a bow tie presenting you as a prized possession
Pretty and polished.
You ask your African mother for help
Only to hear her say the dishes in the sink are as depressed as you are, clean them, help them, they need your tender sunlight love
When really all you were asking for was hers.
A love you could feel hopeful swimming in, joyful playing in and grateful praying about.


Mental health in an African household is like walking a tight rope, with a bucket of water on your head and your hands tied behind your back.
Your conscience is always like
“why are you crying”
“there’s no such thing as depression”
“you don’t even know how to spell anxiety”
“Insomnia is an old folk tale they tell in ghost towns”
“you’re breathing so your fine”

You’ll hear your father say words like
And your mother support his comment with a statement like
“if I can’t see the wound, how do I kiss it better?”
When you know
It’s the mere mention of a kiss, nonexistent.
But you can’t blame them
They themselves suffer from wounds that have long turned into itching scars
So you can’t ask Job to scratch your itch when they have had their own to surrender to.

Being a child is like being beat and baptized into a weight of expectations that if placed on your head could crush your soul, so instead they place them in your mind to swat away your hopes of self-awareness.
But being a child whose mental health is wobbling is like having no courage
but still holding your hand out
in the still darkness
with the moon shining light on your head
hoping somebody notices
The carcass you have become.

Published by Stephen Ogweno

a global health practitioner, NCD advocate and mHealth Innovator

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