Perhaps a seemingly exaggerated statement.Especially considering the millions of displaced refugees across the globe.Young children who have been unceremoniously abandoned for this cruel world to raise. Those involuntarily displaced due to slavery and other acts of human rights violations.
My statement is by no means intended to be ignorant or to offend. It is the reality of my existence and has been for a while.
This unrooted feeling began as a child for me. Our family moved around due to my father’s work. Somehow my siblings seemed to adapt and settle in with an ease that I could not comprehend. While they flourished on the sports field and in their budding social lives, I was a recluse who clung to my books and my own thoughts for some semblance of stability. Little did I know that mine would become a wandering heart constantly in search for‘something’.
The reality is I obviously have a physical structure that I call home. I also have a family. I was raised by my parents along with my two siblings in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ghana, with Zimbabwe being our final harbour. Ultimately, Zimbabwe is the place where my roots lie. I went to quintessentially ‘good’ schools and received a world class education from leading institutions across Africa.
During our family holidays, we would travel across the countries we were stationed in; to their neighbouring countries; and overseas. The experiences I had travelling to these new and exciting places are the greatest gift that I have received from my parents. It is from these experiences and my education that my desire to see the world was born.
Why do I, therefore, have no place to call home? I think it’s the beauty and curse of being given a Pan-African, global upbringing. On one end, you understand and accept elements of your culture.Where your roots lie, your family history, experiences and all that comes with it. It breeds an innate curiosity about the world and what it has to offer. On the other hand, you are the casualty of failed government and warped politics which have resulted in the world either looking at you with pity or frowning upon you in distaste. You are a reluctant insider in your own country and a squirming outsider to the world.
The battle lies in having global views of the world inhibited to the confines of your country or the limited spaces your green passport will allow you to go. All my life, I’ve had visions of what possibility looks like. I have really believed in that possibility. Reality,however, would have me think otherwise.
I recently relocated to a small, Central European country to teach English. It’s a move that probably doesn’t make sense to many around me. But it was a lifeline to me. I was suffocating under the cultural constraints of home life – who I am in conflict with who I was supposed to be according to family, community and society. Economic and political uncertainty playing a heavy toll on my life as well.
Being here, I am acutely aware of my alien status.That I do not belong by virtue of my skin colour and heritage. It’s no fault of my host country – I have experienced great warmth and embrace here. I mean that it does not live up to the classic definition of ‘home’ because it lacks the qualities typically associated with it – ethnicity, familiarity, family and citizenship.
With that being said, will I ever find ‘home’? I have come to terms with the fact that I probably won’t. Probably not in the physical sense and not in this lifetime. My ideas, thoughts and aspirations are too broad for my place of birth. My melanin, heritage, accent and shape are too different for where I currently am.
The Apostle Paul told no lie when He said that this earth is not our home. I am looking for a home with deeper roots and stronger foundations than anything this earth can offer. A place where I am seen,appreciated and loved in my entirety. No ifs. No buts. No maybes. A home where I can be my complete, unadulterated self.
That place is in Jesus, and I’m still journeying to its Centre.
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” | Hebrews 13:14
Rumbidzayi Dube is the Social Media Manager at black African woman, and a marketing sage in her own right. She has recently made a shift in her career by moving to the Czech Republic to teach English to the old and young alike. Rumbi has a deep desire to obey God’s will for her life while maintaining her unique and creative personality.
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