Fruit of my womb

(This is the beginning of something I been thinking of. Would be great to some feedback. ie COMMENTS. negative and positive are welcome.)

It is the devil’s work, mother had said. That was her mother’s response to every problem. She was always telling her of the latest congregant whose life Pastor Joshua had touched. The last time the testimony had been about Chiedza, a girl Rudo had gone to high school with.

“It’s only been a year since Pastor Joshua prayed for her, and she’s already getting married to that nice young man who sings lead for the church choir.”

Rudo had wondered if anyone had actually seen the august Pastor strike the two lovebirds with arrows borrowed from Cupid himself. But she kept such thoughts to herself. A comment like that would send her mother on a tirade.

“That is your problem, Rudo” she would say.” You have no faith at all. If only you would have a little faith. “

Frankly, Rudo had run out of faith. Maybe it was when she turned thirty. Something about the age of thirty changed everything.

At twenty-five, relatives pressed her about when she would bring a “friend” home. At twenty-five, marriage was a new discovery among friends. Every two months or so, she would get an invite from an old high school friend or hear of someone from her law class whose boyfriend had just paid lobola. Everyone was getting married but you weren’t an outcast if Fate had dictated that it simply wasn’t your time yet.

But at thirty? The relatives turned pesky. They said things that Rudo already knew, like “There is more to life than those books of yours mwanangu.” And when they picked the annoyance from her now standard reply, ‘In God’s time” they simply turned among themselves and whispered about witchcraft. Once in a while, from one of the more daring and traditional aunts, Rudo would hear talk of consulting with one n’anga who was “well versed in such issues”. But witch-doctors always conjured up the image of misspelt newspaper ads promising answers to the impossible such as HIV, unemployment and the like.

With thirty, old friends began to treat you as if you were leperous. They introduced you to their fat and socially awkward cousins who had obviously gone through a boys’ school and had thereby missed any chance at ever entering society normally. They introduced you to these cousins and to their guy friends –the ones whom you always suspected batted for the other side- but kept you away from their husbands. As if Rudo had the luxury to chase after married men…

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14 comments on “Fruit of my womb

  1. deep piece of work….
    marriage has no “age”….but 30 is kinda old..especially for women…their biological clocks don’t run that long…

  2. Ray says:

    gatta hand it to u ,pretty gret piece u wrote ,if u write a novel im soo going to read it cover to cover even tho we both know im a nigga and niggas dnt like to read stuff lol.

  3. Ok I’ve read it over again and I really like how you’ve set this tone for the relationship between Rudo and her family and how she regards the world. I know some people are speaking up against the single school comment but I think we can agree that those girlies (myself included) who have only gone to single sex schools, there is a sense of social awkwardness when you go into that mixed sorta setting. It evolves with time but there is an impact. I think it’s a sweeping statement, along with the ‘batting for the other side’ part which show the attitude and outlook of Rudo. It’s like a Fanny sorta outlook where it’s narrated in third person by the protagonist so we can see everyone else’s logic but still understand a little more about the protagonist. I enjoyed it and if you can maintain this or evolve it in a proper way it’ll be a story well worth reading 😉

    • Gwen says:

      Thanks Thandi. Thats what I thought about the single sex schools.Funny enough its the people who didnt go to single sex schools who complained the most about that line. But thanks for reading:) the finished piece is likely to be in your inbox before the weekend.

  4. Gamu says:

    Enjoyed reading your piece. How i wish more women and girls would refuse to succumb to society`s pressures to get married early. One can still feel complete and happy while single. Even nat forty! But then again, there is the problem of a lot of women not being self-assured and having low self esteem etcetera.

  5. clyfmach says:

    Very well written piece, Gwen! 🙂 There is a term for unmarried women who are over 30: left over women.It’s quite popular in China.Personally,l don’t think there is anything wrong with being ‘left over’.Why does a woman have to marry before 30? Maybe she can be content with being single ,or has other priorities.
    The traditional way of being married early is not always the right way.Society has it’s expectations ,but personal goals are more important.People are different ,however,our African society praises conformity. I believe it’s possible to be a woman who is happy, satisfied and waiting at the age of 30….in spite of cultural and societal limitations.

    • Gwen says:

      Ahahah I’m not sure they like that term. Left over implies being the last one picked for something. It implies that noone wants you of which sometimes that’s not the case. But thanks for reading:) the full story might be posted soon.

  6. Ancillar says:

    Good job we couldn’t have said it better and thanks for representing the sista’s out there

  7. jonah lomu says:

    Well its a number of things, firstly, because of Africa’s relatively low life expectancy, 30 is rather old. Then comes the fact her mom probably had her in her early twenties….
    P.s the suggestion that gentlemen from single sex schools are poorly adjusted is sexist as the same should apply for females from similar shouldn’t it?

    • Gwen says:

      Hahah Jonah.So women should get married early because they might just die young?? And well, maybe if the protagonist was a male looking for love the opposite might have applied. I went to a girls school and I think to a certain extent the way people who went to single sex schools relate to the opposite sex is different from the way their co-ed counterparts do

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