Unonzwa sees himself as a normal person, but everyone else doesn’t because his eyes are a bright blue and his family to everyone is strange. Normally Zimbabwean people only have dark brown eyes and most of them aren’t as wealthy as Unonzwa. His father is a white man and he’s very wealthy, his mom is full Zimbabwean. He is half white and Zimbabwean that’s why kids at school or who live next him pick on him. Unonzwa is very intelligent and he is receiving a good education in a school with good reputation. He is also from Kwekwe, Zimbabwe. Kwekwe is a central city with good education, and Unonzwa is attending the small school nearby his home.
Because Unonzwa is 13, soon to be turning 14, he hasn't started his own family or started his own farm. Instead, he's at the home he grew up in. When he was a little kid he helped his father, Jim, with his farm. Every other day they go out and sell some food at a nearby village. His father also fixes people's wagons as a job and his mother, Vambo, stays at home, and makes clothes and blankets for them.
Unonzwa gets bullied at school because of his eyes, since he's the only kid with blue eyes. Because he’s half Zimbabwean people call him an “it”. The school he attends has only white kids that go there and rarely native people. Sometimes the people at his school cross the line and make him feel like he shouldn't be there at all. He hasn't broken down yet, that’s because he's always thinking about something positive. He learned from his parents that "No matter how bad someone treats you, revenge is never the answer." Unonzwa is trying to live a normal life without anyone bullying him, but he can't since he knows that having a white father is strange because a Zimbabwean girl is suppose to be with a Zimbabwean man. His mother would tell him every morning before he left for school "No matter how hard things may seem, there's always something good around the corner." That's the advice he would take and keep in mind until he got home.
Unonzwa loves school, he enjoys it a lot. Many kids who live near him don’t go to school but he doesn’t understand why. His father would tell him it’s probably because they’re poor or they don’t want their kids to go to school. Unonzwa didn’t get why he mentioned “because they’re poor”. What does that have to do with going to school? He would shrug it off and do his homework or study. Jim and his friends are the ones who built the hut the way they wanted it. They didn’t do the ‘traditional’ way instead he made it so Vambo and Jim have a shared room, Unonzwa has his own room and they have a living room and a kitchen. Their bathroom was built separately and is right next to their hut.
Jim thought for a few seconds before answering, “Hmm, probably in a few hours.”
Unonzwa was curious why they weren’t leaving earlier. Usually his father would say “Let’s go” as soon as he got home from school.
“Where’s mom?” Unonzwa asked. Jim sat down in a chair at his small office.
“She’s at your grandma’s hut.” Unonzwa nodded and since he finished his homework at school, and had to wait a few hours before going to the market, he decided to try to make some friends or just practice football.
“Can I go play some football?”
Jim nodded, too busy with reading something. Unonzwa took his chance and went to the place where he knew where all the people his age were. It’s Lwazi’s hangout spot, it’s the field where she plays football. Lwazi is the most popular girl. Everyone loves her because she is a beautiful and perfect like a Zimbabwean princess. To Unonzwa she’s just another girl tries too hard, even though she impresses others. As he got closer, he could see her and all of her friends (or just people who follow her around). Just as he got there he realizes that he forgot to bring his football, but then remembered as he looked around that he has his other one here. The group of people were sitting in the middle of the field which bothered him a little bit. Behind a big rock by some random person’s hut he found his football, usually he would leave an extra one just in case he forgot to bring his other one. He picked up the old worn out black and red ball and started to play by himself since he doesn’t have any friends to play with.
Lwazi was watching Unonzwa from afar. She didn’t like Unonzwa because he was different. But she does feel something for him, she just doesn’t want to admit it.
“Is that Unonzwa?” one of her friends asked, Lwazi rolled her eyes.
“I think so, why is he here?” She huffed. Edzia had a huge crush on Unonzwa, and she really wanted to go see him. She knew that Lwazi wouldn’t approve, but she didn’t know why. She decided to just go for it Edzia stood up confidently.
“Where are you going?” Lwazi whined. Edzia pointed towards Unonzwa who was practicing some tricks. Lwazi felt frustrated and jealous.
“You can’t go over there.” She stomped. Edzia rolled her brown eyes, “Why not? I’m just going to see what he’s doing.” Lwazi sat there thinking for a moment. “Isn’t obvious, Edzia? He’s playing football by himself like the freak he is.” She spat angrily.
Unonzwa concentrating on his practice, so he didn’t notice Edzia was right next to him. She tapped his shoulder, which made him jump. He stopped what he was doing. “Did Lwazi want to send me a message? If so I am not taking it.” Unonzwa said feeling slightly irritated. Lwazi would send a few guys to beat up Unonzwa sometimes. That’s what she called a ‘message’, but usually Unonzwa would hide from them so he never got beaten up. Edzia shook her head.
“No, I just wanted to see what you were doing.” Unonzwa was taken back.
“I’m just practicing football for the game.” She nodded.
“Hmm isn’t that tomorrow?” He nodded not saying anything. Unonzwa talked with Edzia for a long time. Soon Lwazi wasn’t at her spot anymore, but they didn’t care because they were having fun and Unonzwa was actually making a friend.
“Unonzwa!! Let’s go!!” His father called interrupting their conversation.
“I’ll see you at the game tomorrow Edzia.” She smiled and let him go. She watched as Unonzwa left just as she turned around Lwazi was standing there with what looked like an evil smile.
“So guess who has a job?” Edzia shook her head her bright smile fading away.
“No if it has to do with Unonzwa I’m not in it.” Lwazi knew this was going to happen.
“Well then I guess I’ll have to tell-” Edzia knew what she was going to say, of course that made her agree to whatever plan Lwazi has. Unonzwa made it back at the hut with his father.
“Who was that you were talking to?” Jim wondered.
“It was just a girl, I met.”
Unonzwa and his father got in his wagon and checked if they had everything they needed before they went to the market. Jim was not really excited to go to the market, today because he knows the looks he and his son would get. People always stare and call his son names when they are working. They sell what his wife Vambo makes things like blankets, coats, and pillows for everyone, and they also sold food. Jim finds it strange that people don’t say anything to him, because no one calls him names or really bothers him. Sometimes he thinks that it’s because he’s white, but he honestly hates getting different treatment as if he’s a king, when he sees his son getting the opposite. Jim parked their wagon by a broken pot on the ground. There were lots of people there today. Usually it wasn’t this busy. Jim looked around, seeing a few rows of wagons and small stands preparing to start selling their items. Unonzwa started his part to get their stand set up, and put some signs up. He set down a few vases he made at home and then he also brought out his old football. Jim was surprised with the new items his son put out.
“Are you sure about this?” Jim sighed nervously.
“Yes, I mean I do have my new football at home, and these vases I made at home too. I can always make more.” Unonzwa said happily. Jim nodded and turned his attention back to the Zimbabwean people who came to their stand.
“Hello, how are you?” It was the normal greeting his father would start off with before getting into what they were selling.
Hours later Unonzwa and his father returned home from the market. They made a lot of money with Unonzwa’s vases and his football. Jim split the money with Unonzwa. Vambo sat in their living room waiting for Jim to enter. Vambo looked out the window with a smiled when she seen Jim and and her son arrive.
“They’re home.” She whispered happily to herself.
The next few days had been going by really well for the family, except one early morning Jim came up with an idea. Before he made his decision, he communicated with his wife Vambo to see if his idea would be put into action. Unonzwa was at school now, so that means Jim had a few hours to get his plan set up in time for when he gets home. While that was happening, Unonzwa was at school. He was currently learning about the Zimbabwean culture and what they do, it was weird to see what Zimbabweans do since his family doesn’t do any of those things. It was another reason they were seen as different.
“This time we are going to make something that represents us, and you’re going to tell the story in the picture…” The teacher went on telling the students about their new project. Unonzwa paid close attention. For some reason he was feeling really excited for this project.
“When is it suppose to be done?” He asked out loud. His teacher turned around with a smile and answered.
“By the end of the week.” He nodded, and began to think of some ideas that he could draw and then show in front of his classmates. He started to write down some of his ideas hoping one of them would stand out to him, if not it was going to be a hard choice.
The next day, when Unonzwa got home had a feeling that something was going to happen. He didn’t know if it was a good or bad feeling. As he walked home from school, he felt his stomach twist as if he was about to throw up. Maybe it was the food he ate today that was making him feel weird? He shrugged it off and by the time he stopped thinking about it he had arrived home. Inside the hut is his parents gathered in the living room. Unonzwa knew immediately that something was up. Jim smiled and greeted his son.
“How’s my son doing?” He asked.
“Not very well, I’m feeling sick.” Unonzwa mumbled. Jim decided it was time to tell Unonzwa the news even though it wasn’t the best time.
“Son you might want to sit down for this. We have to talk about something.” His mother Vambo watched silently.
“What is it father?” He asked curiously, taking a seat on one of the old wooden chairs.
Jim took a deep breath before talking.
“Well, Unonzwa, we both know sooner or later you're going to be independent. Like how I am. I’m a grown man and I have my own fam-”
Unonzwa knew where this was going, and of course he thought his father was out of his mind.
“I can’t do that, not now!! I’m too young, father. I’m just 13 years old, and I know this coming, but I didn’t think it would be so soon.” He rushed out nervously.
Jim understands what Unonzwa was trying to say here, but it’s going to happen sooner or later anyway, so why not start now?
“Look Unonzwa, you don’t have a choice in this. I get what you’re saying, but you have to do this whether you like it or not.” He said sternly. “Before I made this decision I made sure if it was okay with your mother. So I’m not the only one in this.”
Unonzwa only felt betrayed and scared. Unonzwa wished at that moment that he couldn’t hear a word his father was saying. Vambo felt terrible, because Jim is forcing this on her son. Even though traditionally you do start young, she still didn't want to upset Unonzwa.
“Everything is going to be okay Unonzwa, but as for now you need to start getting your things together because you are going to live on your own.” Vambo said. Jim nodded as she talked.
“When?!” Unonzwa asked.
“Now.” Vambo said.
“Yes Unonzwa, we already got most of your things and we also put them in your new hut, since you’ll be starting a family soon.”
Unonzwa felt as if he was about to faint, he couldn’t believe this was happening. Though he knows he isn’t the only one getting this news today, everyday there’s a few people who have to start their own families and get a job. But he didn’t think it would be this fast. Instead of listening to his father talking about what he should do and how to raise a family, Unonzwa decided to go to his room and get the rest of the items that were left behind. He found his football, some clothes and his blankets. Jim didn’t want to bother his son, he knows that this was a lot to process, and he’s just imagining how Unonzwa feels and thinks about all this. Unonzwa sat on the dirty floor of his small room thinking about how he was going to do as a father. Or how he was going to treat his family...Is he going to change? That thought scared him, Unonzwa’s biggest fear was changing the person he is today because of his own family.
“I’ll be the best father out there.” Unonzwa whispered with confident tone.
Jim was listening to Unonzwa talking to himself about how he will treat his wife and kids. He smiled knowing that Unonzwa is going to be a great father. He was just nervous for him because this is a huge step for all of them. Later that day Unonzwa finally got the rest of his things and decided to man up and live in his new home. He lived in a small hut that could probably fit three or four people. The walls looked like they were about to fall apart soon, the roof had holes he made a mental note to fix that before it rains. It wasn’t just built like he thought it was going to be, instead his father gave him a hut that was almost about to collapse. Unonzwa looked around outside his hut, he noticed he had barely any space to start a farm. That really bothered him because how else is he suppose to bring food to his family? Every man in the family worked on their own farm and feed everyone in their family and so far he had no one. But he knew that would change soon because he knows his father is probably trying to find someone for Unonzwa.
“I can’t find anyone Vambo.” Jim sighed taking a seat at the dinner table.
“What about that girl you were telling me about? Unonzwa’s friend?” Vambo wondered, continuing washing the dishes. Jim’s blue eyes widen, now that Vambo reminded him of her, he decided to go with her.
Unonzwa went to sleep that night in his new hut, hoping that this was all a nightmare. In the morning Jim came in and woke up Unonzwa.
“Morning son, clean yourself up because we have some talking to do.” Jim whispered, tapping his shoulder. Unonzwa sat up slowly, letting a big yawn out and stretching his arms out. He rubbed his eyes, lazily getting up from his bed. He looked up at the roof of his hut, letting yesterday’s event process through his mind. It was like he got slapped in the face out of his day dream into reality. He finally got up walking over by his bed there is a bucket of water. The water wasn’t really clean though since in Zimbabwe and most of Africa the water isn’t clean. Picking up his washcloth, he put it in the dirty water rinsing it first before wiping his face down, then washing his face again with soap this time. After he finished he went into a smaller room which was the living room, there was nothing in there yet, only his father sitting on the ground in the middle of the room.
“What do we need to talk about?” Unonzwa wondered, taking a seat by his father.
“We both know by now that you need a wife.” Jim started off, Unonzwa shook his head stopping his father from going on.
“You have no choice Unonzwa, the only thing you can do now is just listen.”
Unonzwa waited for him to go on impatiently, he started to draw on the sand they were sitting on to distract himself from this conversation.
“Vambo and I decided to choose that friend of yours. I forgot her name but she was with you when you were playing football.” Unonzwa’s eyes widen before he could yell no Jim asked what her name was.
“Her name is, Edzia.” He mumbled nervously.
“Do you know her parent’s names? Or where she lives?” Jim asked.
Unonzwa didn’t know where she lived or ever met her parents, they just met a few days ago. It’s kind of crazy to Unonzwa.
“I don’t know anything about her.” He admitted.
Jim nodded making a mental note to find Edzia later or maybe if Unonzwa will help out he’ll probably just get it over with now.
“I could go find her, she’s probably at the market today.” Unonzwa suggested.
“Alright that sounds good, I’ll go with you.” Jim stood up dusting himself off.
Unonzwa didn’t like that idea, he wants to go alone and not have his father come follow him.
“No!!” Unonzwa yelled before realizing what he said. He tried to cover it up.
“I mean no you can’t come because you need to watch over Vambo.” Unonzwa told him nervously.
Jim knew the reason why Unonzwa didn’t want him to go but that isn’t going to stop him from staying. He needs Unonzwa to help him find the girl and her parents.
“Look Unonzwa you already know what I’m going say so I’m going with you.”
Later that day Unonzwa found Edzia by herself at the market, then she took him and his father to her hut. Jim and Unonzwa are currently standing in front of Edzia’s hut both of them nervous.
Edzia’s parents came out, wide eyes, they both looked angry. Her mother smiled at both of their guest.
“Edzia please follow me.” Her mother said through gritted teeth, pulling her away.
Then her father came out, he is tall, has dark brown eyes and he looked about forty five years old.
“Please leave." He said walking back inside right after.
Jim was unsaticified, he needed to speak to them. Unonzwa stood there shocked not knowing what to do. He knew his father wouldn't stop coming over until he gets what he wants from them. They both stood in silence until the door opened again.
"What do you want?!" The man asked annoyed.
"Can we talk?" Jim asked.
The man glared at Jim.
"Fine. But we are not going inside."
He nodded and waited as the man went to go get his wife. Edzia stood behind the door listening to the conversation.
"I was wondering if you would let my son, Unonzwa marry your daughter, Edzia."
Her parents stood there shocked. While Edzia gasped happy with the news, her heart beated twice as fast, thinking her parents wouldn't let her.
"Well that's fine with us." said her father.
"Edzia!!" Her mother yelled.
She waited for a few seconds before coming outside meeting her parents. She waved and smiled towards Unonzwa as she stood by her mother. He waved back nervously wondering how she will react to the news.
----------------------------------------------------------------------- -2 Years later-
Everything went well, Unonzwa and Edzia got married a few days after he got his farm going. Edzia and Unonzwa has a happy family the first year they've been together, their family is happy and doing well. Unonzwa only has a daughter he named after his mother, Vambo she goes to school happily and is doing well. His family visits often and he's really happy that they still keep in touch even though they live close to each other. But in December, 1802 Unonzwa was captured by a group of white men who were heading to their village and take over. He was worried about his father since he hasn't returned back from the market so Unonzwa thought that he should go back and find him. Then a group of people grabbed him and demanded him to tell them where he came from, of course Unonzwa didn't speak or say anything about the village but he seen his father knocked out in the back of their wagons. The men got irritated with Unonzwa and told his followers to kill him. One of the men held Unonzwa down so one of them could slice his head off.