Heavenly Father, my quest to seek answers from you concerning my life has led me to write this letter to you. Though some people have tried to help me understand life, I just thought it is wise to seek answers from you directly. Lord, why has the world failed to accommodate me. I am called by various names, but the most common one is ‘street kid’. Am I not a result of a man and a woman? If so Lord, why do then society call me a street kid? I have not been to any school, but I know for sure that the term ‘street kid’ does not exist in the Oxford Dictionary. Everywhere I go, society treats me like an outcast. Some children of my age are in school and have teachers, but on my part, experiences on the street have been my teacher. Some children my age have the privilege of having spare bedrooms, but the drains in the city center have been my ‘spare bedroom.’ For the rest of mankind, bins contain trash, but for me, they are sometimes a source of my supper.
If my parents are with you, I hope they are seeing the ordeal I am going through. If they are enjoying life somewhere, my wish is that one day I meet them. Please, Lord, I beg you. All my life, motherly love is foreign to me, worse still the protection of a father. Of late, there are people who seem concerned about my state of life. Some of these people call themselves Christians. When they come to me, all that is on their mouth is that you have sent them to help me. The role of these good Samaritans is really appreciated. Lord, instead of giving me food only for me, can these people also tackle the reasons why I am walloping in poverty in the streets. I know of a certain song by Oliver Mtukudzi, “wongorora chikonzero chaita musoro uteme.”My only concern is that, let these people tackle real issues. As you are aware that most of my time is spent roaming the streets of Harare, I have noticed that we now have in abundance preachers who talk about money and riches. In order to occupy myself, I have also listened to their sermons and homilies. If what they say that being poor and living under these conditions of mine is a clear sign of condemnation, then my question to you is, ‘what have I done to deserve such a punishment?’
Lord, I think you preachers must confront real issues. I know that my opinion may be of less value here, but this is how I see it. May you tell your preachers to teach people about the sanctity of marriage. May they tell the youths of today about the dangers of pre-marital sex. Yes, can they teach the youths that the sexual act must ONLY be enjoyed in the confinements of marriage. I say this because with what I have observed; I believe I am either a result of an adulterous affair or a broken marriage. Instead of talking about their riches, which they will never take with them on the day of their death, may these preaches teach their followers that they have an obligation towards orphans. It is not our choice as street children to live under these circumstances. Circumstances beyond our control forced us. Lord, some of your children who call themselves Christians are the reason why some children are living on the streets. After the death of many parents, there is also a property grab which impoverish some children. To say that they care about orphans is just but a pretence. Some of them, take orphans under their care so as to abuse them and get cheap labour. They have hearts of stones. Yes, they reap where they did not sow at the expense of orphans. But why are these people so cruel?
Though I am illiterate, I know your Son Jesus Christ taught that the greatest commandment is to love you and my neighbour. But why has the world failed to love me? I also know that you created me in your image. But why has society failed to see your imprinted on me? Just because I live on streets, does that render me less human? I know that everyone you created enjoy the same dignity, but why am I treated like a second class citizen of this country. Why is it that society seems not to care about my plight?
The taste of well cooked food is foreign to me. I survive on leftovers and stale food, yet some Christians participate in this culture of wasting. They do not consider it a sin to throw away food. Anything that can fill my tummy is good enough to be food for me. You may want to ask, ‘what about the people you send, that I mentioned earlier?’ Yes, they come, but it seems they give me what they no longer want, thus, by giving me; it will be another way of disposing what they no longer need.
For 16 years, Mukuvisi River has been my bathing place. My sauna. Yes, with all the sewage from the suburbs of Harare that flows within it. My plea to you Lord, may your preachers confront the evils within our society. Before they brag about being rich, let them spare a thought about the problems encountering modern families. Money has taken the centre stage of humanity. Many fathers have abandoned their families because of money. Young girls are aborting and some dumping children because of money. Everything in now viewed with a monetary eye. But why Lord?
In order to survive, some of my brothers and sisters here in the streets have resorted to illegal activities. Some are now being used by some rich crooks to sell drugs. Some of our sisters have joined the oldest profession in the history of humanity.
God my Father, on this following plea, I really appreciate if u can reply me as fast as you can. Lord, awaken the consciences of those politicians who occupy the August House. Instead of insulting each other because of political affiliations, may they not waste the nation’s resources, but deliberate on real and important issues. I believe my plight as a child without shelter is of great importance. Help them to put people first, not politics.
Society has seen it fit to pile names upon me in abundance. The most common one being ‘street kid.’ Like I mentioned earlier, I am illiterate, but I know for sure that ‘street’ is a public road in a city. More so, kid refers to a young goat. Therefore, the name itself does not suit a human being, but still we are called by such a name.
Though I am confused and even hurt about my condition, allow me Lord to thank you. All these years, street life has never been easy, but through your grace, I have sailed through. It was not the dirty food I ate which has sustained me, but I know it is your care and divine providence. Some children who had all good things at their disposal did live to see this day, but through your care, I have survived every difficult situation. I have endured many storms, winters and summers. You have been my protector and provider. I may not have everything, but I am happier than those who have material things in abundance. I have come to realize that true happiness is not derived from the material possessions one has, rather it is a gift from you. Though some treat us as outcasts, in your eyes we are precious. I am unique in my own way. Society refuses to give me the opportunity, but I believe I have a role to play because there can never be another me, besides me.
I had forgotten Lord, when you awaken the consciences of our political leaders, may they come to know that I deserve and have a right to a national identification card. In as much as I am a vagabond, I am still a Zimbabwean, an inherent right you bestowed upon me which cannot be taken away by anyone.
I trust in your divine love
Troubled but Happy ‘Street kid.’
The phenomenon of children roaming the streets of Harare or any other city or town is a case for concern. In this reflection, my intention is to awaken the conscience of each person who read this letter. The face of our troubled society can change for the better if we all live as true Christians. The sufferings of others must be a call for our conversion.
God bless you.
Fr. Mobie Musakatiza.