The writer with her sister and father in Trafalgar Square, London, in 2006 [Photo courtesy: Danai Nesta Kupemba]
“I died for this country,” is a running joke in my family; something my father says whenever Heroes’ Day rolls around, laughing so hard that tears form in his eyes.
But beneath his broad smile is a gentle reminder to me and my three siblings: that he nearly did.
My dad was 12 years old when, in 1975, he joined Zimbabwe’s War of Independence. Also referred to as the Second Chimurenga, it lasted from 1964 to 1979, and marked the beginning of the end of white minority rule in what was then known as Rhodesia.
It was a fight against Ian Smith’s Rhodesian government (backed by Britain), which