MY LATE BROTHER IS MY MOTIVATION

My Personal Diary    

By Fiona Jacques Manda

Dear Diary

Where do you get the motivation if I may ask? I mean what makes you ‘alive’ (haha) and kicking? Well, to me, you’ll get the shock of your life that death is my main motivation.

You see, death takes away the very things that we do cherish, adore and wished they stated for a lifetime. My Dear Diary, death makes you realize someone’s worth (the departed), and at times can make you realize that what you believed in, or thought, was away from the reality.

Diary, it’s been thirteen years since my brother closed his eyes for good. For my siblings, I’m sure they’ve already forgotten about his existence, but diary, not me! I still do. My brother Dave was a cheerful and noisy boy, young and energetic. Everybody around claimed he had a striking resemblance with my father. That feature alone, made him the most loved amongst all of his siblings. When I remember his face, tears roll down my face for his was but an innocent face.  

By the way, I was born in one of the hardest-to-reach corners of Malawi where even up to now, a smart phone is still a pauper’s dream.

Here’s how it was. Thirteen years ago, a heavy drought hit my family. I hope you know what I mean? At home, food became so scarce. We could hardly have enough unto our stomachs. It was a nightmare I’m telling you. Our bodies became malnourished. Unfortunately, for my beloved little angel, his body couldn’t withstand the pressure. He closed his eyes.

I remember this night. I saw his face becoming pale. So too were his limbs. He got so weak he could hardly move. He had to be fetched to the hospital. But how? Back then, even up to now, bicycles and oxcarts were the readily available means of transportation. But at a cost; a cost which my father failed to. He had no kobos in his pockets. Whatelse could he do? Like any loving but financially crippled father would have done, he carried his ailing son on his back, and off he went to Katete Hospital, some kilometres away.

My mother did not accompany the father as she was set to run up and down to fetch some monies to purchase some foodstuffs for the duo.

Back at the hospital, I heard baby Davie was given one-two-then three drips of blood. Unfortunately, his body could not finish consuming the contents of the life-saving liquid in that dreadful plastic paper. He departed.

That’s all I know how his life ended but as for the nitty-gritties of it, my mother has always kept a tight lid. She kept bending the truth that he had passed on whilst he was enroute to the hospital. But later on in my older years, when the actual truth hit my eardrums, I was hurt to the borne. Even up to now, it does pierce my soul.

Diary, I think about him, I feel for the agonies he went through. He fought a good fight. He fought a battle that wasn’t his. Whatever the case, whenever I think of him, I still I feel he left something in me. Poverty. You see, it was poverty that claimed his life.

If and only if my father had stronger financial leverage, the song could have been different. Anyway, it happened. We can’t change it. However, his death has always been motivating me to work smarter so I shouldn’t go back to where I came from; The City of Poverty! This makes me have some smiles on my lips. I know, where he is, his soul smiles too.

Diary, His death doesn’t only make me realize where I come from, it serves a bright light, directing me when all lights have gone off. It reminds me of where I’m heading to…the journey to success ladder.

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