They say we human beings are in a spiritual journey and what better way to seek one ‘s soul away from the bustling and hassle of the city.
These past few months have been difficult for me. Never have l spent so much time in one place owing to the global Covid_19 pandemic. In one way it has been great spending so much time in one space as you get to reflect, something l rarely afford myself when the demands of my life pull me in all directions.
Yet commercially its has been a train wreck. My venture I travel, which specialises in local and international holidays has been limping like all other travel and tourism players. As a result nothing depresses a woman more than a kick in the wallet, oops meant purse in case you thought of Bae’s wallet. Focus focus DC! lest l digress a topic of another day-kurova bag radzedzi!
I was in real need of some sort of spiritual journey and my spirit kept yearning for a connection with Malindadzimu otherwise known as Matopos. Within these rock outcrops are remains of great luminaries famous or infamous depends on which side of history you stand. However, what can not be mistakened is the calming effect of the place no wonder its said to be sacred. I have heard tales of how the place is hallowed and sacred but all that had not prepared me for the experience i felt when my small feet made the pilgrimage. And l am glad l did it.
We took a short drive through Bulawayo suburbs that soon gives to open farmlands and before you know it you see Matopos National Park sign, thats how short the trip is from town. There is no reason for you not making a whistle stop to this spiritual place next time you are in Bulawayo for a business trip. I insist its a must bucket list and once you do it your feel like going back and back again!
Our first stop was the main entrance, manned by the National Parks (who are doing a fantastic job in maintaining the park) and for a fee of $10 you gain access to the whole park except!.
But what l did not understand to get to that grave you still need to pay $5 per head. I did understand later Rhodes Friends seem to be doing a fantastic job of preserving his legacy.
Small things like the small narrow strip that leads to his final resting is well maintained and could only be rivalled by the road that once led to the Blue Roof. The signage, the monument and overall the site is well maintained. Lessons there its the small things that matter. We negotiated our way through the park stopping to marvel at the balancing rocks, historical landmarks, open savannahs and all that nature had to offer.
I really didn’t care much of what existed after the Pioneer Column arrived. I cared more about my history as a black child and l wanted to experience it. My mind was a factory of questions and l bombarded my travelling buddies with questions. Some serious, deep and reflective but some were dead goofy and we just ride like that they good people they get my dry jokes.
Soon we found ourselves at Cecil John Rhodes Grace and what a rich history lesson we got. A sickly born in a family of 11, and a poor clergy as a father, it must be one of the humblest start for anyone in life. If it was me l saw myself throwing myself a pity party because life had thrown me wild cards and only played me jokers.
Shipped to fairer weather to Africa young Cecil had a date with destiny. Controversial in life and death, Rhodes was a game changer who despite his ills, greed, chicanery, complex sexual orientation he changed the course of our history.
Am no scholar but just a curious mind but l feel till today his influence and impact we still feeling it! I don’t know what you call it but l choose to call it by what it is GREATNESS!
After what seemed like a history debate, together with my mates arrived at the conclusion that Rhodes was Rhodesia!
We then set on reaching the climax of the hill and wow what a climb and seating on a bench l felt what many Africans before the arrival of “vasina mabvi” felt, the place is hallowed it transcends you into some unreached world and all you get to experience is the desire to dream beyond your limitations.
I could see my spirit being transported into some far away land, connecting with supernatural being and seeing several possibilities.
Once we reached the top, as Shakespeare says in Hamlet, “we all food to the maggots,” whether king or servant.
After changing the course of history what remains of Rhodes is one well trimmed granite rock and heavy metal plate inscribed, HERE LIES THE REMAINS OF CECIL JOHN RHODES, as prescribed by his last will.
Next to it is that of Mophat Jameson, something to feed your curious minds. I leave it at that.
A stone throw away is a huge monument of “white men” who fell in battle! Something ran through my mind, it took me how as a people we have failed to honour our heroes both alive and well past.
We really need to preserve our history, l am one who hate to see things through binary lenses but on this end we have failed dismally and it seems that other people do it well with a clear consciousness.
Am yet to see Mzilikazi, Lobengula, Chibatamatosi the Rozvi King who roasted the Portuguese. It disturbs my spirit that one of our most sacred places is the resting place of people who robbed us of our history.
After all that ranting l chose a solitary place, lied down facing the sky waiting for the spirit to instruct me and indeed they did.
I quickly gathered my self and started the climb down to Pomene Caves and it is in those caves my spirit awakened from conflicting signals l got earlier.
To read more about the spiritual significance of the caves keep following me
Things to Do in Matopos
- Matopos National Park Game Drive
- Rhino Walk
- Tour of The Caves and Museum
- Hiking Tour of Cecil Rhodes Grave
- Chipangali Wildlife
- Lunch at The Big Cave