Georgina’s Zambia wraparound
“My object name is called Zambia, and it is actually known in African countries as a wrapper. It is described as a piece of an African printed fabric that can be used for differential purposes. In Zimbabwe, the object is named Zambia because it was first introduced to the nationals by the traders coming from the country Zambia. I was given the object by my brother. My brother bought the souvenir for me as a valuable present when he was twenty years old. My Zambia is valuable to me in different ways. Firstly, it represents the love between a brother and a sister. Secondly, it is an essential material for women in my country. It represents that I am from Africa; the African prints give the African residents the confidence and pride that they belong to the African continent.”
“The wrapper is commonly used at different functions; these include weddings, funerals, traditional wedding day, day-to-day basis, and travelling. Ladies are anticipated to use the wrapper so that when they are doing household chores, they will be well covered if they will be wearing an above the knee garment (skirt or dress).
The other reason why l personally brought it along is that l was going to an unknown continent where I didn’t have any relative, and I didn’t know how I was going to travel. The wrapper is mainly carried by women when travelling. In the case when the bus had a puncture or breaks down on the way to the desired destination, the ladies will use the wrapper for the baby to sleep, as a mat to sit and share with others who won’t have one as they will be waiting for the mechanic to fix the bus.
The souvenir connects me with my brother. A week before I left Zimbabwe, my brother hung around with his friends in a nearby area and was kidnapped. The kidnappers beat him until he became unconscious. The kidnappers dumped him in the forest, several kilometres away from the main road by the railway line. They expected that the train would crush him to death, and then we will never know of his whereabouts the entire life (the area was isolated, and nobody was going to see him as they were no facilities around that area). The midnight goods train crushed his right leg above the knee, and luckily the train drivers managed to rescue him and send him to the hospital.
We were informed that he had higher chances of dying than surviving due to the injury’s nature; he was amputated above the knee. I left my brother in the hospital bed, and l had thoughts that he would die as he had lost a lot of blood. Before l left Zimbabwe, I passed by the hospital, and l showed him the Zambia; he smiled, l told him that l was going abroad, I promised him that l would keep it safe. We made other promises, both of us crying, holding Zambia together. When I arrived in Ireland, the souvenir acted as a connection between my brother and me; I would have a prayer for him holding it.
I preserve my souvenir in the upper drawer of my sideboard. Once in a while, when l am homesick, I use it to wrap myself when relaxed watching television; it also connects me with my country, Zimbabwe, because part of my heart belongs there even though I am settled in my new home – Galway, Ireland.”