Every time people meet- it matters. It counts for something and always – there are some people whom God places along the pathway of your life because they connect you to your destination.
I have never seen an angel but I know God sends messengers; in the way of ordinary people and through seemingly causal meetings.
I have never been at the center of some earth shattering miracle but there’s a thread of miraculous happenings that runs through the fabric of my life and it shimmers from the glimmer of casual ‘hellos’ exchanged between strangers.
I no longer believe that there is anyone in my life whose presence is mere coincidence – no.
If their path crosses mine then God above is assigning either them or me the honorary task of playing ‘angel’ – of being a blessing; a chance to transform and change someone’s life for no other reason other than that we can or we simply have the means.
I cast my mind back and find that the wonderful happenings in my life always began with a meeting.
I’ll begin with the more recent one and hope I don’t lose you along the way.
A week ago I had the chance to meet the United States Ambassador; Mr Charles A Ray having accepted an invitation to join a book club called Chautauqua. While I never actively nursed a desire to meet the man; I had always loved his writing and from afar – I was a fan.
But I would not have met him if I had not known a woman called Sharon Hudson-Dean of the US Public Affairs Section and I would not have known Sharon had I not been introduced to her by Sizani Weza – a man that I affectionately regard as a brother.
And I would not have known Sizani Weza had I not been introduced to him by Natasha Msonza – a woman whom I admire and regard as a kindred spirit.
But then I would not have known of Natasha Msonza had it not been for Fungai Machirori who connected me to her – another remarkable woman whom I proudly claim among my circle of friends.
Fungai and I met through a Reality TV show we participated in and she tells me I did not make a warm first impression because I had a severe and aloof countenance. Perhaps.
All I know is I trace some really wonderful events in my life back to these meetings.
Through Natasha I became acquainted with Bev Clark of the Kubatana Trust and began to send some of my musings to her.
When I got selected to attend a women’s leadership summer institute in Ghana last year; the trip was sponsored by the Kubatana Trust generously using part of the prize money they had received for being one of the best websites in Africa to invest in my development.
It was humbling.
I recently got back from a trip to the US and while there I had the chance to reflect on how I had come to journey out of Africa as I had long hoped to.
I recalled telling someone that, “I am going to write my way out of Africa one of these days” – it was not a jest. I meant every word.
In Ghana, I met an extraordinary man named Mawuli Dake and 25 amazing young African women – the Moremi Initiative Fellows. It was a life-transforming 3 weeks.
It was this man who facilitated my participation – along with other Fellows – in the United Nation’s 55th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women and I would never have met him if Kubatana (at the behest of Bev Clark) had not sponsored me.
To this day – I have never laid eyes on Bev Clark and I could unwittingly pass her on the street and never know.
Getting to America was no mean task – I had a lot of help from a lot of people; who stood to gain nothing from my attendance but still spared their resources just to help my cause.
At some point all these people were strangers – but our paths crossed and in no particular order it feels good to say thank you to the ‘angels’ God has allowed to parade through my life. Some have stayed; others have gone their way after leaving their indelible mark of generosity that I can never repay.
So I thank God for every meeting that led my paths to converge with these wonderful human beings who made it possible for me to set foot on American soil -:
Talema Moyo – who dared to believe and wouldn’t give up,
Busani Ncube – who didn’t have to but still went out of his way.
Justice Nicholas Ndou – who believed in the potential
Gladys Tlou – who sacrificed, believed and cheered on
Sindiso S. Mazibisa – who gladly suffered the incessant nagging
Destelia Ngwenya – who sheltered the weary traveler and listened when it mattered
Ray Ndlovu – who came when others abstained
Lenin Ndebele – who kept his word and supported the cause
Deputy Governor, Nicholas Ncube – who believed in the potential
Mgcini Mike Nkolomi – whose generosity continues to astound
Dumi Kodzani – who believed in the potential
Mr Assad Mohammed – who invested in the writer
Sizani Weza – who went above and beyond the call of duty
Sharon Hudson-Dean – who went out of her way to help a stranger
The US Embassy – for believing in potential
The Embassy of Iran – for believing in potential
The Student Solidarity Trust – for believing in the cause
Nkululeko Dube – who didn’t have to – but did anyway
Sandra Ndebele – who didn’t have to – but still did
Babongile S’khonjwa – who could have stayed away but didn’t
Matshobana Ncube – who supported the cause
Kucaca Ivumile Phulu – who believed in the potential
Jessie Fungai Majome – who made a promise and did her best to keep it
Nkululeko Sibanda – who did his ‘thing’ when it counted
Nomakhosazana Khanyile Ncube – who endured the final night
Phil Lamola – who made an appearance when it mattered
Batsirai Donovan Shoko; Robin Nyembezi Muchetu; Nduduzo Tshuma; Portia Ncube – for lasting the mile
Munyaradzi Mapfumo – for gladly suffering it all
IYASA – who put their hearts into it
Izintombi Zomqangala – who danced the night away
Tswarelo Mothobe – who brought the laughter
Dumisani Muleya – who came through for me
Bev Clark – without whom the shores of Ghana would have eluded me
Mawuli Dake – who made it all possible and whose existence convinces me that Ghana is home to one of the world’s most generous souls
Moremi Initiative – for being the reason why
And most important of all; Sunday News Editor – Paul Mambo; who (figuratively) held my hand throughout the anxious wait…
To all these amazing people whose collective generosity I can never repay – thank God I met you – because every meeting matters!