Beekeeping By Tafadzwa Tigere Tandi

Bees hover next to her, seduced by her life-giving charms. They know this Shona goddess will honor her promises, protect them, so they reward her with the gift of nourishment, their sweetest huchi. Whispering to bees, encouraging them to create, is a unique gift. The Shona recognize that talent, they must, it allows them to thrive, to produce their own fruit. Huchi is a special love from Nature, and to protect its provenance, the Shona revere the beekeeper. She is their mother figure, the creator. Due to her intervention, her godly presence, flowers blooms, wisdom flows, health is preserved.


Such a protector, bestowing such abundance, must be celebrated, in daily life and in stone. We Shona need to speak to her the way she speaks to us, with love and assurances of long life. Stone, my stone sculpturing honors all her virtues, her guarding us from evil spirits. In my hands, she is everything, a powerful matriarchal figure, a guardian, a sexual presence all men crave. But bees have become ever more prominent in our society, the humble Zimbabwe farmer relies on the pollination and fertilization of his crops. He lives by the bee and its pleasures. In the future this dependence will undoubtedly grow. He must honor her, and continue to urge ndipe rudo rwako rwunokosha–give me your special love. Zimbabwe, all of us, hope she listens. I certainly hope she does. I celebrate her in stone.

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