“Diamonds are found only in the dark places of the earth; truths are found only in the depths of thought.” – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
Whilst my mother cannot remember what my first word as a child was, she is always quick to note that my favourite word was ‘Sei?’ Why. I must have driven everyone in that house crazy with that little three-letter word because you can never finish answering why. Whatever answer you give can always get another why in response. So I asked why till they probably asked themselves “why did we have this one:-)”
But then somewhere along the way I stopped asking why. As I grew older, I found that people weren’t comfortable with the question why especially if they had never asked the question themselves. I was made to feel like I was wrong to question things about Shona culture, made to feel as if I was questioning the very validity of our culture. All I wanted to know was why we did the things we did so that they would have personal meaning instead of them just being thoughtless routine.
Then I became a teenager and stopped questioning altogether. I believed I knew all the answers. Sometimes I wonder if I did permanent damage to myself those six, seven years. For in all that time, I either accepted without questioning, or simply rejected without reasoning.
But now I’m older and I want some answers. I want to be curious Chido again, always asking why. You cannot truly learn or grow without questioning. Questioning makes things, not just because someone told you they are true, but because they’re true to you.