Under the Lancaster House agreement , Zimbabwe was finally granted independence by the United Kingdom on the 18th April 1980, this brought to an end a civil war that had been running for most of my childhood. As children during this time we all felt the pain of lost family and close friends.
Life for any Zimbabwean has been a journey and everyone has their story to tell. With time comes wisdom and while we may remember as children, we now understand as adults. I was 10 years old when Robert Mugabe first came to power and when I left Zimbabwe, at the age of 45, he was 89 years old and still running the country! Over the last 55 years many of us have scattered to the four corners of the earth, its a difficult choice to make to leave what you love. I feel a close bond with every person I meet from that place, black or white- we all share a painful past that molded us all together and we all long to return to the country we all call home.
In 1975 We moved to a Paddy’s Valley , a cattle ranch in the Figtree farming district of Matabeleland. Our new home had deep verandas that offered sweeping views out over the dam, on to hills of granite boulders stretching to the blue horizon . Although there was a war going on, my fondest memories are of the secret community get-together’s we used to host at a rock pool on the Humbi River and Father Christmas was always brave enough to bring us our Christmas presents at the Marula Farmers Hall. 1980 saw the end of the liberation struggle , we all had the freedom to live a normal life. Long horseback rides with school friends, silent starry nights out camping, discovering ancient bushman paintings in secret hilltop caves and wild landrover rides along dusty farm roads. It was in this time that Mum and her friend Ali Sayers became the Queens of Peach Pickle. A delicious condiment made from yellow peaches, grown in abundance at the nearby Solusi Mission Station. This recipe has been passed down from my Granny Ferreira’s Rondebosch Cookbook. I will be attempting to cook this recipe for the first time this week.
Author: Leanne Gammon