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Memory Darikwa bears all about reinvention on the other side of grief

It takes a heightened level of empathy to be able to stand with people when the mourn the death of their loved ones. As news reports of deaths on account of COVID-19 continue to rise, it's people like Memory Darikwa that can help them see the light beyond the pain. In this author spotlight, she shares a bit about the message she hopes to deliver through her chapter in "Reinvented & Victorious: The Anthology"

RT: Tell us about yourself: name, location, and why you are reinvented? MD: Memory Darikwa is my name , and I’m aka Tete Memo. I live in Harare, Zimbabwe, but was born and raised in Mutare, our country’s 4th largest city, located in the beautiful Eastern Highlands Province of Manicaland.

I am a Mother, Wife, Pastor, Counsellor, Politician, and a Friend, amongst other hats I wear. I am known for stirring the waters and challenging the status quo. I ask the "why" question. I have been through storms of life, been challenged by fear, insecurity and their by-products. I have been bruised by loss and betrayal amongst many other things in life yet I’ve come out victorious through facing and dealing with those fears and insecurities which had paralysed me. The bible says the righteous may fall seven times, but rises again and because He lives, life is worth living, because He lives I know I can face tomorrow. RT: What has the journey of sharing your story been like for you? Why do you believe now is the right time to give people an inside peek into what has made you the woman you are today? MD: The experience of sharing my story is a paradox. It’s been characterized by a re- living of some of my past experiences. Flashbacks of the seasons gone by have caused me to sigh and sometimes shed a tear. It’s been a painful walk. On the other hand, it’s been a remarkable experience, full of introspection and a deep revelation of God’s sovereignty. The deep sighs, tears and scars that resulted thereof are incomplete without a glassful of gratitude. What the Lord had done for me, and where he has taken me from, I cannot say it all. The painful separation from my parents, Napoleon my dog and all the detriments that followed cannot be compared to the joy of knowing that my experience will help strengthen someone somewhere. It’s like the pain of child birth, once one holds their bundle of joy, all the pain they suffered prior to the birth of their child loses its hold over them and becomes insignificant.

From time immemorial the world has always suffered loss through death and other means yet not so many are ready to talk about it or confront the reality of its consequences face to face. God has availed this opportunity for me to minister side by side and hand in hand with fellow ministers of the gospel in this work. No time could be greater than this for me to share the pain of my grief , fears and insecurities , how I came face to face with the reality of my vulnerability as a human being and the victory that I have found in Christ. The time is ripe to share the power of confronting one’s fears and the truth that it is possible to live an authentic life through God’s revelation of who He has called us to be. RT: How relevant do you believe the message of combatting insecurity and pursuing an authentic existence is to today’s woman? MD: The destiny of any human being is never tied to any man. The destiny of a woman is totally tied to God. However, God uses and places fellow human beings along the path of a woman to help nurture and guide them to live out who they are called to be. God desires that we capitalise on relationships for good and not for manipulation and control. Over the years different societies across the globe have generally dictated and administered through political, traditional, and religious amongst other means, an unwritten code about who women should be, what they should do and how far they can go. In stirring the waters and charting new paths, today’s woman has to understand that that life is not a rehearsal. One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself (George R.R. Martin). Life is lived once and should be lived authentically, to bring forth fulfillment, God’s blessings to his people and Glory to the King of Kings. RT: You have now added the title of “Author” to you list of accomplishments, or perhaps you fall under the list of women who long began telling stories through written content. Talk to us about why you believe it’s important for the African woman to be at the forefront of sharing her story, given today’s competitive media space. MD: I have heard some say, if you’re not invited to a table, set up yours. Media space has indeed become competitive but that should not work as a barrier to the African woman. After all, Africans have over the years passed traditions and knowledge orally and that has to change where changed hasn’t showed up. Stories should be told in way that will speak to generations. One that will allow future generations to see where we erred and make adjustments and that can only be done through written content.

Stories are always told and it’s important to be in charge of the narrative. Being an African woman story teller creates a platform for one to be in charge of how they want the world to hear their story. In this case, I’m sharing the rhetoric , that humans are humans despite their race. The experiences of an African person or woman in particular aren't necessarily unique. The insecurities that individuals and families endure in Africa are endured too, by other human beings across the globe. No matter who one may be, no one is immune to loss and grief. As people grow, work and journey about on this planet, they develop relationships and get attached to each other and when one of them they dies, or break away from their systems for whatever reason, loss and its consequences are experienced. RT: How do you hope your story will impact the lives of the readers of “Reinvented & Victorious: The Anthology”? MD: We all suffer loss and pain and my message is one of encouragement, that we should continuously confront our fears, overcome them, have hope and assurance that God is an ever present help in our times of trouble, that He is near the broken-hearted and heals our heartfelt wounds.

I have learnt that if fed and given a place to grow and flourish, fear can become a ginormous cause for humans to die more than once. It robs one of their capacity to see life in any positive and progressive way. Fear cripples one’s ability to dream, step out, grow, speak, challenge situations and in the process they lose their identity and the grand opportunity of living out the life they were created to live. In my view, that is the first form of death, and secondly, the physical one. God gave me the courage to face the fear of dying young, just like my parents did, leaving my children to grow without the warmth of a parental presence, guiding hand and voice.

Dealing with the insecurities that came with losing parents at a tender age left me with clean scars and taught me to lean on the Great Source, Jehovah God. I’ve learnt that whether one dies or lives, it is Him who sustains, nurtures and preserves lives. Embracing this reality has brought me freedom and I am blessed to be of the reinvented tribe because of this truth.

Be sure to grab a copy of Memory's new book here if you haven't already. Life is complex, involving experiences that none can avoid. Memory takes readers on a journey as she chronicles how the pain of loss has made her stronger in her faith.

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