The Bread Basket
by Jacqueline Sibanda
Like a tipped honeypot, golden rays spill from the sunset sky onto the Bulawayo cityscape, setting it ablaze. Nkanyezi watches as her grandfather guides the protector robots towards the inner city, swiftly feeling the joystick with a foreign ease. Today the buildings protectively loom over citizens, almost as if to enclose everyone in a reassuring embrace. Even they feel a seismic shift in the air. Commotion and fervent chatter welcome her into the ancient city hall, now adorned in vivid plasma screens depicting the fruitful industries, tribal patterns that seem slightly psychedelic against the horizon’s hibiscus and tangerine backdrop, and the brave faces of the Future Squads. Repose moves her to tears as she takes her khulu’s callous hand into her own, all the things she’s ever wanted for him lie in the here and now.
The noise descends with the evening sun as the mayor finds her way to the podium, sounds of beads colliding and stiletto boots clicking against marble echo loudly. “Nkanyezi Sibanda”, the crowd erupts when the first name of the Future Squads pours out of the sound systems. A hoverboard glides them towards the podium and as she receives her gleaming medallion, conflicting emotions plague her. If only her ancestors had witnessed the arrival of the age of milk and honey. Still, she’s aware that they’ve delivered her here, in a place beyond all else, they watch with pride, so she silently presses the lion pendant to her lips. A gesture of gratitude and honour.
Jacqueline Sibanda is a 21 year old writer, born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa.