My name is Keotshepile Mathulwe known as “BERRY” from South Africa. I came to Zimbabwe for my novitiate, which has been absolutely awesome. Moving to a new country took me out of my comfort zone. I was uncomfortable when I arrived and that went on for a few weeks. The body and the mind had to adjust to the new people around me and their langauge. I did not know much about Zimbabwe prior to my arrival apart from the legendary Mutukudzi. Unfortunetly Mtukudzi passed on few months after I came to Zimbabwe. I have also known Zimbambwe thorugh the infamous or the famous former president Robert Mugabe.
Moving to a new country was scary at some point because of new systems, routines and culture. Also the impressions that I got in the media about Zimbabwe was not palatable. Again, being far from home, away from the familiar language and people was very difficult as I sometimes felt out of place.
However, as time went on I discovered that some Shona words are actually close to my language as we share the same bantu language. I also learnt that Zimbabweans, Like South Africans enjoy their meat. Although that had basically to do with food, it made me confortable! I also liked strite or makuru (cow insides). They are delicious.
I must say, I am very touched by how the faithful are generous to the Redemptorist and by sacrifices they make for the sake of the confreres. My stay here in Zimbabwe has been awosomely blesssed both because of my fellow novices and the faithful we interacted with. The people of Zimbabwe have shown me love and they are very welcoming. I wa even adopted by a local family who promised to look after my spiritual and material needs. Other novices were also adopted by different families. The Region of Zimbabwe together with the faithful have really made me feel at home. I must add that, my Shona language is improving everyday. The people like it when I communicate to them in their local language.
During the course of the novitiate, I have learnt that when one moves to a new country, before they make rushed judgements, they should look into its history. One should study, follow and respect the local people’s culture. One should not judge the place by the impessions hey get on social media or or other forms of media. I no doubt would ove to come again to Zimbabwe but not as a novice.