The 3rd of December 2017 started off as a day well spent at home. The previous night, I had gone out with friends. Previously, we had made plans to have a welcome party for my good friend Brodgea’s girlfriend. She had come from South Africa. Having been out the night before, when Brodgea called to ask if I was coming out, I declined. On that same day, I was supposed to be visiting my parents, but I felt too tired to travel. It was as if something was holding me back. I had a strange feeling that something bad was coming, but I thought it was just mere weariness from the previous night out.
I ended up spending the entire afternoon with my friend Marjorie. We lay on the living room floor since it was so hot. At some point, a song (Zadzisai) by one of my favorite gospel artists, Janet Manyowa, played on the radio. I found myself singing along on top of my voice and dancing. Marj laughed at me asking where I had suddenly gotten my energy from.
Something inside of me yearned for God’s presence and I made a silent prayer. Then I went back to lying on the floor and I slept through the rest of the afternoon. Later, I was woken up by a phone call from my little sister telling me that my mom wanted to find out if I was still coming. I decided to postpone the journey to see her until the next day. Till this day, I still wonder if things would have been different had I gone home to Mazowe, but I guess I shall never know….
I eventually got up to prepare dinner, and then I jumped in the shower. I still had that hovering feeling that something was not right. Yet, I could not figure out what it was. It only made sense later. An hour later, my housemates returned home from work and asked why I was not going to the welcome party. Suddenly, I changed my mind about going and quickly changed into evening clothes and left with my friend’s husband.
We got to the party, and I had a few drinks. We had to change our venue because there were a couple of complaints about noise from the neighbors. We continued the party at a place called Tshisa Nyama, where stayed for a couple of hours. A around midnight, we called it a night. I headed home in a car with Esther, Misheck, Gerald and Steph. On the way, we dropped off Steph and Gerald at their home in Mabelreign.
As we continued to head home, I fell asleep in the back seat. Misheck was also sleeping in the front passenger seat, while Esther was driving. At one point, I heard her complaining about us sleeping leaving nobody to keep her company. But I could not get up. In my sleepy state, I could feel her speeding up, desperate to get home. I was too tired to tell her to slow down even though I was usually the one regulating the driver’s speed. As she drove, she turned down a road. Still in my semi-sleep, I felt she had made a wrong turn. When I thought to open my eyes, I heard her scream. I quickly sat up, and upon raising my head, I realized she had lost control of the car. From there on, everything is a blur except that I remember closing my eyes, it happened all so fast. The car veered off the road. It smashed into and uprooted a palm tree.
Fear. Confusion. Panic. They filled my mind as I was stuck between the two front seats. I could not move an inch. From the chest downwards, everything was just numb. I tried to move my legs but failed. I had a strong feeling that I had a spinal cord injury, but a bigger part of me hoped I was wrong. I felt excruciating pain in my chest protruding from the back. My chest felt like it had a blockage and I gasped so hard for air. Every breath felt like it was the last one. My head was spinning. My friend’s husband, Misheck, was unconscious in the front seat. Easter, the driver, was pressed down by the seat belt, crying and calling out to her husband to wake up. The only thing I managed to do was ask her to call for help, then I immediately blacked out.
After a while I regained consciousness. There was a gentleman man who had come to our rescue after hearing the crash. I asked him to move me out of my position and he helped me lie on the ground. I could not handle the pain. I asked if he could help me lie on my stomach while we waited for help. As he did, I felt an even sharper pain, and I asked if he could turn me to my first lying position.
In that moment, our friends arrived at the scene. One of my friends, Lily, asked if I could feel her touch my right leg. I asked her what feel she was talking about. Suddenly, I started feeling like I was slipping away. I felt death looming. Every breath felt like the last one. I could not believe what was happening. I told myself that I was not going to die today. Something inside of me told me to start praying. I asked God to save my life, and that I could not die without having a child of my own. I asked Him to save me for my mom’s sake. I must have even promised to be a better version of myself, something that I actually would sometimes say as a joke. Lily and Mpumi joined me in prayer.
Seeing your whole life flash as if it is coming to an end and feeling helpless is one of the most traumatic experience you could have. I will never forget the feeling that my whole world was crashing and the only thing I had to hold onto was the knowledge that God was going to fight for me. I kept whispering ‘not today’ countless times in between gasps of air as I struggled to breath. I passed out again and when I woke up, we were entering Parirenyatwa hospital.
I was in unbearable pain. My first thought was I must have been having a bad dream, but when reality hit, I was in complete shock. Thankfully, Esther had called my family and my close friends to let them know what had happened. I lay in the casualty area for what seemed like countless hours until I finally got a shot of Pethidine and passed out.