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Where Does the Bus Come From?


By Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda*

The bus would come in the morning around 7.30am from Mukarakate or Macheke on its way to Harare. In the evening around 5.00pm, the same bus would come again, this time from Harare. It would stop at Mupfuti bus-stop next to Mai Tarisai’s house.

Like other young girls, I would wave and wave, until the dust had settled and the bus had disappeared down to Nyadire bridge and only for it to emerge as a mirage moments later across Gwishiri village. I would give another little wave, in anticipation of the bus coming again the following day.

Deep in my heart, I just wanted to know where the bus comes from. I wanted to sit in that bus the whole day. I dreamt of boarding the bus at Macheke, driving and gazing across the fields around Mukarakate and cross the narrow Nyadire Bridge with ease. I imagined giving a BIG wave to my friends Veronica, Ndaizivei and Auxilia as the bus passed through Magaya village.

I dreamt of buying things through the bus window at Murewa Center. I had only been to Murewa by scotch-cart. My thoughts took me to Salisbury (now Harare), where I would arrive in this bus and see with my own eyes all what my sister talked about...pa13 miles, paCoca-cola, Mbare and Machipisa.

I just and simply wanted to know where this bus Shiri-yekutanga, was coming from and going everyday.

I finally managed to get to go to Harare. Then one day I took the longest trip by bus to Zvishavane, as I went for my secondary education. Then to law school.....the rest is herstory.

I have travelled the world, I have seen the world, and yet my heart remains in that village. My heart remains with those little girls, who like me more than 30 years ago, simply wanted to know where the bus comes from.

Each day, let’s strive to give education, opportunities and possibilities to girls and boys in our communities. Another world is possible, especially for the millions of girls and women in the world today. If only we collectively dare, to weave together the tapestry of possibilities and opportunities; for a life of options and choices grounded on knowledge and skills, necessary to unleash the potential within.

For now I KNOW, the bus comes from our hearts.

* Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda is the founder and chairperson of Rozaria Memorial Trust, established in honour of her late mother; and current General Secretary of the World YWCA.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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lemayz's picture

Beautiful writing...and

Beautiful writing...and reminds me of my own childhood. I used to always wonder where those "important" people were always rushing off to in their fancy suits on the crowded street corners of Kiev, waiting for the "Tramvay" (like a steetrcar).

nifkinz's picture

I love this. The bus comes

I love this. The bus comes from the heart and links you to the village and those little girls. Thank you for sharing this.

Becky Frary

sunita.basnet's picture

Simply Beautiful

This piece of writing is simply beautiful. Your curiosity of a bus led to your destination. :)

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

pelamutunzi's picture

i have been there

wow this is a remarkable story. i also waited for shiriyekutanga but my journey was different. i knew the bus would take me home as it had taken me to education at nhowe mission. now i realise what we may take for granted is important for someone else.we took for granted that we knew where the bus was coming from or going but now years later we wish we could ride the bus again and im sure we would see a different landscape and opportunities. my bus has taken me through life as a woman in zimbabwe and the many things that seem obvious have seen many women face an early grave. i remeber my first sunday in form 1 i fought with a boy in form two because he wanted to dish out the chicken then they would get bigger pieces(form two boys) and he gave up and called me all sorts of names but i did not give up the dish and i gave him the smallest piece. so indeed i understand and once again i have also been taken back to murehwa nhowe mission a passionate young girl unaware of the world nbut had already started the struggle. the bus does go to empowerment and knowledge and definitely comes from the heart.

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.

Roksana Hasib's picture

I can feel it!!

Dear Nyaradzayi ,

This beautiful story of yours shares a common dream of million women all around the world. I am from Bangladesh, but still it seems like i can the see the journey through your eyes, i can feel the excitement of those moments of dreaming to achieve something, and the boundless satisfaction of fulfilling the dreams.
Your story has touched my heart.

Best regards,

Winziggle's picture

The Bus

Yours is a lovely story Nyaradzayi! I could feel that little girl waiting for the bus and wondering where it came from, the dust under her feet, dreaming of its possibilities. I'm so glad you got on the bus and eventually to college. Yours is a personal message of opportunity, empowerment and hope and a call for us all to be a part of making them possible for others.
:-) Catherine

Beautiful words make for a beautiful soul.

Lortoria's picture


Dear Nyaradzayi,

Thank you for sharing your experience. This is a beautiful story that will no doubt empower other women reading it. You demonstrate so well that anything is possible if you want it enough :)

Lortoria McDonald

New website coming soon!

Jill Dulitsky's picture

The Bus...tell me more! :)

Dear Nyaradzayi,

Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Your writing is gorgeous. It made me feel like I was right there with you. It left me longing to know more about you. How did you get the wonderful opportunity for an education? Did your childhood friends have that same opportunity? You are certainly an inspiration for many women around the world, including me.

Kindly, Jill Dulitsky

Potter's picture

Where's the Novel?

I LOVED this article! It has the compelllng beginnings of a dynamic and motivating novel! I'd love to read where the story goes from here! The image of watxhing the morning bus and wondering its destination is brilliant! As I read I wanted to be on that bus and was frightened by the possibility! A compelling question is certaintly "where does the road go and does it ever come back". Who wants to go and what happens if you do?

cal1086's picture

Immensely Inspiring...Thank You!

Curiosity and dreams can take one a long way, indeed!

You found in your heart not only where the bus goes and comes from, but also managed to pick up invaluable keepsake along the way, and took a round trip bringing back beautiful gifts to where your inspiration began--in your village. Amazing!

Your story reminds me a lot of where I've come from (my barriers and those who inspired and helped me along the way), who I've become, and where I want go. Thanks for dreaming a dream and helping girls "to unleash the potential within", so that they too, can follow their hearts and journeys, passing on their legacies.



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