Here is the second portion of RED SHOES FOR MUTALE. I hope you enjoy it and it speaks to your heart about the life of the street kids.
Somewhere in the afternoon, during the siesta, I had a dream. Mutale was walking on a paved sidewalk, a place that had no mud puddles, no broken down pick-ups, no corrupt police. She was wearing high, bright red shoes. Or were they high heels. I can’t remember. It must have been Joburg. She was so pristine, in a white sundress, her hair braided in typical village fashion. She held out her hand to me, and it was full of blood. Her smile turned to a frown. She said, over and over again, in the sweetest, most tortured voice I ever heard, “Why didn’t you help me last night? Why?” I stood staring, wearing nothing but my undershorts, but no one noticed us. In the distance, a white man was watching us. He was saying something to us, but he was too far for us to hear what he was saying. He kept getting closer and closer, and when I looked to see Mutale, she was gone. I screamed.
As I drifted back to consciousness, the white man, the mzungu, was getting closer. Finally he was squatting down in front of me, and I realized i was back in Soweto. My stomach felt like lead, like it was going to drop out of my body, and that headache was back. he held out his hand, and spoke something like English. “Mainemiz jaisunsmif enayewerkfor Every Childs Home.” He was with a translator, and the guy interpreted into Nyanja what was just said. I knew he said something about the Home, because all the kids on the street knew of it. Some of us had even been there, and stolen from there, and ran away from there. Street mode kicks in and I wonder two things, Will he give me money or food today, and does he carry one of those expensive phones that all mzungus carry, the one with the camera. I look at him and can see his face on an American dollar. Most of them come dressed in their oversized t-shirts and pants with pockets all over them, some wear sandals, some wear hiking boots. they seem like they are part of some militant army, an army that smiles and hands out money instead of weapons and pain.
This guy is new, so I can give him a real good story. These mzungu missionaries don’t like to hear that some of us actually have families. They don’t understand. They don’t realize. Mzungus have lots of money in America, and they drive really big expensive cars. I heard they also have their own rooms to sleep in at night, that children don’t have to share beds, or sleep on reedmats on the floor next to their parents bed. That would have been nice for us. Maybe I wouldn’t have had to run away from home. Maybe my uncle wouldn’t have been able to get into my room.
The translator talks a lot abut God’s plan for my life, whatever that is. I know about Jesus, but I also know about Uncle Mwenda’s jujus, the ones he uses for kids who don’t listen to their parents, for kids who run away from home. I guess this is where I belong, what I deserve. i’m in and out of the conversation, because I need my fix of liquid glue, but every once in a while, a Zambian, one of my own people, stops by to say something angrily about this white man. It’s in englsih, but I know it’s bad. Than he turns to me and says something along the lines of “you deserve this. God has nothing for you anymore. Leave these good white people alone!” Typical street show here, righteous versus unrighteous, white versus black, good versus evil. I’m too tired to care. I’m just waiting for this guy to tell me that GOd loves me so much he wants me to have a Land Rover, and a big house, and you know what, why don’t we get something to eat in the most expensive restaurant I can afford. Before i know it he has his hands on me, eyes closed, and praying something rapidly, with tears flowing down his eyes. I know he is not a bad person, but I also know that he won’t last here, no one ever does.
If you are interested in giving to the work we are doing here and contributing to our living expenses so that we can keep working with these precious children you can go to tscnyc.org ---donate---make a one time donation----missions----Luis and Myranda Morales/zambia