I dedicate this to I2, a very present help when needed.
If I am to be asked what I think was the most distressing and somber experience I've ever endured in my life, I would say 'Life in 2008'. Simply because living through the year of 2008 was, to me and many other Zimbabwean citizens, I believe, extremely difficult. I encountered situations I had never thought possible to come my way.
That year taught me a life-concept that I like to call 'Letting Go'.
Letting go of all the expectations I had about my life and just living it the way I could at the time. It was like a survival technique, in which mental strain was eliminated, allowing me to enjoy life in the present. Inversely though, a couple of years back—when I was much younger—I often dreamt up grandiose plans for the future and built many castles in the air; but life caught up with me, and reason crept into my mind. All those grand plans were replaced by more sober and humble plans that considered reality.
In 2008, I rarely thought about my future, because I was constantly reminded on every day just how unpredictable and uncertain my future was; and how it was one of the many imponderables that were becoming more noticeable in my life. Trying to figure it out was such a mental burden that it was like wrapping myself in a wet and cold blanket in winter—exacerbation.
As I write this memoir I feel lucky and blessed to have survived an ordeal I consider to be the worst of the worst, and I'm looking forward to even better days.
Now, even though the whole world was talking about it, I was still too young to understand what was being said; and to know what to expect. Zimbabwe, in its tenth year of recession, had extremely high monetary inflation. It set a record, being the first country to hyperinflate in the 21st century, and it earned second place in the world hyperinflation record books (first place belongs to Hungary); bringing much suffering to its inhabitants and destroying economic activity on a national level.