My father passed away when I was 16 years old in 1993, leaving my widowed mother to take care of my four younger siblings and myself. My youngest sibling was only 4 years old and mom worked very hard to raise us all. She put all five of us through school, always making sure that we had food on the table and clothes on our backs. Being the oldest and having the traditional responsibility of becoming the new head of the family following dad‘s passing, my mom became more than a mother. She became my best friend.
In 1998, thanks to the kind hearts of my aunt and uncle, Mr. Robert & Mrs. Ruth Thornton, I would get to realize my own 'American dream' and escape the doldrums of Africa with an opportunity to study at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. To this day, I vividly remember that August 12th, 1998 morning when I left Zimbabwe. I hugged and kissed mom. I promised her that I would take care of her. As I graduated and started working, I immediately focused on fulfilling that obligation of taking care of my mom. While I initially tried to pamper and provide her with lavishness, it was clear that mom's big heart would rather have it otherwise. She found solace in helping and providing for others. For many years, mom opened her doors and raised so many children outside her own 5 biological. So many people grew up at 1542 Unit A, Seke, Chitungwiza. Amai (Mother) Ganda, as she was affectionately known as, provided opportunities for a lot of people in various ways. She was an amazing God fearing woman.
With her untimely passing in February 2017 following a short battle with cancer, the void that mom left became more evident than I ever imagined. I knew I had to find other opportunities to continue her legacy and provide opportunities for many within our community.
Real African Art is a platform that will allow us to provide opportunities for many hardworking people from Zimbabwe and other African nations. The sculptors and painters that we work with are compensated fairly for their hard work. We know most of these people. Many others support the venture as well. From crating & packing to logistics associates, we are providing opportunities for many within our community. These opportunities allow them to take care of their own families. They can proudly put food on their families table. Send their children to school and put clothes on their back.
It will also make mom proud.
Thanks for being my inspiration mom. I love you forever.