We met a few years ago and fell in love. It happens out in the touring maelstrom of passing ships. We threw ropes across a platonic ocean and drew each other in. It was the right time, 2005, at the right place, Durban in South Africa for the right reason – Poetry Africa. We became friends. Both of us knew we’d see each other once in a blue moon so Chi suggested she play to my poems. On instinct I agreed. So we walked out onto stage at BaxterTheatre in Durban and played and our spirit and friendship were sealed.
There are few people I’d do anything for and they’re too far between. Chi and I spoke a few months ago – was it really a year – about a personal matter. A while before that I suggested her to Baaba Maal for a project. He agreed and he knew her work well. I called her but our diaries conspired against us. Time has a way of doing that. It has a rationale of its own. Today I received an email “Chiwoniso Maraire died.”
There’s no such thing as a “short life”. There’s one filled or unfulfilled. Hers was full of, and filled with, love and loss and these have a most gracious parity in which one will always highlight the other.