Back in Zimbabwe is a village called Mhondoro, a place known for its mysteries of black magic and witchcraft. We were strictly told not to go to the forbidden mountain – people who had committed suicide are buried there, and it is believed that their spirits still roam around the mountain. As we were about to leave with the herd of cows, we decided to ignore the warnings from our grandparents.
We did not listen to them, we didn’t believe in ghosts and thought it was a story designed just to scare children. We decided to be disobedient and stay hanging around the mountain with the cows.
It was my brother, my cousin and I on that day. We were always told to be home by 4 pm but on that day my cousin told us to stick around for an extra hour. “Yeah, we’ll just be an hour late,” said my brother Lincoln, and I agreed.
Now I believe that it was the influence of the spirits around the place that convinced us to stay longer.
The sun set and it had become dark and creepy. We started hearing crows chirping, and what made it scarier was that crows are known as messengers of death. The atmosphere had changed, it felt dangerous.
“Can you hear that?” asked Lincoln.
“Hear what?” replied Elvis.
“I hear whispering,” I replied.
The moment I finished saying that, the graves at the bottom of the mountain just started burning, and the cows fled as they saw it happen. My brother and I were traumatised and did not know whether to run or stay because we were so scared. Like a shooting rocket, the flame took off into the sky moving towards us. My cousin, Elvis hit us with a whip and we snapped back to our senses and ran back home.
I realised that the youth walk faster, but the elderly know the road, and what an old man sees from the ground, a boy cannot see, not even if he stands upon a mountain.