In 1992 and 1995 I lived in Zimbabwe, studying at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare for one year of my college years. I had taken an African History course at San Francisco State University and was fascinated by the history of Southern Africa, particularly Zimbabwe and its struggle for independence from white-minority rule. I loved Bob Marley’s song “Zimbabwe”. In 1992, I became friends with Don Kachuwa, his brother Gilbert, sister Perpetual and the rest of the Kachuwa family. Like many Zimbabweans, they had a house in the capital city and a house in the countryside, their ancestral home. I traveled with them to their home in Murewa and got a glimpse of life in the Zimbabwean countryside. The Kachuwas were farmers who owned a general store that served as a social and business center for the surrounding community of farmers. In 1995 I went back to live in Zimbabwe for another year, this time as a volunteer photographer at Horizon Magazine with an organization called Visions in Action. The last time I went to Zimbabwe was in 2000 for a month. The economy had started to crumble and President Robert Mugabe had encouraged the takeover of white-owned farms, which had been the engine of the economy. AIDS was a devastating epidemic, destroying many communities. This was the last time I saw the Kachuwa family. Last year I was deeply saddened to hear that both Don and Gilbert had passed away, following their brothers Lucky and Shakey before them. I miss them greatly and hope that one day Zimbabwe will be free and strong again.



Don Kachuwa, Harare, Zimbabwe

Gilbert Kachuwa, Murewa, Zimbabwe

Gilbert and Don Kachuwa, Murewa, Zimbabwe

Murewa, Zimbabwe

Murewa, Zimbabwe

Harare, Zimbabwe