A pennywhistle for them

Day 9: smidgins of joy

A pennywhistle for my thoughts as I contemplate today’s smidgins of joy.

There was a tribute to the late Johnny Clegg broadcast by the South African Broadcasting Corporation which popped up in my YouTube feed today.

So when my brain hit a wall as it does at 16:00 every day (almost to the minute) in summer, I lay down and listened to it.

Midway, after Sipho Mchunu (Clegg’s Juluka partner) had delivered his tribute in Zulu (from which I could only pick up bits and pieces, since most of my upbringing happened in Zimbabwe), Mandisa Dlanga, the female vocalist in Savuka and the Johnny Clegg band, led the start of the ceremonial singing. Without thinking, I found myself clapping softly to the beat.

That was when I remembered the Shona funeral held in Harare, Zimbabwe a good while ago for another white man by his many staff, of which I was only one. How odd it always seemed to me that his views were so similar to mine. We had some grand conversations after he retired. How equally odd that the small act of clapping like that should bring those years flooding back.

The shells and stones come from many places, but they stay with me.

And then I got all serious and thought about what a privilege it has been to know such marvellous people in my life. And how glad I am that Africa shaped me. She is a great mother of so many.

My ears rang and the cicadas sang most of the day. A pennywhistle for my thoughts, I guess.

©2019 Allison Wright

2 thoughts on “A pennywhistle for them

Add yours

  1. I’m glad you’re still finding smidgeons. I’ve just been very tempted to insert a tribute to you in a translation that includes the phrase “pépites de joie”! And it was only my *second* instinct to go looking for a chocolate chip cookie.


  2. I hope you’re just joking! (I would be horrified if you did). And imagine the horrified consumers who would discover in their cookies not the expected chocolate chips, but smidgeons of chocolate on the tip of their tongue instead. 😉 Speaking of which, you have now motivated me to consume some more dates, which are not smidgeons by any stretch of the imagination. Gluttony is a concept I shall contemplate while eating them, I think.


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