Many people take their stories of fortitude, stoic endurance and sheer triumph over adversity to the grave.
We call these unsung heroes.A� There are others too, who having been through the proverbial den of lions and conquered, choose to share their experience withA� the goal of imbuing future generations, similarly burdened, with hope and inspiration to clear lifea��s hurdles.
Father Zimbabwe, Dr Joshua Nkomo, bequeathed us The Story of My Life, while the now world renowned Trevor Noah, who is still writing his life story, has given us a peek into his life with Born a Crime.
Her name might not inhabit many peoplea��s memories. This is because you may never have heard of her. All she has are her dreams. Dreams so huge they would scare an ordinary mortal. She has a story so touching it would have been fit to take to the coffin for many people.
Meet Sheron Gumbi (pictured above), a 31-year-old champion of the rights of the girl child, a fierce defender of the rights of people living with albinism and founder of Princess Safety Centre, a private voluntary organisation presently operating in Kadoma but already having a wider reach than that city.
a�?Actually the whole story is my life story that is being taken into action. I am trying to save other girls from the agony of what I went through myself. I was born in a family where I was not accepted as a child with albinism. Both my parents are alive, they are there; they dona��t just like me. They rejected me at birth and I was left with my grandmother. I grew up in some remote part of Filabusi, under very difficult conditions, walking long distances to school in the hot sun,a�? says Gumbi.
The organisation, established in June last year, held an open day where the community was invited on June 15 to educate them on issues of abuse and albinism. This has seen the organisation that has 60 members for now reaching out to more vulnerable girls in the community and also helping more people with albinism with mainly sun hats and sunscreen lotions and information about their health needs since they are prone to cancer due to their skin condition.
The organisation caters for vulnerable girls primarily and desires to establish a place of safety, a home for such girls where they would be taught to see beyond the abuse and become self-sustaining. The single mother of two has a particularly soft spot for girl children living in the streets, who are vulnerable to abuse from fellow street children and even child traffickers, as she once lived in the streets.
a�?Our dream is to establish a safety home so that these girls that would have been abused can have a place to escape to. Our plan is to start at the local level before going national with our programmes and even international in the future in our fight against abuse of the girl child and people with albinism,a�? she says.
This dream of a place of safety was conceived in 2007 when in her bid to overcome her difficulties, she crossed the border but eventually found herself in such a home in Gaborone, in Botswana after the death of her grandmother. It was at this home that she began documenting the story of her life.
Sheron works with Talent Chidindi at their humble office that also serves as Sherona��s residence, at the showgrounds in Kadoma. The centre struck a deal with the owner of the dilapidated building and they will use it for 10 years for a nominal payment to the showground authorities.
A visit to their office revealed the paira��s determination. A desk and office chairs, a few sunhats and sunscreen lotions and sponsorship forms on the desk greet any visitor. Humble beginnings indeed.
However, the safety centre has struck up partnerships with Zimplats, that helps with sunscreen lotions and last week received sunhats from Community Capacity Building Initiative for Africa (CCBICA).
She is also working with the Department of Social Welfare to register her charity as a private voluntary organisation since it is presently registered with the City of Kadoma, though now helping some people beyond the city.
Thirty five children living with albinism receive sunhats and sunscreen lotion from the centre, that plans to work with organisations that deal with cancer in future. Sheron was this week scheduled to undergo a surgical procedure on her breast that has a lump and hoped it was not cancer.
Sheron draws so much energy from the story of her life that she has documented it and is seeking help in publishing her book. She is yet to decide on the title of her book but provisionally she is considering Destined for Royalty, that also serves as the motto for Princess Safety Centre.
Time will tell if this could be another story of the Biblical Esther proportions. And just as she has tirelessly pursued her dream, she still dreams of having normal relations with her parents. She found herself in Kadoma in pursuit of her father, whom she met but would have nothing to do with her.
a�?I have got hope that someday, somehow I will reunite with my parents. I am giving it my best shot to try and mend our relations,a�? she says.