Modesty.  Ambition.  Serenity
Strong Wind
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Chapter Twenty Six Victims of Horror: I have known deaf people for over 20 years now,  in all my association with them I have seen  nothing but suffering caused by none other than  hearing people. They cannot be employed, they  are the most ignored and the least understood.   There are deaf people today who have never  heard of HIV/AIDS.  (5 pages)  Chapter Twenty Seven Shame: Shame this, shame that.  To be honest, I hate it when a  person says shame to me just because he/ she have just  found out that I’m deaf.  Dare you say shame to me and I  will feed you humble pie.  Firstly I’m happy, very happy to be  deaf; I see no reason why someone should say shame to  me.  I’m the one who should say shame to them because of  their ignorance.   (2 pages)  Chapter Twenty Eight Interviews: I have been interviewed by newspapers and a few  magazines.  Sadly I have lost most of the interviews which I  have cut and kept. Here you’ll find three surviving interviews  from a magazine and a newspaper.  Extract from Communicating for Change Magazine- Nigeria, year 2005.    (16 pages) Chapter Twenty Nine The snippets are a summary, but, this one below, I found it so funny, I could not summarize it. What They Say: Nomcebo Mkhonta-friend: It was the year I was doing my form 3 at Ka-Boyce High  School that I got to know Nenio as a friend, 1997 to be  precise. He was also doing form 3 but in another class.  Nenio was friends with a boy I sat next to in class, Sifiso.  Sifiso was very good in sign language. He was the envy of  us all in class for his flexibility and quickness in the  language when communicating with Nenio. Nenio had  taught him the language. I was not interested in the  language or in the deaf guy Nenio. I was one who kept to  herself.    We used to travel by foot to the bus rank in town every day  after school to board buses back home as our school was in  the outskirts of town. Sifiso was more of a friend of mine so I  would walk with him to town. Nenio would accompany us to  town almost every day and he would converse with Sifiso as  we walked.  Seeing that I was left out in their conversation, one day  Nenio gave me a print out of the basic signs for me to learn.  I was not interested, so when I reached home, I threw that  paper away. He would try to communicate with me using  signs every day but every time he tried to talk to me, I got  annoyed. On seeing that I had lost the first print out, he  gave me another one. In fact, he was not afraid to give  every person around the school print outs of the basic signs,  even teachers. I don’t know how all of a sudden I found  myself, ‘making a fool out of myself,’ trying to finger spell  words. He would encourage me until I mastered the  language. Soon communicating with Nenio , Sifiso and  Buster was as easy as A B C. Buster was also a hearing boy who was also good at signing. I am proud to say, because of  Nenio’s persistence and confidence; I was the first and only  girl in class to master the language. When we were in form 4 we sat next to each other in class.  Nenio was, and I hope he still is ‘linaka’- one who is always  clean at all times and hates to be surrounded in dirt. He  used to dress in a neat, well ironed uniform,   Monday to  Friday. He also had a handkerchief for his face, a very clean  one, and one for his shoes. He would wipe the dust off his  shoes almost every hour. He also never used a chair or  desk without wiping them clean. When he walked, it was like  he owned the world. He walked with his head held high. If  you know the Arnold Schwarzenegger walk you will know  what I’m talking about. Before I became his friend, I thought  he was full of himself and I hated his guts, but as I got to  know him, I realized that he is a kind, sweet, generous  person. He never minded to give the little he had when he  saw a fellow student in need.  Nenio was a big gossiper. I don’t know if he still is now but  hey! He could gossip! Sometimes we would be in class  learning. I would be busy writing notes and interpreting to  him, instead of concentrating on the work, he would tell me  something funny about the teacher in sign language without  the teacher noticing. We would have a good laugh after  class. We were lucky not to get into trouble as all the  teachers never knew how to sign. In fact, they never  bothered to learn. Sometimes we would gossip about the  girls in our class since all of them could not make out what  we were saying. Life was good!  I must say that sometimes being one of the few who could  communicate with Nenio proved to be a burden to me. The  teachers would not bother to make means for him to learn.  They pretended we were all hearing and some would come  to class, teach orally, writing a few things on the board, then  leave. They would expect us who sat next to Nenio to teach  him. In other words we were doing their job without getting  paid for it. I remember one theology teacher who shouted at  me in front of everyone for not signing to Nenio what she  was teaching. I had forgotten to do so as I had to juggle  between concentrating, writing notes and signing for Nenio.  The way she said it, it was like I was an irresponsible, bad  girl. I almost cried that day. I was not angry at Nenio but I  was angry at the teacher who wanted me to do her job.  When you talk about Nenio to me, you are not talking about  a deaf person. To me you are talking about a dear friend, a  survivor and a brother.  (30 pages) 
Direct from the book
© Nenio Mbazima and Strong Wind. 2013
When I went to Cape Town to launch my book on 3 December, 2013 I never anticipated to inspire people at the launch.  The launch was held at the ArtsCape Theatre Centre and made possible by the ArtsCape and the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities of which without their support the launch would not have happened. Below you will find two letters that touched me, written by fans