We present ‘The Keeper of Family Peace’, a new short story by Rufaro Gwarada, a US-born Zimbabwean who spent the formative years of her life in Zimbabwe before moving back to the United States for college in 1999. She earned a bachelor’s degree from University of the Pacific and a master’s in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex. Through her past work and in her current role at Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Rufaro uses storytelling to mobilize resources and help amplify marginalized voices. She was previously interim coordinator for the Sub-Saharan Africa program at the Global Fund for Women, and a consulting content developer and advisor at AfricaSpeaks4Africa, an e-zine showcasing African voices. She is also interested in neo-Diasporan African women’s movements and African philanthropy.
I met Tsverukai at my cousin, Mukoma Farai’s house. They were best friends. We were all at Mukoma and his fiancée, Lorraine’s house, practicing steps for their upcoming wedding. I was paired with Tsverukai because we were the vertically challenged ones of the bunch. He seemed nice enough, was always cracking jokes, the center of attraction. As far as I was concerned, he was another big brother to me, just like my Mukoma Farai. It was fun to be at Mukoma Farai and Lorraine’s house hanging out with their friends. At 18, I was the youngest of the group but never really felt it. As the wedding drew closer and closer, I started to feel a bit dejected. I was enjoying my Saturday routine of steps practice and getting home after 5pm, with no questions asked. I couldn’t help thinking about this delicious freedom that would soon be revoked. I would be back to Saturday afternoons at home or trailing Baba and Mainini in their errands and mostly dull visits with friends and family.