Melody Chinenyanga, librarian; Siobhan Chinenyanga junior cert student; and Neltah Chadamoyo writer and blogger, photographed on their allotment in Ballycullen, Dublin 24 on 28th September 2014
First a pair of hands travelled with her husband from Zimbabwe fifteen years ago. Then a daughter was born. Soon another pair of hands arrived from Africa to help her sister and new born niece.
The sisterly hands grew up gardening with their mum. The only kids in Zvishavane who gardened, and they hated it. Now as adult hands they are grateful for their mother’s gift of gardening. They say that gardening is in their blood, inherited from their mothers hands. Together the sisters tend their allotment, growing Covo, Brassica oleracea var. costata, the leafy vegetable which they sell. This gift is passed to young hands, they join mother and aunt, teenage hands are rewarded with pocket money, laughter, conversation and fun.
The six hands work together, and through their familial endeavour they produce not only a crop to eat and sell, they find other rewards; relaxation, fun and physical activity. Together these ladies’ hands fight the elements, struggle with nature and through their toil get a sense of achievement. The work of the hands take their minds beyond the earth, a journey of spirituality awakened by their work with nature; connecting to the earth, to each other, the past, present and future.