When my husband and I arrived in the Free State in April 2012, things were difficult for me. I grew up in Pretoria, then worked in Nylstroom for some time, moved to Hoedspruit, where I got married to my husband and we moved to the Eastern Free State together for a job opportunity. I did not know much about the Free State, it was much colder than what I was used to and I just struggled to find my feet.
In the camp we live we have some resident Springbuck. One morning early, we found a baby Springbuck and no mother that looked after it. Even though there were females in camp, none of them tended the sweet little lamb. We took it and started bottle feeding it. All of a sudden I had something to divide my attention to, something to love and care for. I called it, “Chipo” , which is a Shona word meaning “Gift”. Chipo was never healthy and ended up only living for one month. One morning when I called it, it wouldn’t come and I eventually found it dead underneath a tree. I was heartbroken.
Even though Chipo was only in my life for a very short time, he played a big part in me finding my feet here in the Free State. I look with fondness at any baby Springbuck, and I still cry whenever one dies.
Even though for a short time, Chipo, was my gift from above, a blessing which I am thankful for.