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Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the change you need is in the things that are less talked about. When we talk about places, the plants that grow or don’t grow there certainly define part of the environment. Some flora actually identify with the place. More so if the people of the place value the plant. That is the case with Zimbabwe’s National flower; the flame lily, Maybe, many Zimbabweans do not know about the flower as well as they know the other symbols. Like the Zimbabwe bird or the ruins where it was found for instance. But it’s “national” enough to be protected by the Law.

  • The Flame Lily
  • The Gloriosa Superba
  • ‘Amakukhulume’ in Ndebele
  • ‘Kajongwe’ in Shona, which means ‘cockerel’.

The challenge of seeing the lily in a flame

Flame Lily - Zimbabwe National Flower
Flame Lily – Image Courtesy: Gonarezhou National Park

Zimbabwe has its happy days, but its rough times are many. Each generation has its own share of struggles. In April, on the 18th to be specific, the country celebrates its independence. This day marks an important change in the country, one that came after a series of struggles. However, the day does not mean the end of struggle. Zimbabwe has since entered into a different kind of challenges. If one thing is known in Zimbabwe, the turbulence comes with suffering but it also comes with opportunities. The same storm that can destroy is the one that comes with the rain. No one needs to be told about the thunder and the violence of the storm. It’s loud and clear. The bright side, though, is something you have to find on your own. It’s the flame lily, an equally important but less known quality.

The recently widowed Queen Elizabeth II was presented with a flame lily diamond brooch as a gift from Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia as it was then) when she visited as crown princess in 1947

It may not seem like much, but consider how many people benefited from the turbulence in Zimbabwe. We wish for a better environment, but until we have it, our opportunities are in the “making”. There are businesses that boomed when things got bad. For example, borehole drilling has more demand now than before as people try to own their source of water. Adapt, survive and see the beauty of the flame lily.

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