I was under the impression that I had no siblings for 16 years before my baby half-siblings came along. When I was an only child, I could not understand why people asked me if I found it boring or lonely being an only child because the reality was, I was never really alone. I grew up with multiple siblings.
Something unique about being Zimbabwean is that your cousins are your brothers and sisters too. My mum has 12 siblings, all of whom have children, and I have a few family members on my dad’s side. I grew up with my cousins back in Africa, and we all moved to the UK together and lived near each other. I have fond memories of us playing with mud, chasing dogs, and buying sweets in Zimbabwe. On Christmasses and birthdays in the UK, we would gather around someone’s house or rent a place out to celebrate the holidays. Looking back, I cannot remember a Christmas or a birthday where I did not share one of my cousins’ company. The pandemic has forced my family to delve into deep birthday Zoom calls, where we share testimonies of the impact the birthday person has had on us. There are so many moments to recount where each of my family members positively impacted my life.