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Grief of Zimbabwean family over creek death


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By Michele Henry

BRAMPTON -- Tears dripping from his eyes, Edmore Jowa reached for his wife, curling a hand around one of her fingers as she bowed her head to cry.

"Sometimes I can see my baby coming, but no, he won't come home," Nyaradzo Jowa, 31, said through sobs, of losing her 8-year-old son, Simbarashe, Monday to a rain-swollen creek, which swept his small body away.

"It's like a dream. I can't accept it, really. I can't take it."

Lifting her head seconds later, Zimbabwean, Nyaradzo, stared forward, despondent -- still in shock that "Simba" will never come home.

The adventurous Grade 2 student, who told his parents he wanted to become a pilot one day, drowned in the turbulent waters of the Etobicoke Creek, which runs feet from the backyard of his parents' modest Brampton bungalow and inches from an elementary school playground.

Nyaradzo, a nursing student at Centennial College, had taken her son to the creek to play a day before the tragedy -- but it was dry, she said, as it normally is.

Surrounded by glassy-eyed relatives, who travelled from as far as Edmonton, and sitting on a living room couch inches from bouquets of bright flowers and a burning candle, Nyaradzo and Edmore pored over photos of their smiling child.

"It's not even fenced," Nyaradzo, said in a meek voice, as if straining to remain in the present, about the creek that claimed her son.

"I feel like they should put a fence on both sides. What happened to our son shouldn't happen to anyone else."

Moving to the floor to recline on a blanket with family members, Nyaradzo peered at the TV in her living room.

A video image of her son, dressed as Santa Claus last Christmas, was on the screen.

Pressed against a doorway, Edmore, 31, watched his boy shout, "Santa, you'd better save some cookies and milk for me." Edmore smiled.

"It has been very difficult," he said. He and his wife arrived from Zimbabwe in 2001 to give his children a "great future." - Toronto Sun
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