I have something to tell you. You who doesn’t know what I have to say. . 439km from the capital,Another 439km from the nozzle of our teapot country, is a city. Some call it Zimbabwe’s “mini Jozi”, for some preferably “Bhruweyo” and the residents proudly call it Bulawayo. The City of Kings. Skies.
The sun does set but the people donot set with it. They jive the night away at shebeens like the infamous “koTamburish” in Makokoba where you also find the traditional and cultural market nicknamed “Emkambo” to suit it’s indigenous purpose.There are other joints that people prefer to wind away like the digit place 747, the notorious La Vista that owns a reputation for hosting minors.The smoke house comfortably located in the low density suburb of Hillside, also provides an environment where it’s inhabitants can burn their sorrows away.
The after Party is a busy morning With swams of determined citizens navigating the CBD. There’s that shop by the corner of Jason Moyo and 14th avenue that is seldom entered, because of the grumpy rude slay queen that’s always chewing gum and barking answers to anyone that dares to ask. The laughter of the market women down in 3rd avenue makes you glance back and open an ear in curiousity to the who’s and what’s of the story. The weary middle aged man is up and about with a hand in his pocket marching in circles as he Waits for those with hunger for his merchandize to approach and seal the deal.Towards lunch time, the Muslims close their shops to worship their God and find peace in their actions. Teenage couples dressed to impress are a usual sighting as they browse for places to quench their thirst and hunger and to fulfill the promise of a date. Back in the western neighborhood a woman was found naked at the crack of dawn and noone has uttered a word to her, because myth has it that she’ll break free, revive her powers And flee before every body else witnesses her detour on the journey. And sadly, a man is found dead in a house were every opening and crack is sealed, to retain all the carbon monoxide produced from the 3 large charcoal pots.
The boys pass blunts from one to the other as they hiss and tease girls Who pass with wobbling steps and deteriorating confidence. That one common chapter of all ghetto youth’s Growing up .Infants race around and play ball whilst some adolescent girls with skirts folded thigh high argue over Who’s team was with the ball last yesterday. And the teachers call it a day as they gossip and escort each other home with an armload of books.Back in the CBD, people move in clusters to their respective bus terminuses and the privileged ones make a dollar or two from those who catch lifts. Everyone is supposed to have clocked indoors from 6pm when the ghostly looking kids are scolded for their dusty streetwear to round about 8pm when most would be sitted their stomach’s swelled in satisfaction; and the lucky ones, picking meat threads from their teeth. And the homeless, after a long day of begging, judgmental stares and disgusted looks, cuddle in a cosy Warm conner and seldom think of tomorrow because today’s all they’ve got.
Today we have become like them, living in the moment. We saw the end of December, endured the suffering of January, exchanged lovely gifts in February and cherished its love. We were going to end March and take a break from school, be humble, giving and respect the procedures of Easter. But alas, Covid-19 made a dramatic entrance and schools had to be closed. Industries, the informal sector, borders, you name it. It became a world were we lived in solidarity only in thought but in dissesion in reality. Money now knows the familiar route out than in. Some blamed it on the 5G network, some declared it to be plague and some called it a biological weapon. Whatever it is, it has cost the earth of five million inhabitants. But most importantly, it has robbed children of their parents, parents of their children, employees of employers and friends of friends. It has robbed me of the chance of seeing the lovely scene of Bulawayo as it was. I simply had to tell you.