Enjoy the article and your weekend.
Here is the answer to Africa With Style !
Four years on the trot Zimbabweans have been voted the unhappiest people on planet earth along with the Moldovans and Armenians, according to a US-funded survey just released. You don’t have to be a computer whiz-kid to google that for yourselves do you? It was also revealed here on Africa With Style.
"I strongly suspect there is a strong correlation between peace and happiness," said Ronald Inglehart, a political scientist at the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. Duh ! Do you really need to be a grey-haired be-spectacled geek scientist to figure this out?
Anyways, how else are Zimbabweans getting laughter whilst everyone else is feeling sorry for us? Beyond the almost booming music industry or the scrappy-but-hard-to-ignore local football there is quite a few whacky ones. This list is my no means exhaustive.
Around the sprawling city townships, at the local dealership called bottle-store (they sell beer) you are sure to run into hoards of men, young and old, congregated around pool tables (or snooker), serious at play and betting the last agro-cheque (everyone is a farmer down here by the way, courtesy of the Land Reform Programme te he he he !), which is instantly but regrettably converted into opaque beer. Crude jokes are tossed from man to man, the kind of boys-will-be-boys-thing. Believe me, if you are a lady you don’t want to be within ear-shot, if you know what I mean. Such is the verve around the game, it has developed a mini-league in Harare.
Out in the country-side, the national Scud alcoholic beverage, many a drinker’s bliss, is rumoured to be pegged at one United States dollar. It will leave you out of pocket. That is assuming you have the green-pack. So, aimless youths have resorted to home-made twenty-four hour illicit brews (probably made using soap) to keep them high. Those with a bit of change to go buy half-done wine called vinho (whatever that means) which apparently is slowly but surely reaching the city-scape too. So much for health and safety.
Back in the squalid townships, it is now open secret that spirit medium-directed and inspired ceremonies, called biras, are now a thing of the nights (remember the diesel mystic called Rotina Mavhunga and her shenanigans fooling everyone all the way up the hills to the very top); a scene reminiscent of war-ravaged pre-Independence rural Zimbabwe when folk used to gather willingly or otherwise for the all night vigils so-called Pungwes. Forgive me, I just don’t know what to make of this development. You tell me.
For those that enjoy the “finer” things in life, Theatre In The Park is the place to be spurred on by the likes of Daves Guzha who has been relentless on that front. It seems to be paying off. Literally ! Long movie queues still wind at cinema houses at Avondale for those that enjoy the big screen. This past-time doesn't seem to have lost its members or lustre. I haven't been to the movies for ages though I love films for real. The Kines have long been converted into churches though.
If you belong to the ever increasing less-heeled, a walk down First Street Harare will suffice. “Entertainment” enough and to spare from open air street theatre groups featuring Aphiri, Babalasi and Marabha is a daily release. Less frequently I swear to God, I have spotted the odd upwardly mobile C.E.O enjoying the act pretending though to be chipping away at the keypad of his expensive cellular phone (mobile for you Londoners).
The street motivational speaker-cum-preacher has always had cult following on Harare’s First street and is still happening.
Many people from Zimbabwe will remember a half-dressed prankster called Simon Wasu Nazerera. That’s right. The one who walks on a single strand of metal wire suspended between ends of palm trees and takes you through his Manyika dialect-laced antiques and insults. Well, he is thirty seven now and of course still alive, has upped his game but still insists on lifting a large piece of rail-road using his jaws ! Ouch! Careful mate not to lose your teeth one day.
If you are talking transport home after all that, the Marcopolo coaches are a thing of the past. Enter the open air trucks and you are just too happy to jump onto those anyhow. They will grind and pound but believe me you will be happy to be home nonetheless. My bad, I have to rush to queue for my mealie-meal. Until next time, see ya !