Zim Diaries Part Two

The night I landed in our beloved Zimbabwe ndakaona mashura vakomana! We are in trouble people… I thought kuti pamwe iropa rehuku randibata coz magetsi akaenda my first few hours in Zim. Shura racho rakanyanya pakuti tanga tiri muhotera husiku ihwohwo. No electricity in a hotel? I simply could not believe it. What a way to start off my holiday! I remember my beloved mother saying to me “Ko wati waonei hako?” There was no need to say more. I knew exactly what she meant. I began to have that uneasy feeling when you are out of your comfort zone. Nechemumwoyo ndichingoti “Dai nguva yamhanya ndangodzokera, zvekuno haa kana!” Ko ndanga ndati ndaonei zvechokwadi?

The next day kusvika kumba back to the place I love to call Sleepy Hollow (that is Gweru for you, don’t ask) after travelling a seemingly endless 250km or so from Harare what did we find? Another blackout. *sigh* All I could say was “Gees, thank you very much to whoever is responsible. I am having a beautiful holiday.” Can you sense the undertone in that? My Dad being the man he is (can turn any bad situation into a light-hearted affair) says to me “Ah maSupporter ejongwe maakuzviona kuti chibhakera chenyu chaakukurovai ka?”. I can almost see you laughing while you are reading this. Ndakazvionera ndega veduwe-e.

I wanted to get back on that plane I tell you. As time went on it was a very simple day to day thing kuti magetsi aende. Izvozvi muZimbabwe every town, city or village kune magetsi there is a timetable yekuti aende. Yes, ZESA goes at given times in a given place and people are used to that now. Kana neni ndakatojairawo. Kwedu Tuesday neThursday manheru makenduru nekuvesa moto panze. ZvehuSalad ndakasiya kuno kudiaspora muchiverenga kudai, ndakatotema huni (haa horait we have a gardener at home who took care of that, don’t be fooled but getsi remuZimbabwe harina musarurwa chero kumba kwaMayor anoenda).

The bigger the city the more the blackouts. Very simple indeed. Sekutaura kwevaneruzivo "it is only set to get worse!" As a result I missed some World Cup games (I don’t know if I can really forgive these guys seeing that this tournament occurs only once every four years). Gadzirirai hama dzenyu maVISA kana muchikwanisa shuwa hamusati machiona chakatadzisa imbwa kuseka kuhukura ichigona!

I found myself getting used to the system so quickly it was like I had not gone anywhere! Twumukoto twuya twandakasiya a year ago ndakawana twuripo. That is when my holiday truly began. Zvinhu zvakatanga kufamba manje. Reconnecting myself with everyone else, the familiar faces yet again. Munhu wese aingobvunza “Ko wakadzoka riini? Where were you? 

Haven’t seen you in a while.” Then waiwanawo vamwe vanokuti “Ko wakadzokerei?” Dai vaiziva kuti hakuna kusina nhamo yako ka vaisambodaro. Oh yes, and the one that became somewhat cliché, “You are back, ko wakativigirei?” Seemed everyone expected something for some odd reason (not like I care but with the way things are I do not blame them). Most of them think kuti being out here is a breeze and money ‘falls’ from the sky and all we really do is go outside and pick it up. "I wish"

Ndakati ndatumwa kuSupermarket kunotenga grocery the prices were a straight shocker. With three extra zeros suffixed to every price, haa ma1. Ndapedza kutenga zvangu I’m asking the cashier for a ‘paperbag’ and she says to me “Mukwasha muri kurarama muZimbabwe ipi? Aya ari apa kana muchida "one" riri kuita $30 000.” Ndakangoburitsa mari ndinyerere ko ndipo pandaizomuudza kuti ndiri kubva kuAustralia here?

Throughout the whole holiday more often than once I found myself ndichinonotsa kufamba kweQueue wherever I was ndichitadza kuverenga mari. It almost made me feel stupid but the number of notes I had to count in a day was totally ridiculous. You have to be one heck of a Math student in school to get through each day munyika yedu, no lie.

Ukaona chaunoda kana une mari yacho just buy it! Usafunge zvakawanda chingotenga chete. Chances are ukati “Ndozotenga mangwana”, either unowana chisisipo, price yakwira kana kuti unenge usisina mari yacho. PaATM the maximum amount yaunokwanisa kuburitsa is $2 000 000 at any one time chero bank ripi zvaro. In a day the total you can withdraw is $10 000 000. Sounds like a lot huh? Hapana kana mari apo, kuiwana $10 000 000 iyoyo is unlimited toil though. Those ATM queues are endless all day long.

To withdraw an amount of $50 000 000 or more from your account you have to write a letter to the branch manager explaining why you need the money which could either be turned down or approved. Imagine ipapo kuendesa mwana kuCreche (or Kindergarten) could cost up to $30 000 000/month. Ko kuzoti vekuchikoro? A friend was telling me kuti at Uni the number of people dropping out keeps rising. Not saying kuti chikoro chaoma but they simply cannot afford it seeing that fees are ranging between $55 000 000 and $75 000 000 a semester. Panotodiwa minamato apa.

Let’s talk prices here.
Cellphones: 
Motorola RAZR V3, V360 - $100 000 000, Motorola V550 - $50 000 000, Motorola V600 - $75 000 000
Nokia 1100 - $25 000 000, Nokia 3200 - $60 000 000, Nokia N91 - $450 000 000

Unbelievable, huh? True Story.