Of Coffee With Africa day And Cultural Week

coffee as usual

If you were having coffee with me, I would be happy to have you over since I am one cool guy. For real, I am a cool guy, this shop attendant with a thermal scanner thermometer thingie pointed it at my forehead and said “wow you are cool.

I thanked them as I wondered if they could tell by the way I walked I was an award winning blogger, if it wasn’t for lockdown restrictions I think I would get a personalized face mask with my blog name on it and a matching tshirt ^_^ so people know its real… but I came down from my day dreaming as the shop attendant showed me the reading on the scanner that read 35.5 degrees Celsius most people were averaging 36.5-9. So yeah, I was a degree cooler, but they did asked how long I had been growing my hair for cause my locks were pretty cool too and I smiled and I said “many many years but thank you very much

Later I checked at other places where I got my temperature checked, mostly they just scan and wave you through as you get a dollop of hand-sanitizer into your hands but I would ask for the reading and it was generally in the low range. Well, this may have been because it was a rather chilly day with partial cloud cover and a sun that feels like its operating at energy saving mode, winter is coming this side of the hemisphere and I probably should dress warmer too, even if I worry that I might dress too hot and the temperature scanners think I have a fever ha!

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that, the past week was Zimbabwe Cultural Week, but of course because of level 2 lockdown restrictions there were none of the hallmark street carnivals and parades. Instead there were artistic events, some on live TV others streaming on digital platforms. The cultural week was both a success and a fail depending on the metrics one would measure. Here lies the official poster for launch of culture week

Zimbabwe culture  week national launch

While were some people were appalled at how a whole government ministry would approve such an aesthetic nightmare when they could have at least hired or even asked talented creatives to volunteer with design… some said the poster was in exact alignment with the government’s brand and energy reflecting the retrogressive cling to old way and not yet ready to embrace the technology led digital age.

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that Google celebrated World Diversity day on 21 May by having a Mbira Google doodle click image below to check out what all that was about

mbira google doodle

I was surprised to discover that in Uganda they are also familiar with a variation of the mbira instrument known as the Akoogo /akogo

akogo 
akoogo 
mbira instrument Uganda

Its always amazing to learn how countries in Africa share a lot of similarities and challenges as well as if it were all one big country, from struggling with democracy to balancing inclusiveness with diversity and preserving culture in a world gone digital. 25 May is Africa Day in commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963 which is now known as African Union, even though to date only 9 countries in Africa celebrate the day as a public holiday…

This year’s theme for Africa Day carried on one the African Union’s theme on building the Africa we want and ending violence in Africa: Silence The Guns

Silencing the guns 
Sculpture "Non-Violence" by the artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd. UN Photo/Pernaca Sudhakaran
Sculpture “Non-Violence” by the artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd. UN Photo/Pernaca Sudhakaran

If you were having coffee with me, I would tell you that for the culture we had a mixed barbecue grill known as a gango, where you just mix in different meat pieces and grill them in a metal pan over a fire, and picking a piece of meat is a lot like a lucky dip where you never know what you will get next.

Gango - mixed grill barbecue

If you were having coffee with me, over a smoky barbecue stand I would tell you how people normally drive to popular hangout spots to enjoy this mixed grill barbecue but because of lockdown restrictions, well we can only chill with the neighbours, at least this lockdown has gotten us sitting and talking together.

Braai gango barbecue

If you were having coffee with me I would tell about my last escapade into town, I got a Zupco Combi (minivan taxis) which are currently the only allowed public transport. At first I was pleasantly surprised to find that they only carry 10 passengers i.e two people per seat to allow for social distancing protocol; during life before COVID, they squeezed in 4 people to a seat and ferrying a total of 18 passengers (not counting driver and conductor) but after seeing the number of people awaiting transport or even calculating how much a trip with such a small load is probably making a net loss (but hey ZUPCO is a government subsidised state owned enterprise, so it should be no business of mine if they making a loss right?)

And then everyone in the combi had to disembark at a police roadblock a few clicks into the city while the police checked if people had papers to show they had business in town, otherwise you would be detained for making unnecessary movement during lockdown and then pay a fine of 500 Zim dollars. I was not aware that we still had such impositions and was not carrying any papers of any sort, and I had a world of a time trying to convince the police officers that I really had to go to the bank that I ended having to flash papers of a different sort (if you know, you know)

I had to walk the rest of the distance into town as there was no transport and the one I had been in had left me while I argued with the police officers. No matter that they waved through people who had private cars past the roadblock making me wish I could afford my car.. Especially when I had to queue up for three hours to get a ZUPCO back home…

Image

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that our economy seems to be in a perennial downward spiral with an uncontrollable inflation even the governor of the reserve bank had to liken the economy to being tormented by demons that needed contact-tracing to be rooted out since everything they did was failing..

I am not an economist but when the official bank rate for United States Dollars is at 1:25 to the Zim Dollar and in the streets it can fetch for triple that its easy to see why no one would go to the bank, which never has cash anyway…

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you that meanwhile during lockdown wildlife is free to roam the streets

Zebra In Kariba

~B

PS oh and in the resort town of Kariba this is a regular feature, even before lockdown it was normal that you pull into a service station to find yourself attended by Zebras

Only in Kariba will you find Zebra at a Total service station

Zebras In Kariba Images credit @KaribaHolidays

30 Comments

    1. You are so right, we spend a lot of time being confined and defined by boundaries that arent even ours.
      Life would be so much easier if we embraced that we have more similarities than differences
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

    1. A series of chaotic events…. that pretty much sums it up.

      Wondering how long it will take for ZUPCO and by extension govt to announce that they cannot handle being the sole commuter operator and rescind the current ban on private commuter operators.

      Zebras are mostly harmless, like black and white donkeys, although they taste kinda stringy… yes I have No I am not a poacher, but if you are (un)lucky to visit game reserves when they are doing necessary but unfortunate culling
      ~B

      Like

    1. hmm lets see:
      >Read a book till not enough light to read by(or battery runs out hahaha)
      >People watch while making notes to self on how real people act so I can create create realistic characters when I write

      ~B

      Like

  1. I LOVE the zebras! What a pain getting around, hope things loosen up there and things get back to a more normal. Thanks for sharing coffee! Always good to hear what’s going on in your part of the world! 😀❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zebra are such majestic creatures lol… I bet they were looking for a zebra crossing
      haha at the risk of spoiling the joke by over explaining that’s what we call those black and white stripes in the road designating a pedestrian crossing place but yeah some words/phrases we take for granted are not as ‘common’
      Like we call a traffic circle a roundabout or traffic lights are know locally as robots

      Haha robots that control traffic we been having those 😂😂😂

      Judging from how our Covid cases have almost doubled overnight and that over a 100 returning residents who were in mandatory quarantine escaped I can predict they going to start adopting stricter monitoring regimes so yeah maybe this is the new normal….
      Thanks for dropping by and keeping us company
      ~B

      Liked by 2 people

  2. My daughter-in-law in Arizona said they have seen a recent spike trying to open up, so they are delaying that, so no open restaurants for them… My county is opening up somewhat. More restaurants but it’s limited seating for distancing etc.. CRAZY times!!! (We say round about for traffic circles too, but never heard robots for traffic lights, good one! 🤣) Stay safe!!

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  3. The zebras look gorgeous.
    Is that really a crowd of people waiting for the bus? How is it that many people have “business” to do somewhere? I call BS. Also, did YOU have to wait among that crowd? How long does it normally take to get on the bus?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The zebras are gorgeous!!!!
      Yes, those are people waiting for buses to go home from a terminus in the CBD.
      In a country where less than 10% is formally employed its very hard to tell who is genuine and who isn’t even everyone is a “hustler” of some sort straddling there very thin line between legality and morality.
      I was a speck in that crowd took from around 3pm to 8pm when I finally got a bus, I haven’t been to the city since then but I hear the situation has gotten considerably better.
      ~B

      Liked by 1 person

  4. If you were having coffee with me I would tell you this is a really brilliant piece of work 😊

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  5. If I were having coffee with you, I would tell you one thing we all share is perseverance. But Zimbabwe are showing us how it’s done. I wish you an outstanding government.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I think we need to add our countries to our CV’s as experience like I survived over 30 years in Zimbabwe…. Can work under pressure 😂
      ~B

      Like

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