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
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
I was surprised to discover that in Uganda they are also familiar with a variation of the mbira instrument known as the Akoogo /akogo
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
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.
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.
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…
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
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
Zebras In Kariba Images credit @KaribaHolidays