Language – Shona
Translation – ‘We don’t sleep in Harare’
It’s cold, extremely cold. These rains have been forcing a drop in temperature that I do not really like. My job has not made the situation any better. I just spent the whole entire night smoothing almost a hundred wheel barrow loads of a thick porridge like mixture of cement, sand, and quarry stone. I honestly do not love this job, but hey. If you have no qualifications you have no room whatsoever to choose any better job. My back stings, even walking up straight is a task. It’s too cold, I’m only wearing a work suit jacket. God help me!
It’s almost daybreak and I’m making my way to Copa Cabana to catch a kombi to my neighbourhood. As I pass the entrance of one big bank I see a bundle move under a small mountain of flattened cardboard boxes. A small head emerges, blackened by layers of dirty, lips cracked so badly I can even see them in the faint light filtering from the bank through the huge glass doors. “Blaz ndokumbirawo coin,” (Bro, can I please have some coins) this kid says, whilst coughing terribly. Glue! These kids never learn! I slide a hand into my pocket and i feel a single 50c coin deep in the bottom. That’s my kombi fare, I slowly shake my head as the boy sulks back into his makeshift ‘bedroom’.
A few metres from him a queue is s snaking all the way to a corner at the end of the block. The lady at the front looks is slowly nibbling dry bread, eyes red and shoulders slumped. She looks extremely defeated. She probably slept here with hope of getting a few bond notes in the morning. She has a least three hours until her financial thirst is quenched. The queue mostly fully of women, draped in small blankets to protect themselves from the this harsh weather. The capital is not being kind to our melanin coated bodies. Oh well!
As I get close to the rank, it seems life slowly seeping into this part of town. Vendors have already manned their stalls. The strong stench of stale cigarettes, urine and banana peels fills the air. Screaming comes from every direction as touts try to convince commuters to board their kombis. Drivers rev their kombis to try and signal that they are ready to leave. It slowly starts to drizzle. Dangit! Let me get home before the heavens really open up. Its only 5:30am but the city is already awake. Welcome to Harare!