This is one piece of writing that every Zimbabwean at home and abroad should read and after reading, be able to find empathy with the moral situation that our country finds itself in today. The reader would, like a vehicle stopped at a traffic light, this particular Avondale shopping centre traffic light, pause and watch a full spectrum of Zimbabwean life being played out in front of them in pitiful scenes that one would hope and pray were only fictitious. But alas, its the reality of life as it stands in Zimbabwe today, as seen through the windscreen and windows of a privileged (middle class?) Young woman blogger’s car, almost infinitely paused at a traffic light.
Two words remain stuck in my head after reading this article. One is unity: thanks to a lot of politics and politicking, we all know how to spell it, backwards even, but have never actually seen enough of it in real life, or at least a fair share of it. The other is privilege: how so many of us have a disproportionate store of it, yet pretend we can’t even pronounce the word.
But in this article, Fungai so well pronounces both words for me it feels like I’d never known them before. Recommendation: please sister, would you write another article titled :… and when the light goes green”?
The main traffic light that filters vehicles turning right from Harare’s Avondale Shopping Centre always seems to take an inordinate amount of time to change from red to green. And like many things requiring patience, this is a strange and testing phenomenon for motorists in a city whose worn and constricted roads are primed for daily aggressive driving and manoeuvring.
For what feels like minutes, you watch as cars roar along the main thoroughfare then filter left in a perfect orchestra of timed light. But you remain waiting, indicator ticking like a frenetic clock, foot revving up the engine in anticipation; eyes fixed on sudden change, and not on the children who approach your half-opened window pleading for whatever money and food you can spare.
Perhaps I imagine that traffic light takes longer to turn green than the others I navigate. And perhaps it is just a function of nature…
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