Long Time Coming. Short Writings from Zimbabwe
96 pages

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96 pages

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Long Time Coming brings together short stories and poems from thirty-three writers that provide snapshots of this turbulent period in Zimbabwe's history. Snapshots of living in a country where basic services have crumbled: where shops have no food, taps no water, banks no money, hospitals no drugs, bars no beer. Snapshots of characters surviving against seemingly insurmountable odds. Horrific snapshots of the abuse of power, of violence and oppression, of the destruction of dreams. But this is Zimbabwe and there are lighter moments and moments of hope: in some of life's simple pleasures, in the coming of the rains, in the wink and the smile of a stranger, in a challenge to patriarchy, in the inner strength of the people, in fighting back. The writers are Raisedon Baya, Wim Boswinkel, Diana Charsley, Brian Chikwava, Julius Chingono, Mathew Chokuwenga, Bhekilizwe Dube, John Eppel, Peter Finch, Petina Gappah, David Goodwin, Anne Simone Hutton, Monireh Jassat, Ignatius Mabasa, Fungai Rufaro Machirori, Judy Maposa, Deon Marcus, Christopher Mlalazi, Gothataone Moeng, Wame Molefhe, Linda Msebele, Mzana Mthimkhulu, Peter Ncube, Thabisani Ndlovu, Pathisa Nyathi, Andrew Pocock, John S. Read, Bryony Rheam, Lloyd Robson, Ian Rowlands, Owen Sheers, Chaltone Tshabangu and Sandisile Tshuma.



Publié par
Date de parution 15 octobre 2008
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780797444126
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0350€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


It s been a long, a long time coming But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will
Lyrics from A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke Smart Lyrics 2008
edited by Jane Morris
ISBN 978-0-7974-3644-2 EAN 9780797436442
This collection: amaBooks, 2008
Each contribution remains the copyright of the author
Published by amaBooks P.O. Box AC1066, Ascot, Bulawayo email: amabooks gator.co.zw www.amabooksbyo.com
Typeset by amaBooks Printed by Automation Business Forms, Bulawayo
Cover Painting: Charles Nkomo Cover Design: Veena Bhana
amaBooks would like to express their thanks to HIVOS and the Zimbabwe Culture Trust Fund for making this publication possible, and to Alliance Fran aise de Bulawayo for continuing support.
Safari , by Owen Sheers, was previously published by Hay Festival Press in 2007. Copyright 2007 Owen Sheers. Reproduced by permission of the author c/o Rogers, Coleridge White Ltd., 20 Powis Mews, London W11 1JN. This work is copyright and has been recorded for the sole use of people with print disabilities. No unauthorised broadcasting, public performance, copying or re-recording is permitted. The Cracked, Pink Lips of Rosie s Bridegroom , by Petina Gappah, was previously published in The Zimbabwean .
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher.
C ONTENTS Arrested Development Sandisile Tshuma The Awards Ceremony John Eppel Bus Fare Julius Chingono Bababulele John S. Read The Chicken Bus Linda Msebele The Cracked, Pink Lips of Rosie s Bridegroom Petina Gappah Echoes of Silence Raisedon Baya Hwange Andrew Pocock Fiction Brian Chikwava The First Lady s Yellow Shoes Peter Ncube First Rain Judy Maposa Looking for the Southern Cross Peter Finch Innocence Ian Rowlands Justice Wim Boswinkel My Country Julius Chingono King of Bums Christopher Mlalazi 10 Lanigan Avenue Mathew Chokuwenga Passing Villages Anne Simone Hutton A Lazy Sunday Afternoon Monireh Jassat Loving the Self Bhekilizwe Dube Miss Parker and the Tugboat Bryony Rheam Poetry is Ignatius Mabasa Not Slaves to Fashion Mzana Mthimkhulu The Pencil Test Diana Charsley Pleasure Chaltone Tshabangu And the Rains Came Pathisa Nyathi Rain in July Fungai Rufaro Machirori Rum and Still Waters Lloyd Robson The Sadza Eaters David Goodwin Safari Owen Sheers Six Pack Wame Molefhe Some Kind of Madness Ignatius Mabasa A Study in Blue Deon Marcus Stampede Thabisani Ndlovu Who Knows What Season Tomorrow Brings Gothataone Moeng Vendor and Child John Eppel Contributors
Sandisile Tshuma
I have been standing at Max s Garage for almost three hours trying to hitch a ride to Beitbridge. I am not the only one here though; there must be at least fifty people, maybe even a hundred. Or more, I don t know, whatever; it s hot and I am tired. The point is there is a sizeable crowd of would-be travellers with things to do and places to be and we are all waiting. Desperately. So much about life here and now entails waiting. If you are serious about life, if you are a go-getter and you want to make things happen then you need to know how to wait. Seriously. You take a deep breath, put your game face on, brace yourself and wait. I had to wait two hours to get money from the bank to pay for my journey and now here I am waiting. Again. It s what we do. We wait for transport, for electricity, for rain, for slow-speed internet connections at dingy cyber-cafes in town where we check our mail to see if a nifty little website has found us a job in Dubai or a scholarship to an obscure foreign university, or anything really to get us out of here. And there is never anything, mind you, but you know how hope is. It never dies. So we tell ourselves that there isn t anything yet . We ll find a way out; in the meantime let s wait. If you are serious about your life, about surviving, about the future, then you sow some seeds, invest in yourself and you wait. It s my favourite oxymoron, arrested development .
I am not hard to spot in this crowd at the barely functioning filling station. I am the sore-thumb of a twenty-something year old woman wearing high-end sunglasses and trendy jeans, carrying minimal luggage and standing in a statuesque pose that is supposed to convince motorists that I would be great company on a major road trip so they should stop for me. I have been here for three hours so clearly something is not working. Maybe they can tell that behind the cool-as-a-cucumber fa ade of togetherness I am trying to portray is a quivering, fearful little girl who is just dying for someone to take her by the hand and help her cross a busy road. People around me have started grumbling that it s not fair that there are so many cars going to Esigodini but nothing going to Beitbridge or even Gwanda. They are right. No one seems to be going as far as Beitbridge and the longer I stand here the more asinine I feel for thinking that I could do an entire research project on border jumpers in just one lousy weekend. Today is Friday, this thing is due on Tuesday and I can t get out to the field! Why border jumpers anyway? Why did I have to pick a topic that would lead me to the edge of the country? Why not something local like the pipe dream that is the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Pipeline? Well I suppose that s not really local either; besides, it s too controversial. But why do I always procrastinate until there is no time and so much pressure? What is the matter with me?
My internal conversation is interrupted by the sudden realisation that there is a car right in front of me and a swarm of people around me all jostling to get in. Beitbridge! I hear someone yell before I am painfully elbowed to the side by a tiny old woman with a rabid look in her eye. Okay this is it. There is no way I am not getting this ride. The driver obviously stopped for me having been won over by my enigmatic side-of-the-road persona, so if these people think they can rob me of my place then they had better think again. It s a double cab and the only space left is right at the back. This is where all those years of compulsory sports at school come in handy. In one deft move I hoist myself into the back sparing a fleeting thought of gratitude to whoever invented stretch denim. Meanwhile women in chiffon blouses and pencil skirts struggle to clamber in with as much dignity as can be achieved while trying not to expose their nether regions to the whole world. Eventually the back is full and we all look at each other with relieved but slightly sheepish smiles in acknowledgement of the elbowing, pushing and shoving it took to get in. There is a word for what we ve just done, Vigoroni : getting ahead of the crowd and on top of the pile. Vigo for short; that s what all the cool people say. It is a brutish, dangerous, undignified must-have skill if you are serious about life and you are a go-getter. You need to know how to wait and when opportunity arrives you need to master the Vigo . We are packed like sardines in the searing noon-day sun but we are happy sardines with things to do and places to be and we re off!
Two kilometres down the road the car stops and the driver gets out to collect our fares: eight hundred thousand dollars to Beitbridge. Whatever, prices are so crazy nowadays that I don t even know if that s reasonable or not. I have a feeling it s not and the other passengers don t seem to be comfortable with it either, but it is not in the nature of a Zimbabwean to question or complain. Besides, this is a private car and the owner probably had to get his fuel off the black market so he will offer his service at whatever price the market can bear. There is no public transport, hence we the market are extremely desperate so we wince and bear it. The car does a U-turn and we assume he is going to get some petrol but we find ourselves back at Max s Garage, where the driver tells us that he has changed his mind and will no longer be going to Beitbridge, something to do with the money not covering his fuel costs blah, blah, blah. The others try to convince him to change his mind but at this point I am simply not interested. Just give me my money back, I hiss. He gives me my refund of eight hundred thousand dollars in ten thousand dollar notes and I am not impressed. Great, so here I am a certified waiter and champion of the Vigo , defeated. I m not even trying to look cool anymore. Dear God, please let me get there today. This project is the last hurdle I must clear before I get my qualification in disaster management. Whatever that is. I am commiserating my misery when a young man with a runny nose walks up to me and asks if I m going to Beitbridge because there is space in the van across the road and it s leaving now. Favour! This is why I am a believer. So I cross the road and get into the front of the van next to a woman in her mid-thirties and then we are well and truly off.
The woman and the driver are talkers, which works perfectly for me because I am a listener, so all I have to do is insert sporadic questions and appropriate exclamations here and there and they do all the work. About ten kilometres down the road we are stopped at a roadblock and the driver has to pay a fine. While he is talking to the traffic officer I get a text message on my mobile phone. It s my friend Lihle who is in Harare. She says that since life expectancy in Zim is reportedly quite low she reckons she is entitled to a midlife crisis round about now. She obviously has no idea just how low it is. Since it is actually around thirty-seven it is technically too late for a mid-life crisis. Sori m8. In mid-20s nw so u hav abt 10 mo yrs le

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