Diaries of a village idiot abroad

Diary of the village idiot abroad

In the first edition of this satirical series, Vokal da Poet reflects on the lives of Zimbabweans who have left the country in search of greener pastures. 

Better than a degree?
Better than a degree?

It is good that a person gets exposure. It helps them able to think better. You see, a person who doesn’t know a lot, thinks that they know it all.
The girls in my village for example, they thought they were the only ones with the honeypot between their legs. And they thought that boys like me were going to die virgins because they would not give it to us. So they walked chest out, pushing their breasts for us to see, and bum pushed back for us to admire. We could see but we could not touch. Even Rhoda did it. The closest I ever got to Rhoda’s honeypot was peeping at her panties while she was basking in the sun at breaktime. She liked brown panties.
Rhoda was not a beautiful girl, but since Chengetayi did not love me, I tried my luck elsewhere. The poor man’s troubles never end; his only goat dies while giving birth, the kid too. Rhoda shouted at me and called me names in front of everyone.


A lot of people from my kraal had never traveled anywhere, so they thought that Soromoni was the best at everything. They thought he could beat the world at running 100m because he ran faster than us. They thought he was the brightest person in the world because he came first every term.
I always laughed at the girls who chose him over guys like me. They said all we were good at was looking after cattle, chopping firewood, yorking oxen, cultivating the fields and milking cows. But what was their Soromoni good at? Maths and science, and writing and counting. What else? Look at Soromoni now. Where is he? Kumusha; counting the cars on the highway, and reading old newspapers.


“Degree fund”

He is nothing. And all his number 1 got him nothing. He sits by the bus stop waiting for us Diasporans to come and buy him drinks. And all his girls want us, not him anymore. Even Chengetayi wants me. If it’s Rhoda? I will not say. She went on to become one of those women who sell sex at the local beerhalls. I will never pay her for sex, and she always gives me for free. She can sell to Soromoni who will pay her with the ‘keep change’ I give him. The money he could use to buy bread.
You see, when you get in a shop, your money will not say I am from a degree because a degree doesn’t give birth to money. But Diaspora money speaks for itself. Even the government wants the diaspora money, because they set up a Diaspora Fund for us diaspora people to put money in. There is no “Degree Fund.”



A person needs only enough education to be able to read and write, and to count money.
And the ignorance my people had is the same ignorance the people of South Africa have. They were demonstrating for free university education. For what for? They should demonstrate for free primary school education. Or even better, for free passports.
One cannot travel anywhere using a degree. Look at me, with my passport I can go to work anywhere in the world, and send money home. I can go to UK, and wash old ladies and buy a car.


But what about a degree? It sits home with you.


Vokal da Poet is a Zimbabwean poet. The spoken word artist has interacted, shared 4 minute memoirs, performed and created material with audiences at house shows, universities, conferences, schools, festivals, art shows… “I have performed to an audience of three, performed on a train ride, done bars and impromptu street shows.” And it is his ability to be honest that has him connecting with audiences well. Vokal DaPoet seamlessly weaves autobiography, first hand eye witness account and fiction in his spoken word presentations.

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