In his inimitable style, Vokal Da Poet reminisces on life in the village; as always, there is a point to his story and politicians are in his cross-hairs.
Father did not want us to have girlfriends. He said that you have to be working first, and getting paid your own money, if you want to have a girlfriend. This is because girls need a lot of things from their boyfriend. Nice things that you have to buy. And so if father is buying underwear for you, how can you buy your girlfriend those things? Where will you get the money? Father was not going to give someone money to buy things for his girlfriend.
Children cannot be parents
Father also said that if you have a girlfriend, she can get pregnant anytime. So you have to be ready to be a father. But how can you be a father if you don’t go to work? Father said that he had looked after his children, and he was not going to buy napkins and white people’s porridge for someone’s children. No.
So we were not allowed to talk with girls who are not our sisters or very near relatives. He said he will kill anyone he will see with a girlfriend.
Sneaky childhood relationships
Now, my brothers did not listen to father about this, because they always were having girlfriends all the time. My brothers knew the real truth: father will never kill anyone for having a girlfriend. He just said it to make us afraid. They said if he started to know that someone is having a girlfriend, the only thing thing he will do is to sit down with you and start scolding you for not listening to him. And after that, the story is finished. Nothing will happen.
But they were afraid of the brothers and father of the girl. My brothers not want the father or the brothers of the girl to see them with the girl. They said that you could be killed. The father and brothers of a girl don’t have any funnies. They don’t laugh with people who play with their daughter and sisters. If they see you they will beat you like how people beat a snake that has come inside the house.
Idiot, the go-between
So everytime when my brothers wanted to see their girls, they went with me so that I will be sent to go and call the girl from her home. They said I was small, so no one was going to think anything about me. My brothers always told me to pretend that I was looking for something or someone who did not live there. This one time, my brother gave me bakayawa. You know those small dried fish that comes from Mozambique? They were two of them in a plastic. And I went to his girlfriend’s home and pretended that I was selling them so that she will know that my brother is waiting for her.
But everytime before I went to the house of the girl, my brothers said to me:”If you get caught, we don’t know anything. It is your story alone. Don’t say we are the ones who sent you.”
South African politicians…
Now, I don’t know what the ANC people do here. But I know that they do not beat people for supporting another parties. And the government doesn’t send the youth to do those things. They don’t even beat people who say somethings about the government. Anyone can say anything.
…compared to Zimbabwean politicians
But not in Zimbabwe. The ruling party can send people to beat people of other parties anytime. And they can also beat anyone who says what they want about the government and top people and ministers. If you think I am telling you things of lies, do it one time and see what happens. And when these youths of the party are doing those things, they boast that they have protection of the big people. They can destroy your shop, or your house and steal things. And they will not be arrested.
Just like in 2008.
Post election violence – 2008
Too many people were beaten up by these youths. Many things were destroyed, and many things were stolen. But those youths were never arrested. And after the election do you know what the president said? He said:”I don’t know anything about it. I don’t know that people were beaten and that things were stolen. I don’t know anything because I did not send anyone.”
Politicians deny responsibility
The president is like my brothers. They did not want to be responsible for their things. In the end, my brothers touched the breasts of the girls alone, but it was me who was doing the dangerous things. We did not touch together.
So, it is the youths who do the bad and dangerous things. But they don’t rule the country with him. When it is a drought year like now, he forgets about them while they die with hunger. But he will be eating nice things.