Zimbabwe is famed for its tourist resorts. But not everyone rates our holiday resorts highly. Vokal Da Poet’s doppelganger – the Village Idiot – reflects on his end of year holidays.
If people came to our house from the city for Christmas, on 26 December we were allowed to wake up any time we wanted.
A person could wake up even at 10 o’clock. But no one could sleep for too long. And when you arrived at the fields, mother would not scold you for coming to the fields late. She will be busy talking stories and laughing. If the sun became too hot for someone, they could sit down under a shade. We would spend a long time in the fields and still not do anything, people will only be talking and laughing. I wanted everyday to be like that.
Back to school
Then at night after we had finished eating our sadza, someone would tell mother and father that they were going back to the city tomorrow. Always, people sounded like they don’t want to go back, and they started blaming their jobs:
“Yahh… We are going back to work very soon, and so we have to go back to prepare. Plus the schools are opening soon. We have to look for uniforms for the children.”
I never understood what that meant. Mother used to buy me uniforms only after the other ones were too small. A person could wear one uniform for two years. But these ones had to look for uniforms every-time they came to our house. And did they not know where to buy them? Where did they buy last time, did the shop close?
Anyway, after they told us that, we would all start singing church songs. Especially a song that grandmother always sang when people are leaving. And we would sing and sing and sing.
And then pray. And then go to sleep.
In the morning people will wake up and start getting ready to leave. Mother did not let anyone go without eating, so people will wait for tea, and we drank our tea at 10 o’clock. Then everyone will go and sit in the kitchen and start saying goodbye to each other.
After everyone finished saying goodbye and people promised to write letters to each other, we would start singing the goodbye song again. And then someone prayed. Then everyone will start going to the bus stop.
People walked slowly to the bus stop, talking and laughing. Halfway to the bus stop someone would remember that someone had forgotten something, so someone would be sent to run back home to find it. And others would stop for that person. No one was ashamed of anyone, so if the person sent back home came back saying they could not find the thing, the bags will be opened and searched there in the middle of the road.
Last minute instructions
And at the bus stop it was more talking and laughing. Then when the bus arrived, everyone remembered things they want others to remember to do and say to someone. So they start to give each other instructions. The one who is going will climb on the bus and put his/head outside the window and start shouting what they had forgotten. They only stopped after the bus was too far away for anyone to hear them. So they start waving until we could no longer see the bus.
Every year I walked with other people to the bus stop to watch them go. But now, the people watch me go away. It is nice to be the one going away, going back to work.
You know what? Everyone must go to their village for Christmas. Here in Jozi if you don’t go, you will be the only one left in the area. Everyone goes to their village. Even Zuma goes to Nkandla. That is his village. He has a very beautiful house there, and I never hear anyone say on the news that Zuma is going to China for his Christmas holiday. He goes to his big house, where he can pretend to be that rich American who lives with many naked women, because even he has many women. What is his name, Hugh something-something.
Zimbabwe not good enough?
I think our Zimbabwe president must copy Zuma. He must build a nice, beautiful big house for him at his village so that he can go there for Christmas. There is no Julius Malema or EFF in Zimbabwe, so no one will tell the president on TV every-time to pay back the money. And he can call it anything he wants. He can even call it Nkandla, or China or Far East. And stop climbing the aeroplane and going to other people’s countries every year.