Robert Mugabe never met Thierry Henry, but I blame him anyway. Everything is connected. One small event can have far-reaching consequences elsewhere – that thing they say about butterfly wings.
When the landlady’s notice slithered under my door like a serpent, I was left with no option but to gather my worldly possessions and head on back to my childhood home. Although I was met with the warmth and familiar scent of mother’s bosom, it was a kick to the crotch of my male ego. Nothing quite screams “failure” as returning to the shelter of mother’s apron. I took meagre comfort in the fact that I wasn’t the only one; several other jobless people whose clocks had struck half past thirty had found themselves returning to the bedrooms in which they had had their first wet dream. They say that there is comfort in numbers. But it doesn’t comfort me much to know that many other people of my age can no longer afford a place of their own.
The cottage into which I moved barely had enough room to swing a cat. So I put most of my things into storage in the garage, where fornicating rodents swept abstract patterns over the film of dust with their long tails.
Discovering the violation of Thierry Henry
Some months later, I was overcome by a longing for my music classics of the 90s and post 2000 years. The school trunk itself holds memories of a better time, when my father put 6 kids through school, all at the same time, on his modest government paycheque. It burns a deep hole in my heart to realize that I would struggle to educate two children. I braved the inch of dust that rose up to meet my nostrils and exhumed my CD collection which was interred inside my black school trunk. After I unearthed my Jodeci and Ja Rule CDs, my eyes wandered to a cardboard box whose lid read “CLOTHES”. I blew away the dust and opened it. The red and white football jersey on top took me back to happier times, when Arsenal dominated the English Premier League. I remember – way back before Mugabe had killed the industries – I had a job and my office computer password was “Henry14.” Thierry Henry had no equal in his position. In fact, the less reverent Arsenal fan would say Thierry Henry was God. That is why there is a statue of him outside The Emirates Stadium. I lifted the Arsenal shirt and shook it. Rat faeces fell like confetti to the floor and red shreds of fabric floated down after them. Horror! A huge hole now existed beneath the sponsor’s logo.
Father appeared in the doorway, wielding a hoe handle.
“What is it?”
I remained silent, staring at the hole in my beloved Henry 14 shirt. He had to ask a second time before I replied.
“Henry.”I said in a low voice. “They ate Henry”.
Everything is connected…
How did we get here?
Ten years earlier, I had watched, on BBC, as Robert Mugabe’s hoodlums kicked down farmhouse doors and told the white farmers to “go back to Britain”. Not long after, fuel was in short supply, food disappeared from grocery stores, inflation reached incalculable levels and job layoffs began.
Everything is connected…
Mugabe was nowhere near my storage box, but he may as well have fed my Thierry Henry shirt to those disease-ridden rodents. If I hadn’t been evicted from my pad, as a result of Mugabe’s decisions, Henry14 would not have been desecrated.
Do you miss Robert Mugabe?
Bread is more expensive, since Mugabe was ousted last November. I have been in more fuel queues than I care to remember in Emmerson Mnangagwa’s one year in office. A box of cornflakes cost $2 in Mugabe’s final year – it now costs $8. Do I miss Robert Mugabe? Not for a single minute. The removal of Mugabe was necessary for Zimbabwe to move on.
Rest in peace Thierry Henry 14.
My pen is capped