Outside Harare, There is Life in Zimbabwe
One of those on the esteemed boat went over to see the landlubbers in the sleepy but vibrant town of Mutare in Eastern in Zimbabwe as part of an acting company. Yes there is some creativity beyond words in the bones of those who row and row.
It felt a bit odd for the first few hours there. The town was truly small. Not tiny but small and yet so noisy at the same time. Not the kind of noise that makes you want to throw things at it but the noise that suggests that there are people busy living their lives. For many who only ever stay in the bigger city which happens to be the biggest of the lot in Zimbabwe this may sound a bit alien but there is a lot going on out there and the people in that area do have lives.
We had a performance, 2 nights at the Courtauld Theatre and while the first night was slow on account of there being very little advertising, the second night was pretty good.
After the Friday show there was a disco (that is what they call a club in those parts) in the same premises and there was a lot of partying. When it started it was a bit of a sausage fest but when the Africa University girls as well as bunch of other girls who are not from Africa University but from Mutare, as well as some girls who are not from Africa University or Mutare but happen to be in the area came. And then, ah well… yes.
And then there was the visit to the world famous Tony’s Coffee shop up in the Vumba where the very camp Tony served us coffee and cake. Not just coffee but, well he had a bunch of those. And the different teas. And the award-winning chocolate cake. He has this other chocolate that is pure chocolate. That means there is no flour. Just chocolate.
The Inn on the Vumba where a few of the party of explorers that we called ourselves was serene. A walk around the golf course at Leopard Rock provided breathtaking views.
Spoke to a lot of strangers and one thing came to light. In a town that is that small, noone is really bored. Yes everyone sort of gets into everyone else’s businesses and you get furnished with intimate details from people you just met but all in all that is the way they live.
Beyond everything else there is a real sense of optimism about Zimbabwe.
Life does exist out there. And you can taste it.