My testimony to God who is Alive.

 

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To all of you out there, join me to praise God through Jesus who is alive.

I know that he is alive for I have called him to enter into my life a long time ago.  He has heard my prayers.

Matthew 8:4, ‘See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer a gift that Moses demanded, as a testimony to them’.

I called out to prayer warriors at Christ Assembly conference in Derby on 22  April 2018 and explained my situation and asked the Pastors present and the rest of the congregation to help me tell my situation to God.

I am pleased to inform you that all our prayers have been answered.

Help me join in singing my thanksgiving.

The song below summaries how I feel inside this morning.

 

Thank you, Lord, through your Son Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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HARDtalk. Stephen Sackur vs Nelson Chamisa. 10 May 2018. ‘ Man on a mission.’

The much vaunted Hardtalk interview with Nelson Chamisa which was scheduled for 12:30  am was not to be because the time was taken up by Trump’s rally and I had no choice but to retire to bed.

Upon waking up, the Twitter feed was filled with excitement from opponents of MDC who claimed that Chamisa had been exposed and had been put in his place.

Having been that’s it the Bedford rally, my heart sank believing that our hero had been annihilated had to reluctantly surrender myself to an excruciating expose of our Nero.

Incidentally, my first encounter with Nelson Chamisa was in 1999 if I am not mistaken. I was attending my daughter’s graduation at Harare Polytechnic where he led a student’s protest. After the MC had vacated the podium making way for the main speaker, Chamisa and his crew rushed to the stage and he started addressing the gathering,  airing students grievances. By the time the college security removed him from the stage, he had delivered his message much to the delight of the student body but to our chagrin as he posed as the rain on our graduates’ parade.

The same arrogant poise and bravado is what he displayed when he was interviewed by the big hitters of the world known BBC.

Stephen Sackur interview fell apart because he was using information from the MSM in Zimbabwe as the gospel truth. This where Sackur lost the plot. He was acting as Mnangagwa’s spin doctor.

Towards the end of the program, Sackur had been licked and had to resort to demeaning in words like silly, nonsense vocabulary and bullying to which Chamisa counter attacked leaving the anchor frustrated.

Nelson blew Sackur away. He warmed up by referring to Chamisa being a man in a hurry but this was defused by Chamisa when he said he was a man on a mission. Stating that Bulawayo was a stronghold of the opposition showed that he had no clue about politics in Zimbabwe. The Chronicle does not reflect the majority view of political opinion.

Ascendancy to power was explained, the young thugs myth debunked, Mugabe’s legacy was not up to him but to the nation as a whole. His assumption that Mnangagwa was favourite to win the elections, that he was’ a mature, responsible and wise leader’ earned him the ire of Chamisa who questioned the wisdom in presiding over cash crisis, destruction of the country and rising incidences of corruption. Sackur was impressed by Mnangagwa’s promises which are fantasy as he has not delivered reform. He is no different from Mugabe.

He, however, stumped Chamisa over the Trump meeting which he conceded was not accurate. Over the Chinese deals, he refuted he had presented his case as Sackur put it. Zimbabweans are aware of how some of the Chinese operate in sidelining local labour and poor quality products which vendors are importing from China, the so-called zhing zhongs, the terrible quality of the Shurugwi Mandamabwe road

In conclusion, the July election is all about an audited voters roll, agreement on the printing of ballot papers and the removal of the military element in ZEC. Political parties ideologies can only come after the free, fair and credible elections..

Chamisa you were brilliant. You passed the test with flying colours.

Protest bring results.

Hopping along to the rhythm of railway sleepers was a favourite holiday past-time as a young boy. Across the Charter road, we would go to the Sunspun bananas depot in industrial to spend time watching the big black steam locomotive doing its rounds of shunting waggons in this area. It would go,” choo choo choo choo choo”. Standing on the sides, one could feel the high temperatures generated by the engine, the rumbling thunder of its weight and even the ground around us trembled in acknowledgement of this black beast. The engine man would sometimes make our day by pulling the whistle,” Poweee powee, poweepowee!” It was a sight to savour, it was an experience still etched in my heart and mind.

This time I was not walking along the railway sleepers, with a joyful gait of 50 years ago. I was plodding along, head down, shoulders down, no enthusiasm to get to my destination. The thrill was gone. I was heading for Mambo High school, my place of employment. The work was no longer worth it, it would cost me my entire salary to get fuel to drive to work. I was in no mood to subsidise the government in doing what had become a chore.

As I daydreamed on, I arrived at the railway crossing on the Bristol road next to the cemetery and Dairibord factory.  I had run out railway sleepers on my unenthusiastic plod to work, and on the ground were leaflets. I picked up one. It was a ZCTU (Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions) pamphlet. It was advertising the 3rd December 2008 demonstration against Governor Gono’s restriction on cash withdrawals from the banks. People were to withdraw a maximum of Z$5000.00 a month. My salary must have been about Z$ 185 265 820,00 I had to spend the rest by cheque or by debit card. No business institution was prepared to accept payment in Z$ because the exchange rates changed by the minute.

On the morning of the third, I told my head that I was going into town. I picked by basket which I used to place my papers, books and lunch. I embarked on a demonstration journey since my days at university in the early 70s.

Arriving in town, water cannons, police, soldiers were majestically patrolling the streets to stop us from demonstrating. We had a problem then. People decided to move in twos or threes in order to defy the police. When a patrol car, we hid our placards, melted into the shops. We had arranged to meet at the Park service station.

About 60 of us had made our way in small groups. Our destination was the  Government complex where the Midlands Governors offices were located. We got there and barged into the Midlands Government office and presented our petition.

I will never forget the look on his face when a mob moved into his office. Our leader made a statement and handed him our petition for onward transmission to his bosses in Harare. He became aware that he was in a vulnerable position. The possibility of harm coming to him was stark. He picked up the phone. We decided that it was time to leave.

The excitement created by our move was being watched by people standing against windows wondering what was going on. Some of our demonstrators just milled along corridors whereas I and others decided to go out. Then all hell broke loose.

We had outwitted the police but we had not moved fast enough. The place was cordoned off. The anti riot tanks, police and soldiers just told us all to sit down. The Officer in charged felt humiliated. He had not anticipated our move. As unionists who knew each other never allowed strangers to be nearby. The CIO lost the game.

The police leader, brandishing his leather stick of authority made an attempt to berate us for demonstrating. We just laughed at him. I could understand why this fellow lost his cool. He had to explain to his masters why he had failed in his task. With this economic malaise that was unfolding, I felt amused that he thought we were wrong to demand to withdraw our own hard earned money.

He was told in no uncertain terms by our leaders that as a Trade Union, we had a constitutional right to demonstrate. An application had been made under POSA. Our part was just to notify the police, not that we required their permission. We explained to the surly looking policemen that this decree also affected them. I suppose their quandary was that the so called powerful Midlands Governor had been exposed and humiliated by our action. The police had to react. We had outwitted the police a minus on their side. They had to respond.

We were bundled in the waiting jeeps amid cheers ringing from the general public. They tried by all means to humiliate us. First, we had to form a line, each person holding on to the belt or waist of the one in front when we got to the Gweru police station and were asked to march into the charge office. It reminded of the children game we used to play in the 50s. The intimidation and humiliation did not wash.

 

One senior police were astonished to see a ‘headmaster’ as he knew me from Chaplin with this group. He asked me why I had joined this group of rabble rousers. I said him calmly,” We go to work to earn a living not for ourselves but for our families. On payday, we all queue at the banks because resources will have dwindled. As a member of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe, I have the right to demonstrate on behalf of my hapless teaching community that is being targeted. At the same time, you as a police officer you are not allowed to demonstrate, I am also standing for you”.  He slinked away.

I was surprised that I had the courage to utter those wise words.

Twenty-eight males and two females were kept in the police cells for six days and six nights.

A week later, Gideon Gono withdrew his order.  The country wide ZCTU demonstrations forced a U turn.

 

 

 

 

The wretched whipping weeping willow.

The exotic green weeping willows dipped their branches into the one of the many pools along the Mukuvisi rivers right there behind the Joburg lines famously known as Majubeki.  They  were a stark contrast to the red Msasa trees, brownish mihacha and sparse populations of mitamba and other trees whose names I did not know. These dominated the dry  brown grass that had lost the yellowish tone during the winter months of June and July.  Over  that side of the bank of what we called Forichi (forest)  downslope of the Graniteside industrial area. This was before the Gwinyai school was built.

Squatting in the shade of the weeping willows, I grudgingly admired my friends frolicking in the water with naked abandon executing different types of swimming moves. I could not swim, I had never learnt to swim. The George Hartley swimming pool had not been constructed yet. These guys with a rural background had no problem navigating their way in the river pool.

I joined my fellow liberated friends to a trip to the Mukuvisi river for a swim.  A fellow cousin, a Ngorima, and a friend of his got stuck in the mud downstream the Mukuvisi in Highfield and were drowned. That sent a message, loud and clear that Mukuvisi was out of bounds. What my mother said went. She had come back from the funeral and was really devastated. I had known him. I was to see him no more. Therefore I dared not join the fun

One of my duties was to watch over my friend’s clothes.Enchanted by the noise, I did not notice the group of boys that had arrived.

‘Come on guys and see who is here’, looking down on us was Konde, the well known township bully. I had that sinking feeling in my belly and my mouth went completely dry. Whether he reigned over Harare or not was irrelevant. He was a gang leader.

‘Alright boys, get a branch each!’. We knew what that meant. A lashing was in store for us. He was much older. We could not challenge him but comply and take our medicine and head home. The joyous afternoon had turned on its head.

I stood there wondering if I was going to take the my whipping by Konde and his ilk. I cursed the tree. Why did it ever those low dangling branches? My imagination got the better of me. My first whipping was in 1955 at the age of 5 or 6. My mother used a peach tree strap, I had seen what marble tree whip would inflict let alone a willow one. The issue at hand was as to how  to explain the origin of the welts when I got home. I was not supposed to be near the Mukuvisi river in the first place.

Tears welled in my eyes, the whipping from Konde would without fail be followed by a whipping at home for defying my parents noble advice but I had to be with the boys. Others protested loudly against Konde promising revenge from the brothers, I was first born so I had to protect myself. The younger boys had plucked their whips and gleefully they started dishing the punishment. I moved slowly towards the furthest weeping willows and instinctively trusted my athletic prowess. I bolted off, jumping over the harvested sweet potato mounds which were in abundance, the handiwork of the unrepentant urban farmers. The municipality police, better known as Katsekera were never able to catch anyone red handed practising riverbank cultivation. All they managed to get were abandoned hoes as women melted into the grass.

In hot pursuit were some of Konde’s gang. Gripped by fear of being caught I started to slow down and give up as they gained on me.  Subconsciously I reminded myself of the problems that awaited me at home. If they got hold of me, the whipping was going to be severe. With the adrenaline pumping, I was reminded of the half mile running competitions at George Stark school, I accelerated away. I was fitter than these lazy brats. I started heading for the Mbare hostels oblivious to the traffic. I did not notice the cyclist who was coming towards me. I just rammed into his front wheel causing him to loose his balance. At first he was angry but when he noticed the group of boys running towards me he understood why I was so careless.

‘Hey why are you bothering this small boy. Go and pick up one of your on size’ he shouted. They withdrew and went back to the river. I tried to stand but my ankle gave way and down I sat. The man came and examined me. He felt responsible for my injury but I just gathered courage and told him that I was just dizzy from the running and started walking away. I suppose he did not have a bicycle licence.  A visit to the police station was not a wise option. I hobbled away in pain but this injury could be explained. An encounter with a learner bicycle rider nearer   home would be more plausible. A ticking off of not being alert on the road was much better than telling the truther. I suppose that was my karma.

It was a long walk from the hostels to Vito street. As I hobbled back, I knew that I was hatching a plot to lie. I was letting  both my parents down and my Sunday school teachers. I was aware that  I was taught that God  is everywhere ,was with me then and was watching my deceit. At least He was not reporting to my parents any time  soon. Consoling myself I had to convince that because of His infinite love, He could find time to forgive me.This breach of trust plagued me throughout life. My own trusted  kids could have done the same thing to me. This is a confession to God and to my departed parents.

I got home feeling miserable, a tearful arrival would earn me sympathy from my mother. The trick worked. She prepared warm water for a compress muttering at my carelessness, if only she knew. The compress was so ‘soothing’ that I asked to test its effects. I had to go to Daniel street to first of all,  first, to find out  how my friends had fared but most importantly to prevent them to coming to our house to inquire as to my well being. That would spill all the beans.

Saidi, Samuel and Robert informed their brother Freddy about the whipping and promised to sort this matter out. It was now late in the day but promised that he would deal with Konde the next day.

At about 9:00 a.m. after our respective breakfasts of tea with or without condensed milk of Rholac milk powder, and bread,  Margarine was a luxury enjoyed in a few homes especially during the week. We trooped to kwanaSaidi’s house. We now had  a big brother and Freddy  led us.  Our band of abused boys followed him up Vito street for it seemed that he knew where Konde lived. Much to our glee we met Konde at the junction of Vito and Nyazika streets.

Freddy called him out ‘Konde!, come here’ he shouted at him.

‘You mean me’, Konde countered.

‘Yes, you’, he called. Freddy did not move towards Konde and we became afraid. How could he instruct Konde to come to him.

‘Come to me, mfana if you want to talk with me’, he retorted.

‘I want to beat you up not talk to you or are you so afraid of me that you pick on my young brothers. Remember Mukuvisi yesterday?’ The call was loud and clear. Freddy had just thrown down the gauntlet.

Konde hesitated. I doubt if he had ever had such an experience. He was  used to making the calls. His usual gang members were present. He upturned his shirt collar to signify that he was the boss.

That did it. He turned and moved towards Freddy. He had to. His prestige was at stake. The gang members came to his aid as they surrounded big brother Freddy. He was quite unfazed by their strategy.

Cooly he announced,’This beating is for your boss and not the rest of you. I know you want to gang up on me. Take this seriously, I know you all and be reminded if you do not manage to kill me, I will come hunting for you one by one. This is not your fight unless Konde is unable to defend himself, he must say so’.

The statement disorientated the gang who furtively withdrew. Without notice, Freddy applied an upper cut connecting Konde’s chin and he fell to the ground in a heap. Former boxer, Kid Cussy from South Africa, was a social worker at Stodart Hall boys club would have been proud of the surprise execution. He tried to get up, but before he could come to his senses a round house blow connected with his ear and again he went down, He tried again and a blow to his face led to profuse bleeding . His nose and mouth was red and seemed not to know what had happened. His mates just led him away sparing him further humiliation. To us anyone who bled was the loser.

 He slunk away much to our delight.

Konde’s reign as a bully ended that morning.

The wretched whipping weeping willow.

The exotic green weeping willows dipped their branches into the one of the many pools along the Mukuvisi rivers right there behind the Joburg lines famously known as Majubeki.  They  were a stark contrast to the red Msasa trees, brownish mihacha and sparse populations of mitamba and other trees whose names I did not know. These dominated the dry  brown grass that had lost the yellowish tone during the winter months of June and July.  Over  that side of the bank of what we called Forichi (forest)  downslope of the Graniteside industrial area. This was before the Gwinyai school was built.

Squatting in the shade of the weeping willows, I grudgingly admired my friends frolicking in the water with naked abandon executing different types of swimming moves. I could not swim, I had never learnt to swim. The George Hartley swimming pool had not been constructed yet. These guys with a rural background had no problem navigating their way in the river pool.

I joined my fellow liberated friends to a trip to the Mukuvisi river for a swim.  A fellow cousin, a Ngorima, and a friend of his got stuck in the mud downstream the Mukuvisi in Highfield and were drowned. That sent a message, loud and clear that Mukuvisi was out of bounds. What my mother said went. She had come back from the funeral and was really devastated. I had known him. I was to see him no more. Therefore I dared not join the fun

One of my duties was to watch over my friend’s clothes.Enchanted by the noise, I did not notice the group of boys that had arrived.

‘Come on guys and see who is here’, looking down on us was Konde, the well known township bully. I had that sinking feeling in my belly and my mouth went completely dry. Whether he reigned over Harare or not was irrelevant. He was a gang leader.

‘Alright boys, get a branch each!’. We knew what that meant. A lashing was in store for us. He was much older. We could not challenge him but comply and take our medicine and head home. The joyous afternoon had turned on its head.

I stood there wondering if I was going to take the my whipping by Konde and his ilk. I cursed the tree. Why did it ever those low dangling branches? My imagination got the better of me. My first whipping was in 1955 at the age of 5 or 6. My mother used a peach tree strap, I had seen what marble tree whip would inflict let alone a willow one. The issue at hand was as to how  to explain the origin of the welts when I got home. I was not supposed to be near the Mukuvisi river in the first place.

Tears welled in my eyes, the whipping from Konde would without fail be followed by a whipping at home for defying my parents noble advice but I had to be with the boys. Others protested loudly against Konde promising revenge from the brothers, I was first born so I had to protect myself. The younger boys had plucked their whips and gleefully they started dishing the punishment. I moved slowly towards the furthest weeping willows and instinctively trusted my athletic prowess. I bolted off, jumping over the harvested sweet potato mounds which were in abundance, the handiwork of the unrepentant urban farmers. The municipality police, better known as Katsekera were never able to catch anyone red handed practising riverbank cultivation. All they managed to get were abandoned hoes as women melted into the grass.

In hot pursuit were some of Konde’s gang. Gripped by fear of being caught I started to slow down and give up as they gained on me.  Subconsciously I reminded myself of the problems that awaited me at home. If they got hold of me, the whipping was going to be severe. With the adrenaline pumping, I was reminded of the half mile running competitions at George Stark school, I accelerated away. I was fitter than these lazy brats. I started heading for the Mbare hostels oblivious to the traffic. I did not notice the cyclist who was coming towards me. I just rammed into his front wheel causing him to loose his balance. At first he was angry but when he noticed the group of boys running towards me he understood why I was so careless.

‘Hey why are you bothering this small boy. Go and pick up one of your on size’ he shouted. They withdrew and went back to the river. I tried to stand but my ankle gave way and down I sat. The man came and examined me. He felt responsible for my injury but I just gathered courage and told him that I was just dizzy from the running and started walking away. I suppose he did not have a bicycle licence.  A visit to the police station was not a wise option. I hobbled away in pain but this injury could be explained. An encounter with a learner bicycle rider nearer   home would be more plausible. A ticking off of not being alert on the road was much better than telling the truther. I suppose that was my karma.

It was a long walk from the hostels to Vito street. As I hobbled back, I knew that I was hatching a plot to lie. I was letting  both my parents down and my Sunday school teachers. I was aware that  I was taught that God  is everywhere ,was with me then and was watching my deceit. At least He was not reporting to my parents any time  soon. Consoling myself I had to convince that because of His infinite love, He could find time to forgive me.This breach of trust plagued me throughout life. My own trusted  kids could have done the same thing to me. This is a confession to God and to my departed parents.

I got home feeling miserable, a tearful arrival would earn me sympathy from my mother. The trick worked. She prepared warm water for a compress muttering at my carelessness, if only she knew. The compress was so ‘soothing’ that I asked to test its effects. I had to go to Daniel street to first of all,  first, to find out  how my friends had fared but most importantly to prevent them to coming to our house to inquire as to my well being. That would spill all the beans.

Saidi, Samuel and Robert informed their brother Freddy about the whipping and promised to sort this matter out. It was now late in the day but promised that he would deal with Konde the next day.

At about 9:00 a.m. after our respective breakfasts of tea with or without condensed milk of Rholac milk powder, and bread,  Margarine was a luxury enjoyed in a few homes especially during the week. We trooped to kwanaSaidi’s house. We now had  a big brother and Freddy  led us.  Our band of abused boys followed him up Vito street for it seemed that he knew where Konde lived. Much to our glee we met Konde at the junction of Vito and Nyazika streets.

Freddy called him out ‘Konde!, come here’ he shouted at him.

‘You mean me’, Konde countered.

‘Yes, you’, he called. Freddy did not move towards Konde and we became afraid. How could he instruct Konde to come to him.

‘Come to me, mfana if you want to talk with me’, he retorted.

‘I want to beat you up not talk to you or are you so afraid of me that you pick on my young brothers. Remember Mukuvisi yesterday?’ The call was loud and clear. Freddy had just thrown down the gauntlet.

Konde hesitated. I doubt if he had ever had such an experience. He was  used to making the calls. His usual gang members were present. He upturned his shirt collar to signify that he was the boss.

That did it. He turned and moved towards Freddy. He had to. His prestige was at stake. The gang members came to his aid as they surrounded big brother Freddy. He was quite unfazed by their strategy.

Cooly he announced,’This beating is for your boss and not the rest of you. I know you want to gang up on me. Take this seriously, I know you all and be reminded if you do not manage to kill me, I will come hunting for you one by one. This is not your fight unless Konde is unable to defend himself, he must say so’.

The statement disorientated the gang who furtively withdrew. Without notice, Freddy applied an upper cut connecting Konde’s chin and he fell to the ground in a heap. Former boxer, Kid Cussy from South Africa, was a social worker at Stodart Hall boys club would have been proud of the surprise execution. He tried to get up, but before he could come to his senses a round house blow connected with his ear and again he went down, He tried again and a blow to his face led to profuse bleeding . His nose and mouth was red and seemed not to know what had happened. His mates just led him away sparing him further humiliation. To us anyone who bled was the loser.

 He slunk away much to our delight.

Konde’s reign as a bully ended that morning.

Talkative and mischievous

Before the final verdict, was this cutting, life destroying comment from my learned form 2c form master Mr.  John Haesbroek, ‘He is talkative and mischievous’. The principal, Mr. Oliver Lawton informed me that I was not being offered a form 3 place at  his school, Goromonzi Secondary school.

My teenager life was turned upside down. I  had to explain the contents of my report to my partially literate father. Of course I knew he would work out talkative but mischievous, no way.

My father had to do something. He had to find a school place for me.  He believed in me but deep inside I felt  I have sold him down the river.  Mr. T Pahla, a teacher at my former primary school George Stark and my father’s churchmate, was the proud owner of an Opel Caravan station wagon. He was hired by my father so that we could traverse boarding school s for a form three place. He explained to my father what mischievous meant. My father looked at me like a father and not as my father. My father would have belted the whole of me but this one did not. He just shook his head and moved on. This was my most painful punishment where no pain was inflicted.  It brought to the fore my final humiliation  and chastisement. The sojourn for a form 3 place was to profoundly affect my attitude as a teacher, senior master, deputy head and finally as head.

I hailed from Mbare, which was Harare then. A proper and typical township rascal, brought up on a diet of two bioscopes a week, one at the boys club day at Stodart Hall and the other on Saturday morning at Mai Musodzi Hall for a penny.  Afternoons were spent at number 5 ground watching amateur football teams. In between weekends I was a part time small time vendor I was selling picture frames, table mats made by father at our backyard ‘factory’. After my Standard 6 examinations, I started  my own business selling mangoes. I made my a handsome profit of £3.60 which financed my first school trunk, a must for a boarder, white shorts, a bright red shirt and  toiletries.  Sunday was for church and the afternoon watching football at the Number 1 ground, later upgraded to the current Rufaro stadium, perched up the trees on the edge of the stadium on occasions managed to get through the various weak points of the boundary fence. sometimes we got caught and paid our way by earning hard slaps by the match stewards. Never minded that one bit as long we watched Yellow Peril  with Banzi Chiwarereware displaying his foot tricks against the opponents. Participating in all the various activities broadened my experience.

The library at the Stoddart Hall was my favourite. I voraciously read  from 1956 when I owned  my first book,  Kambariai, my Sub Standard A  Shona reader. It was brand new, bought at CCAP church book shop, my own, imagine and oh how I liked  its smell. I then graduated to comics, Beano, Donald Duck, Dennis the Menace, Jughead, Batman and Wonder Boy, Superman. The love of comics were bolstered by Walt Disney films we watched through  my membership of Mr. Roberts social welfare boys club. My first library book was Moby Dick, a thick volume, with a smell of its own, written in big font which made it a pleasure to read.  Added to this were the classroom cupboard libraries with the epic tales of Sir Henry Rider Haggard such as She, Allan Quatermain and Montezuma’s daughter. Whether I understood the English was neither here nor there as long as I was reading. In short my life was  full of activity which I independently determined except that I had to be inside our home by 6:00p.m. There was no negotiation on this.

It was with such a background that I arrived at Goromonzi at the age of 14. I had never really left Mbare for  a period of more than 7 days. Here everything was regulated by bells and  bully school prefects of the Tom Brown’s Schooldays fame. I never really accepted their authority as legitimate. While order was necessary, their power to inflict pain and abuse Mr. and Magusha’s eldest son made desire to transform to Superman and beat the daylights out of them but unfortunately I was in the top ten of the smallest boys in the school. They were bullies yes but they could not hold a candle to the bullies of the townships. I could handle them with my sharp wit, a skill developed over 10 years in the streets of Mbare.  In the end it was better for them to tolerate me or have me as their little brother rather than fight me but the brutal ones did not buy that so I was permanently on punishment duties.

The  bells regime was different from the ones at our primary school where the school bell ringer was more concerned in watching the clock than his schoolwork. There was a wake up bell, a sleeping bell, a breakfast gong, a food prayer bell, ‘For what about to have with thank you O Lord’, a lunch bell, a supper bell, going for classes bell, finishing classes bell, a beginning of siesta bell, end of siesta bell, prep bell go for afternoon bell, evening prayer bell, leading us with a project’s bell. It was bell, bell, bell, obey order , obey order, regime.  I was being institutionalised, my life was being forcibly changed and I resisted. I questioned the system, that got me labelled  talkative, I wanted to create my own different way of living and that was treated as mischief. I had to conform but I could not conform. I could not fit in. I had to obey the bell, and do what the bell order me to do.My school life became a contradiction.

I never regretted the library run by heavily perfumed Miss Weston though I could not understand how a middle aged woman was a miss. To me marriage was something that was a simple and common place in my community. Just wondered how she could survive but rumours were always doing rounds that the was always next to Mr. Wilkins, the Latin teacher, a married man, how scandalous.  I found solace in books, part of my Harare life. There were no comics in secondary schools and I was able to go through the Enid Blyton books I had not read. The Five with the strange girl George and sandwiches which I spelt ‘sanguages’, the Hardy Boys but strangely enough I never read a single book of the Biggles series. Unfortunately there were no James Hadley Chase or Peter Cheyne novels whose language and desire to portray the women as opportunist gold diggers was frowned upon. I think they did not wants us ‘natives’ to realise that white people were as human as us.

I could not study  at scripted times. There was no  induction on how to adapt to boarding life except on how to use toilets. We were to seat and not squat on the pan, use a brush when you misfire and how to use flush cistern. I had grown up using the bucket system which was upgraded to squat holes lavatories and for most  if not rural folk, their experience was pit latrines or open bush.. Those with a boarding primary background fitted in well. I believe that this is where I feel behind in my studies. Ten subjects was no joke.

Incidentally, I was ‘unfortunate’ in being enrolled in the 3 form 1 cycle which was to be trimmed at the end of two years in order to make efficiency use of the classrooms available. It never dawned to me that there was to be a sieve but then I was over  confident of my academic prowess. I was one of the top students in the Harare district at Standard 6 examinations. I had comfortably gone through this critical net.

I was enrolled at Highfield Secondary school in 1966 after the then principal Mr. Burke and asked me to undo the buttons of my short to examine what I carried, a story for another day. I was now in my favoured environment  and I never looked back. The impact of the Goromonzi episode was to realise that  schools can destroy and gut spirits but any teenager needs the charity of a second chance.

Who I am and why I am here.

I am Harris Magusha Charambeni born in Mbare Harare during the time when family urbanisation was beginning.

I am one of the many of this period and now 68 years have elapsed but no history of this period has been written down to highlight the challenges that faced our generation. We grew up with parents who were as clueless as us as to how to deal with this new phenomenon.

My career as a teacher was about how the I could help and inspire teenagers to traverse the changing circumstances to wit negotiating through a new path just before and after attainment of Zimbabwean independence.

This blog will deal with my reflections on various aspects of growing up in Mbare, my trials, tribulations under colonial rule, independence and as teacher, educational innovator and spiritual person.

At the end of it all is to encourage my fellow people to stand up, publish and comment on issues without fear.

My motto has always been dream the impossible and make it happen.

Who I am and why I am here.

I am Harris Magusha Charambeni born in Mbare Harare during the time when family urbanisation was beginning.

I am one of the many of this period and now 68 years have elapsed but no history of this period has been written down to highlight the challenges that faced our generation. We grew up with parents who were as clueless as us as to how to deal with this new phenomenon.

My career as a teacher was about how the I could help and inspire teenagers to traverse the changing circumstances to wit negotiating through a new path just before and after attainment of Zimbabwean independence.

This blog will deal with my reflections on various aspects of growing up in Mbare, my trials, tribulations under colonial rule, independence and as teacher, educational innovator and spiritual person.

At the end of it all is to encourage my fellow people to stand up, publish and comment on issues without fear.

My motto has always been dream the impossible and make it happen.