By Dumisani Kufaruwenga
Those were the days!
Those were the days when Sylvester was the most popular man at Tongogara Growth Point in rural Shurugwi where he sold liquor at Nyaguze’s joint with a cheery smile, like the jolly good fellow he was.
Everyone called him “Sly.”
Those were the days when fierce fist fights erupted at the drinking place, because a bounty and beautiful woman from Mapfumo village would have loved and lured two men at the same time, and spent the wages of both, after promising and pledging pleasure to both.
Those were the days when Marongwe Bus Service was the transporter of choice, wherein passengers drank and exhorted Dhaidhai the experienced drunken driver to reach the ultimate speed;
“Place a brick on the
accelerator and come
back here for a drink.”
Those were the days when the slim slippery lady from Shariwa village drank at Sly’s place and dribbled past rival suitors.
Those were the days when the Grain Marketing Board employees were paid fortnightly, on time, and spent their wages generously at Sly’s congenial joint.
Those were the days when month end saw urban workers descending on Tongogara, disembarking from Marongwe bus with goodies and groceries and farming implements, rejoicing with family and friends, getting drunk at Sly’s, savouring the fruits of their urban sweat.
That was then, this is now.
The bounty and beautiful woman from Mapfumo village is dead and gone, and the men who fought over her are dead and buried.
Someone else runs Nyaguze’s joint, where smiling Sly used to work.
Grain Marketing Board employees are owed wages, and their salaries are a pittance.
Brutes from Boterekwa gold panning sites brawl for no reason, and local youths beg for beer. There’s no beautiful woman in sight, good or bad.
No urban dweller comes on month end, the only time an urban dweller is spotted at Tongogara Growth Point is because the town fellow would have attended the burial of a family member.
Marongwe Bus Service no longer exists, illegal pirate taxis run by dirty touts with stinky armpits, are the ones who have taken over its route.
But the slim slippery lady from Shariwa village still exists, wrinkled, emaciated, giggling girlishly, dancing in Sekuru Nyambira’s bar, flattering her eyelids, flirting with broke civil servants.
The only survivor of a glorious past.https://masvingomirror.com