Dead roads, the village, the joy!

Yesterday, myself and mai Kambare travelled to Tongogara to check on Gogo Halala. We arrived at Tongogara Growth Point around 18:00hrs and decided to use GMB road to get to the village.

We noticed that the GMB road was in a sorry state and was torn into deep yawning gullies. We soldiered on and navigated the treacherous stream beneath the GMB and rose up towards the big Muchakata tree.

The road was wet and slippery as underground water oozed to the surface, thereby creating a dangerous muddy mess.

We painstakingly pushed forward, as the powerful Isuzu truck engine laboured torturously uphill, and stalled.

I kicked the engine and it roared back to life. I engaged gears and tapped the fuel pedal with my foot, but the engine cried quarrelously, yet the car refused to move even an inch.

I knew exactly what had happened. It was dark and l had very few options. The thought of sleeping in the car when I was so close to home incensed me.

“We are stuck in the

Mai Kambare said.

Stating the obvious sounded foolish in the circumstances. Of course we were stuck.

The only viable option was to call for help from the village, and wait it out. As l was scrolling my fon searching for my village contacts, two scrawny figures materialised at the car from the eerie darkness.

It was Simba son of Ford (Chitakatira) and Brian son of Tinos (Vhundu). I have never been happier to see my village relatives;

“I see you Sinamano,
son of our fathers.
I see you have been
greeted by the anger of
our ancestors who
blessed us with
abundant rains.”

They laughed heartily. I could tell they were tipsy. I joined the uproarious laughter. I felt a burdensome weight being lifted from my shoulders. My family had arrived. The problem was no longer mine alone.

“So tell us how we can
help you son of our

They asked me directly.

“Vhundu take your
sister Mai Kambare to
the village and bring
help. Myself and
Chitakatira will remain
guarding the car.”

And the rescue operation was underway.

When Vhundu came back with help, two volunteers opted to sleep in the car, guarding it.

“You go on to the
village Sinamano, you
deserve to rest. We will
do everything at first
light and take our asset
home. Remember we
shall be thirsty when
we finish this task
tomorrow, is your
pocket deep enough
for our dry throats?”

More uproarious laughter.

This morning the village’s four strongest oxen were selected and enspanned. Hoes, axes and shovels were loaded into a wheelbarrow and pushed to the disaster site.

The villagers dug, the oxen pulled, and I drove.

“Drag it out Osama,
great brown ox
Pull it out Bitoff,
powerful hornless

And the strong Isuzu truck engine cried angrily as the car surged out of the mud onto dry ground.

“We have done it
We have done it
I told you my ox
means business
I told you Osama is
the best of them all.”

And now we sit outside Mbuya VaJeni’s hut sipping Chibuku beer, gossiping, with Chitakatira and Vhundu competing in the gulping game.

And more laughter!

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