By Dumisani Kufaruwenga

A business man called Nyaguze ran a thriving outlet at Tongogara Business Centre. lt consisted of a grocery shop and a bottle store.

He owned a blue truck, the blue truck that carried provisions and stock from the urban areas to rural Tongogara, the blue truck that was swept away by the seemingly harmless Musavezi River.

But Musavezi iz not always harmless, in those days, it was full of both danger and excitement in equal measure.

It swept away a bus that carried my mother, my niece Sandra Chimusoro, and her daughter Zaza the Zoo, and plunged the bus headlong from the bridge into the river bed. But they all survived, and as I write this, Zaza the Zoo is finishing college, her mother Sandra Chimusoro is preparing dinner at my house, and my mother is recovering from a toothache at the village, the village whose life was intertwined with Musavezi River, the river that both thrilled and perilled.

As herdboys, we got our best thrill from the Musavezi slide, which we called mudzerendende in Shona.

The vicious waters of Musavezi River eroded a steep rock outcrop into a smooth slippery slide. Totally naked, we placed our arses on the smooth rock and slid down the steep smooth rock boulder with the frothing waters of Musavezi River muffling our excited giggles, before we landed into a shallow pond with a victorious splash.

It was excitement, it was fun, it was the patronage of the Musavezi River when it was benign!

But Musavezi River could also turn into a monster.

Nyaguze’s blue truck, brimming with provisions, made the fatal mistake of wading into the violent flooding waters at the bridge of Musavezi River.

As fate would have it, the monster that was Musavezi River undercut Nyaguze’s blue truck, tossed it over the bridge and threw it into the river bed, the same way a wrestling protagonist tosses his opponent out of the ring.

The driver and passenger survived, but not the goods.

Bottles of fanta, quarts of black label beer, pints of fresh milk, and bottles of cooking oil, among other goodies, were thus ejected from Nyaguze’s blue truck and embedded in the belly of Musavezi River.

A few days later, when the anger of Musavezi River had dissipated and Nyaguze’s blue truck had been retrieved, us the village herdboys came to harvest from the proceeds of Nyaguze’s blue truck.

In the soft belly of Musavezi River, there was treasure.

We drank, we loaded, we took goodies home.

For isn’t Musavezi River both vicious and benign?

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