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Of children playing with fire

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Of children playing with fire


Sekuru Taurai

Vazukuru, I am going to take you back to the days when I was still a young boy and your Ambuya was a young girl with milk on the nose as the Shona saying goes. Let’s talk about toys. Our parents never bought us any to play with. Boys were extremely innovative and used to design and make their own toys.

We made mota dzemashamba and drove them around the village. We had fun playing with zvihwerure made from matemhe ematamba. Then there was our own slide called mutserendende on the hill slope where we slid using a small sledge made from the slippery munhanzva tree. A bit dangerous it was as we were often left with gaping wounds and our khaki shorts were torn at the back much to the chagrin of our parents. Yes, we had the swing too. All you needed to do was get some bark from a mutondo tree, make a strong rope with it, tie it to a branch and you are already joyfully swinging back and forth.

Boys would make bulls using clay and get them to fight each other breaking them in the process of course. Nyimo or round nuts were a toy too as they were made to spin on a smooth guyo or grind stone and push each other out. Girls on the other hand did not have such a wide choice and would most of the time play matakanana where they pretended to be mothers cooking and doing other household chores.

Coming back to present day modern Chibhoraniland do you see what I see? I am sure you will see a lot of young boys and girls making their own toys too as their not so rich parents and guardians cannot afford to buy them a lot of modern toys. Of note is the craze for this toy that they call ….. or some other names. This is a kind of beautiful multi-coloured rope made of rings extracted from the necks of plastic bottles. What is of great concern to me, however are the health hazards that can be associated with this new toy. To get these rings, and as many as possible, kids can be seen at dump sites rummaging for plastic bottles.

To get the rings off the bottles kids often use their teeth and oftentimes these are bottles picked from bins, dumpsites and anywhere else. This way children are putting not only themselves but their family members and the community at risk of diseases.

As the Chibhoraniland nation let us look into this issue and establish its repercussions to society. Ndangoti saSekuru Taurai nditaure zvandiri kuona musazoti handina kuzvitaura.

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