For many men in Zimbabwe, the pub has become their best friend as they spend more time in these drinking places.
The pub is not a place for those who drink only but it has also become a place for non-drinkers as they mingle with their drinking pals.
Some men hardly spend three hours a day at home with their families — it is usually straight to the pub from work until the wee hours of the morning.
During weekends, others hardly eat breakfast at home as they become the first patrons at various pubs.
Male revellers interviewed said it was just men’s behaviour which was different from women’s.
“While girlfriends or wives usually spend the day shopping, we have a similarly good time at the pub in the evenings. The bar is men’s heaven,” said one tipsy guy in a bar in Seke at the popular Ziko joint.
“We just want to have some quiet time and space on our own where we can catch up with friends or colleagues especially when there are sporting activities on TV, for example the Afcon and the thrilling English Premier League games,” He said.
One man said he felt crowded out of his home and he could not express himself, “I cannot watch soccer with my family because sometimes my in-laws will be around so I find it difficult to express my feelings on the teams which will be playing and my children will be concentrating on their homework thereby asking me to help them,” said the reveller who wanted to remain anonymous.
Sometimes the men would be in the company of girlfriends or commercial sex workers.
“I don’t earn much but the little that I get per day is enough for me to take care of my family as well as spending some time with friends in bars,” said Nyasha Chihada who works in Masvingo as a kombi conductor.
“I can even braai meat most of the times and there is one day that I heard of my wife complaining about a diet that did not include a lot of meat at home but that is life,” added Chihanya.
“For me it is just a habit,” said John Madzima from Budiriro. “I am addicted to the pub. I just find myself there,” he said.
But Joseph Ruzai of Rugare had a different reason: “It is one of the safest and most relaxing places to spend time with my girlfriend.
Chances of being caught by my wife are almost nil and those who visit pubs never bother about my private life. Morever the unwritten rule is: ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’,” he said.
“My wife is boring,” said Mairos Chitake of St Mary’s Chitungwiza. “She does not watch television and her ideas are backward.
I can’t make an intellectual argument with her and she does not have a sense of humour, so I frequent pubs for these.” One man from Eastlea said his wife was poor company, “She goes to bed immediately after supper and falls fast asleep. I have no one to talk to all night, so it is better to find her asleep.”
Garikai Chikoore a former teacher clad in a torn T-shirt written “Extreme is not a mood but is a lifestyle,” spends most of his time at a club in Mkoba, Gweru where he assumes he has found a better place compared to the classroom.
“I don’t see any reason I should be a teacher in Zimbabwe where most of my colleagues are earning paltry salaries,” said Chikoore.
Asked about how he is now earning a living he said, “I have become a gold panner and I tell you, my family is benefiting a lot as compared to those days I used to teach in lower Gweru.”
Unlike Chikoore some men said they just needed to have a drink after a tough and tiresome day in the office because their bosses require them to work overtime with no benefits.
One reveller said he goes to the pub to cool off after a heavy day in office with an abusive boss.
“My boss is very, very abusive. There is no peace in his presence. So I have to go via the pub everyday to cool off,” he said.
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