Ghetto dances: You cannot run away from your problems

Onie Ndoro is a an IELTS tutor, ghostwriter and storyteller.

It seems Mai VaMaidei had forgotten to serve me porridge. The children had already left for school.

“Where is my porridge?” I called out.

“The sugar was not enough, so I prepared what was just enough for the kids,” She said.

I was not amused. The rate of sugar consumption in my household would bankrupt anyone. It was a scandal. I had only bought 2kg of sugar just a few days ago.

I was just preparing to go out but it seems Mai VaMaidei was not done with me.

“I was told yesterday at the market that you were seen with Sister Lynette at the shops.,” said Mai VaMaidei.

I did not want to pick a fight so early in the day so I pretended to have wool in my ears. I almost got away but she was quick enough and blocked my exit.

“What do you have to say?” She said.

Sister Lynette was a hairdresser in the barbershop next to Zororo Bar. My wife always suspected that something was going on between the two of us. She was wrong and she never believed my protestations.

“Whoever told you that was pulling your leg,” I said.

“Mai Shumba saw you, she said you spent a great deal of time together,” she said.

“There is no truth in that,” I said.

That was the problem with gossipers. If they run out of gossip, they are quick enough to invent lies to satisfy their ego.

“I am getting late for work, this is not true,” I said.

“If I hear anything more again next time, there won’t be peace in this house,” she declared.

When I finally managed to extricate myself, I was already late for work. That was a bad start to the day.

One other thing, I was trying to run away from Petros. I had promised to pay him back the money I had borrowed from him last month. So far I had managed to evade him. I was not proud of it, but I had no money. It dawned on me that I was spending money which I didn’t have.

I was a victim in an intricate web of poverty. And all those I came in contact with also became victims of a dysfunctional financial system that condemned people to financial ruin.

There was a kombi which was almost full. I was the last person on board and I just managed to squeeze myself between Mai VaChipo and Mabhatiri. To my dismay, I noticed that Petros was sitting on the front seat next to the driver.

It was too late to disembark as the kombi was already in motion.

My best bet was to keep as quiet as mice and not attract Petros' attention. I kept my head down.

“Tell your wife that I am selling second-hand handbags, she might be interested,” said Mai VaChipo in a high-pitched voice. I wanted to disappear into thin air. I just nodded as I did not want to attract the attention of Petros.

All he had to do was to turn his head slightly backwards and he would spot me instantly.

On the other side, Mabhatiri had his fair share of problems. A couple of weeks ago, he had received lobola from his son-in-law. In excitement, he bought a second hand car. The “second hand” car had passed ownership four times previously and he was the fifth proud owner. He only drove the car for two days.

He woke up one morning only to find out that the engine had a mechanical failure. We welcomed him back with open arms as he rejoined our ranks of public commuters.

At last, we reached our destination. I kept my head down behind the seat to make sure that Petros would not see me.

Outside, there was the honking of vehicles as people rushed to their workplaces. Above all that noise, vendors were clamouring for customers.

I always wondered as to their source of energy. After a few minutes, there was a momentary silence. I was quite sure that I was the only passenger remaining and Petros had gone.

When I finally stood up, I came face to face with Petros, much to my dismay. He had tricked me. He had seen me all along. He grabbed me by the collar.

“Are you not ashamed of yourself? Where is my money?” He dragged me out of the kombi. He clobbered the daylights out of me, with a bemused audience watching at the spectacle.

The rest is history. You cannot run away from your problems.

  • Onie Ndoro is a an IELTS tutor, ghostwriter and storyteller. For feedback:  Twitter@Onie90396982/email:[email protected] 0773007173


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