GhettoDances: An unexpected visit to the bar

I often went with Baba VaTata and sometimes Fatso, Rasta or both.

When I joined them at Zororo Bar, both Fatso and Baba VaTata were on their second beers.

There was an argument.

“I can buy beer for myself,” said Fatso. “I don’t need your money.”

He was in a bad mood. Baba VaTata kept his silence.

“What is the problem?”  I asked casually.

“I have no problem at all, you think I don’t have money?” said Fatso raising his voice.

People at the next table turned their heads to look at us. He was in a bad temper.  He suddenly stood up and left our table. I looked at Baba VaTata quizzically.

“I only asked him about his business,”  said Baba VaTata.

“On my way here, I saw that his car wash business was closed,” I said.

“That seems to be the problem, council is closing all businesses on undesignated  sites,”  said Baba VaTata.

It all started to make sense. The clean-up campaign by council was affecting small businesses which in most cases were not registered anyway.

It was just at that moment that Rasta joined us. There was an unusual large  number of revellers especially for that hour.

“Mai VaMaidei is by the door outside, she wants to see you,” said Rasta.

I was alarmed. Why had she followed me?

Had something bad happened at home? She had never done this and I had cause to be worried. She was supposed to be at the market.

I found her outside.

“Is there a problem?  Are the children okay?” I asked.

“You did not leave money for mealie-meal,” she said. I was aghast.

“There was no need for you to come, a call could have been enough,” I said.

“Sometimes you ignore my calls,” she said.  I scratched my head. She had never followed me to the bar.  Many times, some women followed their husbands  and there would be fighting over money and girlfriends. Nothing good ever came out of this.

I had received my wages only the previous day and maybe she thought I would enjoy and finish the money with my friends.

“There is money under the mattress, go and check,” I said.

Under the mattress were a few crisp notes, the ZiG, the new currency which had replaced the bond notes, the bond notes which had replaced the bearer cheque and  the bearer cheque which  had replaced the Zimdollar. Was I correct?

“I did not see anything when I looked for the money,” said Mai VaMaidei.

“It’s in a khaki envelope, go and search properly,” I said.

After that she departed.

As I was about to go back and join my friends, I bumped into Uncle James.

“Just the man I wanted to see, I have a little job for you,” he said.

Every three or four months, Uncle James would buy  a goat and I always assisted him to slaughter it.  That was the little job. He knew my father from long back as they had both worked for the Rhodesian Railway Company in the early 1970s.

I often went with Baba VaTata and sometimes Fatso, Rasta or both.

  After skinning the goat, we always got some meat and prepared  goat stew in a large black pot over an open fire.

We made merry and it felt good to just sit around together, doing nothing but conversing about different topics.

  • Onie Ndoro  Onie@X90396982

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