Down Memory Lane

Life used to be so enjoyable. When the radio was still the radio that played interesting gems. Gone are the days. One can remember those good olden days when we could switch on our stereo sets. In the morning you could wake up to hear the voice of  seasoned D.Js  in the likes of Eric Knight (Knight Ryder) Mzala, Joe Panganai (now late).Of course  how can we easily forget that popular advert (Jarzin Man) (murume wemadollar – the dollar man). Then there was the voice of Paul Mkondo (Mari Nehupenyu Hwavanhu) (money and people’s lives). We all relish these moments with nostalgia. Of course, how can one forget the popular 3 FM – which had programmes such as (Chirongwa che Good Living) by non – other than Mr Cool (Kudzi Marudza).There were the likes of Dj Mackenzie, Tich, Josh Makawa, James Maridadi, Peter Jones, Admire Taderera (with that sweet voice), and others. Life will never be so well than these bygone years.


Then came Sundays – one could also not forget how soccer used to be soccer unlike these days’ child play. Those were interesting times of great footballers in the mould of Madinda Ndlovu, Peter Ndlovu, Maronga (Bomba) Nyangera, Stanley (Sinyo) Ndunduma,Bruce Grobbealar, David ‘Yogi’ Mandigora, Stanely ‘Stix’ Mtizwa, Moses ‘Razor bambo’ Chunga, Norman ‘Normara’ Mapeza, Ephraim Chawanda, Francis Shonhayi, Benjamin Nkonjera, Adam Ndlovu, Rahman Gumbo, John Phiri, Paul Gundani, Agent ‘Ajira’ Sawu, Blessing ‘yogo – yogo’ Makunike, Alexander Maseko and Henry McKop and a near endless list.

Those were the heydays of the so – called ‘Dream Team’ under the tutelage of Reinhard Fabisch. To give a sparkling dimension and midas touch to the Game of Football was non – other than the seasoned football commentator Charles ‘Charle’ Mabika. After the match it used to be time of playing (Yawe Nyama yekugocha, Yowerere – Baya waBaya). Then we used to get some well deserving music treat from the superstar Oliver Mtukudzi with the sorrowful songs such as ‘Neria’ and not to be outdone was the legendary Chimurenga music icon, Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo with songs like ‘Madhebhura and Vatete’ amongst a host of other well-polished songs.

During those days, the Marxist brothers were at the peak of their musical odyssey with songs such as ‘Munda wekurima and Gomo Risina Michero, Samatenga’. Gomo Risina Michero (was my dad’s favorite, late the soul of the old man rest in eternal peace and find serenity in the silence of death). In the song the musician laments how life has changed between two friends who grew up together in the country side. Yet the  other is still facing endless challenges and is failing to make a breakthrough in life. The singer uses the allegory of the forest with no wild fruits. The parallels of life! In the rural areas herdboys could be seen carrying radio sets on their shoulders going to the Growth Point playing such all-time precious gems.

Then there was an icon among them all. Probably the best of them all. Non – other than Leonard Dembo, who for some unknown reason was believed not to have had produced any video during his life time. With some alleging that he only produced one. Songs like Venenzia, Mutadzi Ngaaregererwe, Zvaunoda Handizvigoni, Nzungu Ndamenya set many Christmas parties ablaze over a couple of subsequent years. A song called Chitekeke sold gold. In actual fact, it became a ‘Zimbabwean’ National Anthem literally speaking. Then came ‘Mugove’ by the wordsmith, lyricist and great composer Leornard Zhakata. The song also did very well. However, others alleged that it was (mis)interpreted as carrying political connotations. Nevertheless, that did not take away the interest value and the weight of the message in the song. They say the message is within the music and the music is within the message.

How can we also forget the likes of Edwin Hama, Paul Mpofu, Busi Ncube ‘True Love’, Marshall Munhumumwe (Rudo Imoto), James Chimombe (Virginia) and James Chibadura, Khiama Boys (Nicholas Zakaria, Cephas Karushanga and others). Arguably, maybe of the best of them all was one song belted by Jonah Moyo (Solo na Mutsai) which even update has transcended and has managed to withstand the test of time. There were also the likes of Bhundu Boys. I remember very well how we used to manage to buy disposable (rechargeable) radio batteries.In the city, the T.V used to be also interesting with the likes of plays with characters like Baba Sorobhi (Parafin), Mutirowafanza who could leave in you in stitches.

In the season of Zhizha (farming and harvesting) season we would sit under the makeshift shade in the fields with my grandfather. We could roast maize and drink maheu whilst playing cassettes (by then there were no CDs) or Memory stick/flash disk. Those were good times. We also used the Radio (noise) to chase away baboons intending to come to our fields. ‘You will remember me for the good times we had’, those were the words of my Grandfather. Today he is now gone. Of course I am remembering with relish the good times we had. I am now sitting behind my laptop playing ‘Ndikarangarira’ ( by Oliver Mtukudzi. It brings nostalgic and fond memories. Life will never be the same Again.


Tale of Kuda

Each day brought its fair share of challenges. Most of the times he would go home wearing a sad face. At times when lady luck could smile on him – he would go home with a smile on his face. At such a young age he had mastered the art of doing business. The challenges of orphan hood had thrown him into the deep end. His parents had passed on in the late 1990s due to the HIV/AIDS scourge. Such a tragic event occurred at a time when it used to be taboo mentioning about the deadly pandemic either behind closed doors or in public. These were the years when songs were sung about HIV/AIDS being a deadly killer disease. Various singers ranging from Charles Charamba, Oliver Mtukudzi, Dino Mudondo and others belted songs that spoke of the ravaging effect of the pandemic.

Many years had rushed into each other. Coincidentally, the World Aids Day also marked Kuda’s birthday. But unlike some children who had their living parents – Kuda never celebrated his birthday. The blowing of candles was something totally alien to him. On his birthday, just like the usual days, he woke up early to go to Kudzanai Bus Terminus. It promised to be a hectic day indeed. The routine chasing and running battles from the City Council (Municipality police) always affected his daily sales.

His day’s work always started at 5am. He would wake up very early to lit fire and boil the eggs. In times of bad weather he would use primus stove – but such would costly affect his business returns given the cost of paraffin.

Wachada Mazai – Mazai pano’, (Eggs for sale) – Kuda would embark and disembark from different buses. With a crate of eggs in his hands – he would spend the whole day at the market. At around 4 pm he would go to hoard for more eggs to sell the next coming day. Such was a tough business venture especially in the wake of a cholera outbreak and fear for other hygiene related illnesses, such as typhoid and dysentery by the clientele.

Despite such challenges, over the years, Kuda had mastered well the art of boiling eggs. He made sure not any egg would break or appear cracked.

As the world celebrated World Aids Day, the young innocent and affected Kudas of this world seem forgotten. For their tale is a fate of working children on the streets. He also had hopes of getting education. Probably, Kuda also had high hopes if asked ‘what do you want to do when you grow up’. Maybe he would have replied ‘I’ would like to be a Pilot’.

It is indeed a cruel world that takes the ones we love from this Mother earth. With such cruelty the world leave the innocent children at the mercy of a cruel world – were they are supposed to fend for themselves. Instead of being a pilot, he counts and watches buses and travellers as they come and go, at the bus terminus. More worryingly, he has been exposed to the foul language that has become characteristic with touts at most bus terminus such as Kudzanai.