Licking our wounds: Cathy Buckle

via Cathy Buckle News from Zimbabwe Licking our wounds October 19, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

There’s nothing quite as refreshing after a blisteringly hot October day in Zimbabwe as that hour after sunset when the night starts to reveal itself. You can almost hear the earth breathe a sigh of relief as the sun turns red and slips into the horizon. From red, to pink and then orange, at last the burning heat is extinguished for another day.  An early shower of rain a couple of weeks ago re-awakened the flying ants and now, as darkness falls, the ants emerge from the baked ground in their millions, taking to the air in a magical display of silent flight. And then it’s feasting time and you understand why the Robins and Bulbuls are still sitting up on the rooftops; they were waiting for the flying ants and you wonder how they knew. Swooping and swirling the birds gorge on flying ants, then the bats move in, a pair of nightjars and even an owl glides through the swarming, shining wings.

The crowded twilight sky and aerobatic manoeuvres are not that different from the frenzy going on during the day where the struggle for democracy has been replaced with the struggle for survival. As painful as the July election results were, nothing has changed. We still import almost all our food, unemployment is still  over 70% and finding a way to keep food on the table is still our top priority. On Zimbabwe’s highways there is a picture of Zimbabwe that tells our story better than any high powered analysis of the state of our country.

Major roadworks supervised by Chinese men, using Zimbabwean labourers, South African machines and funding from unknown sources, are being undertaken to upgrade some of our major highways. It’s an exercise that started a couple of years ago and looks like it’ll be going on for a good many years to come.  As a section of road is worked on, only one lane is left open and traffic from opposite directions takes turns to traverse the single lane.

There are of course the bully boys who force you off the road, ride in the ditches and verges, determined to get to the front of the queues of cars. These bully boys are made up of the two extremes of life in Zim : the battered, filled to bursting minibus kombis and the men with too much money driving fancy SUV’s, their windows up, air conditioning on, they are divorced from the real Zimbabwe, determined to always be at the front of any queue.

Sometimes you have to wait for fifteen minutes at these roadworks until your lane is opened and this delay has opened a unique window of opportunity for countless unemployed Zimbabweans. Villagers have learnt that right there, stopped on the roads near their dusty impoverished lives, are scores of cars which can’t move for quarter of an hour and it’s a perfect market place  The selling frenzy begins as soon as you stop in the car queue. Men, women and kids armed with bowls, buckets, cold boxes and baskets are soon crowded at your windows. Apples, bananas, carrots, single cigarettes, biscuits, telephone air time, bottles of water, ground nuts , the list goes on and on.  You don’t even have to get out of your car as the goods are brought right to your window. The sellers run up and down the lines of cars with their wares, in the blistering heat; they are smiling, laughing and making a few dollars for a change. This is the amazing skill of Zimbabweans: an opportunity created by endless queues of cars forced to stop on the highway and suddenly hundreds of people are making a living from it.

There’s been much scorn and criticism of Zimbabweans in the last three months since the elections but for the moment we are licking our wounds, making a dollar wherever we can, waiting for the next opportunity that may change our fortunes, waiting for leadership. My new book, “CAN YOU HEAR THE DRUMS,” is hot off the press and now available for order from my website. It is dedicated to the people of Zimbabwe, so that we never forget and history never sanitizes what has happened to us.

Until next time, thanks for reading, love cathy.

19th October 2013.  www.cathybuckle.com

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 25
  • comment-avatar
    Naison Nyereyegona 7 years ago

    Another piece by sorrowful singers who were waiting to revive their lost privileges through an MDC win. This just goes to tell us what really the MDC stood for – the self aggrandisement of white people no wonder why they lead the neucencical daily bombardment of those of us busking in the glorry of a win for the African people in the July 31 elections, a win for real Zimbabweans and not foreigners who do not want to go back where they came from. How many times do we have to tell these foreigners that Zimbabweans are happy, more than happy with the results of the last elections? Whilst they sing their daily diet of sorrow, we continue to be happy on our land, we continue to be happy that we are taking the mines and industries-things that used to be the preserve of these foreigners. The more they sing their sorrowful songs the more our resolve and determination to carry on. Shame on these hangers on-people with no nationality and all they do is masquerade as Zimbabweans and disturb us and make us take off our mouths from the trough from time to time. Not that that will change anything anyway. All they do is stress themselves and give us a bit of a lought some times.

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      Kevin Watson 7 years ago

      The residents of Zimbabwe who are Shona, Ndebele and White are recent immigrants. The Tonga, Kalanga/Karanga and San were the residents of Zimbabwe when the Shona arrived about 500 years ago. Perhaps the Shona should go back where they came from. The Ndebele arrived from South Africa in 1838, not even 200 years ago whites started arriving in the 1860’s 22 years after the Ndebele so a Zimbabwean who is white has as much right to be in Zimbabwe as anyone and only a racist fool thinks otherwise.

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        Murairwa 7 years ago

        The Karangas were in the maDzimbabwe, meaning dzimba dzemambwe well before the time period you state. The history of the Rozvi, Duma and Shoko and others date back to as far as AD 900. I dont know where you got that information about the shonas. It only shows your shallow mindedness and lack or refusal to acknowledge who the rightful Zimbabweans are. Its people like you are who are not reconciliatory. Who refuse to change. Who always think a white person is superior and blacks are inferior. Who do not appreciate the equalness given both of us and all of us by God. Its people like you who are moles and yes deserve to leave. If you are and remain a malcontent, anywhere in the world, they will send you back. Therefore, Zimbabwe should not be an excerption and will never be. Migration of the Zezurus is probably what you mean when the moved from the from the Southern parts of Zimbabwe towards Central and North Central and North East Zimbabwe. Your deliberately confusing facts there to meet and satisfy your personal mayopic brains/needs. No one ever said whites should go back where they came from. Where were you when R. G. Mugabe gave his first speech in 1980 when the current Zimbabwe was founded. What has always been said is that white Zimbabweans should share with others, the richies they stole from native Zimbabweans and live together as one people. Stop deviding us. Shonas Ndebeles and everyone else. History has shaped us the way we are today and yes we need and ought to respect that. However, when certain white elements deny and keep denying and continue to work, to reverse this correction exercise, called indeginization, then people end up asking them to go where they came from. Kuvarungu. Hingirande. If you are true loving Zimbabwean see beyond yourself and accept that we are one and yes, its not right to keep everyone else poor so your selfish agendas and propped up by sweat from the poor native people. I have a lot of good white friends. If they hate me, they dont shaw that but at least they try. Chao

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          Ephrain Gumbo 7 years ago

          As a former member of Rhodesian Special Branch, an organization that was heavily condemned by the rest of the world for its racist bias, I have to tell you that during the course of the war I witnessed some of the worst and most grotesque form of brutality committed by ZANLA,a form of brutality that continues to this very day in the rural areas.
          Have you ever been at the other end of a ZANU official holding a stick and trying to convince you that you are wrong for supporting the MDC? So don’t ever try and preach to anyone that Mugabe is committed to a good and holy cause when he is only interested in one thing only: holding on to power and regardless of the consequences;

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        Chapa 7 years ago

        It’s interesting that people like Naison and Murairwa only comment on certain articles. I think they are CIO.

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      essexfarmer 7 years ago

      Naison:

      You must feel so conflicted. Knowing the truth of how Zimbabwe has been destroyed by Zanu-pf, yet having to post your rubbish because your master pay you to do so

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        Murairwa 7 years ago

        I don’t think you appreciate what rights are. You are the rubbish that is poisonous to the Zimbabwe Nationality and sovereignty. ZANU PF is a party I love and I support. I have respect for Mugabe I am sure as much as you have for whoever you support. I obviously don’t blame you for being naïve and ignorant. Its costly sometimes. That’s all I can won you about so far. The baggage you are has always been tolerated by our party. Vana Ndabaningi Sithole and company I hope you know them or remember them. Havasi vega. Still, Zimbabwe and ZANU PF thrives.

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    Soon, Zimbabwe will be a fully fledged sovereign colony of China. Zanu-PF needs China to retain dictatorship of the colony. Zanu-PF are agents for the Chinese and will do anything for their Chinese handlers. The Chinese now have control of huge swaths of Zimbabwe farmland and Zimbabwe’s natural resources.

    Be warned my povo brothers and sisters. Tomorrow may be too late!

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      Zanu PF has it in its DNA. They will never do for this country what colonialism did. Colonialism built Salisbury, Bulawayo, Gwelo, Umtali and all the cities from ground zero. They built all the roads, railways, telecoms, schools, hospitals, commercial systems etc from nothing. And without educated people.

      Zanu PF and their pseudo degress and doctorates bought through corruption from obscure colleges and universities all over the world, including their honorary doctorates, have built what? Except corruption and hudofo, a word coined by the most DOFO on the land. He has no vision for the country, has never uttered the word anyway. Hence corruption thrives. Everyone is pulling their own way for their own primitive accumulation of “wealth”. This deficiency is being exploited by Chinese in a massive way. The poisoning of wildlife in the game parks is just a small part of massive decimation of Zimbabwe’s legacy. All driven and controlled by visionless “LEADERS!” NXAAA

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    Nzou. You have hit the nail on the head my brother. If Africa does not wake up soon we are doomed as sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

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    Gideon 7 years ago

    Naison,
    You are a cretin and you cannot seriously believe what you have written. Zimbabwean, black and white – but mainly black, are suffering from the continued ineffective corrupt bunch of gangsters that have destroyed the country at such an impressive rate over the last decade particularly. Why can’t you just accept that the whites are not against us – they built the infrastructure that ZANU has destroyed. They should get credit for that and those that have stayed on are clearly as Zimbabwean as you or I.

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      Murairwa 7 years ago

      How many years did it take whites to build roads. We never had tared roads in my home area. Now some parts have been tared. Whites were a poison. We never had huge farmlands. Now we do. Thanks to ZANU PF

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        essexfarmer 7 years ago

        No, the Chinese do!

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        Murairwa must live on the road to Mugabe’s house. The rest of the roads in Zimbabwe are pot holes

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    Kiddo I 7 years ago

    Naison I have great sympathy for you, because there is a degree of insanity in you. You are racist , yet you are sending your children to private schools where there are white teachers so that they can emulate the way they speak , sand when you meet them in first street the same ZANU PF child cannot speak his or her mother language . The same ZANU people have been trading with South Africa which is heavily invested by the West . What you have is self ego , your comments do not express the wishes of the majority of the. Zimbabwean people who have no running water,electricity or money to buy the basic needs . Next time when you attend the ZANU PF meeting be the first one to initiate change for all Zimbabweans irrespective of their political affiliation. Treat your neighbour as you like to be treated, ZANU will come to pass but Zimbabwe will always be there because it’s not a man made entity.

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    Zvinorwadza. Rhodesia will never ever come back

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    Msizeni Silwelani 7 years ago

    Sounds like those who are making the loudest noise in the land between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers arrived not long ago. They have outwitted the Zimbabwean aborigins. All the same, Zanu Pf has inflicted deep wounds on all of us. Until we realise this we are doomed for hell in our land. We cannot continue with the primitive belief of conquering tribes, races or societies in order to set a political order or begin trading. Zanu Pf wants us to believe that defeat of the Western whites will pave way for us to trade with the predators from the East. Indeed, still licking wounds from Mugabe’s economic, social and political savagery.

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    mbire 7 years ago

    we are all able to express our selves in a noble way , eloquently written western language , weilded with top of the standard educational qualities. we no fear or fevour I give credit to Comrade RG Mugabe . PAMBERI NEJONGWE

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    moyokumusha 7 years ago

    Kathy paints a colourful picture of desperation and bullies at the road works. I have travelled through these and not encountered any of the vendors or aggressive drivers. Lets state reality and not hearsay and people will listen.

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    Angela Wigmore 7 years ago

    I am pleased that Cathy Buckle’s ‘retirement’ from her weekly newsletter, after the July elections, was short-lived. As a homesick Zimbabwean Diasporan, I looked forward to her down-to-earth comments and poetic observations of fondly-remembered seasonal events of my homeland and I am delighted that they are back. Don’t stop Cathy! One thing puzzles me though. Perhaps I was mis-informed, but I was told by someone who was in government employ in the early 1980s that Cathy was a ‘leftie’ – anti-Smith and pro-Mugabe. Why would someone,who appears to have an abundance of common sense,ever have been blind to the evil that is Mugabe and Zanu?

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    simon 7 years ago

    Forget about race. There are many white zimbos who are more generation Zimbabwean than even Bob. One only needs to look at life expectancy as a baseline to see how far we have come and the answer or questions is how far backward have we gone!!!!!!Zanu has been in charge 33 years now and there is NO EXCUSE they have failed even with all the aid given (Majority by western countries I hasten to add). Zanu have failed dismally. Look at all our natural recourcs diamonds being the big one and still look at state we in. So glad my mind is clear that I am not responsible or part and parcel of a party that has raped and pillaged the jewel of Africa. We don’t even have our own currency for goodness sake and still some sit here and posture and down the white people. since 1980 many black and white zimbos have worked hard together learned and played sport together so only a mindless fool will still try to blame Rhodesia times. its been 33 years!!!

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    Richard 7 years ago

    Muvairwa. You blame the whites for not building roads and farmlands, sooner than you would have liked! Well why didn’t your forefathers build anything before the whites arrived. After all Africans have been on the continent for thousands of years before. It’s very convenient to blame whites for everything. On that note I would like to apologize for whites bringing the written word to Africa. The health and education, commerce industry, farming, Mielie meal, transport, the list is endless. It’s all our fault. As for Naison, there you go again about taking everything back from the whites. If you want to indigenize,
    leave the cities, your cell phone, watch, radios, football, etc etc and go back to your mud huts and start over again, without the help of the so called foreigners. Learn to feed, clothe, and educate yourselves.

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    Ephrain Gumbo 7 years ago

    No question about it, the Chinese are doing a good job and investing in our beleaguered nation. All we can hope for is that they are sincere and unlike their Western counterparts genuinely concerned and committed to our country and the welfare and welbeing of the people? I sometimes have my doubts, can’t help feeling that China is for China, no different to any other colonial master. They are no different to the Yanks and Brits who are intent on one thing only, “EXPLOITATION.” Time will tell,

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    Cathy, why do you lie about gangsters at road works. i used to respect your factual criticism. are you finished now? road works are common worldwide including some on british roads right now, some in south africa towards 2010 world cup. more than 5 000 delegates were in zimbabwe for the unwto congress and passed through the same road works and never encountered what you are lying about here. why show such hatred for the country you are living in and still proceed to stay put as if you are forced to stay in zimbabwe. many who feel like you have long left for uk, sa, australia and new zealand where its paradise as you suppose. do not soil our country with lies like that

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    as for you richard, our forefathers were okay with what they had before the white men came. they had land, cattle and gold. better still, they had enough time on their hands. if it was not for the white man’s homelessness and greed for other people’s wealth, our forefathers were going to design and construct their own roads the same way other countries in the world have done at their own time. as for cellphones we do not need or use white men’s cellphones and networks. I subscribe to masiyiwa’s econet and i use a handset manufactured by g-tel zimbabwe with origination from our ancient friends, china.