18 Sep 2011

People from Masvingo Are Slow And Naive

People in Masvingo are slow and naive. Slow because no one seems to be in a hurry, and it seems that time for them has been set on slow. I looked at this perhaps like a frustrated hummingbird looking on the rest of the world. Even the wind seemed in on it, Blowing somewhat hesitantly against my face. Lifting my hair tentatively and then leaving it, done for the day i suppose.

Naive because perhaps they trust too much, in Harare everyone is wary and on constant guard, your own neighbour could steal from you. Their naïveté doesn’t end there, it is made worse by an annoying familiarity sure to grate on the nerves of the most patient soul.

“Hold my bag,” who gives a stranger their handbag to hold? I took the handbag and held it at arm’s length. I did this for my own good. If anything went missing nobody would accuse me of any wrong doing, my eyes are shifty and my face mobile, nobody would believe that i hadn’t done it.

“Make sure my maputi’s don’t fall, in fact please can you put them right in front of you," said the driver, proceeding to the driver’s seat. So there i was stuck in between packs of maputi and a box load of bread that i also had to watch, did i mention that i was in the back seat of an open truck? Well i was.

An old woman with a baby on her lap, lay with her head resting against a sack full of sugar, her handbag cast carelessly at her feet another one of small town idiosyncrasies that i just could not understand.

I sincerely hoped the baby was her grandchild because, it didn’t seem right to me that a woman her age would still be birthing.
Tired of prodding a non-responsive grandma turned her attention to me. More precisely she turned her attention to the chain around my neck. Noticing this, the man sitting beside me offered it oh so kindly to the child, with a blatant disregarded to how I the owner felt.

“Here baby, you want it? Come and get it.”

With that the child made a grab for it. Unashamedly i swatted her hands away, and told the man beside me that she was more likely to eat it than play with it, and no way was i going to wear a necklace covered in baby dribble.
No doubt, it would have helped the child’s case if she had been cuter and cleaner.
Thankfully any further exchange between the man, the baby and me was stopped by the bakkie pulling up at my stop, and i heaved myself out. Glad to be away from that bunch of communal people.

Just as i was getting off the bakkie, the little man sitting beside me, called out, “when are you going back to town” i did not answer but instead turned away in a huff my handbag clutched safely to my chest.
In hindsight, i daresay i made quite a sight, trudging through the dust with plumes of white dirt billowing around me and a non-characteristic frown on my face i began my ten minute traipse to my destination.

“Let me walk with you,”

that familiarity again and before i could say mhaiwe, that girl with the handbag had caught up with me. These people are relentless! I didn’t say that though, i smiled and said ok. I was determined however not to say a word to her, she had other ideas.

“Hold my bag whilst I go to take a whizz” with this she shoved her bag into my surprised hands. Surprised because my face was turned away looking at the barren land before us, they sure did not look like they could afford her any privacy from the man lugging crates who was coming at us.

It must be something in the water, or something that’s in that lazy wind which seems to almost reluctantly blow against your face.

My resolve to ignore this girl and walk on in silence was almost broken by her seeming oblivion to it. Being naive protects you from the vagaries of negative human characteristics, Vaal’s meanness does not phase you, her monosyllables do not deter your chattiness and blight on your annoyingly sunny disposition when you have been dogmatically programmed to believe that the world is made up of people as nice as you are.

So, on we went. Past a herd of mean looking multicoloured cattle, which looked like they would come after me anytime. My companion reassured me that they were harmless and the sight of us would not arouse any primitive urge to charge. For this, I was grateful. No doubt if I had been alone, i would have turned back.

On we went past two men who took a break from sharpening their tools to wave at us. On she chatted, whilst i continued with my non-committal, yes, no, maybes.I had programmed myself to auto-retort.
A soon as the school administration blocks came into view, i forced a cheery goodbye, and made to walk away.
She called me back. i sighed.

“Use my cloth to dust your feet.”

 This is a niceness i would never get in Harare, and this finally cracked that layer around my heart. Occasionally you need that naive in your face niceness, when the dust gets in your boots, hunhu. These people reminded me of that.

Cheers to cheery naïveté.

3 comments:

  1. People from Masvingo are overly slow and naive-IWE WHERE ARE YOU FROM

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am from Masvingo, why do you ask?

    ReplyDelete
  3. guese u lying im from masvingo and very fast and hyperactive

    ReplyDelete