Crossing Harare: Zimbabwe’s Sunshine Capital

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | iZiviso Global Editor At Large

HARARE, Zimbabwe – ONE Saturday afternoon, I found myself walking at the eastern edge Harare’s CBD, just next to the Holiday Inn. I entered Kwame Nkrumah Street from the side, passed two vendors. I turned left into Fourth Street – momentarily – then crossed its broad width at an angle before turning right into Nelson Mandela.Image

Ahead of me, at a stone’s throw, stood the Parliament Building and the Africa Unity Square side by side, facing each other like shy lovers. Nelson Mandela was rather empty for a Saturday I mused as I made my way to the Square. I walked through the Square, which apparently resembles the Union Jack. A street preacher was standing in the middle of the square atop the remains of a water fountain, mouthing the word of God in a loud voice. I stopped for a moment to listen and managed to catch a word or two about giving up one’s all in order to see His glory.

Shifting the rucksack on my back slightly to my right I defined my way through a small crowd that had gathered to listen to the street preacher. A photographer hollered at me and made an elevator pitch of his business but I ignored him and picked up my step.

I couldn’t resist the sight of flowers on display to my right. For no reason, I began imagining Zimbabwe as a flower in bloom. A flower in bloom is certainly magical because it’s a work done: it’s a sign of fruition. Pushing the thought aside, I paid attention to the traffic lights at the corner of Sam Nujoma and Jason Moyo. To one side the Greaterman Departmest Store stood in its solid majesty: I made a silent note to myself that I had never done any shopping there.

When the light turned green, I quickly made the crossing, afraid that some errant driver could run me over. I walked down Jason Moyo, Harare’s sun caressing my back like a butterfly in bliss.

 I soon found myself squeezed in the hassle and bustle at Ximex Mall, most definetely Harare’s most fastest corner especially when it comes to dealmaking – both grand and small. I overheard some two dealers discussing social networks and mobiles phones. Everyone there – mostly young men – seemed to be on some movement drug as they went about hawking whatever was in their hands or heads. They were the new age entrepreneurs of Harare: all about bling, quick money and shine.

I made my way past the wheeling and dealing zone at Ximex Mall as fast as I could, crossed Julius Nyerere with the Town House across the street to my left. In front of me stood another crowd of wheelers and dealers, only this time they were photographers selling the service of instant photos.

I couldn’t escaped being asked if I needed a passport photo taken as I crossed the street to the Town House side. The crowd on the street grew. I found myself lost in a mass of flesh. I followed the rules of street walking keeping to the collective side until I became just another Hararian, crossing the sunshine capitalImage.

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One thought on “Crossing Harare: Zimbabwe’s Sunshine Capital

  1. Beautiful, I just loved this, your random thoughts while walking the streets. Makes me miss the country even more.

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