Africa Day (past tense)

27 05 2008

Now listen up you lot. Monday is  (was) Africa Day. Well according to our calendars it is  was. What’s more it’s  was a public holiday too. That has to mean that we are supposed to be either celebrating or commemorating something.

 Let’s tackle the celebration thing first. I have been pondering this for the last couple of hours and have failed to come up with anything. The end of violence in South Africa? The creation of a central government in Somalia? The end of endless photographs of starving/malnourished Ethiopian children? The end of meaningless slaughter of just about anybody in the Darfur region? The beginning of some sort of common sense anywhere? Perhaps an African country somewhere is making the transition to good governance? I won’t even bother about the Zimbabwe issue though I suppose I should mention that we do have more and bigger currency denominations in circulation – Z$500 000 000 – beat that!

 OK, so maybe we are commemorating something. Our Dear Leader is always trotting out the “colonialism” issue but even at the most recent estimate puts that at ending 28 years ago. Nope, I cannot come up with anything. I will have to ask around and see if anyone else has some ideas.

 I am appalling with names. On Wednesday I was chatting to someone in the gym who apparently knows my name but I am damned if I can remember his. Anyway, we were comparing the worst stories as Zimbabweans like to do (“you think you had it tough…”). His best attempt was indeed impressive. Insisting that he’d had this from the horse’s mouth it went like this. A female friend of his was stopped at a ubiquitous police road block and asked to show her driver’s licence. It is not an offence to not carry your driver’s licence but you might have to show it at a police station within 7 days. She did not have hers on her. The officer told her that in that case they would have to go into town to the central police station. She said that she could not leave the children at home. He was unimpressed. This went on for a while then he got into the passenger seat, rifled through her handbag, removed all her Zimbabwe dollars, got out and said that she could go.

 Mark Africa Day on your calendar.

(OK so the WiFi hotspot was not working on Saturday – that’s Africa I guess)



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