As a freelance reporter, scooping a good story in a timely fashion was pretty difficult. After all, I had to hold down a proper job to pay my bills. Luckily, my boss was very flexible and encouraged my ridiculous requests to have an afternoon off to catch the frequent riots occurring outside our ten story building in the middle of Harare City Centre.
Most of the time I went in blind; that is, I didn’t know what the riots were about and had to strike up conversations with people running from the military police in order to get the scoop.
In 1997, such a day occurred. University students had been staging riots across Harare city centre, striking against new taxes being introduced to pay for war benefits for war veterans who had fought in the struggle for independence over seventeen years earlier. In the midst of the ruckus, I bumped into the Bank Worker’s Union leader. He and I happened to share a space within a group of strangers watching the chaos from a street corner outside Greatermans department store. We were deciding whether to run down the road like the frightened crowds around us or wait. Most of those standing with us were shop workers trying to find a safe way home. As we paused amidst the screaming, running mob, conversation sparked.
When he heard that I was a reporter, he offered me the opportunity to interview him to get the bank workers’ perspective on the behaviour of the Zimbabwean government. A date was made for the next day before a military jeep interrupted our discourse. A tear gas cannister barely missed my head and shot past the rest of the group, ending up bouncing across the street to a shop aptly called Reflections.
Escape became our main priority and I lost sight of my news source in the choking cloud enveloping us.
To be continued…
Posted in People I Meet, Weekly Trail
Tagged bloggers, blogging, blogs, features, news, politics, Readers, stories, writing, zimbabwe
Hello and thanks for joining me on a Tuesday instead of our usual Monday Coffee date.
It has been a very busy week and weekend so I’m playing catch up this week with all the odds and ends that were put aside. Grab a mug of your favourite beverage and join me on the sofa while I regale you with what I’ve been doing.
Last week saw my Literacy Enrichment plan working as the school enjoyed a re-run of the recent Royal wedding. At the end of a hardworking week, the children were rewarded with a Royal Reception of their own with representatives of the royal family chosen from our year 6’s. The children and staff made a huge effort to dress up and I spotted at least three fascinators with pretty feathers and flowers donned by teachers as they went around serving the children juice and water.
After filling their mouths with as many snacks they could fit in one sitting, off they went to dance – after the dance floor was opened by the royal couple and family members. I do believe the queen could boogie! Once the party was over, it was as though my fairy godmother waved her magic wand: tables and chairs were whisked away at fairytale speed making my head spin, and by the time the parents were allowed onto the playground to pick up their precious princes and princesses, no one was the wiser that children had been frolicking in their fancy footwear mere minutes before. I am now convinced that the staff and children have super hero capes hidden in their lockers for occasions like this!
Well that was one Royal Reception out of the way. On Saturday, I was lucky enough to attend another wedding with a different prince and princess. This time they appeared to have stepped straight out of a Bollywood movie!
Set on the De Vere grounds in a picturesque village in Mortimer, the couple celebrated their nuptials in style with a stunning backdrop of the Manor House. As though that wasn’t awe-inspiring enough, their Reception was held in the hotel with a huge chocolate fountain to keep adults and children entertained while we waited for photos to be taken of the beautiful bride and groom.
Aromatic food and music filled the evening air and by the time it was time to leave, most of the guests were catatonic from full bellies and sore feet, a sign of a brilliant evening had by all.
Sunday saw a more serene family get together as everyone reminisced the previous day’s events with the new relatives and more good food. A good end to a long weekend of celebrating.
With all this happening, there was no time to write and to be honest, no real inspiration to do so. I’m losing focus again and my deadline is looming. Let’s hope that it returns soon or I’ll see another year pass with my stories sitting in draft form.
What about you? Have you had an exciting or boring weekend? What did you get up to? Let me know in the comments.
Posted in If We Were Having Coffee, Weekly Trail
Tagged #mondayblogs, #MondayCoffee, bloggers, blogging, blogs, celebration, family, friends, friendship, happiness, life, love, Readers, romance, stories, treats