- Bulawayo - the throne of Southern Africa -
Only through God’s grace!!! :: Submitted by -T Nkomo, Zimbabwe

It is five o clock am, “wake up Vusa” cries his mother, in few moments later, the house is teeming with activity as parents and children brace themselves for a new day. Mother and father get ready for work whilst Vusa and his young sister prepare for school. As the six o’clock news bulletin on Spot FM ends, everyone heads for the car and another day in the life of Dube’s begins. 

Just as the car pulls out of the yard, Sibanda, cycling to the industries, “emanda”, waves at the Dubes’, just then he overtakes Phiri who is walking to Kelvin North Industrial Sites. 

Ladies cleaning the surburb yard The sun’s rays stream through the cluster of Amarula and Acacia trees lined along the streets or in the backyards of many houses. Dust fills the air as hoards of people fill the narrow streets. Besides, a line of girls, as if in a queue sweeps the fronts of their yards, letting up a choke of dust.   

Cars, buses and lorries rumble along the main roads leaving behind clouds of exhaust fumes. School kids run along, cutting through the thick dust and smoke. A car hoots and a bicycle bell rings in the background. Voices of touts are heard shouting for passengers –“Khami road town” they yell. 

I love Bulawayo baseball cap
I am kind of big deal in BULAWAYO

These are the sounds that signal the dawn of each new day for the Bulawayo posse. They signal the dawn of the reality of life in the streets of Bulawayo. Be it Luveve road, Plumtree Road or Khami Road, it is all the same. The roads are heavy with traffic as cars, buses, trucks, and people make their way to town or work in the industries. 

On the way, talk of yesterday’s news highlights or the weekend’s soccer results keep all entertained. For many a good day would be one after Highlanders FC has trounced one its rivals in the Zimbabwe premier soccer league. Soon all arrive at their stations, but back home, the maids have already started working. Cleaning, washing and cooking, it is a routine, it is a routine. Soon, as the clock strikes eight, they relax, readying themselves for a popular AM chat on Spot FM!

In town, the car parks fill up and it is business as usual. There are fuel queues at the garages, and an occasional queue at a supermarket as people abandon their programs to get food for the family. 
Lunchtime, and most remove their packed lunches while a selected few make their way to popular eating places like Nando’s, Chicken Inn or Grass Hut. ATM queues lengthen as some people take advantage of the lunch hours to withdraw what little money they have from the banks. Bearer’s cheques are flashed around, with some calling them “burial cheques”. 
An Emergency Taxi at the ET Rank- "Egodini" As the day progresses school children mar the streets making their way to “Egodini” emergency taxi and bus terminus rank, soon they will be joined by their parents from work.  
At five oclock, the city center is hive of activity. People now race to the terminus. Traffic jams are imminent as vehicles start leaving the city. Touts are now heard at Lobengula street calling for customers, “Nxa ungafuni yekela” (I don’t want just drop it) yells a tout as he lashes out at customer questioning the $1000 fare. 

The sun beats heavily on the eyes of all as they head for home. Tired and exhausted from the day’s labour, “abemanda” (those from the industries), trail the road sidewalks.   

It is six oclock when they arrive home, carrying their empty lunchtins, whether it is by car, bicycle or foot or Kombi, all are tired and look forward to a night of rest, but how can they when they have so many stresses. 

Vusa runs to his mother “could you help me with my homework”, he cries. His young sister leaps into her daddy’s lap “Daddy I want some Ice cream, please buy me some”, “I will sweetheart, wait till month end ” the father replies, knowing that it is only through God’s grace that he will this request. 

It is dark outside, and the  streets are deserted. Everyone is indoors having supper. Soon, the night will be filled with the snares of Bulawayo residents whilst their barking dogs keep watch.

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