Mhambi has been redeployed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The life and times of Adonis Musati

The BBC reports that Adonis Musati, the Zimbabwean that died in Cape Town foreshore, meters from the Department of Home affairs was a policeman. He had left Chimanimani Zimbabwe a month before, looking for work. He planned to send money back to his family.

Mhambi has been to Chimanimani. I hitch-hiked to there with a good friend Collin Minnaar way back. We were on the way to Zanzibar, via Malawi and Dar es Salaam Tanzania.

It was the end of 1994, just after South Africa's fully democratic elections. We - that is a bunch of Tukkies hippies - thought we should celebrate our reintegration into the African fold with an epic journey from Pretoria to the spice island.

The hippies at Mandela's inauguration, May 1994 - Photo Jan Bezuidenhout

It was before Zimbabwe's marked decline. The people, although poor, were proud and healthy. There were little sign of political tension, but then again we were not looking for it. It felt much safer than back home. Two of my friends, Jan and Cecilia, even got a lift in a fancy car with a senior ZANU PF member.

Collin is very bad at getting up in the morning, which can be a problem when travelling. But he is very good at writing. In fact he is one of the most creative writers in Afrikaans. A joy to read, his emails never failed to surprise me.

As far as I know he does not write anymore. He immigrated a few years ago to New Zealand, and works, funny enough, in New Zealand's Home Office. His beat? Immigration.

Chimanimani is situated in Zimbabwe's eastern highlands. We got there on an open truck that krept up its hills. We spent a night in a tent, it was freezing. Chimanimani is small, it had little traffic and worse of all: It was a dead-end. We could not reach Mutare that way. We had to turn around and we were stuck for hours. But it was gorgeous.

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3 comments:

Wessel said...

As luck would have it Collin read this article and emailed me this.

Snaakse outjie. Nee, ek was net vir n kort stint by immigrasie – so inkorrek, remove from your blok unless jy into uhm, disinformasie is. Plus die ding oor dat ek laat opstaan – deesdae word ek elke oggend voor sewe wakker om vir Sylvie haar melkies te gee.

Jan said...

Miskien moet ons 'n rerun van die trip in 2014 doen? Sal nogals lekker wees om te vergelyk. Kan mens nog die student life artikel en foto's regens opspoor?

Wessel said...

Ek's seker mens sal kan Jan.