Renovations are being done. You find yourself in an open office. Six women and three men. Some are single, some are divorced. Some are married. What do you talk about?
It’s on Monday. The mood is a bit serious before 10 am until one woman looks up from her computer and exclaims:
“I doubt Megan Markle is really pregnant, how come she does all those squats?”
Why not? Someone asks
“Nhumbu munonyatsoiziva here imi?” (You do not know a thing about pregnancy, do you?) We talk about the royal family for an hour.
It’s Thursday. One lady has been shouting on the phone since morning. Sometimes she has been muttering things to herself. One of her tenants hasn’t paid her rent, and he is not picking up her calls.
Why do people choose to stay where they cannot afford? We talk about expectations of homeowners versus those of tenants. Until one guy says I don’t like it when a homeowner reads out rules like:
- No different girls in your room,
- No friends with loud music playing in their cars in my driveway.
Tuesday. ” Guys tell me something, Why are men becoming so lazy and disrespectful.? My boyfriend brought his friends to watch football at my place. Imagine. He doesn’t bring any food… ” I feel embarrassed. I feel bad being a man.
Someone says modern men are something else, they are not anything like what our mothers were married to. Modern man is becoming parasitic. The worst part is he brags about it to his friends “She takes care of me, and I get to enjoy the sex too” A man must be a provider. I am taking down some notes
Where does Pokello get her money? One week she is in Dubai, the other in Ghana? Are you sure it’s shoes she is selling? Someone else comes in with the white parties and Ginimbi. Conspiracies until we begin to question the country’s politics and policies.
Thursday. Men are crazy. Seriously why would you bring your sister into our home, only to live her with me, while you go out. What are we supposed to talk about? She is your sister, I and her are strangers! You shouldn’t put me in such an uncomfortable situation. I keep taking notes but a lot of questions are in my mind.
It’s Monday. The royal family reporter in our midst shares the great news. “Megan has a big bouncing baby boy!” Were you not doubting her pregnancy just a month ago? I ask, inaudible of course. That afternoon she bought herself some pizza celebrating the birth of the royal baby. I wonder why we never celebrated the birth of Robert Mugabe’s kids but I realise we didn’t even know when they were born?
Amidst all the fray and conversations in the office, one story is forever constant. It is the story of exchange rates in the country. One only has to say “Riripamarii nhasi” (How much is it today?” We discuss on what we must do. It’s mob economics. We do what we must to survive.