For some, lockdown is better than for others…

I have been talking to people on lockdown in many places, including the Murewa district of Zimbabwe. When chatting, I say that if I was in Zimbabwe during this time, I would far rather be in the rural areas – kumusha (in the bush) – than an urban setting. Here, thanks to Mrs Maenzanise, Head of Mapanga Primary school and former teacher at Pakati Primary, are several reasons as to why….

Mrs Maenzanise just relaxing after harvesting maize. It’s hot out there!

Her list of reasons are…
Fresh air
Free movement from one house to the other
Underground water
Excursion to the dam river or mountain
Busking in the sun relaxing
Sitting in the shade outside
Free birds music
Fresh garden product vegetables and bananas
Nuts fresh from the ground 🤣🤣
Round nuts ( nyimo)
Chicken road runners
Quite a lot not from the supermarket you see
Roots/leaves forcmedication
Free movement within your 2 and half acres yard we don’t know how we will get the virus when you are leading your normal life pamusha like us.
We wish this virus could stop coming this side. We are happy out here!

“Here people are keeping indoors or harvesting their fields. We are hundreds of meters apart. Life is pretty much as usual in the rural set up. We shout as we greet one another every morning or as they go for grinding maize or taking peanut butter to the local shops. We are now used to being confined to our homes.

My home is just by the highway…..I am not too far from Murewa centre which is 87 km from Harare….

During the lockdown l at times watch trucks moving up and down the highway to Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa, as these are the only vehicles being allowed to transport goods for trade to the SADC (Southern Africa Deveopment Community) countries.

I keep road runners, they are keeping me busy! I give them a mixture of feed.

We got these bananas from our traditional garden

To cook I use firewood and gas, and also use Solar power for lighting.

I have two children a Son 35 years and a married daughter she has 3 children, her first born son Anesu Nyika is staying with us during this lockdown.

During the lockdown l also assist my grandson with school work. He is keeping me occupied during our free hot day time

He is very creative playing in the shade alone but he doesn’t feel like being alone. All those piles of sand according to him are hills. The hole is the well he did sink. The empty tin was used to sink the deep well. Behind him is the green wind mill.”

Very much a typical rural homestead

My thanks go to Mrs Maenzanise for sharing the stories and pictures…I am transported back to rural Zimbabwe as I look at this, something I am delighted with!

Coming up….I have a ‘Lockdown Laughs’ being prepared, to be ready to go out on Thursday, and a 3-part profile of a former student of Pakati Primary school – I can tell you all it is quite a story…look out for part 1 this Saturday!


My name is Chris Walker, and between January 1989 and September 1991 I worked, through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas), at Pakati Secondary School in Murehwa South district in Zimbabwe. I was a Maths teacher for 2 years, the Acting Head for the last 8 months there. I have also taught in Botswana & the UK, had 4 years working for VSO, and have been a Civil Servant in Bradford since 2005.

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