Dr. Amai Goes To Rome

After two weeks of highly publicised speeches across the country, zero babies kissed, a billion air miles by presidential helicopter, daily front-page coverage and ten million tonnes of maize later Zimbabwe’s First Lady Dr Amai Grace Mugabe, as she is now known according to state media, appeared for the first time in public with her husband President Mugabe on a trip to visit His Holiness Pope Francis at The Vatican.

This has surely put to bed all the speculation about wether our dear leader supports Dr Amai’s ambitions, whatever they may be, but that’s a story for another day. It was just the other day that all religious leaders leaders with any shred of association to the ruling party beat a path to Dr. Amai’s Mazoe mansion, sorry, orphanage, to pour their blessings upon her whilst she in turn showered them with platitudes and Mazoe. Prior to and since the press has regaled us with quotes of Dr. Amai’s many conversations with God and possibly other spirits leaving us in no doubt she is, as they say these days, a prayerful woman.

Now with Dr. Amai apparently being imbued with all the abundant Godliness in our beloved Zimbabwe, she has gone where no other Presidential aspirant has gone before, to His Eminence himself, God’s representative on Earth no less, Pope Francis. Maybe I’m just a conspiracy nut but if I was one of those tithe-seekers who had braved the sun and the dust to lay my hands on Dr. Amai’s fair head when summoned two weeks ago I would be wondering, ko how far?

VanaMadzibaba and others who thronged Mazoe so recently must be wondering is there no ZIMASSET in religion? What of indiginisation? Was their blessing of Dr. Amai not enough that she had to go all the way to Rome to receive communion from that church that now wants to marry homosexuals?! Even going to see T.B. Joshua would have been better. Surely Dr. Amai had gone there navaMugabe to convince His Holiness that this is not the way and since the bishops have postponed their discussions on homosexuals it is proof enough of Dr. Amai’s growing influence. No? Prove it.

Another community that must surely be questioning Dr. Amai’s first international trip since her anointing is our beloved diaspora. Logic follows that as “your Mother of the Nation” her first trip would be to the millions of “children” living in South Africa and the UK. As the unifying force that she is, imagine the hundreds of thousands that would come out to show their truest feelings for this symbol of regeneration, peace and unity?

An FNB stadium, coincidentally already orange like Dr. Amai’s beloved Mazoe Crush would reverberate to the sights and sounds of vana vevhu there to see only her, oh just the thought of it makes my eyes water. What more at Stamford Bridge, the only blue stadium, because you don’t want to confuse the children with a red stadium like The Emirates, Anfield or Old Trafford, full to capacity? Not to forget the shopping, I’m sure Comrades Chiyangwa, Zhuwaou and her other backers can afford to extend Dr. Amai every luxury during such a trip were it to happen.

I think this is an opportunity for inclusion of the diaspora that is going begging. Sanctions you say? What country would deny a mother the opportunity to see and speak to her children? Even Obama had a mother wani and Amai Obama would understand.

I keep fingers crossed that the the Meet The People roadshow organisers here this and take Dr. Amai to every corner where there is a Zimbabwean yearning to hear her message and express their true feelings to her in person.

Tose kunaAmai!

The Great Johannesburg Duststorm of 2014

Yesterday my wife Nomhle and I hosted three friends from Chicago who were in Johannesburg for the first time. We only had half a day as they had arrived that morning and were continuing to Kruger National Park this morning so are probably stalking lions and rhinos right now. We met up at Park Station, the Gautrain side, and spent the afternoon telling tales over a fabulous lunch on Vlakhazi Street in Orlando West, up the road from Nelson Mandela’s house which we visited later.

After leaving Nelson Mandela’s house we drove into the city to catch the sunset from the Roof Of Africa on the fiftieth floor of the Carlton Centre, Africa’s tallest building since it opened in 1973. On our way we noticed a dust storm building up but din’t think too much of it.

We arrived at Carlton Centre with a little help, well actually solely because of the GPS, in good time and quickly found our way to the express elevator. The elevator ride is only R15, less than $1,50, per person and in less than a minute we walked out onto the viewing deck to be greeted by the setting sun.

What looked like it was going to be an epic sunset turned out to be something totally unexpected.
What looked like it was going to be an epic sunset turned out to be something totally unexpected.
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The city seems to go on forever. From up here you could be looking at a city in any developed country.
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The legendary Ponte Tower in the distance, the re was just not enough time to visit.
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You can see the dust building up on the horizon.

Johannesburg is a highly developed city which is evident from just about any angle and the views from up here are simply breathtaking. The buildup of dust was deceptively rapid one moment we were looking across the city and the next we could hear the dust specks scratching against the glass panels carried on a shrieking wind.

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Before we knew it the sun was fast disappearing behind a massive dust cloud.
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All we could do was stand back in awe. The richest city in Africa is nothing to mother nature.
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The dust rolls in covering the city, the sun no longer visible.
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With each passing minute . . .
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. . . the city disappeared under the dust.
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By the time we left the city was no longer recognisable.

We made our way down to the ground to find a strange new world. When we stepped out of the elevator into the ground level mall it was unusually dark for 18:30 and the dust was everywhere. Carol, one of our friends, happened to have a face-mask and put it on. I went out to get the car to find dust swirling through the air, visibility was poor.

We drove out of the city headed to Rosebank in a surreal atmosphere. I have never been in a dusstorm and for hours after I was still trying to comprehend what we had been through. Impressive as it was I hope i never have to go through that again but with all we hear about climate change, this may happen again sooner than we think.