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Plan B

By Tendai Mwanaka (Zimbabwe)

             “There is a plan B to the world cup,” Uncle Victor says.

             “It’s FIFA soccer politics,” my brother says

             “It’s because of Zimbabwe’s political situation,” I say

             “Guys, the world cup is good business for everyone,” Auntie Florence, Uncle Victor’s wife, says

             It is a year away from the world cup, and the vuvuzelas are being blown into the air to distraction. Some destitute man of our street has made it his plan B, teaching enthusiasts how to blow a vuvuzela. There is always a plan B to everything in life. I can’t run away from home, from the noise, for I have no plan B against these vuvuzelas.

             And, in most cases it becomes THE PLAN, I am thinking, I am on my way back from the town centre; one and a half kilometer sweet walk to home.

             “Hello Bhudhi, there is a job in this white man’s place,”

             “Is it? I am not really looking for a job.” I am always scared of strangers thinking they know what I needed, wanted at that moment of contact. But he persisted

             “He is distributing world cup soccer T-shirts to kids at a preschool day care. So, this white man needs general hands to help him, and he is paying a hundred bucks.”

             I could do with a hundred bucks, I thought. I needed a plan B for my depleting cash in my pocket, but I tried to refuse it. It’s not safe in the suburb, anymore, especially with the hive of activity around the world cup. Everyone is looking for a quick buck, but eventually, I agree. This guy who has approached me has also approached another guy who has been walking behind me, all the way from the city centre. I choose to build faith in this safety in numbers.

             “The white man wants us to declare everything that we have before we enter into his property, so what do you have, guys.”

             The other guy who was walking behind me says, “I have a cell and a hundred Rands.” He gives these to our benefactor.

             “I have 1500 Rands, a cell and these groceries,” Our benefactor says. “Give me the money and cell.”

             “The groceries are not a problem,” he says as he takes my money and cell.

             He leaves us waiting on the front gate of this property and goes to the side gate, which is in another street. We wait for 3 minutes. It is like an eternity, the weight of an event.

             The original plan doesn’t always happen, because it is always too ambitious. This strikes me as I run to the other street to check what was taking this guy so long. The street is a clear black of the tarred surface. There is no gate to the property. Blood is exploding in my head as anger surges. I go back to check on the other guy, but that guy is nowhere to be found. There is a speeding car in the next street. I fold down in the lawns of this property.

              My uncle is not happy about this, for I have lost him 1500 bucks, but he accepts my explanation. After all, I was plan B. Auntie Florence was away who would do these account payments.

             But, of course, the world cup was on-going in South Africa, which was the plan A.

             Plan B.

             “There is no plan B,” Stepp Blatter refuted what he had blurted out.


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