Isdore Guvamombe Reflections
Back in the village, in the land of milk, honey and dust or Guruve, the ageless village autochthons — the original people who saw the virginity of the sun — say one should not question a blind man for buying a mirror, for there is certainly wisdom in it. There is indeed innovativeness in a blind man who buys a mirror as he knows what benefit it has to him. This villager, the son of a peasant, came to town to work after years of schooling in the village. Urban life, has never ceased to amaze and unchaste this villager. Chastity does not seem to be in the vocabulary of many urbanites.
What with the influx of prostitutes of all shapes and sizes — from the onion-shaped to the pencil slim and indeed to the shapeless; from the naturally beautiful, the ugly, the chocolate cream and the skin bleachers, after that famous or infamous Supreme Court Ruling against the arresting of the ladies of the night, vending their womanhood on the streets?
Well after the judgment, there was widespread celebration, among them wild ones like free services, according to mainstream media. Understandably, it was an unprecedented breakthrough to freedom, after long years of playing cat-and-mouse with police. Fake or genuine police!
This villager is told the celebrations were short-lived. The sudden free for all influx meant there was an oversupply of women on the streets and when supply is higher than demand, the prices fall. The matrix of volumes comes into play.
Many antics where then used to outdo each other and eventually others were pushed to the periphery. The price, this villager was told, fell from $20 a stint to $5. That is a big price drop in any economy. Worse still, general economic hardships meant that men started comparing the price of a stint to loaves of bread and honestly parting with an equivalent of 20 loaves is not good mathematics for any family man. You are bound to think twice.
Don’t ask this villager how he got to know about these things, for, it is tantamount to questioning a blind man’s reasons of buying a mirror. One day it becomes handy.
Well last week, this villager got the shock of his life will attending a funeral in Epworth. Naturally, the elders this villager sat with, did not want to discuss serious matters on dry throats, so they started imbibing. Each sip seemed to provoke an extra code of intelligence into the discussions. But soon the calabash was milked dry by those thick lips and huge throats.
Then being among the youngest, we set out to refill the calabash — that famous missile-shaped scud — at the shops at dusk. As we approached a network booster, women of all shapes and sizes, stood along the dusty streets, each hissing to us to stop for sex services.
They were too many and the price was between $1 and $2. What? My colleagues said they had been pushed out of business in the Avenues and had resorted to Epworth where they were pushing volumes.
“Every boy here can afford a dollar or two. Even street vendors can afford at the end of the day to pay that amount. It is hard to find a man who wants to spend $20 on a romp. You have to push volumes because you can easily get 10 men with a dollar or two than have one man with $20. This is called pushing volumes! But you really have to work hard.”
So we proceeded to the bar to fill in our calabash. On our way back, we changed the route and again women of all sizes and shape, colour, beauty or ugliness paraded for the same amount. Given their numbers, it must have been working for them. This villager had more questions than answers. Pushing sexual volumes?
I then learnt that men from all walks of life flock to Epworth, the place called Booster or Mast. It has become cheaper there. But it is not Epworth alone, all such suburbs have the similar scourge. Have women gotten so cheap?
A second look in the numbers in the Avenues seems to suggest that the various suburbs and locations have taken away the steam. There are now fewer women in the Avenues than at any other stage in the modern history of Harare. Pushing volumes has taken its toll.
One needs to go to places like Epworth to see how much prostitution is going on there. Ones need to go to Hopley or Ushewekunze to see the level of pushing volumes happening there. Sodom and Gomorrah is here. The matrix of pushing volumes is indicative of the economic hardships prevalent.
This villager wonders how it is going to end. A dollar for a stint? Karitundundu weee!