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Small town Bulawayo girl moves to Harare

Personal Struggle

Small town Bulawayo girl moves to Harare

I understand now why so man people from other towns move here. It really is the city of opportunity.

Creative outings after relocating to Harare

This is my personal experience of relocating to Harare and it is not a one size fits all type of thing so keep that in mind as you read this.

As I mentioned before, I relocated from the City of Kings and Queens to the Sunshine City. When I got here there was quite a lot of things to take in, the culture, the people and the way of life. When I tell you that Harare is fast-paced I mean it! It’s like a whole other ecosystem as compared to the town I’m coming from. There were a lot of things that I noticed here that I had never experienced in Bulawayo.

“ALEXA! Play ‘Sekele’ by The Djembe Monks featuring Tehn Diamond!”

For example traffic jams, man when I tell you that you could experience over 30 minutes in traffic you’d think I’m lying. Blues doesn’t have as big a population as Harare. It seems like everyone here has a car but from the driving, you can tell that not everyone has a driver’s license. Driving in Gweru and Blues is a breeze, the moment you pass the roundabout as you enter Harare you notice the difference. Crossing the road is an extreme sport it’s like monopoly do not cross (I can’t remember the monopoly line). In Harare, you have to check both sides of the one-way street before crossing. Anything can happen. Also while we’re on about traffic, let’s divert to the actual cars, there are Honda Fits also know as ‘mshikashikas‘. We’re all familiar with them, whether you’ve been in one, driven one, been picked up by one or just encountered them on the road. Most places you just pass your money to the driver and bho right? Wrong! When I went to Mbare with my sister we got in to a mshikashika that had a conductor, he sat in the trunk of the car and collected the money. I had never seen such in my life. The city centre is so large, that you can get a shuttle from one end of the CBD to the other end. Trust me, there’s a reason why it’s a big business. If you’ve walked the Bulawayo CBD in one afternoon, you won’t fathom how expansive the Harare CBD is.

There are numerous recreational facilities which include Matenba village great for picnics, Heritage Adventure Park where you can do paintball, go karts and putt putt, bowling, there’s a whole gaming arcade in Westgate, Art Farm along Harare Drive, Jump Zimbabwe and Benjie’s for the toddlers. As a parent I can safely say Benjie’s has been one of the greatest gifts to parents with active toddlers there’s a big playground with an assortment of games and activities much more than in Blues. I’m excited to visit the Rage Room and let off some steam and break a few things.

There are so many job opportunities here. I am in a number of groups with job adverts and vacancies and a lot of them are based in Harare. Not only that, but you can find job ads on LinkedIn as well. Speaking from MY personal experience people here actually pay money that makes sense. Having worked several jobs in Bulawayo and compared to the job I have now I was getting chump change. I came to the harsh realisation of this when I heard what people here are making for the same jobs I did in Blues and I was shook to the core. I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention that, “the more money you come across, the more problems you’ll see”. Yes, you do get paid a lot but the cost of living is also  quite steep here.

Another thing is neighbourhoods have their own complexes with everything! Hear me out I know there’s Ntumbane complex and the likes but think of Zonkizizwe with a Simbisa but like, in every neighbourhood. Before I moved here my sister told me she’d spend nearly months on end without going to the CBD and it baffled me because how can you not? Everything is in the city, but that’s not the case here. Each neighbourhood is it’s own commercial ecosystem. Another thing I can’t wrap my head around is how two neighbourhoods can be so close together but to commute between them, you need to get into town first. It’s mind boggling! They are too far for you to walk, but close enough to know that it shouldn’t be 4 kombi rides away.

Here comes the part that baffled me the most. So there’s a street named Speke and another one called Seke right? Me coming from Blues I read it in isiNdebele. I got quite the awakening when I was informed Speke was not pronounced (spe-keh) but speak. Seke which I had not assumed was (seek) based on what I heard about Speke was actually (seh-keh). Wait until I tell you about Msasa which is pronounced the way it looks but there’s a neighbourhood called Msasa Park which is actually pronounced (Ma-sa-sa Park).

There’s money to be made in Harare guys, like no jokes. All it takes is a good idea and someone who’ll invest in it legitimately. I mean even street kids are hustling. When I experienced my first rains in H, I wasn’t familiar with the drainage system, which is poor by the way. This kid was charging 100 bond to use his rocks as stepping stones. I kid you not I was shocked and impressed because he literally made money using resources from Mother Nature. One day, I will write about when the street kids snatched my wig in the CBD.

Also, side note, not relevant to the article but I can proudly say I learnt most of my chiShona through music, Kae Chaps, Tamy Moyo, Saintfloew and Ammara Brown to mention a few. I also picked up chiShona from work colleagues. When we’re not working we spend our time talking and of course speaking their mother language is a default setting and because I don’t want to miss out I’ve also picked up on it.

All I can say is, being in Harare has been quite the experience. I understand now why so many people from other towns move here. It really is the city of opportunity. I think I now have the exposure they were fighting about on Twitter (now X). If you’re from a small town, I strongly encourage to come and stay in Harare for a little bit. As Pocahontas once sang, “you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew”.

Stay tuned for more on my Harare adventures.

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I'm Noni Zulu, editor of iNgudukazi Magazine and I'm proud to say that. This is a magazine that looks to empower the youth. We hope to entertain, inspire and motivate our subscribers and to help make a difference.

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