TORN APART with BOYD PHIRI
SOMETIMES the hood is not called the wacky world for nothing. A lot of things happen there, which can make you question the sanity of some people.
Of course, I am not talking about the man renting a room next door who needs no introduction, because you hear his girlfriend scream his name every night.
And forget about the joy of social cohesion around watering holes and communal taps.
The thing is, some people in the hood seem to be immune to a lot of things, which makes them take life for granted.
I mean, take for instance, a man who succumbs to running bowels in the middle of the night and chooses to defecate in his neighbourâ€™s yard because his pit latrine is full.
How about one who pees on the corner of oneâ€™s house because it stands erect on a street leading to his favourite tavern?
How about one who throws litter in someoneâ€™s yard for the fun of it?
Well, when the cloak of darkness covers the entire hood, some people do weird things like making the entire hood smell like a thousand bottoms breaking wind.
Did I say some adults defecate in other peopleâ€™s yards at night when no-one is looking? Yes. Often an adult with such intentions would take advantage of the population of children around, who consider open defecation as an easy form of expressing their freedom. Of course, you donâ€™t expect a child to defecate in someoneâ€™s yard at midnight.
The idea is to let the community around accuse children of having left the pile of dirt in someoneâ€™s yard when the culprit is an adult.
But even with such a clever defecation scheme, the landlady, who normally wakes up early to sweep, and probably to see which one of her tenants takes part in cleaning the yard, would be able to distinguish adult human waste from that of a child.
Before long you would hear the landlady broadcasting her threats to take the heap of poo to a witchdoctor so that he can cast a spell on whoever has dropped it in her yard.
â€œAmene aonongela muyadi mwanga azachiona,â€ she would say meaning, â€œWhoever has defecated in my yard will regret it.â€
And donâ€™t think her words would end at threats. I hear if the culprit doesnâ€™t secretly visit the landlady to apologise, he risks suffering endless constipation.
You see, every other day someone is heard revving mad for being tired of wiping out someoneâ€™s human waste thrown in her yard.
To make matters worse, when one thinks that he or she has managed to maintain decent control over the throwing of faecal matter in oneâ€™s premises, someone drops a sack of garbage in the night when no-one is looking.
It can be annoying, I mean, itâ€™s not like receiving a parcel on your door-step from an anonymous mailman.
Apparently, warning signs saying â€œDo not throw litter hereâ€ or â€œDo not defecate hereâ€ no longer work.
And as a matter of fact, some people pick such signposts probably to go and sell them to scrap dealers.
When they fail to sell the signposts, they throw them back in your yard at night.
This is trash which the culprits expect you to ultimately haul to a designated dumpsite, where you are expected to pay a fee.
A reasonable person might wonder, â€œHow could anyone do such a thing in someoneâ€™s yard?â€
This has given room to uncollected garbage strewn all over the place without anyone taking responsibility.
I mean, some people in the hood seem to have become proud owners of dirt. In fact, some have attested to eating food stuff bought from dirty environments and not get sick.
Certainly, this is not the right way to prove oneâ€™s immunity to diseases.
If you went to some markets in the hood, you would find women selling fish and meat in an open space with flies buzzing around.
If I were to think of an idea for an organisation in the hood, I would come up with one like â€œPeople Living with Garbage (PLWG)â€.
But all these count to one thing – a dirty environment. You see, in the hood most people do not have such conveniences as dustbins or space where to dig pits where to throw litter, so they end up living with garbage.
Effectually, they do not care if they bury it in your backyard or let you haul it for them.
This is why some townships are grappling with cholera cases now. Heaps and heaps of garbage have become part of the hood.
Of course, it is not the duty of the Minister of Local Government and Housing to come and sweep peopleâ€™s yards as some women in the hood have suggested.
I am sure you have heard some women saying â€œTifuna ba minister bati thandizeko kuchosa vishalaâ€, meaning â€œWe want the minister to help us clear the garbageâ€.
However, people in the hood should take up the responsibility first to haul the mess to designated disposal centres before they ask the government to come and help.
TORN APART with BOYD PHIRI