HEY THERE......... YOU !!........ YES YOU !!...... in the bread queue, the fuel queue and the sugar queue..........wake up and take notice, look around you and watch what is happening in Bulawayo.
In spite of all the dejection, the heat, the queues and the anxiety it has been a revelation to see how many incredible and enjoyable events have taken place in Bulawayo over the past few weeks.
Mother Nature gave us the Eclipse which was an absolutely unforgettable experience.
Almost every able bodied Bulawayan (with a spot of petrol in the tank) gathered in the Eclipse line on the Plumtree border to enjoy this magnificent, never to be forgotten spectacle. All together just for a few moments we all forgot our cares, our woes, and our worries to be treated to an experience that we will never ever forget and which not many of us will ever see again in this country.
Every time you feel blue, every time you feel hot, bothered and annoyed, think back and remember that enthralling moment when the sun and the moon were one in glorious magical time.
And then remember this time in our country's history when the dark moments have been taken away by a handful of folk who refuse to give in to despair and depression.
First of all we were treated to a ride on the Warthog Express which brought great fun to many of our railroad buffs. Remember those days of Rhodesia Railways, the pungent smell of the forest green leather bunks, that silly sign in all the carriages "Moenie Spoek Nie", those handsome giant water dispenses in the corners, those loos where if you stepped on the pedal you could see the ground racing along furiously beneath the train and that cute little basin that sat between the bunks and turned into a table where you could play cards with Mum and Dad.
If you missed the first Warthog Express, watch this space maybe there will be another one !!
Worth a very special mention was the absolutely stunning programme especially for the Eclipse, put together by Performing Arts Bulawayo, a magnificent collection of artistes gathered together by Bulawayo's music aficionados including the ebullient Mr Bullivant, to bring us great , great joy.
We gloried in Handel's Messiah with the Bulawayo Philharmonic Chorus, we rejoiced with Joy to the World with the combined Hillside Churches choirs in their Christmas Cantata, we were given rare musical treats by visiting soloists of the calibre of Melissa Mills, Rebekah Johnson, Delwynne Wyndell, Caroline Clegg, Meriel Andrew and of course our own beloved Jeanette Micklem.
Then as if that was not enough, families were given a very special evening around the tranquil Brass Monkey Lake when several of Bulawayo's most energetic young singers and musicians put together a very special evening of Christmas Carols, candles and wholesome family entertainment. The rain was kind, it fell before and after the event and it was a magical evening for the young and the young at heart.
Here I think we must pay tribute to the Glendinning family for their foresight and vision in turning the Famona vlei into a haven of peace and festivity.
Not to be outdone by the culture vultures, the farmers and hunters celebrated the Hunters Ball with great gusto, but we still have more to look forward to, on 23rd December, in true Nesbitt Castle style, the larnyest evening of the year will take place at the Castle with music, song, a menu fit for a king and a fun filled cabaret.
And if this is not enough we have been treated to a wonderful little Pantomime at the Bulawayo Theatre, featuring a joyful young cast which includes the daughter of Bulawayo's First Family playing the lead role and the other children in the family are in the show too !
As if that brave little family has not taken a battering on our behalf for many many months now, there they are in the forefront of it all, bringing joy, peace and hope to all in Bulawayo.
The Panto "Aladin" plays till 23 December.
Who has been responsible for all this incredible entertainment ? All this fun and laughter, all these events which took months of planning, hours of back breaking work, long frustrating hours on our awful cell and landline phone system ?
All we can say is a great big thank you to these fabulous people working towards tomorrow, looking forwards not backwards....in sleepy little old Bulawayo...where we were treated to superb entertainment day and night for several weeks instead of spending our days filled with gloom sitting in petrol queues....and our nights waiting for the news, the thieves and robbers, and the weather report ........
It just shows doesn't it, that we will never be daunted, we will never allow these awful dark clouds to overshadow us for too long.