You know you have lived in bulawayo too long when the street kids call you by your christian name and they were the kids of the street kids you knew as a child !!
'Clever' was my favourite street kid. Clever used to hang out in the back of a smart 4x4 truck in Jason Moyo avenue along with a number of other young lads. (I often wondered whose car it was, was it the street kid's car or do they get free seating in exchange for guarding this rather nice motoring piece )
The other street kids all used to know that I only deal with Clever and they would leave me alone and didn't bother me in the least.
Clever lived up to his name, he was innovative, bright and friendly without being pushy. He had the bright idea of 'purloining' a can of black shoe polish and would buff your tyres really nice and black if you let him.
In fact his name should have been "Colgate" because he had a set of dentures a film star would be proud of. No dentist would ever have needed to go anywhere near Clever's magnificent molars.
Clever did not want to be a street kid, he at least had aspirations unlike some of the others. He would have liked a permanent job and a little esteem in the community.
Jayjay on the other hand was a confirmed street kid, he liked the buzz of the bulawayo CBD but he also has a great passion for cricket. hence his favourite job touting location used to be outside Queens Cricket grounds during those halcyon days when we would watch our boys in red hitting sixes and the like around that magnificent venue.
Jayjay would deftly park his clients in nice shady locations and then hop into the back of a strategically parked truck and watch cricket through the fence, for five magic days.
Jayjay was a direct descendant of the young street kid we all knew way back in the seventies, called Sixpence.
Where Sixpence is now I have no idea but I fear he fell into a crowd with bad habits and went the way of most traditional street kids.
Not all street kids were bad, not all of them sniffed glue and drank meths according to the media, some of them deserve a break in life, and there are organisations who are endeavouring thank goodness to give these lads a second chance.
Hopefully I won't have to see Sixpences grandchildren guarding my car sometime in the years to come and that good fortune will favour these young men.
However with the recent introduction of the parking fine attendants, what has happened to the car guards in the CBD there are no cars to guard now!!
I don't know a lot about Wooty, other than I have copy of his book 'Cooking With Wooty'. I grew up in Rhodesia and my family moved to South Africa in '79, when I was 11
Years later, in 1997, I moved to Winchester in the UK. We lived opposite an 11th Century church, called St. John in the Soke. About 3 months after we moved in, the vicar invited my wife and I to Sunday lunch and I learnt he was buried in the church yard, having been a very active member of the local community.