TRADE FAIR WEEK IN BULAWAYO !          - 30/4/2007      <--Prev : Next-->


Ah the dear old Trade Fair was with us again this week.... such chaos in sleepy little old Bulawayo....

Zimbabwe International Trade Fair combined with the Bulawayo Agricultural Society Show has been part of Bulawayo's history for as long as one can remember.

Back in the "good old days", one would fight for inclusion at the "Official Opening" where one would don hats and gloves and eat cucumber sandwiches with the Governors and Mayors of Zimbabwe's cities...

The fabled Grand Cattle Parade took place on the last Saturday, where hundreds of prize Brahmans, Nkonis, Afrikanders, Tulis, Ayreshires and a whole host of valuable cattle would circle round the Main Arena marching in time to the splendid Police or Army Bands.

The Thousand Guinea Trophy was displayed in all its glory, in front of the dignitaries in the main stand and what a wonderful sight it was, what a wonderful memento of glorious days when Zimbabwe had the finest breeding herd in Southern Africa,

Sadly the Thousand Guinea Trophy, along with King Lobengula's gold necklace and Reverend Robert Moffat's priceless gold watch, were stolen from the Natural History Museum and are no longer a part of the tapestry of our country.

Not quite sure why it was called the Thousand Guinea Trophy when it was valued at US$50 million !!

Year after beleaguered year, the ZITF struggles to grow in size and stature, this years show looked good and bright and vibrant, but still has a long way to go to reach the grandeur of those halcyon days gone by.

Most of the City's residents love the Trade Fair week. For one thing our road markings get freshly painted and there is congestion everywhere as the marking teams weave their yellow beacons intricately in amongst the vehicles.

Mind you it would appear to be only those street markings where His Excellency will travel in his motorcade, from State House to the Trade Fair Grounds. Not that he will notice the road markings as his cavalcade travels at such speed these bright beacons of white will be but a flash and a blur !!

Another legacy of ZITF is that the entire week is spent without mobile phone coverage, as the flurry of civil servants and government visitors who invade the city, use up all our signal and we have to send carrier pigeons to one another again....

Hotels love it, their prices soar at Trade Fair time. B & B establishments and restaurants rub their hands all the way to the bank.

However nerves are fraught if one lives or works within close proximity to the Fairgrounds. Wheeeeeee overhead go the Jets, takatakataka go the helicopters. Shoppers can be seen ducking in horror as all sorts of flying machines shoot across the sky.

Rumour has it every year, that the carefully precisioned Zimbabwe Airforce "Fly Past" planned to coincide with the Official Opening, gets lost and scares the heck out of the four remaining citizens of the City of Esigodini !!

That old favourite for hundreds of years "The Luna Park" still enthrals the crowds. Remember the Octopus, the Dodgem cars, the Big wheel, well I swear they are the very same ones that Mother took me on when I was four years old !!! AND .... they still have those five ceramic clowns heads that turn from left to right interminably, and you have to try and throw a ping pong ball into one of the smiling but gargoyle-like mouths, to win a stuffed teddy bear .....

Of course the very best thing about Trade Fair week is that we do not have any power cuts at all !! It just would not do to show all our Foreign Visitors that we actually do not have enough power to cater for the needs of the country.

Good Heavens no !! Of course I just pity the rest of the country who are on the National grid who are being heavily penalised for our revelries... sorry guys.

A particularly wicked friend of mine phoned the electricity authority and asked why were having no power cuts "Trade Fair week" he announced proudly. "next week we will be back to normal" .... Normal I ask you...NORMAL ?????? What's normal about having no power every second day for four or five hours at a time ?

Ah the good old Trade Fair, Bulawayo would not be the same without it that's for sure ......