ZIPLOCKED ZIMBABWEAN          - 18/11/2008      <--Prev : Next-->

I just cannot do it !!

Try a I may !!! .... it is impossible ... after al I am a member of that strange breed "A Zimbabwean"

Come on admit it !! Does it come to you easily ? It is such an amazing wonderful invention ... are you able to just "bin" such an incredible invention ? ....the ziplock bag after just one use ?

Yes I know all about hygiene, but as I said, I am a Zimbabwean !!

Here in Johannesburg I look at my used ziplock bags quite tenderly !! I could not possibly throw them away while they are still remotely usable.... I wash them tenderly, stick them upside down on the scullery wall to drip dry as Deb York taught me ... and use them again and again at least until the zip does not lock any more !!

We are a nation of re-cyclers - we Zimbabweans. "Waste not want not" Mother always used to say, God Bless her cotton socks.

At home in Bulawayo I have absolutely no qualms about throwing them away.... I know our natural re-cycling team will come into force without even thinking twice...

Mama Lucy, wife of the Legendary Charlie of the Famous Chocolate Cakes, was all too happy when I threw my plastic band ziploc ags away. She (Mrs Charlie) had a "TUCK SHOP", which is an informal shop where one does not pay tax, VAT , rent or any of the overheads of a formal shop.

Mama Lucy aka Mrs Charlie would make her way happily to outside the Seventh Day Adventists School in Suburbs, where she would ply her wares each breaktime (recess) and at the lunch break.

Supercools .... a peculiarly Zimbabwean invention .... these are small plastic sleeves filled with delicious green, red or gold syrup, hermetically sealed and frozen and these were quite the most popular items in Mama Lucy's store. She would freeze them in our deep freeze, quite oblivious to the fact that I might need freezer space !! However we made compromise and HeeHoo bought her and Charlie their own freezer which made life a lot easier.

Corn curls were the next most popular item, and here the spurned ziploc bags came into their own. mama Lucy would buy a giant bag of corn curls and then carefully count out corn-curls into a zip loc bag and they sold like hot cakes.

Popcorn too was cooked and sold in those bags, and the good thing about it all was they (now in their sixth or seventh time of usage !!) were never tossed casually on the side of the road, they were far too valuable to waste but would be taken home for sure for further use I am quite sure.

We had also purchased for Mamma Lucy .... a supermarket trolly ... with which she moved her tuck shop from home to the school. We purchased this item from one of the kindest men in Bulawayo, the always generous Hylton Solomon. Hylton was always the first person sought when free goodies were needed for fetes, charitable events and fund raisers. He (Hylton) and HeeHoo in fact seemed to be on the top of everyones wish list for donations, God Bless them both for their many years of benevolence to the Community.

Sadly however the Formal Sector of the Business Community in Zimbabwe is now unable to make provision for the generosity of days gone by. Those shops, businesses and companies who were the backbone of all charitable events, school tours, club outings, fund raising events, are now totally unable to make a living let alone make contribution to the community as in the past.

The informal sector not the formal sector, has managed to survive the Zimbabwe Holocaust which has insidiously and irreverently destroyed the economy of the country.

Very few shops and businesses have managed to stay on their feet. Instead the informal entrepreneurs now have control of thee economy. Gone is the verve and enthusiasm of the old established businesses. now the bright young folk with guts, verve and an unerring entrepreneurship, have taken hold of the economy, and they must now take over the reins of the fabric of our society.

I was the Fund Raising Guru of Bulawayo once upon a time. C.E.O.s used to cringe when they heard I was on the phone, they would long for salvation, but I was relentless in my pursuit. I remember well the king folk who never let me down when I was on the scrounge for one charity or another. Charles Wawn, bless him, never flinched, the Treger/Monarch Empire - Berwick Davies, John Pritchard, Hamish Watson, the cxcxcxc always gave without blanching except on their balance sheets, the Meilkles family, the Moxons via Bob Slatter uncomplainingly and endlessly gave to the hundreds of "causes" that Bulawayo manufactured daily.

The two Brendans - Beaumont and Mitchell, Raphael Chitrin, the Boys from Power Sales - the Hunt Brothers, the Blatch Boys, the Edgars Team all endlessly gave and gave and gave to the community unmitigatedly, without flinching thank you to all of you for loving and caring for our demanding community.

Was it worth it ?

Did you make a difference ?

Only time and history will tell ... but you did it and you need to be lauded and praised for your unselfish spirit and for the love of you fellow man ....

Getting back to my Ziploc bags however ... I am just as challenged to throw away tin foil, I have to force myself not to wash it, smooth it out and re-use it !!

And the fat that one renders in ones frying pan ??? Throw it away ?? Never. Mother could make a pound of Holsum last a whole year when we were young and struggling.

Maybe the World could learn a tip or two from this strange breed... The Zimbabwean.... we have a very peculiar but distinguished Carbon Footprint and I dare you to emulate us !