If there is anything Kenyans are INFAMOUS for is their lack of subtlety. It ranges from matters geo-political, social to mundane. So we go through what is colloquially known as ratchet moments and some of them are colossal. Case in point; we are the only country in the world, that made a farce of democracy and actually made some would be dictator’s bucket list . Electing a President and Vice president indicted at the ICC. On matters social, and according to research presented at the World Social Forum held in Kenya, the rate of domestic violence in men in Kenya is one of the highest in Africa (So much for, “it’s a man’s world”). So in essence this means, that, when our women are fed up, they don’t leave the men, they beat the hell out of them! Still on matters social, we have literally made some of the leading international media houses apologize and take humble pie, when they report incorrect information about Kenya. Anyone remember #SomeoneTellCNN ? Well it was so bad that it was reviewed in almost all the major newspapers in the world… and don’t get me started on the fact that the average Kenyan is known to speak his mind and the chances of having a foot in mouth moment is very high.
So it’s with this in mind, that I was rather concerned about how I was going to tackle Zimbabwe. Bearing in mind I fall in the category of speaking my mind and having got myself in several two–feet-in-mouth-moments, where a shame faced apology is a bit lame and too late. As I landed , the only thing that I could think of was that, this will be a long week. I wanted to not only run but make friends , but not at the expense of the wagging finger and , “that woman has a big mouth” attitude! So it was quite refreshing when my host brought up the uncomfortable issues regarding Zimbabwe immediately he picked me. So first order of business after buckling my seat belt was, matters about Good ol’ Bob, hyperinflation and the infamous Land Reform.. It must have been so obvious that I wanted to talk about it that he brought it up. Honestly it’s like going to Swaziland and the first thing you’ll ask is, “soooo your King has 13 wives and his dad had 78 wives?! Wow…how does that work (Oh I asked that when I was in Swaziland)?!”
Talking about Bob, hyperinflation and the Land Reform from an academic perspective made me realize that typical Africans create humour out of unfortunate situations they find themselves in… and the result of this discussion was that it led to charting jogging paths in Harare and as luck would have it, my hotel was adjacent to a park and from the view of my hotel room, it looked serene and worthy of a good run.
The park was a kilometre and a half around and it bordered the National Art Gallery and it was quite tempting to jump into the gallery have a quick look then go on with my run. Since it was close to my hotel, my kms were shorter but I ran twice a day, besides what would be my excuse, it’s just down stairs 🙂
So I guess our lack of tact has its good moments, next stop Dubai. Well, this is bound to be interesting , bearing in mind the average temperature is 36 degrees, precipitation 0% and oh I have already charted a path thanks to one of their active running clubs.