Ghetto Dances: It’s just a blame game

I could hear Mai VaMaidei gossiping outside with Mai Svinurai, our neighbour over the fence which separated our properties.

Even though it was already after 8am in the morning on this particular Saturday, I still lay in bed, too lazy to wake up.

I could hear Mai VaMaidei gossiping outside with Mai Svinurai, our neighbour over the fence which separated our properties. I could hear every word and I was quite sure that some of our neighbours could hardly help listening. Our houses were like matchboxes packed together and it was difficult to keep secrets.

The children were in the next room, which also served as their bedroom, kitchen and sitting room all in one. I had gone over their school report cards the previous night.  Maidei’s report card was a cause for concern, her marks were dismal and her class teacher’s comment was quite depressing.

I remember during my school days many years ago, such a report card invited caning from my father. I remember the other end of school term he had caned my buttocks until they were red hot and my mother had to beg for mercy on my behalf. For days afterwards I could not even sit on my buttocks because of the excruciating pain.

“Please stop Sinyoro! You will kill him if you are not careful,” implored my mother. If my mother had not begged him to stop the beating, I was sure something bad could have happened to me.

“I don’t want any of my children to fail. I only dropped out of school because my parents could not afford the fees,” my father lamented then while I lay on the floor in pain, even too weak to cry.

“I was a bright student, I think the children are taking after you,” said my father, accusing my mother of my academic failures. That was many years ago.

 I was not particularly a bright student back then and I  wouldn’t want my daughter Maidei to take after me. I would like to think that genetics did not come into play when it comes to good grades at school.

My thoughts were disturbed by Mai VaMaidei as she entered the bedroom.

“Are you okay?” she said, surprised to find me still lying in bed.

“I am fine,” I nodded.  I waved Maidei’s report card at her with my right hand.

“She has failed again this term,” I said.

“I told you before  to buy textbooks and arrange extra lessons for her,” said Mai VaMaidei.

She was now shifting the blame on me. This was the problem with my wife. Whenever things went haywire, she always tried to pin the blame on me.

I had to keep quiet to avoid escalating the blame game.

The extra lessons meant I had to hustle for more money. Some of the teachers did not even deliver on their promise.

It was just at that moment that Maidei and her siblings Marita and Marwadzo entered the bedroom in a beeline.

“You are not even knocking. What do you want?” asked Mai VaMaidei.

“Baba, can you buy us clothes for Christmas,” said Marita.

We looked at each other.  We kept some money under the mattress and I was not sure that it was going to cover all our expenses. We had saved some money to buy new sofas.

Christmas  was just around the corner.

“Okay, I will discuss with your mother, now go and play outside,” I said.

“I am going to the market. I had forgotten to tell you that my sister is coming any day with her children for the Christmas holidays,” said Mai VaMaidei.

This sounded ominous. It meant more mouths to feed. I never really got along with her sister.  She was too controlling and her husband was a loudmouth with nothing to his name.

There was suddenly a knock at the door. I peered through the cracked bedroom window.  It was Baba VaTata. I quickly put on my clothes.  It was still too early to go to Zororo Bar though.

Mai VaMaidei was not too pleased at all as I could see from her looks.

“What does he want? It’s still too early,” she said, voicing her concern.

I shrugged my shoulders. I felt suffocated with responsibilities. The arrival of Baba VaTata was quite a welcome relief. Maybe, just maybe when I came back, I would have all the solutions to our domestic problems.

  • Onie Ndoro is a an IELTS tutor, ghostwriter and storyteller. For feedback:  X@Onie90396982/email:[email protected] 0773007173


Related Topics