What is Musombodhiya? | Kala Documentary


By Donald Mabido

Musombodhiya is a popular illicit alcoholic substance sold on the black market in Zimbabwe. Jah Prayzah and Military touch even sing about how intoxicating it is in their song Chekeche. It’s cheap and addictive. It’s made out of an alcohol concentrate and water. Kalabash media caught up with a community coming to grips with the consequences of having this substance readily available on the streets and talked to one man as he went to get his daily dose of Musombodhiya.

How to Get Strangled By An Artist


by Madman Filtered

You will know, I have been an artist for a minute, once or twice a year I create something truly remarkable, and once or twice a year I have to stand outside on garbage collection day and hand the dustman a few notes so he doesn’t open the jute sack, heavy and dripping blood.


In the interests of public safety, and me not having to part with my hard-earned money so often, here is a list of things to never, ever, say to an artist, no matter how well you mean with your ignorance.


Deep. Never call art deep. An ocean is deep, a swimming pool is deep, maybe the sea. An artwork is not deep unless it’s a painting, maybe, of one of the above. Or a sculpture of water.


If I ever get told I look like an artist again I will not only murder the speaker but wipe out the entire clan. I will reduce your name to dust, smash the tombstones of your dearly departed, dig up their corpses and feed their bones to strays. I will burn down the Registrar General’s office to make sure you are utterly erased from all existence. That includes your social media accounts; no one will be writing RIP on your Facebook wall on your birthday.


Maybe I take drugs, maybe I don’t, maybe I take them as much as the next guy, maybe I don’t, but just because you don’t see how it came to existence doesn’t mean I was stoned or cocked like f*** when I came it. Let me tell you something: creativity is an affliction, do you think it’s fun to see the ugliness in things and try to fix it with words? Do you think it’s fun seeing people and shapes distorted, the only way to deal with it being to paint it so everyone else can label it ‘abstract art’? Ask Beethoven, do you think it’s fun hearing not just voices, but sounds of harpsichords and oboes even when you are deaf? Ask him again…louder!


Is there money in art? I don’t know, have I ever asked you for money? If your answer is yes did I pay it back? When was the last time you saw me or my colleagues at a homeless shelter? How many artists come to your local soup kitchen? Is Doctor Dre a billionaire? How many rappers are millionaires? We are not all Picassos, granted, some of us might be Van Goughs, some leeches or parasites (probably of the ‘children’ variety) will spend our dues long after we are gone, that is well and dandy. You should realise that it’s not always about the money, hell, imagine if John Grisham had become a criminal, James Patterson never invented Alex Cross but chose to live life as his arch nemesis. Imagine if your favourite poet, probably poor as fuck decided he would rather open a church and prey on your gullibility? Here’s something to do: think of artists as monks and nuns in the service of God…or something.


Why do you do what you do? Honestly, I am asking you the same thing. Art may be a tough industry to break into, but you know what? So is medicine, seven years cutting up dead people can’t be fun; and there can be only one president at a time…sometimes a time means thirty-six years but who cares right? You mean we should do stuff because it’s easy? Are you proud of that thought? Are you proud of telling someone to stop doing what they are doing because it’s hard? Are you proud of your weakness and shedding it into other children? Shame on you! You know what else is hard? Accounting, not only do you have to know maths, you actually know how little your piece of the pie is compared to the whole. Now leave us alone and go bother them.

*May or may not be Philani A. Nyoni’s pseudonym.

Teenage farmer stuns Chirau community


by Watmore Makokoba

After failing to proceed with education, a 17-year-old  from Mareverwa village ward 12 has left Chirau community in Zvimba District astounded after coming tops in conservation farming and concurrently assuming the post of the ‘leading farmer’ in a group composed of 20 farmers. Seeing an insecure future, Tonderai Chifamba, who dropped school at form 3 after failing to secure fees decided to utilise available resources and venture into farming on his father’s piece of land.
Living in a communal area where the community largely depends on peasant farming and the soils have been heavily depleted of all the fertility over the years due to over usage, coupled with successive droughts that have hit the area, Tonderai had to find ways of making the land productive, otherwise his new found career in farming would be futile.

His parents, both alive, already burdened with looking after other siblings saw this as a breakthrough and supported him by allocating him a portion from the family’s piece of land, little did they know that this was the genesis of a marvel that would follow. Albeit the scanty piece of land at hand and inadequate inputs, Tonderai was not deterred but was determined to do not only his family proud but the whole of Chirau community.

“I dropped school in form three mid last year after my family failed to secure fees for me to proceed, my parents are both unemployed and I knew there was no hope in looking up to them,

“I nearly became hopeless until I decided to utilize what was available, my father’s small piece of land,

“ I decided to do the opposite of what the youths are doing when faced with my situation, many youths in my situation are idle and doing drugs, so I decided to set an example to my siblings that going to townships to look for employment is not the only solution available”, said Tonderai.

During the onset of the 2016 rain season, Environment Africa through financial support from Bread for the World – Protestant Development Service were implementing a community livelihoods improvement and climate change resilience-building project that would include localised responses to climate change phenomenon, to him this was a golden opportunity to augment his dream of becoming a farmer since there was nothing else for him to do in a country where many youths succumb juvenile delinquencies and drug abuse due to high unemployment.
The program’ s objective is to train groups of smallholder farmers on Conservation Agriculture (CA), provide inputs and offer support, monitoring and evaluation working hand in hand with the Agricultural Extension Officers and local seed producing companies.

When the time for the demo plots evaluations came, it was ‘bolt out of the blue’ to the Chirau Community that Tonderai, the youngest farmer ever to hail from the area, if not the country at large came out second in a group of 20 experienced and elder local farmers. Subsequently, Tonderai‘s achievement made him defy all odds as he was appointed lead frame of his group.

During the field day event held in the village, Chief Chirau applauded the young man and implored fellow youths to emulate what he has done. “I am grateful and moved by what this young man has done, this must be a template that we must adopt in our community from now onwards, we will from now on priorities the youths in all developmental programs so that they take charge of their destiny now, him,” said Chief Chirau.

Although Tonderai’s dream would have been to complete his education and perhaps pursue other career channels, fate and opportunity have opened a new chapter in his life that he has fallen in love with and accordingly, if there is any advancement he will undertake, it’s centered on enhancing his knowledge and skill in his newly found passion, conservation agriculture.

5 Things That Saved Moto Republik


by Munya Bloggo

City of Harare nearly demolished Moto Republik’s modern architectural building on March 9, 2017. Why a City Council would try and demolish a building they approved baffles me. The drama surrounding the incident has been resolved out of court but there are vital takeaways from the events for anyone who would find themselves in a similar situation. Here are 5 things that saved Moto Republik:

1. The Youth

As the council officials started cutting up the structures they instructed the community members to go back to work. Tafadzwa Tarumbwa who runs Totally2d from the hub responded “Where do you want us to go? This is our office”. It was the voice of young people that was heard the loudest during the #SaveMotoRepublik campaign. Moto Republik is a creative Hub and home to some of Zimbabwe’s leading new media initiatives such as Bustop TV, Spiked Her Zimbabwe and Mobile Community Zimbabwe. The Hub hosts many events, trainings and workshops for young people in Harare including the popular Hustlers Market, Women’s Creative Wednesdays and WordPress Meetup.


Such events provide opportunities for young people engaged in creative entrepreneurship. For most creatives, saving Moto Republik wasn’t just about fighting an injustice, it was about defending their home.

2. Social Media

It was Zanele Mhlaba who tweeted #SaveMotoRepublik without any further explanation. That’s all the #Twimbos needed to rally around the hashtag.


The news traveled faster as images of the council demolitions began to filter through social media. The anger was almost immediate. The hashtag garnered over 15 000 tweets. Often social media activists are labeled “key board activists” implying that they hide behind the safety of their screens. In this case,  social media was the biggest driver to the #SaveMotoRepublik petition on Change.org which was instrumental in growing political pressure on the elected officials.


3. Political Pressure

The #SaveMotoRepublik campaign received 1800 signatures on Change.org and was a viral social media trend for 3 days straight. The campaign appealed to Minister of Local Government Saviour Kasukuwere, Harare Mayor Benard Manyenyeni and the Harare Town Clerk to stop the demolition. By encouraging people to call, tweet, and tag these elected officials asking them to stop the demolition, pressure mounted on officials to respond to the public outcry. Harare Mayor Benard Manyenyeni called for an amicable resolution and so did the Minister of Local government Saviour Kasukuwere after touring Moto Republik. 

4. Ghinya

Ghinya means force in Zimbabwean street lingo. Harare City Council had given Moto Republik seven days to take down the structure. On D-day Moto Republik had an Open Day event with a braai, music and free wifi for its supporters, encouraging community members to rally around the creative youth center. 

5. Legal

Moto Republik also took a legal route, engaging its lawyers from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and filing for an urgent chamber application to stop the demolition of the container structures and compensation for the damages done the Moto Republik building. Eventually, the Harare City council opted for an out of court settlement.


 A Small Man With Many Wives


By Dr Patson Dzamara 

When Katondo was born, the midwives noticed something unusual on him. He was born with a red ribbon tied around his left wrist.

The Nyakureba village elders automatically concluded that Katondo was superhuman, endowed with some celestial powers because of that ribbon. They had never witnessed anything like that before. Neither did they know the meaning of the ribbon. To them, it could only be an attestation of a supernatural act or divine confirmation.

Due to the fact that Katondo’s mother went through prolonged labor, the midwives took turns to attend to her, one at a time. When Katondo eventually started to make his way out, the midwife on standby tied his left hand with the red ribbon before she called the other midwives.

While the other midwives attended to Katondo, the one who had been on standby when the birthing process started went to the restroom to relieve herself. Unfortunately, she suffered a cardiac arrest and died in the restroom.

Of course, everyone was shocked by the midwife’s untimely death but that was eclipsed by the mysterious ribbon on Katondos wrist. The consensus was reached in Nyakureba village and beyond that, indeed, Katondo was a special human being, endowed with supernatural powers. The ribbon and the birth of Katondo were viewed as a good omen pointing towards a divine visitation. In fact, Katondo was an embodiment of the divine, according to the villagers.

As such, Katondo’s upbringing was that of a king, from his childhood to adulthood. Royalty was his portion.

Despite the fact that there was consensus around Katondo’s superhuman nature, he was very small in stature. He was extremely shy and timid such that he struggled to free flow in the box that society had created for him. Interestingly, throughout his life, Katondo didn’t do anything extraordinary and in tandem with his bestowed stature.

When the time for Katondo to start a family came, the village elders told him that due to the fact that he was superhuman, he could have as many wives as possible. In that patriarchal society, women were considered second class and symbols of status. The more women one had, the more powerful he was.

After a thorough and rigorous selection process, Katondo started his married life with 30 women and he could marry as many as he wished afterwards.

Those women were to adhere to stringent standards, including never asking Katondo about anything. To them and the entire Nyakureba village, he was ever right and never wrong. Anyone who dared to go against that standard would be decapitated.

Zimbabwe is like Nyakureba village in so many ways. It certainly has its own Katondo whose name is Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe’s Katondo also has many ‘wives’ whom I enjoy calling Mugabe’s minions.

For some obvious reasons, I still find it hard to unpack Mugabe’s seemingly irresistible charm. It seems as though anyone who is close to Mugabe automatically becomes his ‘wife’, even the males. Not only are Zimbabweans having to grapple with Robert Mugabe’s official wife, the quintessential motor-mouth, Grace Mugabe, they also have to deal with his numerous useless ‘wives’.

Like it or not, the entire ZANU PF party is made up of Robert Mugabe’s ‘wives’ who have been cajoled to adhere to stringent standards just like Katondo’s wives. They are all victims of Mugabe’s ‘sexual’ escapades and manipulation.

Developments in the last week left me shocked and led me to conclude that whatever chalice Mugabe caused his bunch of useless ‘wives’ to drink from, is exceptionally poisonous. To some, Emmerson Mnangagwa represents hope for reform within ZANU PF but I never view him as thus. I still maintain that hoping ZANU PF or any of its factions or appendages will reform is the same as hoping that Satan will reform.

How Mnangagwa lampooned people who are touted as being his allies or rooting for a leadership transition in ZANU PF, labelling them mad, is not only curious but foolish. I know that some people are tempted to buy into the useless notion that he is a meticulous person and all this is a part of his grand strategy but I don’t see it that way. The bottom line is that Mnangagwa is just another spineless coward. He is clearly one of Mugabe’s ‘wives’.

What has to settle in our minds is the fact that none of Mugabe’s ‘wives’ will ever challenge him. In fact, I bet my bottom dollar that most of those who have tried to challenge him and have been thrown out of the gravy train shall be stampeding to return to him one by one. Hoping that deliverance shall emanate from those ‘wives’ of his and their cousins, is not only myopic but stupid.

Meanwhile, the Casanova turned 93 last week. He is obviously now much frailer and shrinking daily but he seems to still cherish the pseudo attention and love he gets from his ‘wives’ who should actually get arrested for abusing the elderly. How this small man has managed to force all his ‘wives’ to be subservient to him while glorifying and immortalizing him is mind boggling.

After despicable and of course, poor ‘sexual encounters’ with the small man who is likely no longer even responding to viagra, this bunch of starved and uncouth ‘wives’ want to help Mugabe rule Zimbabwe to his death and beyond the grave. They want that so they could enjoy unlimited power and affluence for the rest of their earthly lives at the expense of the suffering masses.

Unfortunately for them, this shall not happen because a new breed of leaders is rising in Zimbabwe. They will usher in a new dispensation of prosperity and solid leadership.

A new and better Zimbabwe is possible in our lifetime.