Home is really important to us for a lot of different reasons but mainly it’s because of the feeling it gives us each time we are home, and when we are away. Safe, comfortable and love are just few of the feelings we go through when we are home. And when we are away from home, the horrible feeling of being homesick washes over us and the only cure is home. Arguably the most powerful drug and I’m a fiend. Like all homes there are rules to follow. Here are 10 house rules for my home, Harare:
1 – Choose music wisely
Harare is divided when it comes to music. It’s only natural for a city that is filled with remarkable local talent. From Zim Dancehall to Afro-pop, the music you listen to defines who you are. When given the aux cable, you have to make sure you know your audience. Majority of the time, you cannot go wrong with Zim Dancehall. Have a listen and you’ll find yourself jamming to the tunes.
2 – Speak Soccer
It is the universal language and in Harare, it is the only language. Foreign or domestic leagues, the topic will easily arise and cause a stand still as men will gather and express their views. Should the national soccer team play, Harare shuts down. I once had to wait in my kombi for an extra 20mins because the Warriors semi-final match hadn’t finished. All the drivers were in the bar near the stop watching the match.
3 – Use mobile money
There are services like EcoCash that lead the market and have a lot of benefits to the people including convenience. The great thing about EcoCash is that people can send money from countries like the UK. Should you be stuck and in need of a bail out, make sure to have EcoCash on you and receive money from home.
4 – Have a cab guy on standby
Uber is unavailable in Harare but there are plenty of cabs around the city. They are reliable and always on call. They offer a smooth and safe ride and they accept mobile money payments. See why getting EcoCash is important?
5 – Zimbabweans love their picture taken
Attending an event could prove to be a job as opposed to you capturing the moment. When Zimbabweans see a camera, they light up and constantly request their picture to be taken. If you are a photographer and you want to specialise in shots of humans and their emotions, Zimbabwe is the place for you.
6 – Zimbabweans tttttaaaaaalllllllllkkkkkkkkk
As much as Zimbabweans are friendly and welcoming, we have a lot to say. Speak to any local at any given time about a topic you are curious about, we will hold a meaningful conversation with you. I suggest you spare the time and not engage when you have things to do. You will be late!
7 – Food without salt ain’t food at all
If you are not big on salt then you may be in trouble. Salt is the consistent ingredient in the food that is made in Harare. If you are cooking make sure to have salt on standby. It’s the strangest thing but it is a must-have. Then have tomato sauce on the side. If you cook and you don’t have salt or tomato sauce in your kitchen, you may not get visitors again.
8 – Volunteer/donate and make a difference
A little goes a long way and supporting those in need is a fantastic way to go. There are many charities and organisations dedicated to improving the lives of those less fortunate or that cater to those that are ill. There are many programs in and around Harare that are looking for a helping hand. For more assistance on volunteering abroad, please visit Tiritose.
9 – Samora Machel is your marker
Every city has their landmark or point that you must seek should you ever get lost. Yes, there is Google Maps but at any given time your battery could die and you will be stranded. Like most major cities in Europe, Samora Machel is the “river” that flows through Harare. The road goes through the city from one end to another so if you get lost, ask for Samora Machel and find your bearings from there.
10 – Be Patient
Zimbabweans are patient people and it easily rubs onto you. You will find there are a lot of queues or people bump into each other and have a conversation that is meant to cover a lifetime worth of topics. Exercise patience! Harare is not like New York or Johannesburg where everything needs to move. The more patient you are, the faster things get done.