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From: They Carry the World on their Heads

«...or else we'll shut down the hospital!»

Through the thick lenses of her glasses her gaze seems gentle and unfocused, almost dreamy. Yet Sister Chigaba is a determined person, even harsh at times. As head of the hospital, she has her own ideas about how to run it. Once she has made a decision, she won't be swayed. She's the boss, and that's that.
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The Old Woman on the Bus

The fear is always present. Even more so in the weeks before the elections. Anything can happen. People are paralysed by fear. This is probably why they tell so many jokes and stories. Nothing is as liberating as laughter. He who laughs, survives.

On one occasion, the nurses at the hospital tell a story about an elderly woman from the neighbouring village. Having been to town to visit relatives, her bus was held up on the way home by young government election aides marauding in the area. The young men and also some girls shout at the passengers, demanding rudely to see proof of the party membership. As such checks are by this time quite usual, everyone always carries their membership card. So it is not surprising that the passengers immediately produce the card requested. Only the old woman continues to rummage in her bag, in vain.

«Hurry up, grandmother,» shouts one of them. «Or do you we have to help you?».

The old woman pulls both her hands out of the bag. Indignantly she holds two cards out and under the ringleader's nose: A ZANU one, and also the card of their opponents.

«It's not my fault that my eyes are so bad,» she shouts at him. «Choose the one you need, kushata!*»

*damn it!


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