11 March 2007

"Chamuka Nyama"

"Chamuka nyama."

"Whatever jumps up is meat."

--Shona proverb

[This refers to the occasion where a hunter is out to get meat without regard to the animal it comes from. In that case whatever animal he encounters will provide the meat needed and he will take the first thing he finds.]

An old man was waiting beside the road near Karoi for a ride to Harare. As he waited, a well-dressed young man with a briefcase joined him. A car came from the direction of Kariba heading toward Harare. The young man waved his arm up and down in the accepted sign used to ask for a lift. The car passed by without slowing.

After a while, a car appeared coming from the direction of Harare heading toward Kariba. The young man quickly crossed the road and from that side signaled to the car that he wanted a lift. This car, also, passed by without stopping.

This continued to happen for some time. A car would approach from either direction and the young man would go to the appropriate side of the road and signal for the car to stop and give him a ride.

Eventually, overcome by curiosity, the old man asked the youth, "Where do you want to go?"

"To Harare," the young man replied.

"Then why do you signal to every car that passes regardless of what direction it is travelling?"

"Chamuka nyama!" responded the youth.

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