I am writing this with every window in the room I’m currently occupying open, a glass of juice to my left (with fast disappearing ice-cubes swimming about on the surface) and a thin film of perspiration taking up residence across my entire body.
In short, it’s hot!
And with great heat comes great responsibility…and climatic cliches. To the uninitiated (or the initiated in need of a refresher – pun not intended, but still hilarious) this is a quick guide as to how you know you’re deep in the stronghold of a Zimbabwean Summer.
1. Thirst Trapping on ‘Roids
The African male has never been one to be found wanting when it comes to matters of exaggerated ego and self-esteem. All year round, post pubescent members of this specific sub-set of the Homosapien species can be found trying their luck with unsuspecting members of the opposite sex.
Factor in some summertime heat, and individuals in possession of XX chromosomes should anticipate a barrage of mostly unsolicited interest. Case in point, me receiving Whatsapp messages last week from the random desk clerk at that garage I take my car for service to.
Bless this courageous & foolish soul, he thought nothing of unprofessionally obtaining my number from work forms to hit me up incessantly inquiring after my well being and randomly informing me of his desire to go swimming (???).
It’s Hunger Games out here, people – “May The Odds Forever Be In Your Favour” 😉
2. Jacarandas Everywhere
Harare is awash with large concentrations of lavender in early Summer, courtesy of the gazillion Jacaranda trees planted across the entire city – case in point the pretty picture I took whilst riding shotgun down Josiah Tongogara Street the other day.
Jacarandas for me are a mixed bag because they’re easy on the eye, hell on one’s allergies and absolute murder on local water tables. But the biggest offence I experience at this time of the year by these South American natives, is actually committed by partakers of social media..
Why, why, why do I usually see the SAME picture of some nondescript road lined with flowering Jacaranda trees and see citizens of many Southern African cities claiming it as their own? It’s a recurring summertime mystery for me.
3. It’s Wedding Season
If you’re going to get hitched, you might as well do it when the sun is out and the bride can sport the ever-faithful strapless gown without fear of hypothermia.
On this side of the world wedding season kicks off from early August and does not abate until around late April (with the 30 days of wedding reprieve in November for individuals of Shona heritage, due to it being a taboo month to get hitched in). During the summer, it is not uncommon to find yourself a professional wedding attendee (a very expensive but fun vocation this) or find yourself driving past convoys of decorated cars on a Saturday, en-route to their wedding venue – hoot loudly to wish the bride & groom well.
4. Increased Sightings of Visiting Diasporans
Aside from the predictable deluge of cars with South African license plates during the month of December, Summer is also the season Diasporan’s dwelling in the Northern Hemisphere choose to pay family and friends a visit, back home. A strategic move on their part to escape the onset of blistering weather in their respective adopted cities.
It’s always lovely to see familiar faces out and about, and if this relentless heat is an unexpected draw-card to getting them home then so be it 🙂
5. The Release of A Wildly Popular Musical Summer Anthem
In late 2015 local artist Winky D released a song that captured the care-free and sometimes debaucherous attitudes associated with “December in Zim”.
The song, titled “Disappear” was everywhere and had mass appeal across the age range. You couldn’t escape it and it reached “overplayed status” quite quickly. By early 2016, I was sick of it.
That being said, I can’t wait to hear what this year’s anthem will be.
I know I missed out on some other key events & signs that dictate a Zimbabwean Summer, so feel free to share some of your favourite (or not so favourite) indicators down in the comments.
Happy Monday and stay hydrated!