maize-wilting  Isdore Guvamombe


Back in the village in the land of milk, honey and dust or Guruve, sweltering sun rays ruthlessly struck the land, sucking moistures and baking the earth into cracked crust. Day after day of cloudless skies ravaged crops, initially turning them into semi-wilt, then wilt and eventually into tinder dry biltong. Dead!

Under normal circumstances, villagers would have been in their fields, tending their crops but being a drought year, they are spending time sitting under the shadow of roof eaves, counting their loss.

Inglenooks remain dead cold as these are lean times and women know that cooking has to be systematic.

Elders sit and intermittently cast eyes, in the sky and on the ground, looking for any sign of rains. The signs are in dearth. The villagers are disheartened. Village elders wonder if the Heaven, the exclusive incubator of rains, has irretrievably broken down. The village is agog with sad memories harbingered by previous droughts.

As time ticks away village elders, realise the loss is imminently irreversible.  Rain-fed agriculture has once again failed them. They scratch their cotton tuft hair and wire-brush bearded chins for solutions to no avail. Heaven is once again stingy. God and the ancestors, have become as stingy as a Batalieu Eagle (Chapungu) that tawny eagle, known for never dropping a feather. Drought!

A spitting distance away at Mashumbi Pools, the Agriculture Rural Development Authority (Arda) Estates, flourish with thriving crops courtesy of irrigation. Highly mechanized and well managed, the estate is the green lung of life; the vanguard of national food security. The whole village and beyond are now looking to survive from the estate. There is some solace there. It is known that the country will at least get some meaningful harvest.                                                                                                  Fast forward to 2018, where are the ARDA estates? Where? mu opinion is they should be at the centre of Command Agric.