Friday Nights Culture

I immediately stop, awestruck. The level of carelessness of these kombi drivers is crazy and somehow it is my fault. I have to walk fast like everybody else. Wait… but why the rush? I sigh, walk and then sigh to realize it is a Friday! “Woza mpelaviki!!!” The mantra l hear from one pot-bellied bald man. He is probably from one of the southern zones of Africa which are Friday famous. Hurriedness, excitement and impatience is the order of day while lights, glamour and loud speakers is that of night. After a long week of instructions from lecturers, heaps of files and office overtime comes an avalanche of awaited pleasure. Friday, Frigedaeg in old English is the day before Saturday named after goddess Frigga. Frigga is a Germanic goddess wife of god Odin. When l was younger Fridays were associated with religion. The Friday Section Prayers, all night prayers and of course the big one, Good Friday. In France, Italy and Spain Friday is viewed as the day of Venus. In India it is the day of Shukra thus they offer prayers. Portugal calls it “sext-feira” 6th day of liturgical celebration. However, the world has departed from these restrictive ideologies. Society has ironically popularized the Greek perspectives where Friday means “to prepare”. Sardinia calls it Chenapura – pure supper while in Arabic it is al-jum’ah meaning to congregate.

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 In Zimbabwe Friday is simply tagged “Farai day” where people prepare, dine and congregate but not religiously. On ‘Farai day’, joy comes not in the morning but at night. Gone are the nights when families gathered to watch African movies, play board games. Forgotten are the Chishanu practices of our great grandfathers who had nights filled with the beating of drums, dancing and story telling. The knowledge of such nights and their impact is only felt through its illustrations in Ben Hanson’s “Takadini”. The only practice perpetuated by today’s people is that of drinking beer but however, rather excessively. I enjoyed the last time l got drunk. My English was so good and the hallucinations deserve a repeat. Campus life roars so loud. Cars, girls, marijuana or weed, codeine, you name it. It is shocking to see James the innocent looking fine mafana running a ‘shop’ of drugs. I walk into Munyaradzi who is dating my best friend high on Mary’s sweet moans and erotic touch. Mary on the other side of life is the most active in church such that they nicknamed her ‘mother of Jesus’. The patterns of her night life are shocking but who are we to police her moral life. It is the Friday rush after all. On the other hand l am a coward. I defend myself with the ‘club life is a dreary series of monotonous and debilitating routine’ when deep down l desire to dance my life away.

One step into the campus, the aura of reckless abandon always ready to be unleashed is felt. Everything is alluring. In a flash, the girls’ bathrooms are fuller at 8pm than they normally are at 6am. No one wants to be left out really. After all, the joy of fulfilling desires in carnal endeavours is why kingdoms were built and subsequently fell. The so called blessers pack the carpark with their flashy cars and girls jump in much to the frustration of broke campus boys who cannot afford such obscene extravagance. They call them mabiko where women are the ingredients while men the cooks prey on their meals. The whole night is a club tour. They move from Evitro to Maestro to Club Sankayi then Pablo’s and the final destination is where all the Club fun Connect. Men around my father’s age call girls my age “bhebhi, bhebhi”. One would laugh hysterically at that. What do these men tell their wives when they leave the house? Nothing excites a campus girl more than free alcohol which is not so free if one is not woke. One cup, two, three then ten. Lap dances, screams and the rest becomes history. The next morning one is greeted by a note and a blurry vision of a man shoving back a wedding ring on his finger. Womanhood has lost its glory. There is anger everywhere. Only then, the euphoria hits one’s head. Lucky is the girl who finds a man who leaves money for morning after pills. It is usually transport fare the rest becomes a figure-it-yourself situation. Unwanted babies – Illnesses – STDs – A potentially broken marriage… The products of ‘Lets enjoy our lives!’ another mantra embedded deeply at the back of the minds of the men and women. They never learn. The following Friday another girl has a repeat of the same experience while to some it has become a tradition.

Oh another sigh…

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