Trade Fair, booze initiation and back to school headache

Khuphuka Nasingeni
IS there anything that pulls the youth like Trade Fair? I wonder.A� Maybe television, and just maybe Vuzu parties, that appear to have overtaken clubsa�� afternoon sessions meant for the young!

It is that time of the year again when all roads lead to the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre, a place that many refer to as show grounds, a name that has a dung feel to it and that the Trade Fair company has tried with very little success to shake off. That is how stubborn history is. Just like the stubborn name that has historical links, so has the behaviour of youth been over the years during this time.

These teenagers have refused to reform to a point where binging has become a rite of passage for many boys and girls, largely from the western suburbs.

UMzo, my history referral, was just sharing how Trade Fair used to be such a lovely time for him during his innocent days (though there is no trace that he was ever so), when he used to tour stands and collect many pamphlets, that however, he never read and had no clue what they were about!

Like Christmas time, he says, his parents would give them a treat as they would get to dress up in their previous Christmas clothes that would have been last worn on New Yeara��s Day!

Entertainment was at the arena where they watched drum majorettes and uniformed service displays, rounded up with a visit to the Lunar Park and a bite of that apple stuck on a stick and smeared with candy or something.

Fast forward to our generation.A� The boys and girls go to the Fair late, unlike during our time, though they would have left home in the morning. What happens in between is anybodya��s guess but by the time they get to the Fair they will be looking a bit dazed and on departing the fair they would be in need of a police escort to ensure they do not unnecessarily interfere with traffic and become a danger to themselves.

UMzo said he hoped many of these school-going children had done their homework since they will soon be in class for the second term.

During his time, he says, Trade Fair provided a lot to write about when schools opened and the English teacher demanded a composition titled a�?a�?What I Did During the Holidaysa��a��.

He claims that for those comfortable with the language they would gladly write about their Trade Fair escapades while he would avoid any mention of the fair since there were so many things that he saw and whose names he did not know, like the speeding train that made him feel dizzy, the giant coke bottle and that long thing pointing towards the sky on the building and many Trade Fair pamphlets.

He would restrict himself to writing about days he spent kicking the plastic soccer ball, since these activities suited his vocabulary quite well!

And with schools opening, parents have a different headache.A� You see, uniforms bought last year during winter have been outgrown and I can almost visualise some cursing livid parents who are questioning the rationale behind seasonal uniforms on account of their precarious budget situation.

While it is my prayer that teens do not lose themselves during the fair, it is also my heartfelt plea to parents not to lose children at the exhibition centre.

I saw our munsparati busy fixing roads near the Trade Fair and I was reminded of the story of the Biblical virginsA�.A�.A�. I guess our teenagers plan better since they surely will have enough for Two Keys, having saved up all term!

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