_When the journey becomes more exciting than the destination


A long time ago, when things used to tick, my homeboys in the cities would eagerly
await holidays – such as Easter and Christmas – so they could go to their rural homes
and show off how well-to-do they would have become.
They would save frugally throughout the year just to buy those new trendy clothes
and goodies for the festive season. After working half-day at their workplaces places
-Paramount Garments, Julie Whyte, Rothmans, Southampton, George Elcombe,
Victor Onions batteries, the High Court – the guys would converge on a rendezvous –
showing off their luggage comprising all sorts of goodies for their dear ones at
By popular demand Rambanayi beer garden in Mbare would be the meeting place –
and at that for very good reasons: The place was only about a hundred metres from
Mbare Musika, where the bus would rank for hours until it got filled up.
Meantime the homeboys would be chatting excitedly and quaffing the frothy Super
brew from big plastic mugs. Every now and then some sentinel would be sent to
check on the bus at the rank. In such joyous moments, caution is usually put on the
back burner. You have probably guessed right. The bus ranked in, loaded and left-
without a good number of the prospective holidaymakers. The journey has just had
its first casualties.
The victims would be anguished but only for a short while. Soon their sorrows would
be drowned as they continued with the drinking binge.
After Mbare, the bus would have a brief stop-over at Jamaica Inn on the Harare-
Mutare highway. Again one or two would get left behind – either in the restrooms or
chatting with the pretty bar lady. The next stop would be Zama Zama, near
Peterhouse College, a few kilometres out of Marondera.
The joint used to be very popular with motorists and buses: Ice-cold beers and
tantalisingly juicy and crispy braai. The bus crew would have their meals here too
and so the bus would be parked for about an hour or so.
Almost everyone would get down here – including the women -just to freshen up or to
buy some good quality meat. Needless to say, a good many passengers would fall
prey to the journey delights. However, the smart ones would make sure they always
kept full view of members of the bus crew – and even buy them some drinks:
Destination focussed.
In Rusape, the bus would pull off the highway and pull up at the bus terminus. The
passengers would alight: The men to stock up on their booze supplies and the

women to add those few grocery items they would have forgotten. And as before,
one or two will be left behind here. More drama beckons as the bus takes to the
bumpy road on the homestretch.
On account of the thickening darkness and drunkenness, it would become difficult to
tell whether the bus was approaching or had already passed the Muwanga bus stop.
The number of journey casualties is poised to increase as the bus travelled deeper
into the journey. Passengers – both awake and sleeping – would miss their bus-stops.
Whenever the journey becomes more exciting than the destination, we are bound to
miss the bus-stop. The history of humanity is littered with tales of those who fell by
the wayside because they lost focus.
The Holy Book abounds in such characters. There were the pigeon traders who had
turned God’s temple into a marketplace. Jesus chased them off. Anannias and his
wife Sapphira initially had very good intentions but had second thoughts after selling
the field. They coveted the money they were supposed to give to God – and so they
kept part of it. God punished them with death. Then there was Lot’s wife, who had
almost got clear of Sodom but defied God at the last minute and looked back. She
instantly turned into a pillar of salt.
This newspaper has carried numerous stories of businesses that strayed from their
goals and missions. There was TelOne, which not very long ago got involved in
buying and selling modems at the expense of service delivery. A large supermarket
chain is currently involved in “undue profiteering”, damaging its image in the process.
A number of municipalities – including Gwanda municipality – lost their moral
compass when they purchase top-of-the-range vehicles for top management at the
expense of junior employees’ welfare and service delivery.
The journey gets more thrilling to the detriment of the destination when the police get
seized with the “business” of running lodges and farms in the face of soaring crime:
When they grant passage to unroadworthy vehicles for bribes.
Distraction is when merit is put on the back burner and appointments and promotions
are on the back of nepotism and cronyism. The list is endless. The legendary icon,
Oliver Mtukudzi, definitely rings bells when he sings “Çhiringa-kuvarairwa
uchifamba/Ulibala uhambe”.
Businesses need to constantly check their organisational consciences in order to
ensure they stay on course: For, oftentimes, when the journey is allowed to get more
exciting than the destination, you tend to keep going –and at that, past the

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