My first impression as I crossed the railway line at the border of Shurugwi town centre was that I’d come to a small town that is predominantly rural. The town centre is quite small, just a few blocks of buildings before you’re already out and on your way to Zvishavane. The roadside is filled with red soil which I assume is fertile for agriculture. History tells me Zimasco once ran a very lucrative Chrome mining business that made Shurugwi what it is today. Close to the town lies Unki Mine. A road leading to the mine branches from the Zvishavane road immediately after you leave Boterekwa. In high school we had a song we sang with the words ‘Boterekwa’. I never knew what Boterekwa was but seeing it for the first time was shocking and fulfilling at the same time. I could finally piece together the meaning of the song. There was no meaning, Boterekwa just rhymes well in the song. 😂😂😂 Boterekwa is a winding road built on the mountainside. At the height of the road, the foot of the mountain is a long distance below you can’t see it hidden in the trees that scale the mountainside. Sad to say, many people have lost their lives driving on that twisting road. As you drive on the road you see the debris that covers the side of the mountain above the road, remnants from the blasting that paved way for the road. The debris lies close to the road and is loosely held, any tectonics could cause a rockslide. I took some time to think about the craftsmanship and engineering that went into making that road. It left me in awe and I have lots of praise for those brave engineers.
Going further I wondered if this was the same ahead, exciting views in the distance, the mountain ranges and dangerous roads. Instead, I was met with swarths of open grassland, stretches of savanna bush and open pits that litter the land into the horizon. I found this to be a fitting image to an area rich in minerals. Mankind wants what lies beneath the ground and he’ll go to any length to obtain his desired prize. The Zvishavane-Shurugwi area aptly lies along the Great Dyke in Zimbabwe. The most mineral filled belt with an abundance and variety that is ‘immeasurable’. Also on the route were countless growth points along the road. As it goes, a beerhall is the centre of activity at each. Every other time I used this road I’d always see people enjoying a beer or two.
Siboza is the last growth point before you enter Zvishavane. After Siboza, Zvishavane appears unannounced behind a hill. A pristine neighbourhood greets you on the right side. The area is occupied by clean and neat small suburban houses packed in tight neat rows. They are mostly coloured light green, all carry a similar design and structure and are fenced with small one room cottages in the back, save for a few houses on the edge of the suburb. Small similar looking cars fill the driveways as well. You get a sense of order from the way everything is just perfectly placed. The only outlier is a marsh sitting right in the centre of the suburb. As you move further into the town, a tall sitting grey mountain welcomes your eyes in the distance. It’s very distinctive, you can’t miss it from any angle in the town. I was told it’s a man-made mountain of mining waste. No trees grow on it and definitely there are no settlements in its immediate vicinity as well. It caught my eye and I had questions for my friend who was waiting for me at the bus rank. A football stadium looms behind a cluster of homes after the hospital. Fancy looking billboards beckon you to visit the stadium which is home to FC Platinum football club. The stadium is called Mandava after the suburb it was built in. About this time, it’s easy to notice how the colour green stands out in this town. It’s everywhere, billboards, the stadium, signposts, houses and even buses. In comparison to other stadiums I have seen before it is not very big but for a town the size of Zvishavane, I believe it serves its purpose quite well. We quickly got to the bus rank in Mandava and my friend was there waiting for me.
We walked from Mandava into the town centre where we would board the small taxi to Noelvale. Zvishavane boasts a lot of history that would need a separate article to unravel. The one thing that struck me the most when we got inside the car is that 8 of us fit in a 4-seater car perfectly. This included the driver and another person in the boot. I doubt the manufacturer built the car with this purpose in mind but in Zvishavane it works. Most taxi drivers use the Toyota FunCargo as their car of choice. I reckon it’s because of its carrying capacity. It’s useful and does not break a sweat 😂😂. It’s probably one of the most popular cars in the town.