The Night Guards, Downtown Harare

Harare night guards waiting to go on duty

A big thanks to Yvette who is Paula’s guest over at Thursday’s Special for giving me the chance to post this photo again. Her challenge is street portraits, and this is one of my favourites, taken on a brief trip to Harare in Zimbabwe.

We were living in Zambia at the time, and had driven down to Harare to meet friends who were flying in from the UK  to spend two weeks with us in Zim and Zam. At the time, life was a bit tense in Zambia. The first year of multi-party democracy had already yielded one attempted coup. Destabilisation by stirring up a crime wave was part of the strategy. The national football team had been killed in an air crash and left the country devastated (see link * below for this story). There was cholera in the townships and members of the unpaid Zairian army were coming down to Lusaka on looting sprees. It was thus a relief to find ourselves in a city where the atmosphere felt so open after Lusaka. This was in 1993 I might add. I know Zimbabwe’s seen some bad times since, and Zambia’s fortunes have greatly improved. Things can change so rapidly on the African continent.

But it’s the spontaneity of the security guards’ reaction that I love. I’d just crossed the road from the post office, and they were about to start the night shift and waiting for a lift.  Smiling faces like these are what I remember most from our eight years spent living in Zambia and Kenya.

copyright 2015 Tish Farrell

 

Related:

Letters from Lusaka part 1

Letters from Lusaka part 2

Once in Zambia: in memoriam*

 

Street Portraits Lost in Translation

22 thoughts on “The Night Guards, Downtown Harare

  1. I can’t believe how happy they look just before the start of their night-shift. Sincere faces and smiles. I can understand why it is your preferred street portrait photo. It’s great, Tish!

  2. Yes, beautiful smiling faces. I just had a friend with her two young daughters visit me…and they are from Zimbabwe….such beautiful people inside and out, and this picture captures that.

  3. The bloke who helps out with me around the garden once a week is Zimbabwean. Name of Lucky. He was born on the 25th December!
    He is one of the nicest people I know.

    1. Harare was a very lovely city when we visited, and Zimbabwe an utter pleasure to drive around. Also my first publishers are there, though struggling these days.

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