- Published on Sunday, 15 July 2012 02:22
- Written by AMBY LUSEKELO
- Hits: 1799
It was a mid-week work day but my bestie didn’t hesitate to send me a message about a sale. Few words capture my attention the way the word ‘sale’ does. It doesn’t matter what the sale is for, so long as there is a less-for-more deal, I am gullible.
Her message came with directions and finally, a, ‘on my way, meet you there!’ I replied with a ‘15mins’ and quickly left what I was doing to make my way. I was excited of the prospect of shopping with my bestie as she has a good eye and we would be in and out quickly. Long and uncoordinated overdrawn shopping is not for me.
The advertised prices looked friendly and as it was a weekday I knew we weren’t going to run into a lot of people. However, as soon as I got on the road leading to the store, I could see many cars engaged in a twist for parking. Several cars were crookedly placed with the women driving them all shouting at each other to move out of the way.
There are some amazing women drivers and there are some horrendous women drivers. It seems this was a meeting for the horrendous women drivers. Reversing and parallel parking became a problem so big it could only be equated to global warming.I parked far off and made my way by foot.
You see, you can do that if you are in flat shoes as I was. The horrendous women drivers, who were all fighting for the parking close to the store, were wearing heels. Not just any heels, these were 4-5 inch heels, which with the sand and stones leading to the store, made for extremely difficult walking and increased the possibilities of toppling over tenfold.
Much to our surprise, my bestie and I walked in to the store to find it was packed. I saw a few familiar faces and even a family friend I had not seen in a while. But as I greeted them with smiles and kind words, I was only offered a quick eye contact and smile. They were all busy choosing clothes in an effort to find a great piece before some other girl got to it.
It was like a cold war had been declared where everyone had to find clothes first and talk later. Looking good is a serious business that only serious people succeed in.My bestie selected a few pieces for both of us as I chatted away not doing much shopping. When we approached the changing rooms we were met with a line with various women waiting to try out what they had salvaged.
“Hello mpenzi, niko nyumbani” I overheard one woman talking in the changing rooms as she craftily balanced her mobile phone and tried on outfits and even managed to open the door to hand out hangers. She did not show the slightest shame in her game as she got out of the dressing room to let us use it.
“Listen, tell the boss I have a sick relative that I am visiting now” I overhead another lady saying as she was going through in the stall next to us. “Yes, my cousin is terribly sick and I just have to be here. I will come back to work in an hour so” she finished off before hanging up.
Then she knocked to ask what we thought of her jeans and whether the colour was right for her complexion. I was nice enough to smile and say yes while my bestie looked at her visibly in shock. It seemed that no one and nothing was going to get in the way of these women shopping.
The women who were at the parking tug-of-war, walked in and upon seeing the number of people engaged themselves ready for war. They took out the flat shoes that they had in their handbags, replaced the heels ready to combat the sale. Everyone had a serious and determined look on their face.
My bestie and I left after picking out a few items but as we walked out, a whole lot more walked in. determined and you could obviously see the disappointment of coming in late on their faces. I couldn’t help but wonder what these incredibly strong and smart women could accomplish in life we all set the same energy on development.
Where would we be if that same determination to look good all the time was placed in education and furthering one’s career? Perhaps the next Asha-Rose Migiro, Anna Makinda or Anna Tibaijuka was too busy focusing on finding her next outfit for a kitchen party to realise her potential to contribute to Tanzania’s development. Perhaps.