Of Combie Diaries

Of Combie Diaries

kombi

Combi/Kombi is how we refer to “public taxis” in Zimbabwe. They are basically minivan commuter omnibuses seating 18 passengers (not including the driver and conductor) They are a privately owned even though they are recognized as part of the public transport system which is the mode of transport for most people to get to work, school, home, shops, move between suburbs and some even travel between cities.

kombi

The name comes from the official name of the iconic “hippie van” the Volkswagen  Microbus/Kombi, but has now come to refer to any minibus regardless of make and model.

microbus kombi hippie van

The Kombi name itself came from the German word Kombinationskraftwagen meaning combination vehicles. These are vehicles  such as station wagons and microbus/minivans which both carried passengers and transported cargo.

 

 

 

 

 

MinibusBack to the present day Zimbabwe, a combi sits 18 people, 4 packed to a seat with four rows of seats and two passengers next to driver at the front. When the kombi is fully loaded the conductor will be standing somewhere behind the front passenger leaning next to the door which is convenient since part of what he does is not only to collect the combi fare but to open and close the door for passengers to get in and out and also telling the driver the passenger’s stops.

inside kombi

kombi

Unlike buses which can only stop at designated bus stops, combis can pick and drop passengers almost anywhere (provided there aren’t any traffic police) When you are travelling in one you have to know where you want to drop off and destinations are normally announced either by landmarks or intersections such as The Green Gate, The Blue Roof, left turn, after you turn, after the traffic lights, the conductor notifies the driver.

Pay attention to people who sit on the front passenger’s side seat of a public taxi van, who upon reaching their destination they don’t disturb the driver, even though he is closer, they turn to the conductor and notify him of their up coming stop, those are the people who understand the natural hierarchy of why some things are the way things are..

You can tell by now this mode of transportation is not without its drama mix twenty possibly random people and pack them up all squashed together like erm…. peas in a pod and you can see how every trip is most likely to be interesting.

Image result for peas in a pod

The cutest incident which happened to me, was when a passenger with a toddler sat next to me  and she kept trying to reach out and touch my hair calling me daddy (Note it was the child not the mother, just to be clear) I guess I must’ve looked bewildered cause she explained, “…..no we’ve never met but the baby daddy has locks too.” Eventually the toddler climbed over her mum and settled on my lap and promptly fell asleep with the mum looking absolutely suitably horrified and I said its ok. When they were disembarking, as I was handing her back, the baby woke up and waved “bye bye daddy…

I waved back…..

~B

Day 19 Of the blog everyday challenge themed Africa: Stories from home

Photo credits Commuter Omnibus

1992 Volkswagen Kombi

FUN Map of Public Transport In Africa  @Funmioyatogun

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Of The Muse In You: The Ogbanje Hacker

Welcome to the story which I will write with your help.

How it works: I tell part of the story and you can be a part of this journey by using the poll at the bottom and or in the comments to let me know how you feel the story should proceed….

becoming

Thank you all for your input last week  from the story HERE Hero

The story so far:

A stranger who emailed me may or may not be a missing person, abducted by an extremist group. I was invited to join a Facebook support group of people who pray for the safe return of those taken. someone sent me a private message asking me to give them access to my email account so they could run a trace the email

The popular poll result was that I should run a back ground check on Og Banje so here goes

I opened a search engine tab and typed Og Banje and pressed search.

Could not find a match Did you mean Ogbanje? Showing results for Ogbanje

In Igbo lore an ogbanje is a reincarnating  spirit that would deliberately plague a family with misfortune. The ogbanje child would die and be reborn again and again mostly before the child reached adulthood or got to an age where they could do anything of potential. The curse would be broken if a priest could find the ogbanje’s iyi-uwa (a stone that the ogbanje’s way of coming back to the world) and destroy it. The child is confirmed to no longer be an ogbanje after the destruction of the stone or after they successfully give birth to another baby

Well that was an interesting lesson on the Igbo myths  of West Africa, but it did not get me any closer to finding out my mysterious connection. I decided to check out other posts from the Facebook group while I figured what to do with Mr OG. Mr OG that’s how I had been referring to him in m head. There was an update in the group;

“Authorities have announced that one of the abducted girls is still alive after a voice recording was received of her (as confirmed by her parents that it was her voice) asking the government to rescue her. ”

That was good news indeed as some people had started thinking maybe the reason some of the girls had not be released was because they had died.

I typed a new post to add to the group:

Hi I got a private message from someone called Og Banje after the last message I posted in this group and I wanted to know if its someone that can be trusted.

A few seconds later a reply popped up

Ah we see you have had an encounter with our resident white hat hacker. Nobody knows who he really is or where he is and the authorities keep trying to get his account shut down but it keeps coming back to like a curse to expose government secrets and criminal activities, kind of like a phantom online vigilante.

Ogbanje

I typed whih read  “thank you and if I could ask__”

Before I could finish the comment, my phone started ringing, the caller was on incognito mode and the number did not show.

Hello” I answered.

“Hello my friend, you know me as Mr OG. I believe its time we talked ….:”

I froze, what should I do next:

  1. Nothing, hang up the phone
  2. Start a conference call to emergency services
  3. Put on speaker and record the conversation
  4. Find out how he got my number and what he wants then go to the police
  5. Find out what he wants and just wing it from there

~B

Day 18 of My Blog Everyday Challenge Themed Africa: Stories From Home