Home » General » Beer Is Sweet, but . . .

AN elderly man donning a tight-fitting sun-baked jacket and a torn pair of trousers lay obscene on his back on the pavement with flies hovering over his chipped forehead, mouth and eyes.

One shoe was about a metre away from this sleeping dude, who had a pint of milk in one hand and bottle containing a potent drink which had taken a toll on him in the other.

Were it not for his tummy which showed breathing signs, the court of public opinion would have declared him dead.

“Arohwa nemabeers ngezha uyu. Anamwa nemudhako,” a group of excitable youths who had been seen drawing valuables from the sloshed man’s pockets could be heard saying.

Women who passed through the point where this man was sleeping cringed. Most of them shook their heads and threw their hands about in disgust.

The lowest point came when the sloshed man rose, urinated on a nearby wall before staggering into an alley.

Barely a metre away from this drama, a parking marshal could be seen taking a nap in an open pick-up truck he was guarding.

The tall and dreadlocked guy was sweating profusely while waving flies away with his bare hands.

Welcome to the streets of Harare where the sight of sloshed people has become trite and banal.

Called “lohwazi,” “dhakwazi,” “kunamwa,” “kudamburwa,” “kudhakwa,” “kutsemurwa,” “dude,” “kuumburudzwa” or “kuzhedekerwa,” most people are now always staying drunk.

It is not unusual these days to bump into hordes of drunk men and women of various shapes and sizes.

Depending on what these people will be high on, some of these characters are violent while some are humble and cheerful.

“Mbiro, hombiro-mbiro hombi chairoVaMakadure vakaita nharo, ndikavarovaandakavarova ndakaripiswa mombe, mbudzi mbiriambudzi mbiri ndakauraya imwe gumbo ndikavapaandakavapa vakanyemwerera nyama kuida,” you sometimes hear people singing this folk song under Dutch courage.

Beer-induced brawls have become common on the streets of Harare.

Rogue policemen and their female equivalents are sometimes party to these open-day drinking binges.

You can be shocked to find unschooled drunks burrowing their hands into the garments of a female cop in a public show of disrespect for lawful authority.

Spirits, lagers, ciders and opaque beer are now being downed openly and even under the watch of policemen.

Most drunks however, relieve themselves in the containers before throwing them atop disused bus shelters or right on the pavements.

People in the informal sector are the major culprits.

Before laying their hands on anything, it is not usual to find florists gulping the wise waters in small groups and taking turns to buy more each time they make sales.

Plumbers also do the same.

They bring along copious amounts of beer before going about their business which they seem to believe cannot be undertaken properly when one is sober.

The same can be said of people in home industries.

They are known for keeping crates of cold beers which they quaff up during the course of their duties.

“I am a shy character, but the moment I hammer one or three quarts, I will be able to negotiate for better prices with the customers. This makes me able to push the sales,” one florist confided in this writer.

Carpenters say they make the best of their skills under the influence of alcohol.

Kombi drivers also spend much of their time drinking beer at the ranks while awaiting their turn to load hence the constant accidents and endless brawls with passengers.

These guys who call themselves “daily drinking officers” say they can negotiate effectively with both passengers and the police under Dutch courage.

So given to beer have some people become that they cannot function properly without downing one or two.

In the communities in which we live, there are countless characters that take to beer to gain the confidence of approaching a woman.

“Sorry brother ndakakutuka, ndakange ndakadhakiwaNdine hurombo shamwari ndakakutsika, ndakange ndakadhakiwaSeiko uchinenedzera doro? Seiko uchinenedzera hwahwa?” sang superstar Oliver Mtukudzi in this yesteryear hit.

As I commit pen to paper gentle reader, there are countless people who are doing time in prison for crimes they committed under the influence of alcohol. Some accused persons even claim in court that they killed, raped, stole and duped others after downing one too many.

Drivers are known to ascribe accidents to the bottle, but that never stops them from drinking the wise waters.

Even at work, there are people who make it a point to take beer to ensure they discharge their duties effectively.

But is it true that beer makes people tick?

According to researchers, beer reduces stress, it is good for the heart and improves blood circulation. They say alcohol can prevent stroke, it keeps the brain young and cures insomnia and the aantages end there.

Many people blindly extol the aantages of beer, but they don’t realise that it has more cons than pros.

“People who drink occasionally can prevent from damaging their liver, but at the same time people who drink like hell are the ones faced with so many issues in social life as well as they end up with body damage.”

The experts say beer contains powerful stimulants of gastric acid secretion and may provoke gastroesophageal reflux and cause heartburn.

Daily beer consumption (approximately 40 g of alcohol) may increase blood pressure.

Alcohol is a dehydrating agent and downer that reduces activity of the central nervous system. High amounts of alcohol can turn into dehydration, intoxication, and hangover.

Even small amounts of alcohol can have aerse effects on attention and motor skills. Many serious accidents are alcohol related.

Beer contains Alcohol and Alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to drop more rapidly. That can stimulate your appetite, and disrupt your ability to tell when you’ve had enough to eat. This can also create fatigue and your energy level will suffer.

The world could be a better place if people drink less.

Inotambika mughetto.

Source : The Herald