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Seventh Street Alchemy

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I am re-reading Zimbabwean short story anthologies and one of them is Brian Chikwava’s Seventh Street Alchemy.

An excerpt:

Sue has no birth certificate because her mother does not have one. Officially they were never born so will never die. For how do authorities issue a birth certificate when there is no birth certificate?

“If your mother and fatherĀ  are dead and you do not have their birth certificate, then there is nothing I can do,” the man in office number 28 had said, his fist thumping the desk. He wore a blue and yellow tie that dug into his neck, accentuating the degradation of his torn collar.

“But what am I supposed to do?” Fiso asked, exasperated.

“Woman just do as I say. I need one of your parent’s birth or death certificates to process your application. You are wasting my time. You never listen. What’s wrong with you people?”

“Aaaah you are useless! Every morning you tell your wife that you are going to work when all you do is frustrate people!”

We have a new constitution that gave people false hope and it’s still more of the same!

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