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Death by a whisker
Robert McLaren, CHIPAWO
September 06, 2010

Two expressions for this - one lowbrow, the other high.

1. "It never rains but it pours"
2. "Troubles come not in single spies but in battalions" or perhaps
3. Every cloud has a silver lining - one might add "if you look for it".

This is a short newsflash to inform you all that another misfortune has befallen our beleagured organisation. Travelling by road up to Chikwira - you might remember my account of the official opening of the arts education programme there last year, entitled "Drums over the Zambezi" - a hired kombi carrying CHIPAWO staff to an arts education training workshop, left the road and mercifully avoid a tree by ending up in a ditch.

Those involved were Ms Chipo Basopo, Manager of CHIPAWO, Sekuru Enock Majeza, Principal Trainer, Ms Deon Picardo, Programmes Officer, and Thabiso Dube, youth trainer and arts educator. All were hurt in one way or the other. Sekuru Majeza smashed his mouth and some teeth. Chipo seems to have suffered head injuries, Deon fractured her foot and Thabiso got off with a bit of a shock and some bruises. The driver was more seriously hurt and was taken to hospital unconscious. He has now made a recovery.

With the death of the Mother of CHIPAWO, Tete Elizabeth Takawira, in a road accident involving a Kombi still fresh in our memories, this new mishap was a shock.

The workshop that was to take place was an arts education training workshop from two teachers and a community artist from schools in the newly established Chikwira cluster and another school, Chishumba Primary, where the 22nd CHIPAWO Model arts education centre in rural areas is to be set up. The workshop, needless to say, had to be postponed.

So far i have presented the incident as a misfortune, a mishap and a shock. Seen from another angle, it represents a tremendous stroke of good luck. It could all have been a lot worse. Anything more serious could have resulted in the loss of five very precious lives and the virtual wipe-out of the existing CHIPAWO staff complement.

Does it mean our luck has at last turned - or just a confirmation that we have not yet shaken off the bad fortune of the last year and a half.

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