Harare, nicknamed the Sunshine City, is a city whose beauty is often overlooked. When you’re on the ground, you never get a full view of the city and its skyline. Instead, you experience the pothole-riddled roads, the constant throb of noise and traffic, and ever-present malfunctioning traffic light. Whilst this Harare has its own chaotic glory, it’s refreshing to see a side of the Sunshine City that is not always celebrated or represented.
A View from the Top
It was from the 12th floor of the Causeway Building that I had the chance to see the view. Overlooking Simon Muzenda Street (previously Fourth Street), it was a harmonious union of an ocean of sky and cloud with man-made blocks. From the Sacred Heart Cathedral and Dominican Convent High School, to the Mukwati Building and St. George’s College peeking out in the distance, it was a picture that I’d never seen before.
The CBD at Dusk
The city landscape changed as the sun gave way to night, its orange tinge still visible on the horizon. Buildings and landmarks that I walked past without so much as an afterthought looked completely different to me in the dusk light.
It is not often that positive images of Harare and Zimbabwe in general are promoted. There are beautiful pictures of jacarandas crowning Harare’s roads with a regal purple. Images of Harare on the ground, the people and cars that populate the concrete space. If you’re lucky, you stumble upon the odd photo of the Reserve Bank or some other well-known building. Standing on the window ledge of Causeway Building’s 12th floor, it was a gratifying and humbling experience.
My city may be clogged with traffic, its road riddled with potholes, the streets full of pedestrian power, and the air tinged with the smell of smoke (a gift from the kombis), but I love Harare in all its perfect imperfection. The Sunshine City is my home, forever and always.