Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Chapter 18 The Barbel

As a CTC controller, we were supposed to work 6-hour shifts, but due to the terrorist war going on in Rhodesia at that time, 2 of the controllers were called-up for active duty and poor me and my colleague had to work 12-hour shifts. This was very demanding as you were locked away in a room with all the panels and things and did not know if it was day or night or rain or shine outside. We were allowed to have our rest days off when a relief was sent to us. Rest days were from 6 in the morning on Thursday till 6 in the evening on Tuesday.

This was my fishing time and I spent it at the Wankie Angling and Boating club at the mouth of the Dekka river into the Zambezi.

Once I came back from the river at approximately 9 o’clock, had breakfast and then a shower and drifted down to the pub because after 10 in the day it became so hot that you had to stay out of the sun.

At the bar was a guy that looked very pale and I asked him if he was OK.
This was his story.

Every year the intake of the pumps for the Wankie colliery had to be cleaned. He was inside this intake in about 8 foot of water with a scuba outfit, as he had to stay underwater for a long time. While working a Vundu that had entered the intake as a young fish but had outgrown the size of the grill, would push its nose against him while he was working, he would just swot it away with a spanner.

When he was finished he saw the tail of the Vundu in an aperture and decided to give his workers outside a fright and throw the Vundu at them.

Holding the ladder with one hand he grabbed the “Vundu” with the other and the next thing he knew was that he was lying on the concrete floor outside, with his workers looking down at him. The “Vundu” was nothing else than an electric barbel and luckily for him his workers saw the commotion under the water and sprang in and “rescued” him. 

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