Hurricane Vusi definitely will strike again in Maputo

Jacinto Nhaposse is making a living by selling fish at a fish market at the Costa do Sol beach in Maputo.
Jacinto Nhaposse is making a living by selling fish at a fish market at the Costa do Sol beach in Maputo.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Hurricane Vusi swept through Maputo in Mozambique last week, leaving a trail of tears and broken hearts in its wake.

The Maputo Morality Defence Force (MDF) was on high alert at the Maputo International Airport when I entered surreptitiously through the Lebombo border. We'd left a misty Joburg by road in order to imbibe the scenic Mpumalanga landscape along the N4.

We snacked on trout pies at Machadodorp and were greeted by AK47-wielding soldiers who let me through after my yellow-bone travelling companion, Bridget Hilton-Barber, flashed them a cute smile to disguise her expired passports.

We checked into the Southern Sun Maputo by sunset, where I did not waste time hitting on hotel staff after a supper of Brazilian beef fortified by margaritas at the bar. Former presidents Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma had married Mozambican women and, as an unofficial ambassador of the beautiful South Africa, I was compelled to continue with the tradition. Armed with isiZulu and English, I fought hard to penetrate the Portuguese and Shangaan before ultimately letting the universal language of love do the talking.

A former Miss Maputo sauntered into the bar near midnight before I swept her off her feet for a nightcap in my room.

What happens in Maputo stays in Maputo, but she was caught on CCTV leaving in the morning after discovering that my limping foot came alive during bedroom gymnastics.

The MDF was closing in when Tsogo Sun Maputo boss, Bruce Campbell, spirited me away to his new hotel, a cosy boutique called Easystay, along the coast. The facility boasts Wi-Fi, access to the gym at the Baia Mall and a swimming pool. Workers were putting finishing touches to the hotel ahead of its official opening and Bruce invited me to break the pool's virginity.

I had stripped down to my underpants when I remembered my near-drowning experience at Shareworld 20 years ago. I pulled up my pants and raided the hotel bar instead.

The next day the tourist centre offered me a sightseeing tour, but refused to supply me with a golf cart. They offered me a walking stick which I rudely declined. Their excuse was that I had not shown any disability on the dance floor when I hopped from one nightclub to another.

The MDF was still hot on my trail when I took a ferry to Catembe for lunch and more booze before heading to the airport where they finally caught up with me. During interrogation, they admitted that my four-day stay had lifted the city's happiness index while the fish market and the nightclubs reported a roaring trade.

They finally let me board my flight after I made Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator promise: "I'll be back!"

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