Toy Highway

It’s time.

The occasional cumulonimbus wanders past, invading the expanse on its way to a late-afternoon storm on the Highveld.

Hundreds of beaded eyes look up, reflecting the turquoise blue African sky with glassy indifference.

Not all of the toys have a privileged view.

Some begrudging eyeballs are thrust haphazardly earthwards amidst the inconvenient edges of luminous plastic castaways—the arm of a Ninja Turtle, the wheel of a dumper truck or a Barbie leg poking into the side of unseeing creatures.

Tangled in the strings of discarded Coca-Cola yo-yos.

Not even toys like change – new owner, new toybox, new shelf – even if they are paving the way to playtime heaven…

…the length of Roberts Avenue—from the Shell Garage up to Jeppe Boys and into Joburg CBD. 

A never-ending caterpillar of luminous prickles on the alert against would-be predators.

We place our offering in the queue of well-meaning.

Excess in motion.  

Afterword: When I was a child growing up in Kensington, Johannesburg, there was a charity initiative called the ‘Toy Highway’. I’m not sure how often it happened but all community members were invited to donate toys to children facing disadvantages; toys were places in one long line on the pavement, like a huge worm that just kept on growing. Was this just in my area or did this happen in other places in the country—I’d be curious to know!

Author & Storyteller: Andrea Zanin

Andrea is a writer, wife, mother and dreamer; also the author of this website. She moved to London in 2006 to earn £s, travel, see bands and buy 24-up Dr Martens—which she did, and then ended up staying. Andrea lives in North London with her husband (also a Saffa) and five children. She loves this grand old city but misses her home and wishes her children could say “lekker” (like a South African) and knew what a “khoki” is.

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