SMOKE and the smell of fireworks powder greets all that approached East Park Mall on Great East Road as 2019 wore thin with less than an hour before it was 2020.
The entrance to the mall is jam parked as people buy last minute fireworks from vendors who have taken advantage of the crowd that has turned up to do their count down from Zambians biggest shopping mall sitting on the University of Zambia land.
The corridors of the mall are a near stampede as skimpily dressed youths mostly paired (couples) up and adults watch in amusement the blasting, colourful fireworks display.
Some ‘show goers’ sit on top of their cars while some play an assortment of music from their vehicles as they wait to see 2019 gone for sure.
Time check, December 31, 2019, 23:50 hours, Sun Share Tower decides to steal the show by displaying a beautiful spectacle of fire crackers, blasting them into the sky from the top of the high rise into the air wowing those seeing both near and far.
They carried enough ‘ammunition’ as they blast all the way into the final seconds of the year and soon the sky is filled with smoke from and popping of rainbow colours.
Lovers are seen kissing, some screaming as their clocks change to a new day of the new month of the new year.
The floors of the car park at the mall are littered with evidence of the mass fireworks but leaving the place is now a challenge unless on foot as traffic is worse than any bad traffic during the day.
Traffic police and Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) Officers swiftly swing into action at the Arcades Round about and ease the movement of motorists.
Driving to the once famous Hybrid ‘Chicken’ Round About, traffic is awake as on a Monday morning and a left turn leads to the Paddy Blues Night Club where Musician Afunika is slamming his hit songs with his dancing kings and queens.
Story of My Life, Skirt Yobe plus many other hits were performed as the patrons sang along and joined Afunika on the dance floor to challenge his dancers.
Elsewhere, Stevo the Rap Guru was performing at Petku Pub and Grill in Lusaka West.
Story by Tobias Phiri and pictures by Melony Chisanga