Avondale man spends two years living in tree

30 Sep, 2022 - 00:09 0 Views
Avondale man spends two years living in tree Paul Flight in his ‘house’


A FIFTY-EIGHT-year old man has clocked two years living in a tree at Avondale Primary School in Avondale and is about to reach one year without bathing.

Kingstone Mapupu

Paul Ray Garry Flight says poverty pushed him to build a “house”, which resembles a bird’s nest, in a tree in the sporting fields at Avondale Primary School.

Flight, who says he was born in Rusape, seemed irritated when Kwayedza journalists got to where he lives and started shouting to check if he was around. He answered back in an angry voice asking who was looking for him at a time he was catching some rest.

He keeps his belongings including clothes, blankets and utensils such as pots and plates in the tree house.

Flight told Kwayedza journalists that he was fee to live in the tree house because nobody bothers him about any issues.

“I used to work for a certain magazine as a printer but I lost my job after the company got broke. I stayed in Harare until I relocated to South Africa in 2011 where I used to live on the streets. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic I had to return home to Zimbabwe. That’s when I decided to build my tree house because I had no money to pay rentals,” said Flight.

He says he has now clocked two years living in the house tree which he says poses no danger to him because the branch where he built it will not break due to the way be built the house.

Asked where he got the idea to build such a house, he said what he did was similar to what soldiers or game scouts do when they are in the bush and there was nothing unfamiliar about it.

“I was taught war tactics so it is not a difficult task for me to build such a house, that is what is done during war times,” says Flight.

When he gets into his house he runs up the tree and uses the same method when getting out of the house but does not fall or miss a step.

Since he does not have ablution facilities, he gets down to the ground to relieve himself or just relieves himself while in the tree.  

A worker at Avondale Primary School, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the school’s sporting fields where Flight has set base are now filthy because he has no access to a toilet.

“This man has been living in his house in the tree in our sporting fields for some time now. He relieves himself on our sporting fields because he has no access to a toilet. He also relieves himself in full view of the students which is not a good thing. We also fear he might end up abusing our students,” said the worker.

Paul Flight speaking to Kwayedza.

A vendor, who identified himself only as Tafadzwa, and sells food near Avondale Primary School said Flight was fit because he exercises to keep himself in good shape.

“He (Flight) is physically fit, he wakes up in the morning and starts exercising doing press-ups. He climbs up and down the tree without any problems because he is very fit,” said Tafadzwa.

Flight said he usually makes porridge for himself and also prepares other food he begs from well-wishers under the tree.  He says his father was called Phillip Henry Flight and he is late. His mother Shirley Lister is also late. 

 “My unfortunate situation started when I was young when my father divorced my mother when she was pregnant with me. When my mother gave birth to me she took me to a certain church here in Zimbabwe where she started living and being a worshipper there. I was circumcised against my will and I believe that caused be to be barren. 

“There is a man who later came to the church and took me as his child and I lived with his family until I grew up,” he said.

Flight says he looked for his father after the man who adopted him as his child died and discovered that his father was Phillip Henry Flight.

“I don’t know what type of circumcision these people did on me or they just made me barren because I never developed any feelings for women or got married. I have never married and I don’t have any children. I am a loner and I don’t have any relatives.

“The only person I call my relative in this country is my father’s wife called Carmalita Flight but I don’t know where she is,” said Flight. 

He added: “There are members of some churches who help me with clothes, food and other necessities but it is not all the time that they are able to help me. My relatives are you the people of Zimbabwe, I no longer have any relatives except one who is in London. I am looking for any kind of job if you can help me get one. I want to walk to Kariba where I heard that there a fishing jobs available. I need more clothes. My shoe size is 10.”

Flight says it is now almost a year since he last bathed or did any laundry because he cannot afford bath and laundry soap.

He dismissed assertions by some people that he has mental health challenges.

“I am not a mental health patient. My problem is lack of means to make a living only.”

The branches of the tree where he is living in are encroaching onto power lines passing through the place, putting him in danger.— Kwayedza

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