Yellow plastic Jerry cans emerge from the Mozambican bush. Ten, twenty, fifty and more, a swathe of people running with yellow plastic jerry cans, running barefoot on the hot tarmac. All are shouting, running, screaming into phones. Some can’t keep up with their own feet. A woman trips and is overtaken by fifteen others. A column of smoke ahead. the crackling of burning grass. Certain disaster. Certain opportunity. More yellow plastic Jerry cans materialise – on bicycles, on carts, on the backs of children swarming towards the smoke.
A Malawi bound fuel tanker has gone down, spewing diesel. Where steel has met tarmac, sparks have set the grass alight. The wreck lies just beyond the flames. It’s time to fill up, before the cops arrive, before the fire closes in. The taste of diesel is sweet. Malawi’s fuel is now Mozambique’s.