Business almost came to a standstill in Mutare as residents jostled to catch a glimpse of 23-year-old Joseph Midzi whose commanding height mesmerised them.
Also known as Joe, Joseph, probably Manicaland’s tallest man at 2,10 metres, brought business to a halt when he walked through Mutare’s central business district.
“He is the tallest person we have ever met. He is a rare breed and if I was not married I was going to have interest in him,” a lady resident confessed.
“Today I have seen a national wonder. He is very tall. The nation should take the responsibility to look after him,” commented another resident.
Another added, “Huge brands can be associated with this particular man whose height is extraordinary. Those who want to market their products can take advantage of him.”
“In Manicaland we are endowed with many tourist attractions and I think this guy can also be part of tourism destination unique offerings,” suggested another resident.
Joe, who avoids public places due to some unpalatable words uttered by society, says his height started to increase at the age of 17.
“In my family I am the tallest although my parents are also tall. I always check on my height and between last year and this year I increased by three centimeters. My height started to increase when I was 17 years old. When I last checked my height, I was 210 metres.”
He added, “A lot of people abuse me for my height taking pictures without my consent. I need protection when I am walking. I have difficulties in finding clothes that suit my height. When using public transport, I am only comfortable when I sit on the front seat.”
A local medical practitioner Dr Tafadzwa Mungiria speaks on the possible causes of such heights.
“Excess growth hormone can make someone taller than others. What causes his height determines whether his children will inherit such heights. If they are hormones it means it will be inherited.
“During the formative stage of a child in the womb there can be an extra chromosome that can cause some people to be taller than others. Collagen abnormalities can result in height abnormalities as well,” he said.
In Zimbabwe, Charles Nyoni of Hwange, whose height was recorded at 2,10m and Simbarashe Mhukahuru of Masvingo who is 2.11m, compete for tallest men honours, but Joe is set to surpass all as he continues to grow.