AS you guys will be celebrating Christmas, I will be holed up in my mother’s house because my poor life is threatened by members of my family.
I know I will be under the protection of my mother because a few days ago members of my family led by my wife, mama Boyi threatened to send me to my ancestors if I do not take them to Bagamoyo for Christmas this year.
For those of you who follow this page, then you will remember that almost all the Christmas celebrations my family have been demanding to be taken to Bagamoyo but I always find a way of avoiding it.
Last year the mother of my clan started a holy war after I refused to take them to Bagamoyo, after explaining to her that a trip like that could not be achieved by prayers and fasting but through real money, which I did not have.
I told her that with the state of my wallet, the only trip I could afford was taking them to Zakayo’s Pub where I could afford a single soda for each one of them and two or three cold, frothy Ilala products for my weary soul.
What I did not know at that time was the fact that my wife had already fished through my pockets and came upon my November salary slip.
“Wewe mzee unafanya utani, this time you will take us to Bagamoyo to celebrate Christmas like other families or you will lose the remaining hair on your head,” she told me.
This year, things have not been any better, because a few days ago I was nursing a major hangover when my domestic thug, the boy who is supposed to be my son walked in.
He looked surprised when he saw me, and judging by the way he was looking at me, I was sure he was trying to figure out who I was and what I was doing in their house.
You see, that boy is an ardent follower of those people who like to keep their hair long and smoke some leaves they call the ‘Holy herbs’, while ‘chanting away Babylon’.
The domestic thug, a. k. a Papa Dog Killa, or Mtoto wa Ngwasuma, has not been left behind, and although he doesn’t have dreadlocks (I told him if he tried it in my house I would cut the hair and make soup with it which I will force him to drink), the boy smokes the ‘Holy herb’ almost on a daily basis.
As he stood there looking at me, he shook his imaginary dreadlocks and came closer, scratching his chin which he imagined had a full beard, before his face lighted up, and I knew finally his brain which was covered in smoke finally figured out who I was.
“Jah bless you Babylonian, greetings from Selassie I,” he said before he dipped his hand in his shirt pocket and came out with a piece of crumpled paper.
He handed it to me the way a thief hands over a stolen phone and bolted out of the room as if he suddenly remembered he was meant to be somewhere else at that particular time.
I looked at the paper suspiciously, and when I saw my wife’s handwriting, I suddenly knew I was in deep trouble.
‘To the father of my family, Baba Boyi’, the letter started, and I had a feeling I knew what the rest of it contained before I continued reading.
“As you know, today is the 20th of December, and I know that you are aware that in a few days’ time we are going to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Baba Boyi, although you have been treating us like third class citizens, you should be thankful that your family still loves you and takes good care of you” I underlined the words ‘your family still loves you and takes good care of you’.
“Although you have been feeding us vegetables and cereals as if we are cows or birds, we do not complain, even when we smell our neighbours roasting chicken and fish every day and eating ubwabwa as if they grow it in their backyards.
Baba Boyi, although we know that 80 per cent of your salary belongs to Mzee Zakayo, you still find us home when you return in the wee hours of morning almost every day, smelling as if they fished you from a bathtub full of beer.”
That letter was very long, where the mother of my clan complained that although I behave like a very irresponsible father and husband, they always thank God for me, giving me respect although sometimes they feel I do not deserve it.
The last two paragraphs however are the ones which got my full attention, because the mother of my clan said in clear terms that they were tired of being mistreated, saying it was time they do something about it… ‘kama mbaya mbaya!’ she said.
“Sasa sikiliza wewe mzee, in a few days it will be Christmas, and we expect nothing but a trip to Bagamoyo, piga ua garagaza, this time round you will take us there, even if you have to sell your kidney to afford it, otherwise you should watch out!”
At the bottom there were four names, my wife’s and her signature and my three children with their signatures next to their names.
The first place I thought of seeking for refuge was my mother’s house, because although the old lady has advanced in years, she is still strong enough to wield a dirty wooden spoon with the grace of a veteran swordsman.
So as I am writing this, I am waiting for darkness so that I can sneak out of the house, because since I read that letter, my wife has been looking at me the way a cat eyes an injured rat while inspecting her favourite weapon, the greasy frying pan, as if to see if it is still strong enough to withstand several accurate strikes on a bald head.