THEY say that you don’t have a choice if you are born poor, because you were not there to decide where to be born, but dying poor is someone’s choice.
I always have some reservations about this statement, because I imagine that most of the time in life there are some circumstances which can block your path towards obvious riches, for no apparent reason.
I always walk with my head high, convincing myself that I am an honest person, living an honest life while making honest money in the process.
But a few days ago the armor in this belief suffered a major crack when I met a fellow who I had not seen in almost seven years, and the way he behaved convinced me there and then that dying poor is really a choice.
You see, this fellow is from the hilly side of Mbeya who happens to be a distant relative of Mama Boyi, and as far as I remembered, the guy was always broke, and his name was Alfred Mwakilasi.
That day I was coming from town, and because I had left my excuse of a car at home, I had to rely on public transport, and that day the situation was really bad, because I waited for a bus for almost one hour and I was starting to feel as if my legs were about to disappear in my tummy.
A rickety auto rickshaw we commonly call ‘bajaj’ came to a screeching halt near where I was standing, and I made a move so that I can be among the three passengers sitting in the back, but a short, stout woman gave me a hefty shove which almost sent me sprawling.
I recovered my balance and threw a murderous look at the woman, who was busy adjusting her frame between a fellow who looked drunk and a nun who was staring at the drunk fellow with obvious contempt.
I was organising my curses in alphabetic order in my mind when a shiny black car pulled over right in front of me, and the passenger window went down slowly.
The driver on the other end smiled at me and motioned for me to enter, but being a cautious fellow, I peered into the car to see if I recognised the guy, but my memory hit a blank.
“Baba Boyi, don’t act like a virgin in a strip joint, enter the car man,” he said with a laugh, and because he even mentioned me by name, I knew that definitely the fellow knows me, so I opened the door and slid onto the soft leather seat.
The guy drove off as I was still trying to figure out where I had seen him before, but sensing my bewilderment, he asked me whether I had completely forgotten him.
“Baba Boyi, you are really growing old, I don’t believe that you have completely forgotten me, I am Alfred, Alfred Mwakilasi,” he said, and that is how I slowly started to remember.
The thing is, the Alfred Mwakilasi I remembered of almost seven years ago and the Alfred Mwakilasi who was on my right were two totally different people.
While the old Mwakilasi always looked hungry and poverty stricken, this Mwakilasi looked suave, healthy and polished.
Judging by the car he was driving, which was a very expensive car by the way, it appeared that this Mwakilasi, above those things I mentioned, was also loaded with real money.
I could not hide my surprise while the fellow told me that he was in town for a few days because nowadays his permanent residency is in Shinyaga, and shocked me further when he told me that nowadays he has a church and he was the senior pastor.
Looking at the fellow, it became obvious to me that church business is a very lucrative business, and it was at that time that I told myself that dying poor is indeed a personal choice.
That is why after the fellow dropped me in my neighbourhood, I seriously started contemplating opening a church of my own, which I am sure would rake in some serious money for me.
I am sure most of you are familiar with the trending story from Kenya, where a certain fellow told his congregation that the easiest way of meeting their maker was starving themselves to death.
While the police continue exhuming more bodies of those followers who were stupid enough to believe that lunatic, I realised that for me to be successful as a pastor, I needed to have a one on one talk with these people who call themselves pastors so that they can tell me what I should do so that I can have the power to brainwash anybody who enters my church.
Because I told myself that it was impossible that people obey these fake pastors who subject them to all kinds of weird things through normal power.
I also told myself that as soon as they whisper to me the secret of where I can get this power to brainwash people, I will first and foremost try it on the mother of my small clan, Mama Boyi to see if it really works.
If it works and Mama Boyi becomes a timid wife who can never think of hitting her beloved husband with a greasy frying pan, then I will know that I was on my way towards unimaginable riches.
I saw myself brainwashing prominent people and convincing them that the property they own will be safer if they handed them over to me, and that as a senior pastor, I was not supposed to use a car which is not above 400m/- and own at least two private jets and a yacht somewhere in the Caribbean.
I imagine making my way to the president and use an overdose of my brainwashing power and convince her that although I am not qualified, she should trust me and place me as the Governor of the Central Bank, where I will make sure I protect the money which belongs to Tanzanians.
I even have the name for my new church, ‘Kicks of a Dying Horse from Calvary Church’. But I honestly wish the power will be effective on Mama Boyi.