In Africa, your uncle’s relative is your relative

ONE thing I like about Africans is the culture of extended families, which can be a joy in your life, or a reason for your irregular levels of blood pressure.

I know of people, who live with extended family members of both sides, and I can assure you that in most cases the house resembles a refugee camp, and during meals, the chaos make Darfur look like a holiday camp.

Being a true son of Africa, I also have a very large extended family, and when there is a family get together, sometimes you are shocked to discover that the pretty bar maid at your local joint you tried to seduce the other day happens to be one of your relatives.

There was a time, soon after I confessed to the mother of my clan that my Nyamwezi heart stops beating whenever I see her, and that it would be a good idea if we formed a permanent coalition, when members of my extended family invaded my house…. Uninvited.

That was when I discovered that there are some folks who happen to be your relatives and who believe that because you live in the big city, then you have a small farm somewhere on the outskirts of the city where you grow money……. lots and lots of money.

It was at that time when two weeks after they invaded, the warrior blood in my veins got the better of me and I scattered them like an angry lion in the midst of coward sheep.

This was after I returned home one day and found one of my relatives, a grown man with three wives and seven children (all of them living in my house) sleeping peacefully in my bedroom.

I told them that in the next two hours my house should be vacated by everyone except my wife and children, and if I found anyone else after those two hours, then definitely blood was going to be spilled.

With the panga and spear I was brandishing, they knew I meant business, and they left in a record time, exactly 33 minutes, and overnight I became a hero to my wife.

However, just the other day I was forced to hunt for the old, rusty panga and my long forgotten spear because it seemed that when I threw out members of my extended family, my wife thought that it was okay for her to replace them with some of her family members.

A few days ago I came home and discovered that we had visitors, and when I inquired my wife told me that they are her family members who had come from the hilly side of Mbeya to come and greet their long lost relative.

“Baba Boyi, it seems that nowadays I am becoming old like you, because I totally forgot to tell you that they were coming. The three guys are my brothers from my aunt’s side of the family, and the women are their wives, and the old toothless man chewing on the bread behind the sofa is the grandfather of my uncle on my father’s side, and…..”

The introduction included four rascals who happen to be the children of the toothless fellow, and a shabby woman she introduced as the house girl of one of her brothers from her aunt’s side of the family.

She told me that they are going to be with us for at least two weeks, and the amount of noise I made fell on very deaf ears, because once that warlike woman decides anything, then even the Pope can never change her mind.

For once my children led by the domestic thug shifted camp and started to support me, and it was two days after they came when my son, Papa Dog Killa, followed me outside, and in a hushed voice tried to offer me a lasting solution. “Mshua hawa jamaa nuksi, kama vipi sema tu mimi na masela wangu tuwape dozi!”

In short he was telling me that I should give him the green light and he and his buddies will get rid of the whole crowd for good…….for free!

I tried to tolerate the invasion, but the breaking point came just the other day when I woke up after a long night at Zakayo’s Pub and found the whole gang of invaders chewing gleefully on some fresh liver I had bought for myself.

You see, I had bought that liver with strict instructions to my wife that it was meant to cure my hangover the next day because I knew I was going to be with the boys until the wee hours of morning.

“Kula nyama kijana, this house belongs to my sister, so do not worry yourself, there is plenty more meat in the kitchen, so eat up!” I heard one of my wife’s brothers from her aunt’s side saying, and I saw that he was telling another fellow who was a total stranger to me.

The dining room was full to capacity, with some of the invaders sitting on the floor, while others sprawled on the sofa sets in the sitting room, behaving as if they owned the place.

I went to the refrigerator to see if the liver I had bought was still there, and I found that it was missing, and peering at the plates on the table, I thought that the liver I saw really looked familiar.

I went back to the bedroom, removed my shirt and went to the store to look for the panga and spear, and when I came out, there was pure murder in my eyes.

They broke the record set by my relatives years back, which stood at 33 minutes, because these Nyakiusa fellows needed only 27 minutes to be outside the gate, and I am not sure, but I have a feeling there is one of them who got a slight taste of the spear, because I remember hearing a yelp and a painful scream somewhere.

My domestic thug was at hand to help in the eviction, and when they were all gone, I told my wife that if I see any of her relatives in my house again, then I should not be held accountable for my actions

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