In most parts of Africa, rain spells disaster

Dear nephew Milambo

GREETINGS from this confused city, where everything that happens has to be on the extreme.

My dear nephew, I thank Limatunda that we are all okay and I hope that you and your family and indeed all the people in my beloved Ukumbisiganga are all doing fine.

Here in the city things are not bad, although a few days ago the gods of rain decided that it was time to put an end to our complaints about the sun and release rain.

It was just one day my dear boy, but the heavens opened up and released rain in a furious way and within a short time most parts of the city were flooded.

We thank Liwelelo that nothing serious happened, although we were almost stuck from accessing our home because the road that we usually use was in a terrible state.

I remember I told you about the alternative road that we are required to use because they demolished the bridge on our main road, with the claim that they are building a better one for us.

The alternative road is a disaster my dear son, because that night it was almost impassable and I heard later that there are some people who were forced to look for alternative accommodation because there was no way for them to return to their homes.

When the rains started at around midday, I had gone to my dentist in town while your aunt was in the office and by the time we were both ready to return home, we were informed that it was not a good idea.

I met with your aunt in town so that we could return together and the rain was still pounding and you know this city when there is a heavy downpour, because most roads become flooded.

It was not different on that day my dear son, because the traffic jam was out of this world, barely moving as we made our way in the middle of floods.

By the time we reached the junction heading to our area, things were not better, because we found people and vehicles stranded as we watched water making its way towards the river on the area which was supposed to be our road.

We had to make a U turn and headed to a nearby restaurant to wait for the water to subside, because several people assured us that a few hours after the rain stops, we could be able to cross.

My dear nephew, as we sat there, it was obvious that the rain had no intention whatsoever of stopping as the clock continued to tick and by the time it let off a little bit, it was already heading to 11 pm.

Your aunt insisted that we should go and try to cross, so we entered the car and returned to the temporary river which was supposed to be our road, but we did not find anyone and we assumed that people had accepted their fate and decided to look for accommodation.

As we approached the area which we were supposed to cross, I could see through the headlights that the water was still moving across the road, and I tried to convince your aunt that we should head back and look for a hotel to spend the night, but you know your aunt, she refused.

My dear boy, they say that the performance of a car does not depend on the model, but the person behind the wheel and your aunt proved this practically, because she managed to cross the river.

The good thing is that the car we drive is a four-wheel drive and a bit high, that is how we managed to cross, but immediately after crossing it was another thing all together, because the road is steep and there was enough mud to stop a tractor.

The car veer and shuddered as your aunt pressed on the accelerator, sliding from one side to another as it moved up inch by inch, but even with the experience of your aunt and the strength of the car, it was impossible to go further, as the car veered off the road and ploughed into a ditch.

My dear boy, you know the blood of Chief Mirambo runs in my veins and it takes a lot to frighten me, but that night was different, because the place was completely dark and on several occasions we have heard stories of how thugs have made that area their favourite hunting ground.

I opened the passenger door and stepped out of the car and my foot landed in thick mud almost to my knees.

I immediately returned inside the car and I told your aunt to switch off the lights in case those boys who have a habit of possessing things which do not belong to them show up.

We stayed there for almost five minutes, with the engine still running and lights off, until I saw movement from my side of the car.

I might be old, but I thank Limatunda that my sight is still okay and I strained to see who was moving in the dark and I saw several shadows moving towards us.

At that point I wished I could fly home and come back with my trusted shotgun which I always put under my bed, but I knew I had to face the situation as a relative of Chief Mirambo.

I stepped out of the car and told your aunt to lock the doors as I readied myself to deal with anything that threatened my wife, as courage from the Ruga ruga warriors made its way in my veins once again.

I thank Limatunda and all the Nyamwezi ancestors my dear boy, because the figures I saw moving in the dark belonged to some local militia who guard in the area.

They found me standing in knee deep mud holding a wicked looking panga in my hand when they flashed their flash light.

It took almost one hour and about seven tough young men to move that vehicle from the ditch and up the steep road and by the time we reached home, I looked as if I was pulled from a mud slide.

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