ONE of the things that surprise me most is why human beings rush to the conclusion that certain things that fellow creatures belonging to that broad tribe say are total lies.
Put differently (the other side of the same coin ?) Siamini seldom believes that what Siongopi says is true. I am not sure how guilty or innocent animals are on that score (never mind the insinuation that I am also an animal minus a tail) because whenever they make mouth movements other than when, for instance, a goat is chewing grass and a hyena is assassinating a bone, they are narrating stories to one another (kupiga stori).
Whereas I believe that animals don’t engage in blah--blah--, I am sure that silently (within their hearts and souls?) certain nasty events confuse them immensely.
When, for instance, a baby antelope out-runs a lion seeking to catch it and eat it without cooking it (a human process they consider time-wasting and idiotic), the king of the jungle feels embarrassed enough to almost contemplate committing suicide.
The feeling stems from the disbelief that an animal saluted as the jungle boss, and after which some Bongoland soccer fanatics have named their club, can be outwitted by a tiny animal.
A particularly superiority complex-oriented lion may develop feelings that God should have created it as an antelope instead, to enable it bask in the glory of shaming a lioness, or its husband, Mr Lion, in an unofficial, referee-less race. Against that background, I will shortly tell you something over which I am holding my breath (as if breath can be held like, say, a mobile phone handset) since, due to not believing me, you might brand me a cow; as if a cow isn’t as God’s creature as I am, and as you are.
The exception is if you are lucky enough (probably unlucky) for God to have deposited you on earth around the mid-60s, at most. You would recall that the facility in Dar called New Post Office (Posta Mpya) was offering services other than formal ones such as selling postage stamps.
It was (and still is) a major commuter bus (initially UDA and subsequently daladala) drop-off; pick-up point. Many young generation members have never stepped inside and won’t do, even beyond kingdom come.
Relative youngsters aren’t too familiar with processes like writing letters, affixing postage stamps at the top right-hand corner of envelopes bearing the handwritten names and addresses of the addresses, and slotting them onto letter collection boxes.
During my youth hood, letter-writing was an exciting part of social life. At boarding school, we wrote letters to our parents, onto which we chipped the unforgivable sin of exaggerating the hardships there, the worse sinners claiming that they were prison-like. It was a ploy for getting extra pocket money, but some schoolmates got none, their parents, fathers mostly, of course, informing them that the hardships were part of the process of crafting them into tough, soldier-like men. Beyond exclusive Posta Mpya-related services, the zone was also one of the most convenient meeting centres for friends, relatives, debtors and creditors, and – hey presto! – boy friends and girlfriends contemplating to create God-sanctioned unions (long live marriages!).
Plus, I was almost forgetting, creditors and debtors, where the latter were warned that if they prolonged indebtedness, something terrible (which I’m scared of mentioning) would happen to them!
Posta Mpya’s fame diminished considerably, “thanks” to the advent of mobile phone technology, which enables people to meet at any venue, as opposed to back then, when landline phone arranged appointments crashed when one of the individuals was confronted with an emergency but couldn’t update the other.
I guess my (no; Posta’s) metallic letterbox, which I haven’t visited for God knows how many years, is rusting in peace, as I believe like I believe in God, that no-one would wish to inherit it from me. I was delighted to reconnect with Mzee Zodiac Bangilabatai (What have they done to me ?)
while strolling along the Posta Mpya corridor on last week’s blessed Wednesday. Unlike me and other old men who have embraced modern technology almost fanatically, Bangi (which is how we teasingly shortened his surname in school) sticks religiously to the postal-based letter communication system.
He pulled me to a quiet place and handed over to me, a letter he had just taken from his box and read, and asked me to read the section circled with a red biro pen: It read: I hope you are in touch with Wiilii (‘primitive-lized’ version of Willie as Wilson’s short-form).
I hear he is a notorious wife-snatcher; that, recently, he was almost killed by a panga-brandishing man while he was fleeing stark-naked. Is it true or are sinful rumour mongers bent on character-assassinating our good friend ? Guess what my reaction was!