My boy, they say once bitten twice shy

DEAR nephew Milambo,

GREETINGS from this place where people can claim ownership of a car that was swept by floods, and where council askaris can run faster than trained and seasoned athletes.

I hope that the spirit of Chief Mirambo has continued to protect you and your family from any calamities, hidden and exposed, and that the hand of Limatunda continue to offer you guidance.

You see son, I mentioned the city askaris earlier because in this confused city, there are people who are called the ‘machingas’, we have them in Tabora, but they are not as chaotic like the ones we have here.

These are the people who can sell anything to you, from oversized underwear to a Chinese TV, and they have taken over almost all the sidewalks like a group of angry ants, because they are all over.

Just the other day me and your aunty were coming from hospital where we had taken your little sister Amani because she had a runny nose, and there is a place we passed where these machinga people had spread their goods right by the road, and you know how your aunt drives.

It happened that she ran over a couple of things, including pots and pans, and the owners, including a lady who had a full beard and a voice that could freeze a veteran thief, were furious.

Because they are many, they tried to stop the car and demanded that they should be compensated. It was ugly my boy, and I assure you the Ruga ruga blood in me reached boiling point when one of them tried to open the driver’s door.

I would have committed cold blood murder had it not been for a lone police officer who came to their rescue, because the war cry of the dreaded warrior in me made the young officer to realise that the place was about to become a bloody murder scene.

Anyway, I just wanted to give you a brief picture of the life we live here in the big city, including heavy rains which have so far caused a lot of damage.

I am blissful in spirit even after the fact that the rain gods here in the confused city decided to open the floodgates which really made the residents of this city confused.

We thank Limatunda that in these two days the rain has stopped, and as I am writing this, I am lounging on an easy chair at a certain beach near our place, and I am trying to take advantage of the break, and your dear aunt and baby sister are busy taking those things they call ‘selfies’, which involves looking at the mobile phone and making funny faces before clicking away the camera.

Your aunt, even at her age, can spend considerable time doing this exercise, that is why the other day I told you that even at my age I still find women to be a great mystery, which Liwelelo has not granted us the faintest idea of how to decipher them.

I have already downed two very cold beers, and I feel that my system is ready to go, although my wife, after exhausting herself making faces on her phone, is looking at me with murderous eyes because it is only 10 a.m in the morning.

Apart from her complaints, your aunt sends her greetings to you and your family, and she is enquiring whether you received the gift she sent for you and your family.

You see son, the problem with the gods of this confused city is that they always like to go to extremes in whatever they do, I don’t know whether they do it for fun or for necessity.

Unlike in my beloved Ukumbisiganga, here in this confused city when the gods of rain decide to pour out the waters from heaven, they do it as if there is no tomorrow, and when they decide to release the sun, they go about it as if they are competing among themselves, it is total chaos.

But all the same, life is okay here my dear boy, and we thank Limatunda for his protection and care, and we hope that you are also enjoying good health and high spirits.

My dear nephew, two days ago I realised that human beings, whether rich or poor, are all afraid of meeting their ancestors in the afterlife and they can do whatever is in their powers to extend their stay on earth.

I found this when I was having a drink or two with my pal Alfred the cook at a certain joint called ‘Sina Chuki Pub’, and the place had a good number of patrons.

I was on my fourth cold one at the counter, and Alfred had the attention of most of the people at the counter, telling us how Madam President had personally requested him to become her personal cook at the big white house called State House, when in walked a fellow carrying a huge bag on his shoulder.

He came straight to where we were seated and placed the bag at the farthest corner of the counter before he ordered for a bottle of cold water. You see son, this can be a normal occurrence in any pub in most countries, but in this particular case, the fellow in question happened to be of Somali origin, and after he was given the water, he did not utter a single word to anyone.

The fellow was sweating profusely, and apart from the fact that he was staring around the pub in a suspicious manner, he also had a serious twitch on his left eye.

Matters started to run out of hand when the fellow stood up and went outside, and he was not back several minutes later, and his bag was still at the counter.

Most of us are  that these fellows are notorious when it comes to blowing things up, and when someone declared that the Somali fellow might be related to those fellows from Mogadishu, it did not take long for people to put two and two together.

My dear nephew, that bag at the counter, after being observed by all the eyes, was the one which remained a few seconds later, because people scrambled from that pub in record time after a thin woman who was seated next to Alfred on the counter screamed at the top of her voice, alerting everyone that there was a bomb in the bag, because she heard something ticking from within.

Son, I found myself staring at an empty counter, and I still have no idea how Alfred managed to disappear like smoke in a windy field despite the fact that he is built like a sumo wrestler.

To cut a long story short my dear nephew, it proved to be a false alarm, because the poor fellow had just gone outside to buy airtime and send some money at a nearby kiosk.

But believe me, before he could be allowed to continue swallowing his cold water, the police who were called on the scene had to make sure that he was indeed innocent, and he was not in any way related to Hamza, and they forced him to open his bag… the fellow, my dear boy, was just selling second- hand shirts.

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