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Wedding drama as a boy and an old man

I AM about to tell you something that, not God willing, but due, most probably, your not being a very kind creation of the top creator who you obviously know, you are most unlikely to believe.

But since you would not be doing me a favour, gigantic or tiny (in other words big or small) even by believing that I am not lying, I am now going ahead to make the disclosure.

It is that, maybe 20 years, if not a few more, have elapsed since I last saw a snail. Believe me, I am missing a snail’s movements. When I was a young boy, I was initially fascinated by snails.

When I spotted one, I moved closer, to take a good look at how it behaved. I was, in that sense, a fake scientist on an observatory mission.

I was fascinated by the fact that a snail moves around with its house. In that case, it is probably one of the wisest creatures both under the sun and even under the rain when the sky opens up.

Wise, I am not merely saying, but emphatically declaring, because by so doing, no-one would steal anything from its house, the way a species known as ‘vibaka’ do when, during our absence from our houses, they sneak into our compounds with neither passports nor visas and steal clothes, handkerchiefs included, from drying lines!

What fascinates me most about snails is the speed at which they move. Some human beings are comparatively idiotic on that aspect. Drivers of motor vehicles often suspect that they are airplane pilots and drive at a speed that the pilots would envy.

In many cases, it is not for justifiable reasons, such as rushing to hospital to say ‘bye-bye’ to a sick relative he strongly suspects may die soon and who he pressures to settle his debt before he does, but who subsequently lives several years beyond the driver.

A snail is a slow-moving creature; apparently driven by the philosophy that, no matter how long it takes, it will eventually reach its destination. I am not, however, suggesting that we should copy the snail, speed-wise.

Actually, someone who would fit into the ‘hanitakii mema’ (he doesn’t wish me well) category would seize that chance to fix me.

You see, the current government wants to see things moving virtually at supersonic speed; so, anyone advocating snail-paced speed at doing anything may be in trouble.

And, as you have correctly guessed and my near-silver coloured hair on the snap-shot above may give you a clearer picture, it would be stupidity of Mount Kilimanjaro height proportions for me to risk being penalized for advocating snail-paced, as opposed to leopard-speed movements.

You can’t have an industrial economy status nation if its would-be builders were to move at konokono speed. But that creature, which I am not sure is an animal or insect, reminds me of a drama that I started witnessing when I was a boy in my early teens.

It was the wedding drama, whereby brides and bridegrooms moved at ‘konokono’ speed.

I almost laughed to death when one of the grooms was a retired mango thief in my home village, whose name cultural, religious and maybe constitutional reasons prohibit me from disclosing.

He held the record of never being caught in the unholy mission of ‘de-mango-ling’ the fruits from the trees of other villagers.

Its because he ran so fast that even if someone from whose tree the then-mango-thief-and-now-groom had stolen a few fruits were to hire an antelope to catch him, the animal would ran out of breath and die.

But here he was, on wedding day, moving at a snail’s pace. A boyhood friend of mine, Ruta-something, sneaked into a wedding reception centre once and stole twenty or so mandazi, which he ate slowly but surely at his home, almost causing his stomach to burst !

Pupils nick-named him mandazi and other boys and girls usually addressed me, not as Wilson, but as Mandazi`s friend! Recently, several years later, we attended the wedding of a friend in Kinondoni.

Mid-way the slow, ceremonial walk from the church to the compound, which would be followed by a photo session, a slow ceremonial ride to the Ocean Road beach front for another photo session, Ruta-something told me he was going to a toilet in a nearby building for a short call. He didn`t resurface.

When I got to the reception hall later, he was deeply asleep on a chair, snoring unpleasantly. He had convinced wedding organization committee members that he was one of the groom’s best friends .

He said that he had a small medical problem which blocked him from going through the earlier slow motions of the ceremony.

They had accordingly offered him beer, which he attacked the way he attacked mandazi in our village several years earlier.

wkaigarula@yahoo.com

YESTERDAY the embassy of the People’ s Republic ...

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Author: WILSON KAIGARULA

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