Inglorious retired cassava thief escapes humiliation

GOOD whatever of the following three words apply: Morning, afternoon, evening.

If you happened (unfortunately rather than happily) to read this column last Sunday, you may recall the awkward situation in which I found myself, due to diminishing eye sight, and failing to differentiate between the taste of water and soda.

I ended up disciplining a couple of beers which hadn’t committed any offence, hosted by green bottles that I assumed hosted soda, and neither tongue nor throat helped clear the confusion. I had hinted that I misbehaved due to the accidentally drank beer (being therefore innocent?).

The impact registered when I discovered that, references to “Mzee Feki” by young people were related to me!

It was apparent that, when I was loudly, and semi-consciously singing (actually half-croaking frog-like) ‘macho yako ya goroli yaniuaua (your frog-like eyes are killing me slowly but surely), a song that belongs to the so-called golden oldies, the youngsters, had deducted some marks off my should-have-been role-modeling credentials.

I would have done the same, for an elderly person is supposed to be an example-setter rather than a non-comedian comedian.

I guess you know the difference; That is, between a professional comedian who amuses the audience by staging comedies professionally, and someone who does so accidentally, driven by an external force.

An example is the effect of smoking something derived from a certain type of the dried form of grass, whose lovers swear that it makes them feel like they have been transported to heaven by an express train free of charge.

Elderly persons are supposed to be role models, okay, but since young people will “once upon the future” also become old, they should practice the combined art and science of good behavior as younger Go’s creatures. After milking a male lover dry, a young lady deletes him from her heart, and I guess even her soul as well.

She then informs her close friends who they assume are experts at imprisoning secrets in their hearts, that the lover has become ‘analogue’ and was now relocating to a ‘digital’ replacement!

A young beer-worshipping (not just loving) friend of mine regularly tells me, and very proudly, that the more beer he drinks, the more he feels that it is sweeter than passion juice.

Of course beer-juice comparison sounds gigantically hilarious! In the morning, his ears inform him that there is as much noise in his head as the one that prevails at the Ubungo Upcountry Bus Terminal in Dar es Salaam.

He speculates that a creative electrical engineer can manipulate the headache produced by his hangover as enough energy to produce electricity for powering a small radio for several minutes!

Some youngsters tremble like battery-operated children’s toys during Satan-condemnation sessions at fellowship sessions, but their first-stops thereafter are neighbourhood bars, they return home Bible-less, having misplaced the holy books.

As a part-time honest old man, though, I feel obliged to confess that I wasn’t wholly holy (that sounds poetic) when I was a young creature. As a teenager in my home village, I was part of a gang of petty (not great) part-time illegal cassava harvesters (which sounds less horrible than thieves).

We regularly raided various farms, except those belonging to our families. We assembled at specific secret locations and munched the raw cassava, its juice giving us the kind of joy that babies feel in the course of drinking milk.

One blessed afternoon, as we were feasting on the beloved cassava, we were ambushed by a dozen or so men carrying buckets full of raw cow dung, which they splashed on us! To hammer the point emphatically home, they warned us that, if we persisted in reaping where we didn’t sow, we would be castrated!

It was a nasty message that people were fed up with our cassava thievery. I am hereby silently saluting the souls of the long dead men for having been so creative, in terms of the punishment they meted onto us!

We “sacked” our love relationship with cassava, as I am certain by 100 per cent that you would have done the same if you had been a holy-less boy like us then. One of the habits that I dislike about history is the habit of repeating itself, as happened to me (but half-way, thank God) the other day.

Gripped by near-Bombardier memory of raw cassava sweetness, I ordered a ‘fungu’ of the tuber at a neighbourhood ‘genge’ for munching later at home. The ‘genge’ operator pursued me for a couple of metres and politely reminded me that I hadn’t paid for the blessed ‘mihogo’.

I apologized, blaming my poor memory, and he accepted the explanation by 100 per cent. Probably, so I speculated, that the drama might have been an indirect reminder of my inglorious past as a cassava thief!

wkaigarula@yahoo.com 0713-450-633

THE entire world is still in the ...

Author: Wilson Kaigarula

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