ONE of the talents that God granted me is to engage in a half-brilliant; Half-foolish pursuit called guesswork, which I guess has never landed any son of the soil and daughter of the same thing in big trouble, such as being jailed.
I guess that, engaging in guesswork is as innocent an activity (not a profession, for heaven’s sake) as guessing that, you read the blah-blah that I regularly pretend to write on this presumably blessed page. One of the recent pieces focused on the technical difference between lockup and lockdown.
I reminded you that lockup had something to do with the ladies and gentlemen whose specialty is to do you a favour by locking you up in a room, so that you rest in temporary peace as opposed to the permanent peace that most people both fear and hate.
While you are resting there, they try to figure out whether you are indeed responsible for doing something unlawful for which you may end up in court, and in a bigger room (prison) or are released. Due to a certain disease, some countries practiced a process that they subsequently abandoned, after discovering that it was cumbersome.
It is called lockdown, under which, if you are a man, you are stuck within the compound of your home for several hours and begin to make funny discoveries, as you move around to kill time. You do funny things that make you wonder whether the nuts and bolts in your brain are still tight or have loosened up.
One of them is to count the chicken in the shed which you hardly see “live” , but regularly enjoy them as delicious meat when your wife depopulates them one by one by converting them into “mboga”. You may not easily believe what I’ am about to tell you; But so what?
You have the right, but not necessarily of the democratic variety, to believe what you believe is right, and to literally throw into the dustbin, what you consider to be garbage. Joe is one of the few friends I own. Few, because I belatedly discovered that having friends on a “utitiri” basis (more of them than is necessary) is dangerous.
It’s because they pretend to be as nice as newly-born babies, but ultimately become “ndumilakuwilis”. They outwardly put up a pretence of being kind but are in reality a devilish species who, given a chance, do to you what a friendliness-starved animal called hyena does to other animals.
Joe has a hilarious nickname– Ndumilakutatu. On why the “kutatu” instead of “kuwili”, he says three is a higher number than two, and, what’s more, he sought to distinguish himself from millions of “ndumilakuwilis” who are unprincipled creatures, whereas, as a “Ndumilakutatu”, he is innocent.
We met at a recreation joint recently, thanks to relaxation of some restrictions that had been imposed in the wake of a certain disease. Joe told me that he almost died recently, not of the disease, but due to carelessness relate to a process of protecting himself.
He was alone in the house, the rest of the family members having “de-lockdownised” themselves to visit relatives elsewhere. He remembered a packet of dried and ground leaves that a friend had given him as (in boiled form) a protective mechanism against the disease, but which he had forgotten to alert his wife about.
He had simply thrown the packet into his wardrobe and forgot about it. While inhaling the fumes produced by the concoction that had been boiling in a “sufuria” that he had placed on a “jiko”, he heard “Mwizi-mwizi-mwizi” yells in the neighbourhood.
Having been a victim of thefts from his household three times before, and having silently swore that he would kill the first thief he would ever come upon, he suspended the process. He picked a panga and run outside, repeatedly screaming “lazima nimuue” (I must kill him).
When he got close to the place where the drama was being played out, Ndumilakutatu asked his neighbours to stand aside and give him the much-sought chance to “finish off” the “bloody thief” and set him on “a journey to hell”.
They stepped aside, but they were laughing loudly as they did so, which he assumed was their way of acknowledging the service he was about to do to them, by using his panga to “do the needful” to the thief.
But since their brand of laughter was somewhat strange, he examined himself and discovered that he was stark naked, as he had forgotten to conceal his nakedness.
He collapsed, prompting a kind neighbour to summon an ambulance. As he was being driven away, a kind neighbor having donated a shirt and pair of trousers to cover him and prevent his “natural resources” becoming a free for all for the rest of the world to see, a rumour spread in the neighbourhood bushfire-style, that Joe, aka Ndumilakutatu, was suffering from a certain disease.
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