DEAR nephew Milambo Greetings from Dar es Salaam I HOPE that by the grace of Limatunda you are all doing fine, and that all the people of my beloved Ukumbisiganga are in good health and in good spirit.
Here in the confused city things are not that bad, we thank Liwelelo and the ancestors for their continuous sustenance, although just the other day they nearly welcomed me in their presence, but I politely declined.
I will tell you all about that, but for now I wish to let you know that I got your message from Rashidi, and I have to be honest and tell you that I was expecting something like that.
When you told me that the caretaker has harvested a portion of my tobacco and sold it before disappearing, I knew that it was likely to happen sooner or later, because that fellow does not have a single bone of honesty in him.
You might wonder why I decided to hire him and yet I knew that he was a dishonest chap, but the truth is that I was hoping against hope that he had grown up and changed his wayward ways, that is why I gave him the chance to prove me right, but unfortunately he has failed.
You see son, in this life when someone decides to place their trust in you, you have to work very hard to show them that they did not make a mistake to trust, but if you go against that trust, then you fail them and your own soul.
People take trust for granted, but that is wrong, very wrong, because honesty is a virtue that people treasure, but unfortunately as years’ progress, it is fast becoming a rare commodity.
I hope that with the money that he stole from me he will do something concrete and beneficial to him and his family, otherwise the action will continue to haunt him for the rest of his days.
I hope that your son is feeling better now after the bout of malaria, and I hope that you gave him proper medical attention, because I will not forgive myself if anything happens to my grandson.
Your aunt sends her warm greetings to you and your family, although she was also feeling under the weather these past two days, but I thank Limatunda that she is now back to her normal cheery self.
I understand that your aunt communicated to you and informed you that I was not feeling well, but what I believe she did not tell you is that for those two weeks the ancestors were seriously beckoning me.
You see, I know by now you know about this new disease which has created chaos all over the world, the disease which is forcing people to put pieces of cloth to cover their nose and mouth.
They call it Covid-19, and with the rumours spreading around about the severity of the disease, I knew I was on my way to the ancestors when I confirmed that I have it. Just two days before I went down with it, a good friend of mine who was also my neighbour succumbed to it, and he was younger and more energetic than me, so you can imagine my fear.
After going through that experience, I can confidently say that I do not wish to see anyone else going through the same situation, because believe me it is terrible! Your aunt was really confused, I can tell you, and I was told that she was crying throughout my ordeal, and for a moment she thought that I had gone senile.
For those two weeks I was hanging between reality and the fairy world, which was dominated by the presence of ancestors, male and female, led by Chief Mirambo himself.
Son, there were times I could witness circumcision songs in my hallucination, and I saw myself dancing like there was no tomorrow, and then there were moments when I could see myself leading a unit of the dreaded Ruga ruga warriors into battle.
But when chief Mirambo turned on me and told me that my time on earth had expired and that I was supposed to join them, I let out a terrible cry, which made the hardened Ruga ruga scamper for cover.
His hard eyes were locked on me, and behind him I saw Mzee Kasele looking at me with a very hungry look in his eyes, and I pleaded with the chief to let me return to earth so that I could kiss my wife goodbye.
“Son, we need you here so that you can tell us stories of the changes in my Kingdom, because I understand that nowadays you don’t use horses anymore, and instead you use some metal boxes which move on their own,” said Chief Mirambo in a gruff voice.
I told him that it was indeed true, but he should let me go back and confirm whether they move on their own or they also use grass, and that is when Mzee Kasele intervened, and told the chief that I should stop whining because my hut was ready for occupation.
You see son, this old man hated my guts since I was still a young lad, and I was surprised that he took the matter to the after world, considering the fact that he died almost 50 years ago.
But Liwelelo is great, because he commanded the chief to allow me to go back and take care after my family and farm, and that is when I crashed back to the world and saw your aunt crying her eyes out.
To tell you the truth, there is need for us to pray hard to our ancestors so that this disease can go back where it came from, because I am always fighting with your aunt because I refuse to put that piece of cloth on my face, because it makes one look stupid, and for me it makes it hard to breath freely.