When our forefathers terrorized other regions in their quest for more territory, they bred in their future generations of black people who, to say the least, are fearless.
Those were the days when a single warrior could tear through the forest in hot pursuit of a terrified lion, and after a brief struggle, he would return to the village with the dead lion strapped on his shoulders.
And it made me to remember stories told to us by our grandfathers, of the war like tribes who carried out bloody campaigns throughout vast lands of mother Africa in search of water and greener pastures.
I have all the reasons to believe that the current crop of Africans who are the direct product of these fearless ancestors are the ones who are living today in Bongo with all the confidence of a hungry lion even if you tell them that the world is ending tomorrow.
I am saying this because years ago after it was announced that there was a deadly disease wreaking havoc carrying the name of Aids, these brave Africans took time to digest the information before making any move.
And immediately after weighing their options and monitored the disease, these brave Africans decided that this pandemic was not enough to shake the brave hearts of people who are born of warriors who made a grown lion look like a cute kitten.
Here in the land of Mama Samia, brave sons of Africa, after being educated on how one can contract the deadly virus, went on with their business unshaken, and it was the same time when guest houses, or ‘gesti’ as we like to call them cropped up with renewed vigor.
In my beloved Manzese, I can confidently tell you that the new guest house right behind my house was not there two months ago, but right now it is operating as if it has been in business for considerable years, the number of people going in and out throughout the day and night could make a veteran pastor cry in pain.
Just the other day, I was discussing with Oscar the Hawker on how Tanzanians have completely ignored the threat of Aids, and how they are acting as if it was just a bedtime story created by what they like to term as haters and ‘Mabeberu’.
“Baba Boyi, you know it is a good thing to be brave, but sometimes it can also be to our disadvantage, because as we continue making proper use of gesti, people continue to die like insects,” he said.
As we were still debating on whether the disease is a myth or a reality, mzee Zakayo, the proprietor of Zakayo’s Pub, came with two bottles of beer and placed them before us before he sat down.
I looked at him suspiciously, because as far as I could remember, the old man was still acting strange after I told him that I have not received my salary and therefore I was not in a position to clear my growing beer debt.
He told me to relax because that day he was in a good mood, and I discovered later that his good mood was brought by the fact that it was his turn to receive money in his group of friends.
And that is when we started to talk on the new threat in town, the dreaded Covid-19, and how it was creating tensions across the globe, and how ‘experts’ predicted that most African countries will be collecting bodies in the streets when the first wave strikes.
“Omera, I don’t believe whether I was dreaming or not, but I have all the reasons to believe that I heard somewhere that the disease can turn you into a eunuch, it is terrible!” said Jatello who had just joined us.
Oscar the Hawker supported the statement, and said that it was on the news that a particular fellow was kicked out of his house by his wife after he failed to rise on the occasion several times, and the woman decided that she could not live with a cock which cannot crow, and rumor had it that the fellow had all the vital signs linked to the disease.
We talked for a few hours, and mzee Zakayo continued to supply our table with cold, frothy liquids, but that is until Jatello started making moves on a new bar maid called Sarafina. It got the old man worked up and he decided to stop the free service, and Oscar the Hawker whispered in my ear that the old man was interested in the lady.
When I arrived home, I was in for a shock, because I found the mother of my clan waiting for me with packed bags ready at the door, and she told me that early the next day she was travelling back home on the hilly sides of Mbeya.
“Baba Boyi, I love you very much, but you have to forgive me, I have been told that the Covid-19 is wreaking havoc in Manzese, and knowing the way you move around, I know it is just a matter of time before you bring it home!” she told me.
According to her, some of her neighbours told her that there are nine people who have already joined their maker, and to make matters worse, all of them were good members of Zakayo’s Pub.
I told her that if she decided to go because of my frequenting the pub, then she should do it quick because I did not have any intention of stopping any time soon, especially after the same disease threatened to dispatch me to my maker prematurely.
I saw her heading towards the kitchen, and I knew she was going for her frying pan, but the good news is, she did not find me there when she returned.