Some of these boys die very stupid deaths

Dear aunt Sophia

Greetings from Dar es Salaam

I hope that by the grace of Limatunda you and your family are doing okay, and all the folks in my beloved Ukumbisiganga.

Here in the confused city things are not bad, we thank Liwelelo for protecting us, and all the Nyamwezi ancestors led by Chief Mirambo for watching over us.

I was happy when I received your letter telling me that your son Abdul who lives in Europe has invited you to visit them.

My dear aunt, that is a great opportunity for you to go and explore the world, and I believe by the time you come back you will have a lovely experience to narrate to your grandchildren.

I should tell you my dear aunt that exploring the world provides you with an education that is impossible to get in learning institutions, because travel exposes you to other countries’ economies, political ways, heritage, geography, and sociology in an intense, hands-on way no class will.

What I know from my own limited experience is that if we allow ourselves to be content with just remaining in one little corner of the world, such as my beloved Ukumbisiganga, we miss out on so much.

My dear aunt, from the little that I have learned is that the planet houses people with varying cultures, languages, and life approaches that would blow your mind.

For you and me who have never travelled out of the African continent, I believe that exploring the world will help eradicate ignorance and prejudice against people that seem very different from us.

By being part of their life, you understand them more and learn new and exciting things about cultures that seem misunderstood.

I expect you to fill me in with all the things that you will witness in that continent when you come back, maybe it will motivate my wife to decide that we should also visit another continent apart from our lovely Africa.

As I have told you many times, sometimes I wish that my son Yassin could have been different, because from what I know, Abdul has been in Europe for barely five years, but here he is inviting you over.

My son has been in the US for almost 12 years now, but the boy is still depending on his mother to boost him financially time and time again.

They say that a good child makes the parents proud, but for my son it is really challenging, but I thank Limatunda because that is the boy who was bestowed upon me.

Anyway, I should not bore you with the tales of my son, because I have been telling you these things for so many years.

My wife sends her greetings to you and your family, and she is still insisting that in case you happen to come over before you travel to Europe, you should make our house your home.

Milambo and his wife and children are doing fine, and the baby is now able to recognise faces, because she can look at you and then break out in a cute smile, which makes my wife go crazy with happiness, because as I have always told you, this woman adores that beautiful child.

My dear aunt, here in the city there are these boys who are called bodaboda, who usually behave as if they usually carry an extra heart in their shirt pockets.

Just the other day I watched as two of them lost their lives after they were hit by a speeding lorry because of their stupidity.

That day we were returning home after visiting some friends, when out of nowhere almost a hundred of these boys appeared from behind us.

They were noisy my dear aunt, because imagine that number of motorcycles appearing at a breakneck speed, blowing their horns like mad men and riding recklessly as if they own the road.

We were told later that one of them had died and they were in that convoy heading to the cemetery to bury their departed comrade.

Milambo was driving, and to be honest he nearly ran over one of them when he veered from the left side and went ahead of our car and slowed down.

Milambo slammed on the brakes just in time, and instead of being thankful, that stupid bodaboda boy showed us the middle finger before speeding away, leaving Milambo in a foul mood.

Of course I was also annoyed, and carelessly said loudly that if they are not careful they might be in trouble if they continue behaving like lunatics on the road.

My dear aunt, the words were barely out of my mouth when from the opposite direction we saw a lorry coming at a dangerous speed, with the driver flashing his lights to warn the bodaboda fellows to move away from his side of the road, because they were covering the whole road.

I think they thought that the lorry driver will behave like other drivers they had terrorised and move to the side of the road to allow them to pass.

When they realised that the driver had no intention of doing that, most of the riders returned to their lane while others veered to the right beside the road to make way for the lorry, but two of them were slow.

We watched as the lorry plowed into them, throwing them in the air like rag dolls, and there is a possibility those boys died before their bodies hit the road.

It was a bad experience my dear aunt, because I did not know that a human body has all that blood. The driver of the lorry did not stop, he swerved the lorry dangerously to avoid running over the lifeless bodies before speeding away.

Some of the riders decided to go after him as the others gathered around their dead comrades without knowing what to do, because looking at them it was obvious that they had already joined their ancestors.

We were later told that the bodabodas who went after the lorry driver failed to stop him, and the fellow was bright enough to drive the lorry straight to the nearest police station and surrendered himself.

Those boys, if you ask me, died because of their stupidity. Anyway, let me pen off my dear aunt, I expect to hear from you soon.

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