THANK God information is not food. So, you wouldn’t die if you were starved of it, as you would, if your halfblessed stomach were denied its constitutionally mandated share of ugali. Or, if you are half-lucky to come from the shores of a certain unnecessarily big lake like me, of boiled bananas.
It may not matter much, therefore, if you lack information to the effect that this page is a tiny country of sorts the ‘Not necessarily United Republic of Page 5 of Sunday News’.
Each column here is a region, mine being ‘LIFE IS FUNNY’ of which I am the regional commissioner (RC). The name of its president is a top secret, but I may leak it to you if you give me a three-beers bribe, without attracting the attention of NACA: National Anti-Corruption Army.
If you visited my region last Sunday or someone who did briefed you on what he or she saw there you may recall that I was in Kenya recently, to cover its General Election. In a Nairobi night club, I pretended to sing the late Daudi Kabaka song ‘Safari Tanganyika’, and was baptized ‘Daudi Kabaka’ by enthusiastic admirers. In the wake of my heroism, a Satan-corrupted creature ‘Kenya-nised’ my wallet.
I had become a hero by singing ‘Safari Tanganyika’, but didn’t have bus fare to undertake ‘Safari Tanzania.’ A fellow Tanganian someone who, like me, is a hybrid between a Tanganyikan big boy and a Tanzanian adult – donated a little money to ensure that I both kept a heart attack at bay and returned to Tanzania.
He also made me drop the un-Godly idea of contracting a ‘Bagamoyo technician’ to engineer my wallet’s thief into making backwards movements whenever he sought to move forward !
The other evening, I was alone on a corner table at Kabia Katamu Bar, killing two things alternately, but for which I wouldn’t face a twoin- one murder charge.
I was killing boredom, which would have otherwise killed me if I had been sitting on the balcony of my house and gazing at the sky, hoping that it would open up momentarily and fire into my direction, trillions of Tanzanian shillings, or, preferably, American dollars.
I was also killing, in very slow-motion – because the days of Olympic athletic speed beer-drinking are gone and probably never to return something in liquid form, which a mischievously creative local broadcaster says shares the bronze colour with a cockroach.
On a few occasions, my tiny, dull brain ‘suffers’ momentary bouts of intelligence. Thus it was that, it engineered me into imagining how I could become the MP for Tulye Ebitoke constituency in the 2020 parliamentary elections, as a fox that would outfox other foxes.
Half-way, an elderly gent invited himself to my table ; Mzee Waliwao, whose first two names, curiously, belong to the Caribbean city and country, Kingston and Jamaica. He also owned a Jimmy Carter-like smile.
I welcomed him wholeheartedly, because we could discuss issues on which many dot.com generation members are in total darkness. We could, for instance, discuss Pan-Africanism.
I can bet Sh100,000 (at the risk of suffering a heart attack if I lose) that if I asked a youngster what pan-Africanism is, he would confidently reply that it was once the popular Dar-based soccer team, Pan African ! Mzee Waliwao gave me a huge ‘pole mzee’ over loss of my wallet, which he had read about in this ‘region’ last Sunday.
He said he suffered a similar experience in Mombasa, and, thanks to Tanzanian camaraderie, too, a certain Tanganian had come to his rescue.
Back from the toilet, I found on the table, a note drafted in beautiful handwriting typical of people who went to school in the 60s. It bore, in capital letters, the message: POLE SANA MZEE ! The writer and my wallet, which I had pretended to forget on the table, were gone.
I burst into gigantic laughter like a baboon that had just munched a sweet banana, because the wallet hosted old business cards, the money secure in the inner pockets of my jacket !
I rose from the chair and started singing the Msondo Ngoma tune focused on a grown up man shedding tears when circumstances so dictate, as was surely Waliwao’s case.
Next, I punched the air five times like a South African freedom fighter of the 1960s, and shouted a dozen times, ‘Pole sana mzee’, imagining that Mr Kingston Jamaica Waliwao would hear the message, wherever he was.
Those around started speculating that I wasn’t entirely okay upstairs. I walked out slowly, escorted by a very loud ‘Pole saaana Mzee’ chorus. By the time I realised that I had forgotten my jacket on the chair, I didn’t bother to make a U-turn, as someone had by then certainly ‘personalized’ it, plus the money it hosted!