Sweat & Sun

scorching-sunI was very excited the other day

because I did not go to the washroom many times like before.

I thought it was because of a health drink that I had taken.

I did not think much about

I continued threshing the maize.

The following day

as I was spreading it in the sun to dry

I noticed I was sweating profusely.

The sweat was dripping down my face onto the maize..

Are my kidneys developing a problem?”

I asked myself

It did not occur to me that the sun was hotter than usual.

After I was done with spreading

I looked up to the sky.

It was clear, blue, the sun seemed lonely

I remembered sometime last month

the clouds and sun were very close.

Then they quarreled, the sun was refusing to let the clouds go.

The clouds cried for three days.

I remembered when I was in primary school there was this boy who would run after me after the last bell hold the back of my dress very tight and force me to walk home with him. I never cried, but was very uncomfortable.

I did not dare tell mum

because it would have changed to a different story like

“That is why you come home late,

because you play around with boys after school.”

Going home in a torn dress with a story ending in,

“and I got stuck between the two barbed wires,

that tore my dress as I pulled to get free”

would have received a milder punishment than

“so I pulled very hard to free myself from this boy,

that is when my dress got torn”

Today, if a boy calls you

without touching you

and asks you to walk home with him

after the last school bell.

Will be asked to bring a parent to school and wash the toilet as a punishment or improve the ground on which the school studies agriculture.

“Do the clouds have a mother?”

I asked myself.

If the clouds did, and reported to the mother

what the sun was doing

Would the mother answer

“Shut up! What were you doing there?

How many times have I told you not to go there.”

And I would have understood the mum’s anger,

because for sure, it was in the middle of February

what were the clouds doing here?

That is when I start wondering why I went to school at all.

I should have gone to nursery school

May be standard one and two,

then wait to get married.

Our world is very different now

from what we see in the Geography books.

I think after last months argument

the clouds left

Now the sun is dating the equator

The equator does not know how to soften the sun’s heart at all.

It is inexperienced, never gives advice.

I begin to wonder if the stone age people were right on how we should dress? Because my clothes are not helping at all.

I have been thinking about the moon too

and wonder what its use is

Am I imagining or is it producing heat too?

and not caring

like those schoolmates of mine

who went home

and left me behind

because to them, it was normal.

As we continue to burn

I appreciate my free dresses

with all my heart.

I am also trying to see if sweat can be used in any other way.

Maybe I can make quick money out of it.

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Body Armour

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I sat up straight when I heard the sound of the tins approaching the house. Had I missed one name,

when I called out to my children to come inside.

I stood up and rushed to the bedrooms.

I walked over to the beds to make sure that the children were tucked in well, Yes, they were.

Oh! I thought.

It must be a car carrying some bride and groom.

Drugging tins tied to the bumper at the back

But wait, why was I not invited?

I decided to find out who they were, so that,

I would also refuse to invite them to my wedding, next century.

I opened the door and stretched my neck to see the road.

My eyes stopped two metres ahead,

someone was standing there in a suit, body armour, made of stainless steel. I shut and locked the door,

Stood right behind it

then peeped through the keyhole.

I could not see anything, it was dark

Then a voice called, “Berina Berina”

It was my husband.

I opened the door to let this steel man in.

I did not know whether to get excited or annoyed.

I stepped back and asked,

“Did you get a job as a blacksmith or…

Did the English Queen just offer you the job of a bodyguard?

Or you bought this to smelt, so we would have more frying pans?”

He walked past me and sat on the sofa…

The noise that armour produced was unbearable…

[You know, since I started listening to gossip, my hearing has become sharper] He put his arm around my neck, but I lifted it and pushed it away.

It was colder than a stone at dawn…

“Berina, I am sorry,” he began…

“Ehe, I am listening,”

I answered..

“Today,” he continued, “when I was in the city,

I decide to visit the archives,”

He paused.

I looked up and urged him on, “Yes…”

I went through the old newspapers,

and came across several articles,

with women and men from your community that committed several crimes..”

“Hmmmm…” I responded trying to look hard into the spaces in the steel, around the eyes.

“One woman,” he went on, “sent her son to deliver bananas to the market, the son was hungry and ate three..

When the mum heard about it,

she dipped the boys hands in paraffin and set them on fire.

In another article,

an angry man, chased his wife away from his home.

In his hand was a Rungu which he threw at her as soon as she stepped outside, but the lady was lucky,

it landed on a goat that was grazing nearby,

killing it instantly..

“So?” I asked.

He tried to place his hand on my thigh, but I removed it.

“Wait wait wait! I have not finished,” he said.

“What worried me most, you are lucky that I even came home, is where I read that a woman chopped off her man’s private parts. That is why I came home wearing this, in case…”

“In case what?” I shouted and stood up facing him

“Now that you covered the whole body, does it mean that you think one day, I’ll get mad and stab you everywhere or slice you into small pieces?”

With my hands akimbo…

“How long have we been together?

If I wanted you to suffer, I would have done it long ago.”

I have had very many opportunities to do that, but I have never.

Trying to shrug in that impossible suit, he said, “you never know.”

“What?” I screamed…

He lifted his head…

I dont know if he was looking at me, from those holes,

I did not care.

“I thought, I’d better be safe than sorry,”

He said in a soft voice.

“So I went to the British Council Library

and pretended to be the maintenance guy,

and borrowed this”.

With irritating noise, he tried to bend his hand and point at his chest.. “This,” he said again, “for safety”

I stood on the same spot for some minutes, looking at him..

Then I turned and walked to the bedroom.

I packed a few clothes into my bag and walked out..

A few steps outside the door…

I heard this urge to be mischievous..

I quickly ran to the side of the house.

I could hear my husband calling…

“Berina Berina!”

I saw him walking towards the gate…

Trying not to be loud..

“Berina Berina!”

I took out my phone and dialled 999,

A voice came on,

I reported,

“There has been a robbery at the British Council Library,

a Body Armour is missing,

I know who stole it….

There was a grin on my face.

Erosion of Intelligence

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We must open our eyes wide and keep our ears alert…

we must continue to see….

we must continue to hear…..

for there are tiny invisible graves everywhere…..

waiting to swallow bits of our brains

if we are not careful….

the jaws of the graves are open wide

waiting to bite and swallow our wisdom and intelligence…

Bury them, so deep that they will never rise…

Anytime you do not use your sixth sense….

A part of your brain is buried.

If you do not have an intelligent friend to remind you

It is dead permanently…..

It is hard to find a person who is intelligent and wise….

Sometimes we look for a person who will look us in the eye and

tell us the truth quietly

without hurting us……

Someone who chooses his or her words wisely……

We are running out of human beings…..

People who are honest and kind….

The ones who will say

“No we cannot do this, it is bad”, or “it is wrong”

If you want good advice from a wise person…..

Go to a person who is very advanced in age…

And never went to school

He will not speak from what he has seen on paper….

But from experience

He will speak slowly

in a low voice, pausing after a few words…..

Waiting for everything to sink in……

Greed has made us push the elderly away……

Wrong pieces of advice from our friends who are our age mates

have made us blind and deaf..

Look at our children

We have no time for them…..

The only time we put some sense into their heads is when they make us angry.

We shout and make faces

Pausing after a few sentences to say

“I’ll beat you”

Instead of the child listening to us….

He or she will be looking at the expression on our faces and movement of our lips…..

At the end of the scolding

What they call a ‘sermon’ these days

Nothing has stuck to the bored child’s brain…..

Saliva and a few brain cells are wasted here because

the child has not been told the long term consequences of his actions…

We drop them at their grandparents place….

and call every evening

to know if they almost died out of discipline…..

Yes intelligence and wisdom are now in the golden coffin……

Waiting to be lowered to the grave..

We are running out of honest, wise human beings

Insanity is setting in slowly

That is why we freely and comfortably say

‘Every man has a degree of madness’

A statement I never heard until my teens…..

Which is common these days

It is unfortunate we cannot close schools….

It is too late

I spend all my time quietly at home….

This has allowed me to observe and learn a lot of things…..

I see what most people don’t see.

I hear what most people don’t hear.

All the feelings I have are stronger now

My senses are sharper.

We say, an idle mind is a devils workshop…..

Before I decide to lie on my back and stare at the ceiling…..

I remind myself that…

That is the time to observe and learn…

I thought it would wear my brain out

But I read somewhere that a positively active brain….

Is a strong brain

‘You are what you think’

is not an understatement

But a fact….

So continue thinking money….

keep away from the human beings who don’t help you make money….

Keep quoting verses from the bible

Especially from the new testament

Thinking that you are the one that God chose to fulfil things like…

‘A brother will turn against brother

or Sister will turn against sister’

or

‘whoever has little, even the little he has will be taken away’

And never in your life has God called you….

Even in the middle of the night

Like he did Samuel….

To give you an assignment….

As you hold your Holy Book

look at the ways of the world….

Be cautious and alert….

And you will not be holding that tool called greed….

to dig a tiny grave to bury your intelligence and wisdom…..

We, the human beings

have refused to add

General knowledge to the library of our brains…..

We want everything easy…..

something about making quick money….

I am almost agreeing that in the end, the earth will burn….

Maybe many drunk people

will one night…

forget to switch off the gas

and the world will burn….

May be the sun will get too hot and we will all be roasted…..

Or many enthusiastic scientists will take drugs…..

to keep them awake

while they do their project

then out of fatigue mix the wrong chemicals and many explosions will make the world burn…

Who knows?

But what I know is

When the world ends

It will be because of one foolish act…

An intelligent and wise person is always compassionate, kind and honest that is why they are rare…..

What we give to the world is what we get back….

If you give good advice, you get good results….

There is no shortcut to a peaceful life…

That part of your brain that you do not want to wear out….

Will die and you will be walking dead in a short time…..

Nothing is easy….

Strive to be intelligently unique.

The Loo & The Lock

There is this lock that has a chain

The one that I see in movies

I discovered that

if you have long fingers

You can open it.

I am not interested in that right now

The nail gets my attention

The one that we have on the frame of our door

Bent and rotated to prevent people from getting into rooms

like they contributed towards building them or

Like they own them.

Make sure to replace it with a thicker one after sometime

Or remove that one and put another in a different position

To make sure it is firm at all time.

This nail is very very important especially

on door frames that open into a toilet.

Very dangerous when it is lose…

Maybe if our doors were not built to fully cover the opening

We would bend to peep through the space under the door

To check if the loo was occupied

Oh! I have just realized you can only do this in public toilets

Not in the house

Because

1. We would always walk out of the house

when anyone goes for a long call and

2. We dont want people to know how our underwear looks like.

When your compound is spacious

If you are kind

children will always come to play

Running everywhere,

which will make the kids thirsty

So every now and then, they’ll drink water.

Suddenly at around 3 or 4 pm the kids are pressed…

If your stomach is patient

you will go to the loo

one or two hours after lunch

I’ll not forget to say that

I have noticed women

go for long calls in the first half of the morning

And men between lunch and supper

You have entered the loo

turned the nail to block the door

As you take your garments down

or lift your skirt up

Halfway to the toilet seat

You remember

you have not checked if

there is an insect looking at you

doing your business

It could be having a camera

you never know

So you look around.

And there it is

Back to your body, the garments go

Because there is going to be war…

You open the door

If it is a moth, you will get a towel

and wave it away

If it is a spider, you get one slipper

and misdirect your anger to it

If it is a wasp, you go for a long sleeved top

then cover your face with a leso or bedsheet

depending on how afraid you are of the wasp…

Then the war begins.

You win.

Like a rehearsal

you go through the same process

of undressing, again

This time you are comfortably seated

Looking at your phone

while you do your business

You have just finished writing an illegal post

that could land you in trouble

only when you are unlucky,

you think.

When a girl child is pressed

she will walk with her legs pressed together

her hips swinging from side to side.

She will approach the door of the loo

turn the handle and with little strength

push the door open

using her hips

The nail helps, the door will not open.

But this afternoon you are unlucky

A boychild is pressed

His mind thinking of only one thing

“I must pee. I MUST PEE”.

He rushes into the house

runs straight to the loo

Your post has just gone through

Posted successfully

You sit up straight [sigh]

feeling happy with yourself

The boy reaches the door

Places his hands on his chest

bent at the elbow and

pushes the door open

the loose nail is out of the frame

in a second hits your face so hard

Thinking the detectives have tracked you down

You suddenly stand up

hand on your forehead

clothes down to your ankles

and scream at the top of your voice

“Aaaaaa…. I have been shot!

Help help I have been shot!

The boy who did not expect to find someone

who is almost dying from a gunshot in the loo

Runs out screaming

straight to his home

And into the loo

If it was a different person

sitting in the loo

looking out for any insects…

She’ll be screaming

“Iiiiiiiiiii help! I have been stung…

Help! I’ve been stung.”

And a good neighbour

calls the emergency police line.