Saying no to the ancestors was not an easy affair

Saying no to the ancestors was not an easy affair

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 it is just the other day when they nearly welcomed me in their presence.

I will tell you all about that later, 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 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 you, but if you go against that trust, then you fail them and your soul. People take trust for granted, but that is wrong, because honesty is a virtue that people treasure, but unfortunately as the years progress, honesty is fast becoming a rare commodity.

I hope that he will do something concrete and beneficial to him with the money he gets from my harvest, 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 days the ancestors were seriously beckoning me.

Soon after we arrived in this confused city from Ukumbisiganga for the end of the year celebrations, I felt that my body was not as it was supposed to be, and I believed that it was because of the terrible heat and the dust we experienced in Tabora.

But a few days ago things became serious, and this was soon after spending days taking care of your aunt, which forced her to rush me to hospital in the company of neighbours because my condition was becoming worse.

My dear nephew, what the doctors said was that I was suffering from cerebral malaria, (I am not sure if I got it right), but they said that it is the kind of malaria which runs straight to the head.

After going through that experience, I can confidently tell you that even if I have a grudge against anyone, I do not wish to see them going through the situation I went through, because believe me, it is a terrible experience! Your aunt was really confused I can tell you, and I was told that she was crying throughout my short ordeal, and for a moment she thought that I had finally gone senile.

My dear nephew, for those two days I was hanging between reality and the fairy world, which was dominated by the presence of all the ancestors, male and female, led by Chief Mirambo himself.

Son, there were times I could hear circumcision songs in my hallucination, and sometimes I saw myself dancing to those songs like someone who is possessed or as if 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 great Nyamwezi chief to let me return to earth so that I could kiss my wife good bye.

“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 the chief when he saw me on my knees begging him to allow me to go back to the land of the living.

I told him that it was indeed true, but at least he should let me go back and confirm whether the metal boxes he was referring to 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 like a baby because my hut in the land of the ancestors 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 of my family and farm, because they still needed the presence of a wise son of the Nyamwezi to guide the young generation, and that is when I crashed back to the world and saw your aunt crying her eyes out.


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