I HAVE been arguing the last two Sundays that we have been given the same wise brains as our white colleagues from the West and are, therefore, very capable of coming up with excellent innovations that are scientifically based and of true developmental value to our African societies.
For reasons someone is yet to properly explain to me and the rest of us, we only seem to enjoy using this scientific wisdom to frighten the hell out of or harm others.
Transport is very costly because of ever rising costs of fuels yet we have the ability among our men and women to make an item as bare and simple to make as an axe handle, a reed basket, a clay pot and many other similar paraphernalia to fly at rocket speed (if not the speed of sound itself) and take us to far off destinations so quickly it would enhance our time keeping, efficiency and productivity! Yet for goodness sake, we have kept this innovation so secretive our items can only fly in the wee hours of the night when all others are sleeping!
I hate the fact too that if I am to hire any such flight machine, I must fly naked. Now, that’s pretty uncomfortable because we migrated from walking in the nude several generations ago I just have to have my clothes on unless I am perhaps bathing, going to bed( for those of us who are used to shedding all attires at bed time), or indeed when some of our intimate actions require that we undress!
In the famous little Zambian place where I was doing a special assignment for the International Institution, I heard things so weird I could have disputed them but then, there was that possibility someone would do strange things on me just to prove their prowess in witchcraft, which is what our science was all about.
Just like us men, women too were encouraged to do these awkward, primitive acts in the name of maintaining marriages. They could also do stuff, I am told, that could lock you up for good, sir! Don’t
argue! You were not there when these local quacks told me what they told me. You too, sir, could have one miserable sexual outing after another without success thereby suffering great embarrassment because your wife did some juju to paralyze your ‘whatever’ whenever you attempted to misuse it on other partners than she for whom you paid bride price.
And men beware! I was told that if I felt these ‘locking’ tactics were mild and too lenient on men who were hell bent on humiliating you by secretly carting your madam away and giving her joys only you were legally qualified to do, you could kill them outright!
“This stuff is no joke,” assured my wizard host. “With this one, whoever sleeps with your wife will just collapse and die the very first time they try to bath after doing their thing with your wife!
Gaaaada! Finished! No more to be a sex hero.”
I am sure I would readily skin any man that I had evidence had taken away my Amake Pachikani and … yes, I can skin them. Cause them pain and anguish. Yet the thought of bewitching them in this fashion kind of frightened me.
“I have another one also,” continued the wizard. “This one, a day after they commit adultery with your wife, they will start feeling thirsty and will drink all the water in the village without eliminating the thirst! They will keep asking for water till in the end all parts of the body starting from the stomach down will swell.
They will become so big in the end people will run away from them because even their skin colour will turn pale white.” “Jeesus!” I exclaimed in shock.
“You are worried about that?” he asked looking at ease. “That is nothing because finally, he must explode…into pieces! That’s how he will die.”
“That’s awful,” I muttered. “That’s not pleasant at all…”
“You feel sorry for bastards who cause trouble in our society?” he asked. “We don’t need them so don’t feel bad when such things happen to them. They deserve what they get. It’s good riddance.”
So guys beware! It’s not all those friends, family members and so on we find dead in the bathrooms who have died of high blood pressure!
Maybe they were heroes at the wrong actions.
But that’s what bothers me. I worry about our prospects for national development because some of the proposed outcomes of these sciences are so retrogressive we just do not need them altogether unless we convert them to positive uses. One other quack in the same area offered me juju that he claimed ‘worked all round’.
If he tattooed me between my two buttocks, I would become ‘untouchable’. The fellow says I could commit the worst crimes and offences in the community but always win my cases in court. Imagine I am the most wanted criminal in these parts but people still love me so much they will either hide me from Police, or turn on them when they see them giving me chase, or just turn up in court and give false the evidence I will never ever be convicted.
This buttock tattooing thing is solid stuff in that every person who sees me immediately likes me. People will be falling over each other to do me favours of types. This truly sounds like heaven on earth but I am bit skeptical. Wouldn’t such a life take away so much of my privacy? Why should I pride myself in being a notorious criminal who gets away with all crimes but also who is pursued by crowds of admiring men and women all intent on doing me favours?
That’s madness I tell you. No. I don’t want such stuff. It’s too strong, very peculiar and not in tandem with God’s plan for man. When man commits crimes, they must pay for them, not become heroes. Man must have friends as well as enemies. Surely life will be incomplete unless some people hate you! We can’t have the whole world loving us because then we will steal God’s glory.
The other stuff…maybe I should introduce this man to Alexander Chikwanda and Denny Kalyalya our minister of finance and central bank governor respectively!! Our country can steal all the dollars and
pounds we need. He says I can get people’s huge amounts of money by simply sitting next to them or walking very closely to them. All their cash will escape from the bank and become mine. Not very intelligent, I think, because it all sounds too implausible but since we are perfecting the art of science as brewed in Africa, we can give it a try. If it means making black tattoos on the chests or arms of respectable men like ministers of finance or Bank of Zambia governors so that by merely sitting next to the chancellor of the exchequer in London or the World Bank and IMF bosses, abracadabra our foreign reserves start swelling and spilling over with British Pounds and American Dollars, why not! For the worth of a tattoo, Zambia’s woes would start melting in an instant!
The other stuff too would work wonders for our agricultural sector. I was told if I had that concoction and rub it on my elbows every time I went to my field, those with their fields adjacent to mine would
without realising it start cultivating my land, my field. I would have slaves who would do so much work I could expand my field hundredfold without them realising they were slaving for me!
“They will see you working when in fact you are there for a short time,” I was told, “but when they return the following day, they would just be shocked to notice what a huge portion you had worked on!”
So well, well, well! Isn’t this a grand opportunity to get the Zimbabweans to grow so much tobacco for us while we watched? And neighbouring South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania and the rest would be toiling on their farms while all their sweaty efforts relocated to us here (what with our vast tracts of land)?
Surely, hearing all these magical scientific powers, don’t you sit there and ask “Why are we so poor with all these claims?”
I know that I will hear mountains of other possibilities before I return to Lusaka. These people really believe in their witchcraft, which they seem to practice openly.
Today, for example, we heard of a construction casual worker who quarreled with his site foreman, got the instant sack and declared as he walked away from his job: “Sorry bwana, for what you have done, I will not suffer alone.” A few hours later, there was a freak accident in which the foreman fell in front of a grader and had one of his legs crashed to pulp! In all the years of work experience, how does such a person fall in front of a moving grader?
This science is real but can’t we rebrand it so that we benefit progressively as a race, a people and eventually, maybe as the whole human species? Join me in trying to persuade them.