OUR great hopes have remained but mere hopes that the official retirement from gainful employment of His Royal Highness, his Majesty, “King” Mtolilo, him who’s officially and supposedly happily married to our indefatigable gossip of a neighbour, Vainesi Mtolilo, would lead to the irreversible departure from Avondale of this lot, this crap of a villagish family from next door.
We’ve waited ages to witness these baboon-cultured fellows finally packing and bringing the ever faithful Biddulphs Removals to transfer out their tattered mattresses, broken up wardrobes and cup boards, old non-functional three-in-one stereo players and a whole lot of other junk that they are unwilling to believe belongs and must be taken to the dump site because it serves to show us their neighbors that “nase tenze banthu kale” (we too were once somebodies).
People keep old boarded vehicles in their yards, that is, if they are a sweet reminder of the very past immediate model of Datsun 1600 or Nissan Blue Bird.
I can excuse you, if like Stakes ‘Girls’ Chitambo, you have a Fiat 127in your yard. His still spurts to life once you turn the ignition key clockwise and can drive off, even with all the smoke it has finally refused to stop spewing.
It used to be his favorite “hideout car” the one he drove around with its tinted all black windows whenever he was off to some mischief with any of his myriad of ugly, beautiful or whatever the make of zombies he called his girlfriends.
His Royal Highness, His Majesty “King” Mtolilo has a 1969 model Zephyr or Zodiac, so ancient and unrecognisable a car, in his backyard! I once tried sending our twins Pachikani and Mpachikeni to ask the young robots which live in that yard, the things that go by the surname Mtolilo who they sometimes play with (even if most times, the games end up with the robots being turned intomiserable punch bags by these twin rascals) if their father might want to makea few coins towing or lifting the thing and vending it off at a scrap metal dealer.
They gave some statements that definitely would not have made much sense to the boys, who were my messengers, and I am sure even to you if you heard the report. I somehow understood it to mean that he couldn’t sell the most significant of all the relics in his possession!
How could he sell it when it just showed who he had been from long ago, the well to do African man? Of course! While Awisi Pachikani only bought Amake Pachikaninext door a Toyota Starlet a few years ago when the banks found themselves withso much cash there was nowhere to store it so they started dishing out cash loans like they were trying to get rid of rabies or scabies or some such other plague,while His Royal
Highness, His Majesty “King” Mtolilo (the First at a guess),was already driving five years after Independence!
Fine, I have no business wishingthis lot out of Avondale even if it’s too neat where we live to continue accommodating a family that has failed to urbanise in their looks and behavioreven though three quarters of them were born right here!
But really, how on earth can a whole lot of characters from one house fail to iron out the village in them when they never even lived in a village? And villages these days are so full of sharper and better behaved (even if primitive) characters than the Mtolilos! Ever since Frederick Jacob Titus Mpundu Chiluba (RIP) privatised Zambia’s parastatal sector, a lot of companies collapsed and thousands of families, the entire Copperbelt, relocated of necessity, (yes I mean) shifted to Lusaka but also to the villages carrying with it all the bad sharp manners reminiscent of “guys”who were educated and not sleepy!
Not these things next door I tell you. I mean who still watches a black and white Telefunken TV in low density residential areas? They have all gone Plasma or something more latest! Who goes into town to pose in strange fixes for “snap and give” photographers and comes back home to hung the fast fading photographs on cardboard paper, tearing spaces where they push the four corners of the pictures in?
We did that at secondary school in 1975!
Little wonder Mr Mtolilo once went mad. I know the guys at Chainama Collegeof Health Sciences (or something like that) and my good friends at the Mental Health Users Association of Zambia, maybe the Human Rights Commission too, will not be amused I am making such reference as they insist madness is just a disease like any other and must not be mocked, and victims not be stigmatised,
I feel “King” Mtolilo invites the spasms of lunacy upon himself! In the first place, who wouldn’t go mad if they were strict Jehovah’s Witnesses who were also expected to be happilymarried to Vainesi Mtolilo? And in a yard or home stocking so much junk including a 1969 Zephyr or Zodiac, a woodstove, a paraffin fridge and spring beds squeaking everywhere all night, it should be expected and be perfectly normal for at least one inhabitant to become abnormal! And sadly in this home, it is the head of the house! I strongly believe that there would be some bit of order, if not for them, for some of us who live next to them, if they eliminated some of the junk they were keeping around, starting with Vainesi Mtolilo herself!
If we were asked in the neighborhood to contribute repatriation fees for these louts to be taken to Pendwe somewhere in the deeps of Petauke, or wherever they belong, I would be the first to jump to the ATM and physically guarantee my contribution. Someone take Mr and Mrs Mtolilo and Sons (and the sons’ sisters) out of here “immediately NOW” as our house prefect at school would say!