Lusuga Kironde, 25th September 2010 @ 00:26, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 5456
IF you are a “land” person like myself you can not resist but read to the end, this front-page article in the Good Citizen (18 September), entitled “Agony of Nyerere’s son over Sh4bn plot”.
Your attention is drawn to the photograph whose caption reads as follows: “The popular N.M. Club stands on land that is at the centre of a long ‘drown’ dispute over ownership”.
“Long ‘drown’ dispute”? No. Drown is a verb with many meanings including dying from being under water for a long period. To drown your sorrows means to drink a lot of alcohol in order to forget your problems. On the other hand, if an event takes more time that usual, or longer than you would like, then it is “drawn-out”.
As we shall see below, there has been a long-standing dispute over the piece of land on which N.M. Club stands. Therefore, that land is at the centre of a “long drawn-out dispute” (not a long drown dispute). From the article, we learn that the late Mwalimu Nyerere adopted a child who is now a 46-years old adult whom we shall address as Mr PKB, and who is laying claim to a plot on which the popular N.M. Club stands.
PKB “is accusing the proprietor of the N.M. Club of using forged documents to grab the land that he says was ‘bequeathed on him’ by the founding father of the Nation (Nyerere) in 1989”. To bequeath means to officially arrange (eg through a will) that someone owns something that belongs to you, after your death.
Mwalimu Nyerere died in 1999 but the land in question was given out in 1989 when he was very much alive. The writer therefore had to get another word to represent this fact or claim, Give, allocate, grant, are some of the words that come to mind. Besides, you bequeath something “to”, not “on”. It is therefore possible to see Mwalimu Nyerere bequeathing land “to” PKB. “On” could go well with “bestow” which means to give someone something of great value or importance.
A country could bestow honours on an important personality. We are told that PKB is an orphan. As a result, he was raised at an orphanage, which was visited one day by Mwalimu Nyerere. The President took time “to ‘chart’ with the children” and decided to adopt PKB. By “chart” the writer had in mind that the President talked informally with the children at the orphanage.
The correct word is “chat”. How did PKB become an orphan? On page 4 we are told that he became an orphan at birth in Kagera Region in 1965. An orphan is a child who has lost both parents. To have both your parents die at the time of your birth is rare. Some unfortunate mothers die while, or soon after, giving birth but what would kill the father at the birth of his child?
On page 1 we are given another version: “PKB “was ‘rescued’ from an orphanage in Bukoba by Mwalimu Nyerere and brought to Dar es Salaam after both his parents died in the Kagera War”. It is therefore likely that PKB was orphaned during the War with Uganda in 1978- 79, but not at birth. To say that this gentleman was “rescued” from the orphanage is to paint a bad picture of the good people who run orphanages.
For, to rescue means “to save somebody or something from a situation of danger or harm”. The kind of orphanage in which PKB was, cannot be conceived of putting his life in danger or harm. Indeed it is the opposite that is the case. Why not just say that Mwalimu Nyerere adopted (not rescued) PKB from an orphanage? Hopefully, this long drawn-out land dispute will come to an amicable conclusion. *****
We are still with the Good Citizen of 18th September. Turning to page 24, we find a feature on a young woman entrepreneur who is reported to have said: “She never saw herself anything ‘more’ than a boss”. This is the headline of the article, but which is contrary to the grain of what the lady entrepreneur told the writer, for elsewhere she says: “I never saw myself as an employee in other companies. I just wanted to be my own boss”.
Thus, she never saw herself anything “less” (not “more”) than a boss. You wish we had more of her calibre in society for, apparently, the sky is the limit for her. She is poised to be a successful business person. How does she make it? “The secret behind her success lies in her determination not to give up easily especially when she is certain that her idea will ‘bear fruits’”.
Now, the phrase “bare fruit” is one of those that are not to be edited. A tree bears fruit. A plan or decision bears fruit if it is successful especially after a long period of time. Therefore, our lady entrepreneur’s ideas bear fruit (not bear fruits). *****We end up on a light note, reading this article in the Good Citizen (17th September, p. 19) entitled: “Why men head for bars and not home”.
There is this lady bar tender identified as Chiku with “those curvy hips, a gap between her
teeth and many more to my (the writer’s) delight”. Chiku defends her job: “No we are not prostitutes, but ‘it is’ because ‘of’ the pay is so bad ‘therefore’ we seek other means”. I should have quoted her as saying: “No we are not prostitutes but because the pay is so bad, we seek other means”.
As they chatted, Chiku sat besides the writer and, alas, soon all hell broke loose: “There was Mama Watoto (wife) with the most evil of stares that I had ever seen on her”. What was the writer doing? Charting those curvy hips of the bar lady?
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