NATURALLY, any talk centred on the end of the world evokes terror in the hearts of the listeners. Thus was the case when, upon arriving in the newsroom on a given morning once, a colleague (Mark) was in a state of utter disarray.
The hellos he characteristically dispensed amongst the rest of us delightfully had vanished. When he slumped into a chair and requested for a glass of water urgently, I personally sensed that things had become Elephant, as a Kenyan humourist, the late Wahome Mutahi, would had put it.
This meant that things were immensely critical, literally weighing as heavy as the huge animal.
After composing himself, he remarked that going by a little drama he had witnessed at the then Ubungo commuter bus terminal on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam city a couple of hours earlier, the end of the world was approaching.
After the narration, another colleague (Joy) pronounced a crude ‘verdict’ that she felt would put things in a clearer perspective.
She said that as part of the process of the world nearing the end, Tanzania, as part of the global community, was heading to the dogs.
Yet another colleague, ‘Mwaki-somebody’, naturally a ‘Mbeya democrat’, ‘spiced’ things up by trashing the ‘dogs’ eventuality as an under-statement.
In reality, he declared, the country was past the dogs and was heading towards the foxes. Mark recalled that, as they were waiting for buses, the pair of trousers of a young man in the company of his mother loosened up and dropped!
In a twinkling of an eye, the mother slapped the son (Mshikaji) a couple of times, as meanwhile, he ventured into damage-control mechanics.
In the interim, however, his underwear had literally been made a full-scale advertisement product! Matters wouldn’t have been softened by its being sparkling white!
Lifting the trousers and frantically making adjustments geared at preventing a repeat of the woefully embarrassing drama, he apologised profusely to the mother, who was feverishly screaming that “hili litoto limenishinda”.
Translation: I have lost the battle to reform this good for nothing son of mine! Her efforts (by persuasive and coercive means) to get him to shed the bizarre type of dress and embrace the decent variety, had failed flat.
Sobbing, she lamented that her husband’s spirited efforts had similarly been fruitless, as had been those of some senior members of the broader family.
“But what’s the way out; curse him?”, she asked, apparently seeking in-puts from listeners, then declared that the battle would nonetheless be sustained, as surrendering would be cowardly.
She earnestly hoped, too, that, through divine intervention, he would reform.
The Mshikaji-related tale reminded me of a Facebook posting pegged on the presumed origins of the trousers style in question, known as mlegezo, which references looseness.
The posting had side-by-side pictures featuring the rear sides of a baboon and a young human male. The message it sought to relay was that, some high-degree morally degenerate human species had aped the animals.
The scenario is utterly disgusting, for as Creator, God assigned specific outlooks and behaviour to human beings, wildlife, domestic animals, birdlife and so forth.
So, when a section of humanity fashions a dressing style on the approximate outlook of the rear quarters of a baboon, something has gone truly, and maybe irreversibly haywire.
For public nakedness is a baboon’s natural form, but it isn’t for a human being. It is a diversion that is not mitigated even by partial nakedness, as is represented by the repulsive ‘mlegezo’ style.
As the Ubungo daladala terminal drama demonstrated, when something goes wrong, hell literally breaks loose. Some religious leaders recently condemned the ‘mlegezo’ style and other forms of indecent dressing severely.
It was the latest in a series, to which a curtain is unlikely to be drawn soon. The pressure, therefore, has to be sustained. Apparently, under cover of liberalism, some, mostly youthful Christian worshippers, had taken to dressing indecently during Sunday service missions.
The trend was considerably controlled by ‘spiritual security corps’ posted at entrances to the houses of worship, who blocked the entry of the culprits.
Granted, fashions come and go, but rationality has to be factored into embracing decent ones and rejecting disgusting varieties . And even for the ‘militants’, wearing what, where, matters.
Fancy a mlegezo-wearing prospective bride groom appearing at an introductory session featuring his would-be in-laws! As would a young woman in a ‘mgongo wazi’ outlook visiting her mother-in-law in a hospital ward!
‘Juju’ reliance is most disturbing Music and sport are agencies of entertainment. But within them are elements hooked to superstitious nonsense. Some individuals designated technicians in some football clubs are ‘facilitators’ of match victories via the ‘dark science’. ‘Juju’, too, ‘enables’ music Group ‘Sisi’ to outshine rival Group ‘Wale’! Tragic; extremely tragic!