I will not forget the look on Oscar the Hawker the other day when I met him at the bus stop, he looked at me as if he was seeing a ghost.
I felt uncomfortable as the man who has been responsible for several peace breaking missions in my home and neighborhood stared at me with his bloodshot eyes as if he expected me to vanish into thin air.
“Baba Boyi, is it really you? Wonders will never cease, there are some fellows who have already eaten your funeral money, I swear to you, and I have to confess, I drank several beers to mourn your demise,” he told me.
You, see this fellow is known far and wide in the corners of Manzese for his loud mouth and gossiping nature, and it is on several occasions the mother of my small clan had threatened to go back to her parents on the hilly sides of Mbeya because of this chap.
On this occasion, he looked earnest as he told me about the rumors that I had kicked the bucket, and that even my clan led by mama Boyi refused to attend my funeral because the reason of my death on the death certificate screamed Covid-19!
The way he was spinning the tale, I was left with no doubt that he was the source of most of the stories, especially when he said that Jatello, my friend from the lake zone had announced that he will offer permanent accommodation to my wife.
“Even mzee Zakayo offered free rounds of beer to celebrate…sorry….to mourn your untimely death, and people drank the whole night,” he said with a fake tear on his left eye.
I know most of you are still wondering as to what led to the flood of fake news concerning yours truly, and I have to admit that the big man upstairs called, but I refused to pick, in short I told the angel of death to take a hike because I was not ready to ‘Return my card’! It happened one month ago, when I was offered beer and I refused, because I did not feel I was in a good state of health to swallow any cold, frothy liquid, and I realized it meant I was really sick.
All the signs indicated that the dreaded Uviko had finally caught up with me, and this was further confirmed when I forced myself to swallow a frothy Ilala product and I could not feel the taste.
I knew things were even more serious when my domestic thug who calls himself my son came home, and I could not smell him before I saw him.
You see, this boy has a permanent smell which is something close to the smell of a billy-goat, and I always smell him before he appears, but that day I was shocked when I saw him before I could smell him.
I looked at him suspiciously and asked him if he had finally decided to take a bath, and he looked at me as if he was sure I was high on something illegal.
To say the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it reached a time where I could swear I could hear the angels singing welcoming songs somewhere near the pearly gates, and I told myself that I will not go without a spirited fight.
There was a time when I thought I could hear angel Gabriel calling names in alphabetical order, and I told myself that if I was not careful, they would bundle me to heaven unceremoniously.
That is the day when the domestic thug looked at me as I huddled myself in several blankets in the living room and gave me a wicked smile, and I knew he was thinking of peddling his mother to the nearest bidder the minute I shut down.
“Mshua pole sana, but looking at you I have a feeling we will be fatherless soon, how about having a man to man talk with your son and tell me about any money that you might have stashed away, sio vizuri to die with secrets,” he said before he told me to show him the password to my phone.
The mother of my clan on the other hand shocked me one day when she told me that I should come clean and tell her if I had any children ‘outside’ instead of waiting until the day they turned up after my death.
“I will not stand any bastard who shows up after you are gone and claim you are their father, kama wapo just tell me so that I know how to deal with it,” she said that day, and I knew that if I was not sick, she would have asked that question with her favorite frying pan in her hand.
Anyway, I thank God that I survived the ordeal, and just the other day I passed at Zakayo’s Pub after a whole month of absence and I could see that the old man really missed me.
“I was worried that you might die before you pay my money, but God is great, He has spared you so that you can pay your debts before you go for real,” he said and ordered one of the girls to supply me with enough cold ones on his bill.
As I am writing this, I have enough brown bottles in front of me which I am sure will keep me busy for a long time, and Jatello has just told me that he will have to ask for a refund for the suit he ordered from London for my burial.
And I am happy also because before I left the house, I saw the domestic thug pushing his head in the stinking dustbin and emerged with a very confused look, before telling his mother “I cannot smell anything!!