Those storytellers who made us believe that every story has a beginning, a climax and a denouement, will be shocked to learn that in our chiefdom stories don’t end. Here, stories have beginnings, and permanent climaxes.
Nyaba, just when you are about to heave a sigh of relief after one suspense infested story appears to have climaxed, another one pops up, causing even more suspense and anxiety than the previous.
When our elders say a pepper seller does not touch his manhood when he is at work, they knew what they were talking about.
You see, the man who assists the man who is charge of trading and selling and industrial affairs of our chiefdom, is also a man whose seat in the house of lawmakers was being challenged. And even though he had been tested and confirmed to have contracted the new disease which none of the powerful shrines across the chiefdom have been able to fight off yet, he defied the warnings of the National chief, and went out to visit the baobab trees under which officers of the thumb printing office had set up their tables and stools and writing down the names of those who wish to participate at the next thumb printing festival to select a national chief and 275 lawmakers for our chiefdom.
Nyaba, there’s something about power. Those who have it always complain about how difficult it is. They grumble about how people expect them to pay rent for them, absorb the cost of their weddings, and naming ceremonies, help them to abort unwanted babies and even in some cases, help them to sleep with their wives. Being an MP is no joke. Yet, every MP, especially those who have ever complained and grumbled are the ones who usually want to sit on that “undesirable” seat for as long as their buttocks can cushion them.
Such was the case of the lawmaker in question. He had to do everything, including ensuring that as many supporters of his as possible, got their names written in the book of people who can’t part3in the next thumb printing festival. He defied the orders of the National chief and went out to the shades of the baobab tree where people had gathered to write their names.
He was accused of potentially transmitting the disease to other people. Somehow, he didn’t keep the information to himself. Instead, he spoke to gossips, including my own brother Umaru Sanda who works for the Citi gossip group. Soon, the gossip spread through the entire chiefdom like the way coronavirus spread through the fish factory in Tema.
When the news got to the National chief, he called the lawmaker who also doubled as an assistant to the man in charge of trading and industry matters and probably said to him “my brother, you sell pepper, yet without washing your hands you have touched your own manhood, and now it is burning and itching. So, go home and scratch it.” and that was how Carlos’ move became less callous.
Nyaba, a day before that, news had spread across the chiefdom, that a former General Secretary of the Elephant clan had been called to join the ancestors. His mode of travel to the land of the ancestors was unfortunately facilitated by the sickness that no herbalist throughout the world has so far been able to find a cure for.
Nyaba, in the last market day, the National chief himself announced that someone within his close circles had contracted the disease and as the protocols demand, he announced that he was going into one of the huts in the national palace where he would be alone for 2 market days.
As soon as this announcement was made by chief gong beater in the palace of the National chief, some persons began to read meanings “oh the man has the virus”, said one man to another. “yes”, the other fellow responded, he brought it from Norway”. He said with all the type of confidence a lion gathers in front of a limping antelope.
Nyaba, the people of our chiefdom are a very difficult bunch to rule. But hey! The rulers love to rule them just that way. So the Umbrella clan hasn’t gone to sleep after all. They still have their eye very much focused on occupying the National palace. So, after looking from village to village and from room to room, from every possible hiding place, holes, corners and even on tree tops, they finally found the person they believe can partner the former national chief to convince thumb printers to thumb print them back into the National palace.
Our elders say, the monkey is smart only because one tree is located close to the other. We’re trees to be located far away from each other, the monkey’s smartness would be questioned. All of a sudden all members of the Umbrella clan have become feminists and gender advocates. They have all of a sudden seen how important it is to involve women at the highest of politics in our chiefdom. On the flip side, all of a sudden some hitherto gender activists who could break the neck of anyone who dared to challenge a woman in any way or form, have begun to see how “it is not yet time” to involve women at this “high” level.
Nyaba, our brothers from the land ruled by King Buhari say “I get am before no be property”. This market day has exposed overnight gender activists and hypocritical gender activists too. They used to have my respect. Now they don’t.
The preparations for the thumb printing festival have just begun and the political clans will come to us to ask for our thumb prints. They will come to us to ask us to give them our power. But you see, to give banana to a monkey is not the problem. The problem is how the monkey behaves after you have given it your banana.
We have given our banana to the umbrella before and we have given our banana to the elephant too. What they both did after that is what should inform our choice of thumb print.
Nyaba, just when I thought this climax was the final climax, another story just popped up. A student dies in Kumasi. A headmistress loses her job.
It’s a whole climax again. I like to climax. Climaxes produce many things including babies.
By Abdul Hayi Moomen.