Heshima and Marriage

            “Baba Chaupele, kila siku unarudi umechelewa na lipustiki kwenye shati!” A khanga cladded and sleepy Mama Chaupele yells at her drunken husband who is busy trying to negotiate with his feet, that don’t know whether to go left or right.  

             “Wee mwanamke huna adabu siku hizi hee?  Kelele tu!  Kelele saa zote!  Halafu unashangaa kwanini sikai huku ndani?”  Baba Chaupele slurs.  

             “Lazima nipige kelele!  Manake pesa zote unazipeleka kwa hao mahawara zako!”

             “Nani ana hawara?  Shenzi wee!  Lazima leo nikufundishe adabu!  Manake hicho kimdomo chako hicho hakina breki!”  For a person who was earlier negotiating with his feet, his hands are rather quick. Quickly Mama Chaupele screams as she ducks a swing and a nearby stool that she didn’t expect to be thrown at her.  Her screams are loud enough to wake up the whole street, but they are used to it.  Infact screams and curses are the norm in that neighbourhood. 

            “Nikisema kweli unanipiga?  Kwani uongo huna mawahara?  Kila mtu anajua!”  Mama Chaupele yells from the outside th door where she knows she is now safe from getting hit.

              “Na usirudi huku ndani, nyang’au wee!  Sijui nilikuwa nafikiria nini nikakuoa.  Hicho kimdomo siku moja nitakikata.”  Baba Chaupele says in between curses, and he proceeds to lock the door. Mama Chaupele hurls curses as she pounds on the door for a few minutes, then heads  out in the cold of the night. 

With her arms hugging her cold frame she walks quickly to the house around the corner, down the third street.    Before knocking on the door, she quickly glances back. 

            “Nilikuwa nakusubiri kwa hamu,” a heavy voice says as he opens the door.  his heavily bearded face brushes against her face that is as soft as a new born baby’s bum – because of exfoliating daily with riwa na manjano.

            “Ulimnywesha ngapi?” she giggles at the tall frame in a msuli, “manake leo karusha mpaka stuli!” 

             “Si unajua akipata mbili tu anaanza kuimba mashairi,” he joins in the laughter, “ingia ndani basi, mpenzi, usijeshika baridi.” 

Ever heard one of these …  

            “Wee Malaya!  Leo nimekupata!  Mshenzi sana wee!  Na leo utasema huyo ni binamu yako?”  Zuhura is more startled than shocked to see John, whose arms are nicely wrapped and cosily around a young girl whose face complexion is ten times lighter than her hands and the rest of her body.  Her black lined lips are so red, you’d think she had feasted on blood while her eyes zinarembua utafikiri her diet consists of kungu only!

             “Malaya mama yako!  Unafanya nini huku?”

             “Unaniuliza mimi?  Wewe ndio unafanya nini huku?  Unafikiri nisingejua, eh?  Unataka kuniua na magonjwa sio?  Leo utanieleza huyu ni nani?  Mwanaume firauni
sana wewe!”

Now John is clearly angry at being embarrassed infront of doe-eyed Maria.  He gets up and rushes towards Zuhura, who is now ready to take off.  Zuhura’s screams have attracted an audience – not the kind of audience that is hungry for umbeya.  No, it’s mostly men.  The guest house is now buzzing with nervous quick movements and whispers.  Having heard a woman’s voice, they peeped to see if it’s their respective spouse.   While the nyumba ndogo quickly take cover.

             “Njoo hapa, mshenzi wee!  Si unajifanya mwanamke sana!” 

            “Siji ng’o!  Na haunipati!  Shenzi wee!”  Zuhura runs to the back of the guest house.

             “Mama!”  A child’s voice suddenly calls out.

             “Maria?”  A clearly shocked John stops at his heels.  Maria runs to her mother with a half eaten plate of chips, soaking in diluted ketchup.

             “Mama nataka soda!”  She whines.  Ile ingine imesha!  Nataka ingine, mama!” 

             “Shoga, nilimwambie akusubiri lakini …” A woman comes running after Maria, but stops at her heels when she sees John.

             “Anafanya nini huyu hapa?  Nani kamleta?”  John growls.

            “Tulikuja kukufuata.”  Zuhura’s voice is now high pitched with nervousness.

             “Mlifika saa ngapi?”  the tables have now turned.

              “Sasa hivi!”              “Mmefika sasa hivi na mara ameshamaliza chips na soda?  Mnanifanya mie mwehu, sio”

             “Alima … ame … alisha … usibadili hadithi saa hizi!  Nimekufumania na utaniambia huyu ni nani leo!” 

            “Uko na nani?  Umekuja na nani?”  John is not phased by Zuhura’s tantrums.  Slowly walking towards Zuhura, he clenches a fist.  Though his complexion is dark, the strained veins on the stretched skin pop out.

The woman who was running after Maria is now hiding behind a bush of red hibiscus, with Maria on tow.  Maria is now crying.  The woman is trying hard to keep Maria quiet but in vain.  Maria then struggles and yanks her small arms off the grips of Zuhura’s friend.

             “Rudi hapa!”  The woman screams at Maria.  

             “Sitaki!  Naenda kumuomba uncle aliyekuwa na mama kule chumbani aninunulie soda ingine!” 

How about this scenario … … 

             “You told me you’d be in Kampala for a meeting?  And who is she?” A tall dark Naomi Campbell look-alike asks, pouting her glossy lips.

Her ash blonde highlighted hair extensions are so long that you’d think she’s wearing a horse tail taps her Manolo Blahnik shoes, while unconsciouly with her right hand clasping and unclasping her Jimmy Choo handbag, while with her left thumb unconsciously moves around her marriage band with a Tanzanite stone the size of a fist – a sure sign that she is as mad as an expecting lioness.

              “Ndio wife huyu?” A young girl in an ill fitting polyester dress that she should have given her kid sister three years back looks at Naomi look-alike as she blows on a chewing gum – while smacking her thick lips. 

She doesn’t look scared at all.  Instead she looks very pleased kufumaniwa na mke wa buzi lake.  She pushes up her  boobs that are threatening to burst out of her extra stretched dress – as if to show Naomi Campbell look-alike what Papa Bear likes – I mean, lazima azishike vizuri!  The bloody things are the size of watermelons, compared to look alike’s pea sized. 

Naomi look-alike look at el-cheap-o and wonder what Joe millionaire sees in her.  Jamani, look at that weave!  Uwii!  Even her cat wouldn’t be caught dead in it!  And that bra – mtumba!  No wonder it rides up her back!  Young Pamela Anderson finds Bucci to be as good Gucci – infact even better! 

Naomi is still tapping her shoes – not angry at him for cheating but angry because it’s el-cheap-o!  What’s the point sasa?  She looks around quickly to make sure none of her snorty friends see her with her.  Mbona ingekuwa issue!  She then glances at her Michelle Herbelin watch and wonders why she’s wasting her time for nothing.  If she rushes at the spa she will have time for a quickie with the young hot masseuse.  Then quickly drive to the X5 Club for a quick lunch with that certain Minister who has promised her a ruby ring if she plays nice.  She is glad she gave good old Issa that idea to start an exclusive club. 

Sasa having gone through those three scenarios of which I’m sure you have come across or heard of, hembu tell me – have you ever been to a wedding and when it comes to the parent’s time to give one of their usually very long … yawn … and boring speeches, usually the mother starts with “mwenetu umetutoa aibu!”  And the whole hall breaks into vigelegele and proud clappings!  Jamani!   

Haya somebody tells me what exactly is this heshima all parents, well most, go on about.  The scenarios kule juu?  I’m sure if parents and the society did not pressure their children things would be different.  The whole outlook towards marriage as a whole might change.  To many marriage has become a convenient and business arrangement.  If an in-law presents Mzee with a nice four wheel drive for shamba, though the daughter anapewa ngewe kila siku, it’s okay.  Such is life, they will say, schitt is good.  Infact schitt is so good that you’ll be told, “vumilia mwanangu, ndio maisha ya ndoa hayo.”  Sijui, lakini that’s what I feel.  Kwahiyo for a change, what about “mwenetu, tumefurahi unafuraha.”  With such a blessing, then maybe hata wanandoa will enter the marriage with a different outlook.


~ by saharasoulfood on November 2, 2006.

9 Responses to “Heshima and Marriage”

  1. […] Hivi ukiandika hadithi kwa kiingereza na Kiswahili kwa wakati mmoja itakuwaje? Msome mwanablogu wa Tanzania Sandra Mushi upate jibu. Bonyeza hapa. […]

  2. I think it makes more sence and again one can explain how he/she feels when writting,if its a matter of mixing the two languages i think its cool coz we have to come up with another man made language.keep it up its part of one creativeness.Mix with Jamaican english if you can.JAH LIVE.

  3. Ni sehemu ya burudani hii, mafundisho hutolewa kwa njia nyingi lakini njia ya burudani ni nzuri zaidi maana mtu anajifunza akiwa anachekelea na si rahisi kusahau ujumbe kwasababu hiyo.

  4. @ Jikomboe – aksante sana kwa kunikaribisha. Nadhani sasa nimeshakuwa mwenyeji kidogo.

    @ Luihamu – I have always admired how prouds ndugu zetu wa sauz are of their languages.I’m busy writing a novella – youth literature – I have used some Swahili and Chagga words here and there and I think it has giv en the book a lot of character. I’m afraid I don’t know Jamaican English.

    @ Msangimdogo – aksante sana. Natumaini umefurahia na kuchekelea … haa haaa …

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