NA MIKASA ………..ATA N’KWAMBIYE 4!
I usually say, madam twapumua, binadamu siku zote atatujiya na visa na mikasa. Today’s narrative will be on the NO BRAND NAME CIGARRETTE aka kitaalifa, bomu, kishada, kichomi, mafukizo ya fir’auni nk. Before I narrate the story, I don’t want you to get the wrong picture that “ Huyu jamaa azichoma huyu,ama sivyo basi anfukizwa nao.” La hasha. Even though you will not be the first one to accuse me. I can assure you that right here in Toronto I have been made to stand on the witness box and swear that I will speak the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth that I HAVE NEVER TAKEN THE STUFF. Before I even opened my mouth the wazee wa mji retorted, “ Tena usituletee siyasa za Bill Clinton hapa utuambiye ati , ‘I smoked but I did not inhale.’” Therefore I was on a no win situation. In case you are wondering why did the wazee decide to put me on the box for questioning, the reason was because :
A_ I am from Majengo. This is the most notorious part of the island where the no name cigarettes are manufactured without a license. Majengo was also seen as a potential threat to BAT, hence no government official ever liked the area.
B- I have relatives in Kisauni, therefore the wazee in Toronto did their mathematics and came to the conclusion that Kisauni mishomoroni is where the no name cigarettes are harvested and I frequent the area, therefore I must be trafficking or a shareholder of the no name cigarettes.
C- The fact that I could detect the aroma of the no name cigarette miles away, and let anybody near me be aware of it. The wazee became so convinced that I am into the stuff for sure. They justified their allegations with sayings like “ Wahenga wasema aisifie mvua imemnywea. Adhabu ya kaburi aijuwa maiti and Aibu ya maiti aijuwa muosha.
Anyway I insisted that I have never tried the stuff even though I know how they manufacture it. One of the wazee jumped up and said, “ Mushaona ashaanza kuleta siyasa za Clinton hapa. Ati hajaigusa lakini ajuwa namna inavyotengezwa. Kuna mengi hatuambii huyu…” I told them that you don’t need to be an expert to know how the no name cigarette is manufactured. You see them on the streets as they rub the leaves and the seeds in their palms before they pour out the content in a white piece of paper famously known as RIZLA. At the end some believed me some had their doubts and there are those whom can never be convinced. These are the ones who insisted that,” Haiwezekani ati awe aishi Majengo halafu atwambiye ati haja wahi kuzichoma.”
After the short introduction, now let me take you to the main course. This story was narrated to me at the Mombasa Polytechnic. The whole thing happened in Nairobi. It happened one day before Idd. I am not sure whether it was Idd-Ul Fitr or Idd-Ul-Haj, but it was on the eve of Idd. To let the story flow with ease, I will name the character BwanJumaa. I also learnt that by changing names you could be protecting the guy and also yourself. This is how the story goes:
On the night of the Idd, BwanJumaa (in short Banjo) decided to take a walk at the city center. Between his index and middle finger was one of the Majengo no name brands. Banjo was strolling through the streets of Nairobi with an air of ease and contentment. Everything was fine until when instincts told him to lift his head and check on the two guys coming from the opposite direction. Had Banjo had full trust on the several mottos that exist in Kenya, he would not have panicked. Knowing that the two guys coming towards him, in their khaki uniform with a cap, stroll at night carrying the banner “Utumishi kwa Wote.” He could pretend that he was lost and could ask for direction, but somehow he knew that it would not work. He therefore threw the remainder of the kitalifa rub his hands very fast hoping that the smell of bangi will leave him. All this was to no avail. The policemen saw him, and the surrounding was saturated with the smell of bangi. This kisa happened when the 200 shilling bill had just started circulating.
“ We kijana kuja hapa!” commanded one of the policemen
“ Ndiyo muheshimiwa” responded Banjo obediently.
“ Umetoka huko Mombasa umekuja vuta hiyo bangi yako hapa. Eh.. Yaani hakuna nafasi Mombasa ya kuvuta hio kitu hata ukujange kuvuta hapa?”
“ Aa si hivyo bwana mwajuwa kesho n’sikukuu basi basi shetwaani tu ndiyo anitiya moto ati nianze kusherehekea mapema. Samahani. Kwa hisani zenu musinipeleke polisi ateni nikasherehekee na family yangu.”
“ Wewe…. Utakwenda manyani hata kwa nini.”
“ Basi jamaa naomba msamaha niateni. N’na mia mbili hizi tukueni mugawanye na nyinyi piya musherehekee Iddi kesho.”
“ Wewe unajaribu honga sisi. Unafikiri sisi hapana iko na pesa, unaonyesha mimi hiyo mia mbili. Mimi iko na noti mpya kama hizo piya . Hizi hapa mia nne!!” one of the police responded with anger. “Wewe..” he continued, “ Utankwenda lala kwa mbaro muswahiri wewe.”
Therefore there was no way Banjo could lure them with money to let him go. All the way to the police station he tried but his words were hitting deaf ears. At the police station, the CPO (Chief police officer) saw the two policemen coming in with one guy who was almost in tears. “ Na hapa iko nini?” asked the CPO
“ Hii iko vagarant. Tumepata yeye kwa town anavuta bangi.”
“ Ehh wewe si iko muisilamu na kesho iko sikukuu kisha unavuta bangi.?
“ Aah si hivyo muheshimiwa bwana, hawa jamaa wannishika kweli si katai lakini mimi ilkuwa natembeya tu. Tena n’kawaambiya kesho skukuu basi niateni n’kasherehekee lakini wakakataa kabisa. Kusema kweli huyu muheshimiwa ndiyo an’kataa kabisa lakini huyu anyamaza tu.” Responded banjo pointing to the policeman who insisted in booking him.
“Maneno ya hii kijana iko kweli.?” Asked the CPO
“ Nikweli afande lakini tulishika yeye anavuta bangi.” The accused policeman started defending himself.
“ Ulishikwa na bangi kijana?” asked the CPO
“ Si hivyo bwana, mimi navuta Rooster ndiyo hawa jamaa wakadhani ati navuta bangi.”answered Banjo.
“ OK wewe kenda nyumbani Na apana tembea tembea usiku mara ingine.”
Had it been me, I would rush out of the police station before the CPO changes his mind. I am sure dear reader you would do the same thing, but Banjo had other ideas. He just stood there, scratching his head. “Iko nini tena kijana? Bado sikia mimi nakusha sema ukwende nyumbani.” Asked the CPO
“ Aaa n’nakusikiya lakini wajuwa sina pesa. Hawa mabwana wanniambiya niwahonge nikawahonga na kisha wakanileta mpaka hapa.”
“ Ati nini. Wewe ulihonga. Na ulihonga ngapi?” asked the CPO
“ Huyu polisi n’nampa mia nne. Noti za mia mbili mbili mpya.”
“ Huyu muswahili iko murongo yeye bado honga sisi afande.” Jumped the outgoing of the two policemen.
“ Sasa n’tadanganya ya nini ? N’likupa mia nne ukazitiya mfukoni hata hukugawanya na mwenzako. Kama nadangaya afande muheshimiwa mwambiya atoe kila kitu kwenye mfuko wake wa shati.” Banjo suggested.
The CPO ordered the policeman to empty his pocket. On doing so, even though reluctantly, the two 200 shilling bills were exposed. The CPO became very furious, and ordered the policeman to return the 400 shillings to its ‘proper’ owner. The policeman did this with a lot of resistance. He swore to all the Gods that he knew the CPO believes in but to know avail. Banjo took the money and dashed out of the police station to River road. He booked the earliest bus to Mombasa.