Useless Column: ‘Malam get malaria’

Mawuli Zogbenu

When we were in basic school those days at cyto, we used to sing the ‘National Anthem and the ‘Pledge’ during early morning assembly. The irony of life comes in when you have a small sore on a toe or lower part of your leg. There are three toes noted for getting injured: the big toe, the one next to it and the smallest toe. They are very prone to injuries and sore; I don’t know why.

During school assembly, house flies would never come to disturb you until you are asked to stand ‘attention’ without moving or fidgeting because you are about to recite the Pledge or sing the National Anthem. That is exactly the time the flies would come with your sore toe as a target to disturb your life. Such is life; when you are about to make progress, the detractors come in but you have to stand firm and at ‘attention’ mode. Focus!

I remember how I learnt from my peers at the time that when you have a small sore on your toe, in order to avoid stumbling on it, use the ‘seamstress’ black thread to tie the neck of the toe. By so doing, the toe ‘sees’ clearer and so you cannot stumble on it. Ironically, it didn’t work for me because any time I accidentally stumbled, I stumbled with the problem toe. I can perceive you saying and cringing “aish”!

I learnt later in life that headache is not a disease but a symptom of a disease trending in the body which needs attention. Akin to this, I have also learnt that anytime I hear the fire alarm beeping, it is not enough to just turn the alarm off! It is important to rather check where the fire is coming from and deal with it as such. Some people instead of looking for the problem being triggered by the alarm, they will remove the batteries from the alarm as ‘it is disturbing them’.

Malam Isaac is my friend and has been very reliable when it comes to designing kaftans. Malam had never disappointed me anytime I needed his services. His real name is Isaac but his nickname is Malam. Less than an hour after we spoke concerning an upcoming programme where I would need something sewn for me, Malam refused to pick up my calls. All messages including WhatsApp appeared delivered but no response. Me too, I needed his assistance badly. I got angry and said things about him in my head quietly.

One of them was: ‘Ei human beings cannot be trusted’ and ‘Malam has changed’. I went to his house and knocked on the door several times before someone came to open the door. Here was Malam down with malaria shivering in his room…all alone. The problem is that Malam lives close to where the bushes are and mosquitoes ply their trade around here. I felt so sad and couldn’t even talk. Then it dawned on me that whenever someone is not picking up your calls, please don’t conclude; he or she might just be going through one challenge or the other. You may never know. Just forgive.

My neighbour has only two goats and I have a pen of plenty of goats which keep getting missing now and then yet my neighbour is always eating goat meat even though his two goats are still intact! Mr Alornyo, what should I do?

It’s the weekend and tomorrow no wedding invitation yet. If you are lucky you have some of your salary left, thank God for there were some who never even got a salary due to various circumstances but are still thankful.

Like I was saying in this confused column, I met one such half juju man and half-church pastor. I don’t know which one to believe. We bumped into each other at Odorna where I was going to buy a car battery. Immediately the following conversation ensued between me and the pastor:

Me: Sorry, Sir please I am looking for a place where I can buy a car battery.

Fetish Pastor: Oh good but before I do that I can just see what is about to befall you

Me: Really?

Fetish Pastor: Yes, your father died some years back but your mother is still alive. She falls sick today and tomorrow she is fine or she is fine today and tomorrow she’s sick.

At this point, the man succeeded in grabbing my attention to the extent that I forgot about the car battery. Everything he said was ‘true’, abi?

My expression of amazement emboldened him to continue telling me ‘the useless truth’

Fetish Pastor: You got a visa to travel to Europe next week Friday but please don’t go because there may be a problem on the way.

At this point I realized though his first tricks worked on me, this one was a scam.

Me: Visa?, I exclaimed

Fetish Pastor: Yes, visa to Europe

Me: But I don’t even have a passport

Fetish Pastor: Massa, give me some 2 cedis for koko and stop the too-known thing! I am only referring to a spiritual visa which will come later, God willing. Just say Amen! I did so while still laughing at him.

The world has become so dangerous that some people are just finding ways and means to exploit others. Open your eyes o, Putu, my Brother.

Ei, I wanted to narrate the following about myself but if I say it, you would think I am bad even though I know it’s true so I will use my best friend, Solo as if he is the one. Hahahahahai…my Amega, how be you? Solo is another stubborn reader of this column. When you told me last night that Ayi, your Mechanic had died, I couldn’t sleep. Hope you know why. He was owing me money, in fact a refund of a useless spare part he bought to fix my motor cycle. When Ayi was alive, anytime I wanted to go for my money, I procrastinated with the hope that after all, I can get him anytime to collect my money. Yes oo, procrastination and the kind of implications it has on our everyday lives!

Where was I mpo? Yes yes yes. Solo went to see a jujuman to help him eject his troublesome tenant who pounds fufu every Sunday but refuses to share it with him. Worse of all is the fact that his tenant has been disturbing him with loud speakers blasting out reggae music making it difficult for him to sleep. According to him, nothing annoys him more than reggae music composed by some underdog artistes. What even irritates him the more is that the man will be singing along.

This was the conversation that ensued between my friend Solo and the jujuman:

Jujuman: I know the problem you have come to consult me about; yes, your landlord is envying you because your business is doing well

Solo: I see. So what should I do since, I am not a tenant but a landlord

Jujuman: Yes, I mean your tenant is envying you so be careful.

Solo: So what should I do?

Jujuman: Call the police for him

Solo: How?

Jujuman: tell the police he is a thief and they will help you eject him

Solo: But he is not a thief; he works as a Secretary to an association at Haatso

Jujuman: then ask him to build his own house

Solo: But he is a retiree and doesn’t make enough to enable him build a house

Jujuman: Ok, that’s where the problem is; he does not see why at his age, he’s still a tenant and you as young as you are, you are his landlord so he would finish you by all means. Call the police.

Unconvinced by the way the man was going about his ‘diagnosis’, Solo just kept quiet for a few minutes and the man kept talking…about nothing. Solo is now a Reverend Minister. To God be the glory! Darkness can never outshine light!

Solo, greetings from Anunmle 3 and 4 Primary School to you. ‘Now the day is ooovaaa…night is drawing nighhhhhh, shadows of the evening….’ How to complete the rest of this this closing song depends on whether you attended Anunmle 1-4 Primary School or Abavana 1-500 where Malam Isaac and I attended school! Anunmle was the place where you got beaten for speaking vernacular and the beating is in vernacular.

Let the FEAR OF GOD be your GUIDE as you enter the weekend with swag! Bye byeeeeee!

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.