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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Not to be counted again until 2022

2nd September 2012

For the past seven days, the major greeting words among many a Bongomite have been ‘Umeisha hesabiwa’?

This follows a week long census-taking exercise in which it is expected that all Bongomites took part, save for mischievous few who wanted to use the excise as platform to air their grievances based on religion.

For the rest, the exercise soon brought about a carnival atmosphere of sorts.

You meet a fellow whom you have not seen for some time, and the first thing he ‘throws’ at you is ‘Umeisha hesabiwa’ instead of the good old ‘za masiku’ normal greeting.

Yes, you answer your mchina mobile phone, and instead of the usual hurried ‘uko wapi’ greetings mobile phone owners are accustomed to, the person who calls you asks if you have already been counted as a greeting.

Indeed, everybody was so much into this ‘kuhesabiwa’ thing that I wondered where were those few fellow Bongomites who had sworn to mess up the census if their religious demands were not met.

However, any veteran of Bongoland politiki would have not been totally surprised if told that those who made the loudest noises about going on strike against the census being among the very first to be counted. That is how we are!

It is over. I am among those counted and for the coming nine years I would be watching intensely for the much touted benefits of my being counted.

As I had promised in my last column I will be sadistically waiting for the unlucky census clerk to be assigned to my mtaa for census taking.

I had a sadistic dodoso refu of my own against the census clerk’s dodoso fupi, the first sadistic dodoso question being why the census clerk should be the one pocketing a cool half-a-million vijisenti for merely asking me questions instead of me who knew the answers. Lucifer was going to be impressed.

It was not to be. Somebody at the census offices must have read my intention in the last column. In came a sweet and innocent looking young woman who had even the respect to kneel when greeting me.

You don’t see the kneeling thing often these dotcom modern times so, understandably, my sadistic intentions against the census clerks evaporated.

Some fellow senior citizens tend to get idiotic and think themselves as young men the more they get to be items fit for the National Museum. Not this senior citizen. I know which side of my bread is buttered.

Part of the 2012 national census is over. The remaining part will be the calculations to find out the total number of Bongomites which will be used by the siri kali of Bongoland to plan development projects for the future.

In other words, the siri kali of Bongoland will use the data collected through the week long census exercise to plan strategies which will ensure that in the coming ten years electricity mgawo will be history as will be shortage of school desks, teachers and medicines.

Being always the doubting Thomas that I am, I have been asking myself a few questions;

If the national census exercise is held after every ten years, supposedly to help the siri kali of the day plan for the following ten years, did somebody somewhere do some miscalculations in the last census exercise in 2002?

No? Why then after just a few years after the said census we suddenly found ourselves in biting shortage of everything from medicines to schools teachers, water, electricity and the all important Bongoland shilling?

Somebody should come with the right answer fast before I am convinced to agree with fellow Bongomites who say they did not take part in the just ended census exercise because in the end it will not increase or decrease anything on their dining tables.

In the coming years I will be watching closely to see if the just ended 2012 census exercises will result in any improvement in my life. Watch this space in 2022.


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