With Chesi Mpilipili
Each on his/her own. There are those who are now enjoying, reaping and eating in the shade what they sowed in Bongoland’s scorching sun just as there are others whose lives have changed for the worse since retiring from the rat race.
There are also some of our fellow retirees who decide to only retire from the office buildings they worked in but literally took home with them all the office duties they did back at their offices.
In these modern times they call this 'setting an office and working leisurely and peacefully at home'. Peacefully, ha!
Please pay attention. This 'working leisurely and peacefully at home' does not seem to do much bliss to a forty-year-old marriage of one of our own, who also happens to be one of my hundred-or-so uncles from one corner of our extended African family! Please don’t ask which corner. I get dizzy.
I will answer you the way I answer my elder siblings whenever I ask them as to how this uncle is related to us.
They always answer in that 'language' only African extended families speak. “He is the first born on our mother's younger brother elder sister's wife's grandfather's aunt’s side!’ an answer which always makes me keep my comments to my myself, least I be baptised an anti-family fellow, a family version of the anti-Christ!
Ok, this uncle was among several workers who were voluntarily retrenched from a public company which had seen better days before being thrown to the wolves in those days when 'kuingia ubia' was the order of the day!
The retrenchment package was so tantalizing that my uncle volunteered, got his decent millions and went back home to his wife to eat what he had sowed and toiled for during thirty years of the rat race employment!
It was while he was enjoying his millions that trouble started, effectively putting his hitherto thirty-year-old blissful marriage into jeopardy!
It is not that after getting his millions my uncle went into the favorite pastime for many a Bongoland's elder men, that of suddenly finding that their aged models of cars now could actually drive on sidetracks, michepuko, and not only on the main roads!
Yes, that stage at which one's wealth made him think foolishly that he was a young turk half his age, but which, in reality, he was no more than that lapdog which barks loudly and runs after every passing car, but which when the car stops can only stare and bark stupidly at it!
Well, the trouble for my uncle's thirty-year-old marital bliss came in the form of his plans for the future of his money, which included, among many other things, a plan to set up an office and work at home leisurely and peacefully!
This was in order to save some of his much worked-for millions in renting an office in downtown Bongo City, whose rental fee was astronomical if not downright madness!
So, my uncle partitioned a room in his house and started using it as an office as his working base.
Trouble was, my auntie was used to having the entire house to herself the whole day long, waking up when she pleased, eating breakfast when she chose to and doing everything in the house at her own leisurely pace.
Indeed, my aunt could get up from bed at 10 am, and without washing her face or making up the bed, take a hefty breakfast while viewing her favorite Novella, get back into bed, wake up in the late hours of the afternoon, take a bath and a glass of juice or milk, return to bed with a 'Denide Robbins' romance novel till the early hours of the evening when she would get up to prepare food for my uncle's homecoming after work!
I hasten to add here that this did not mean sheer laziness on my aunt’s part, No. She could afford to do this, running her house on her own terms.
She was all alone in the house, their four children, all grown-up, having already flown from the 'nest' and gone to their separate ways.
It also happened that my uncle and his wife were living in those city suburbs in which you went to your neighbour’s house only when you were invited and not to borrow a pinch of salt or a cup of sugar, of which the only 'person' you would talk to would be a German Shepherd dog!
All this meant that my auntie could do, or do nothing, any time she liked without anybody raising a "a storm in a tea cup' about it. That was the situation which greeted my uncle when he retired and decided to set up his working base at the house, my aunt's 'eneo la kujidai!'
It was plain from the start that it was 'just a matter of time'...sorry James Hadley Chase for using a title of one of your books…before sparks started flying around dangerously.
My aunt was a strong-headed African woman who suffered no fools, a term she reserved for anyone who dared to challenge or to go against her principles. Repeat, anyone, including even her husband of thirty-or-so years!
Clearly, judging by the way my Uncle Bombardier kept bombarding my aunt with questions such as when she was going to cook, when was she going to the market, when she was going to sweep the floor and why she was watching her favorite Novella in the afternoon, somebody was definitely destined to be reminded that he was a fool!
Yes, suddenly my poor auntie found herself being under a constant barrage of interrogations, pleas, commands, warnings and advice from a man who suspiciously now looked like a retired KGB spy instead of a voluntarily retrenched Bongolamite!
This KGB spy stuff was firmly stressed on my aunt’s mind by the way the 'elderly agent' kept following her around the house, from one room to the other, from the sitting room to the kitchen, to the bedroom and to even when she went out to throw a rotten cabbage into the dirt bin!
Add to the fact that my aunt was now forced to listen to every kind of advice on things she had been doing alone and successfully for the past thirty years of marriage from an old fool who was now trying to poke his foolish nose into some people's internal business!
My aunt tells me that she wouldn’t have minded very much if the said advices didn’t almost totter into the absurd, like 'telling me not to use the electric cooker while my hands are wet,’ a precaution she had taken for the past thirty years of marriage, which was why she was still alive and cooking, not kicking, today!
My auntie now tells me angrily enough for me to know that I am on the verge of also being a fool if I don’t tell all this to my uncle.
My poor aunt tells me that she will try to put up with this stupidity only if I promise her to ask you dear readers if somebody out there is interested in employing a soon-to-be-confirmed a KGB-version-of-a-Bongomite-retiree who is now only good at poking his nose in the woman of the house's domestic chores! Please apply through this dangerously-near-to-be-a-fool electronic address down here...
The writer can be reached through Email: [email protected], Mob: 0754/0784 – 340606