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Speaking in tongues

Dear Uncle


UNCLE, you are missing out on a hilarious comedy that is being made in the Mountain Kingdom.

It has been in the making for the past two years and is promising to be a blockbuster of a movie.

But worry not, uncle, for I have managed to steal the script for you.

It was directed and written by the notorious author, the Independent Election Complication (IEC).

You might have read one of the popular books he wrote in 1998.

It was his first book and though poorly written it has turned into a scandalously popular one. His latest book begins with that bunch of ungrateful people who have a terrible habit of begging for our “X” every five years and then disappear as soon as we give it to them, quarrelling furiously. 

It’s a catfight.

The brawl is over those seats that people don’t have to vote for. 

“Independent Election Complication is wrong,” one of them bellows.

“But the courts have spoken,” the other cries.

“Bring the experts,” says the other.

“We were cheated,” the other one yells.

In that commotion you can see that the most hostile one is this particularly small old man who has a big number 10 written on his forehead with red paint for all to see.

It’s fun because 10 is the number of seats he got after claiming that he deserves more because he got himself a nyatsi just before the elections.

It’s funny too that he is whining when he actually got the second biggest share of the seats.

He says it’s a matter of principle.

It’s easy to identify him but for the sake of this letter I will call him 10.

But the most furious of the bunch is the one wearing a mask with a big 21 written on the face.

Let’s call him 21.

He got 21 after he claimed that he needed more because he also got a nyatsi before the elections. 

He is fighting tooth and nail to hang onto his loot.

Those who know him say the mask is meant to hide 61 written on his face.

Methinks he is just being greedy.

The other little guys are wailing uncontrollably.

News of the chaos reaches the chief of the region who immediately dispatches an emissary to deal with the issue.

But the problem is that the chief is quite a toothless dog.

He can bark to high heavens but can’t bite.

So when his emissary arrives in Maseru he is treated nicely but does not get to sort out the matter.

The quarrel continues.

After some time the emissary surrenders and accuses Number 21 of being troublesome.

It’s not in the script but I suspect that after playing good boy for a long time 21 decided to tell the emissary to go hang.

So the tussle continues.

Then suddenly 10 puts his foot down and says enough is enough.

He calls for a strike but his ego is deflated when 21 goes all out to make it fail.

The people come out running to their jobs after 21 threatens that he will proudly work overtime to write dismissal letters for those that dare listen to 10.

You see, uncle, 10 employs no one so he doesn’t call the shots.

Then one passer-by blows his vuvuzela very loud and the bunch of “X” beggars stop to look at the newcomer.

The vuvuzela blower is none other than a retired churchman who had been irritated by their noise in the neighbourhood.

He says it is clear from the way that they have been quarrelling that they need divine intervention.

Tired of fighting, they follow him to his church. 

Of course they are too tired to notice that the church’s sermons are held not on Saturdays or Sundays but Wednesdays.

They don’t even ask why he hasn’t built his church and why he has to ask the UN for a room. 

But before the sermons and prayers start one of the quarrelsome guys starts screaming demanding to know who will be prayed for first and what they will be praying about. 

The other equally troublesome chap demands to know the wording of the prayer.

They start talking about talks and nothing about solving their problems about how to pray.

Eventually they leave the church before they agree.

The following week 21 decides to bunk the sermon.

And when the bunch meets on the third week they continue talking about talks.

All is fine until the bunch starts speaking in tongues. “Hjbvhibchjbk.jvbhjbvcfkjsbvhjbvskvbdkjsvbhjw,” says 21.

“Asknhjbvda vk.ebfhibwejf l/wn0poiu23uthkljm;’gsl; koktmn,” 10 says.  

The others are screaming in tongues too.

Then the bishop blows his vuvuzela again, right from the pulpit.

The possessed chaps come back to their senses.

“Perhaps we must take a recess so that I can consult the Holy Scriptures about the meaning of the tongues. I also want to talk to the experts so that we understand the nature of this quarrel,” the bishop says.

They come out with their tails high thinking that they have made progress but deep down they know they have gone nowhere.

They know it’s dialogue of the deaf.

Surely you must wait for Part II uncle because those capitalists don’t pay you to read letters from your nephew.



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