Let it be
First, The Villager wants all Villagers to acknowledge that he is from a poor background. He has inherited nothing from his father apart from wisdom. He had no control over that situation but he has no excuse to live and die in that situation either.
He has vowed to only share his life with anybody (family, friends or acquaintance) who appreciates that background for only such a person can genuinely walk besides him on a mission to make a difference. Less than that, he guesses that even fools’ paradise could do as The Villager believes you know what to expect - frustration, frustration and frustration.
In the same breath, let’s get it out of the way. Talk is therapy and divorce is a failure. The ando okwa li uudhigu ha wu tsina olwithi momagumbo, ando ka pe na egumbo ihaa li tsina olwithi (if problems were like smoke coming out of a chimney, there would be no house without smoke) such counseling is the cause of all evils in The Village. Why? Since when has addressing a wrong with another wrong ever been the right formulae? The Villager suspects other villagers’ answer could be far better than his, after all, majority rules. Ha! That type of solidarity is the cause of pollution in the globe. That is just one bad, or should The Villager say good excuse to think one can learn how to dream with an adversary. Good luck if there is any Villager who thinks otherwise.
End result? Look no further, The Village is littered with many role models who have learnt ‘the art of coping’ under stress. The truth is; there is nothing wrong with the institution - matrimony. The fact of the matter is; it (institution) only attracts the wrong people at the wrong time. In the end, it causes too much trauma, hence domestic violence.
The latter only happens when respect has become the first casualty. Otherwise, why should villagers abuse something they treasure? The Villager knows all too well that human beings should not be scared of each other. Respect should be paramount and a two-way super-highway for that matter. If it does a disappearing act for any undefined reason, the logical thing to do is to take a long walk to peace of mind. Thus, to The Villager, ‘n tragiese einde is beter as ‘n eindelose traumatiese ervaring (a tragic end is better than an endless traumatic condition).
On June 16 last year, The Villager heard a voice saying: “If these events (being reminded of the condition of your ancestors) do not wake you up, what will?” Having learnt to trust his inner voice, he followed his instincts. Where to? The thing is: When he got married, his mother ululated, “ndamono meme!” repeatedly. Whether the same has manifested itself or not, only her can testify. How The Villager feels or thinks is inconsequential.
However, if it’s a matter of life and death, he will always choose life. The afterlife thing in the Holy Quran, hmm! The Villager should be able to negotiate his way with the Guy upstairs. Judging from the literature about Him, He must be the opposite of Professor Virus in the 3-Idiots (the movie)... that’s until sanity prevailed after Rancho and co. helped to deliver Virus’ first grandson under trying conditions. Thank God it took Rancho to bring life on the globe for Professor Virus to shed tears, as opposed to death and destruction in the name of domestic violence.
The Villager had been trying to sell the matrimony to himself as a perfect match made in heaven, but eventually, reality caught up with him. He soon realised that indeed, hope is a dangerous thing if you don’t know the destination. One thing is for sure; his late father-in-law was an incredible gentleman and a man of deep honour. No one can inherit such traits. He suspect legends take them to their graves just like their DNAs. Facing life without a biological father has presented The Villager with an opportunity to be open-minded about life. In the absence of fathers, mothers chip in.
After explaining to his mother his pain and agony about his wife, she stared him in the eye and fired a volley of questions, which The Villager thought were not fair. “Was it your own observation or somebody else pointed it to you?” She asked. Just before he could recover from the onslaught, she went on to ask, “Have you explained the same thing to your mother-in-law?”
That left The Villager gasping for air. He went blank. After her insistence for an answer to her barrage of questions, he gathered his courage, with tears flowing down his Juju-type of face (shiny). That was given, as he had not been exercising for three months. He felt betrayed. “Go and share it with your mother-in-law yourself,” she said.
The Villager’s blood pressure reached a boiling point. Ndi shi ino mukongelwa komuntu? Nenge pamwe owe mukongelwa komuntu (Your matrimony was not an arranged one, right? Then face your own situation. However, shatulwa kumwe ku Kalunga itashi topolwa komuntu. Translated? Aye! It’s beyond The Villager’s comprehension as he’s not qualified to translate the language of the higher heavens.
That was probably the first day he recalled ever missing his father since he passed on. The Villager was very close to his father as he always encouraged him to follow his instincts and be ready to live with the consequences of his actions. The Villager remembers having set their house on fire once and nothing could be savaged. When his father confronted him angrily, he explained himself out of the situation. After all, traditionally, its forbidden to beat a child after they have caused such an accident. The Villager was only five years old then.
Back to the diary: The Villager left without saying a word. He went straight to the King, totally disregarding iidhila ayihe yomombala (protocol) to see the only man he grew up knowing as his father. He was supposed ndikundwe manga kehale opo ndi ka li we ko (to be screened including the subject matter and . . . to the King). Like a baby forcing his way out of the mother’s womb (which he suspects he did), The Villager went straight to the King. The King was equally shocked as it was the first time The Villager had behaved like ooNambuli DhaMateta noo Amupanda GwaShiponeni (whom The Villager was fortunate to have met). Apart from meeting them at the Palace, they were regulars at The Villager’s house. Yes! Those were wise men (omandengu) goshili. They put Oshilongo shawo (Ondonga Kingdom) first.
Those days patriotism was measured through the sacrifice one was prepared to make on behalf of their villages including selflessly serving the King and the rest of the Royal Family. There was no Namibia. The Villager’s family both his mother and father’s side has done it with distinction. Something The Villager hopes to pass on to the next generation. That’s the legacy he wants to up-hold.
Sensing that The Villager was acting out of the ordinary, the forever calm King gave him a chance to present his case. The level headed King says: “O! Osho sha ningwa po shono (is that what happened)? Eeno Tate Omukwaniilwa (That’s how you salute the King?). Nkee ngaa ndi li onga ye nda kuutumba nda kalela aakulukadhi te po pi oohapu dhatja ngawo? Ha wo ngaa uukatalume mbono (that is cowardice). Without realising that he was falling into a trap, The Villager marched on uninterrupted: Ita ndi shi ningi shi la ote yi mevi (over my dead body shall I do it).
Unbelievably, the King recommended just that. You have to be in his presence to understand The Villager’s point of view. Breaking it down to you would be like trying to explain to the ‘man of cloth’ (minus Holy Communion, wine) how it feels like to have a hangover. Without showing any emotion as to where he stands on the men-talk (at least The Villager thought), he said: “Ina ndi uva nande wa ye lutha eke, amuhe aamwandje” (Whatever you do, I should never hear that you have physically abused her. Ashikee, ote tsu kumwe nomupopi gotango. Sho to zi mpano oko inda wu ukilila (From here, go straight to her house.” Know this: If there’s one living being who has the power over The Villager enough to make him look forward or go to hell, it’s the King. For some strange reason,The Villager felt very light. He obeyed.
Just before he hit the main road to Onethindi, a squirrel whisked across the road. That was a sure sign from the ancestors nudging him about luck ahead. Before he realised it, The Villager was offloading gifts (drinks and food) shaa shi paakuluntu iha pu yi wa oonyala dhowala (you don’t visit elders empty-handed).
The Villager was received in the living room with a wall lined with his passion - photographs. While she was talking, he just stared at amateur photos lining the walls. Traditionally, young villagers’ eyes are not supposed to connect with elders when they are talking. You must look down as a sign of respect. For some reason, The Villager caught himself drifting into negative territories... “If only the photographer had taken it from a different angle, it would have come out better... “If the photographer had used a wide angle lens...”
Believe The Villager, that’s unusual of him. He only got back his real self after a short meditation. More like the ‘All Is Well’ in 3-Idiots.
After laying his grief on her altar, she said: Ngele osho ha ningi nga wo, okwa pu ka (If that’s what she does, then she’s wrong).
What is his grief? This is where The Villager needs the creativity of Rancho. Thus ‘All Is Well’. Being a committed Christian, she reached for her weapon, which is always next to her, The Holy Bible and read some verses and a short sermon. Don’t ask me the verses she read. She put the icing on the cake with a long prayer. Nothing wrong with that.
Very often prayers become too long because as a practice, a Christian only appeals to God through His only forgotten Son, Jesus Christ. By now, you can only imagine what The Villager could have been doing at that moment - analysing the photos. His eyes landed on a photo of hers with her siblings when they were still all innocent. She was a toddler and the rest of them but one had not yet reached puberty. All Is Well, he proclaims. The Villager felt the Omni-presence of his long-departed father-in-law. It brightened up his inner self. All of a sudden, all the images looked beautiful and handsome, blending in well with magnificent terrains.
The Villager is convinced that when they look at those images today, they always bring back good memories to them. After all, that’s the purpose of preserving images. They are a treasure indeed. In hindsight, The Villager realised it was God answering her prayers. By the time she opened her eyes, The Villager was already extending his hand to thank her for refilling his spiritual cup.
There was no way for her to have known that his eyes were not closed when The Villager joined her in the Amen chorus. It was just way too impossible for The Villager to have closed his eyes since he was looking for a solution. He wanted to be wide awake when God answered her prayers (wish). Separation is the last thing The Villager would wish for even to his sworn enemy (if they exist). He has come to appreciate the fact that divorce and death cause the same anguish and pain. Equally, there is nothing wrong with matrimonial life. It’s just that it sometimes attracts the wrong people at the wrong time, like in his case. Given another chance, The Villager could enter the institution he is leaving even 10 times more.
It’s true Villagers become who they are based on the books and friends they hang out with. There is an English idiom that says, “Do not tell me who you are. Just show me your friends then I will tell you who you are.” It holds truth with her. From the look of things she is not able to break from her family and friends. The Villager believes that the day these other Villagers release her, it would be the day she would fly to higher places, reach the inner her and experience the power of the self. Definitely, she does not need anybody (including The Villager) in order to realise her full potential. She only needs to fuel herself to have the hunger and thirst to stand out. It’s painful to see her going to waste. Apparently, further education will not help her, only her cultural and traditional norms will. The Villager does not share the notion of marriage counselors who have never married. Nor can a villager even dream of imparting knowledge if her own roof is leaking.
It’s painful to have such role models. For now, she is more like an eaglet learning how to fly with the chicks. Freeing herself is the only way The Villager’s fruits will have a mother as opposed to mothers. How long should prayers be before god/ancestors can answer? PF