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DEAR FADA 02

Dear Fada

Are you back from your trip? You know I wasn’t also around, so, seems I’ve lost track of who’s in and who’s out. I remember the last time you were going on one of your private trips which so deprive home of you, I almost cried. Not just that I knew how extensive the short private visit would take, you know, but, I just kept wondering why you’d allow your children to suffer so much just because you have to move.

The taxi I took dropped me off at a good distance; and he collected the full fare. Can you imagine? And I had to cross the central town on foot. The traffic was horrible. I had to guard my feet from slipping, and my bag from your rebellious sons. I thought that was all, but getting another taxi was what we call “hélélé”. I was rushing to honour my appoint with our biggest Father. Oh, Fada, thanks to you, I erred. That distance would have cost me at the most 150FCFA. Do you know what the cabdrivers requested? 250FCFA or nothing else. That may perhaps not mean much to you, considering my sister spends exorbitant sums of money out there. Anyways, I had to give them Fada. I had no choice. Big Father was already present. He’s always present when you are absent.

But, their peers along the other road could not get a franc from me. Do you know that …,? I mean, I know that you know that that is what they do. Sometimes, I can’t help but wonder. Don’t you pay them Fada? Or is the problem the fact that the pay is not enough? I feel so ashamed and vexed seeing how debased they become when they start asking for a ‘bottle of beer’. I even wonder whether they’re supposed to take alcohol while on duty. And who would even dare question them? Is their boss not sitting behind waiting for his share at the end of the day? So you understand Fada, I feel so ashamed. They’re disgracing us; they’re disgracing your name Fada; our name.

So, let me recount to you what happened huh! I have decided none of them would ever get a dime from me. Never, never ever, and I pray the Big Father helps me.

I was with one of your brother’s children. She had come visiting, and forgot to bring along her vaccination certificate. Her arrival was peaceful; her return was shameful.

Mr. Soldier was doing random checks. He took her passport, and asked for her health certificate. She said she didn’t have it on her. He said nothing. He strolled out of the bus. We waited for some time and we didn’t see him coming back towards us. I asked your brother’s daughter to stay in the bus and I went down. “Bonsoir”, I greeted. Fada, I can’t even remember whether he answered or not. He said something I didn’t understand, or rather, didn’t want to understand. Calmly, he called the already impatient Mr. Driver of the public transport bus to help me understand and stop wasting their time.

“Si tu as même un petit jus, donne leur on part. Il fait déjà bien tard”.

I told Mr. Driver I did not have “shishing”. Mr. Driver didn’t budge. Mr. Soldier didn’t budge. Trust me Fada; your daughter didn’t also budge. Then Mr. Soldier asked the driver to take my bags down because I refused to ‘act mature’.

Timely enough, one true son of the soil showed up. He was a commander, or so, he presented himself. He asked Mr. Soldier if “my” passport was good and the latter answered “yes”. Mr. Commander then asked what the problem was, and Mr. Soldier replied that he was trying to tell me that I need to walk with my complete ID documents “I’m just trying to do my job, and that is what I’ve been explaining to her ever since’, he explained. Mr. Commander prompted that if at least the passport was valid, they should let me go, and before Mr. Soldier obeyed, he scrutinized the passport, pointed his torch at my face, and then at the passport, and finally handed it back to me.

Fada, during all this so called ‘scrutiny’ and ‘just-doing-my-job’ time, Mr. Soldier hadn’t noticed it wasn’t my passport. Fada, do you know that I and your brother’s daughter look no inch alike? Our complexions are also different. I speak like a typical child of yours, but you can imagine that your brother’s daughter would speak like children that are typical of her own father.

I just imagined how mean he could have been, had Mr. Commander not given his timely ‘command’. I also tried to imagine how many hoodlums and ‘terrorists’ such Mr. Soldiers have allowed to enter the house because they failed to do their work properly and amply, paying attention to the least detail, and not only at the ‘bottle of beer’ they can make out of it. I know that you know what these Mr. Soldiers do out there, Fada. Would you let them go on? And by the way Fada, did he have the backing to demand the vaccination certificate where he was? I thought specific authorities were mandated to check that. Anyways, at home, everyone does what he/she wills. Right, Fada?

Just like you; and my siblings of “Air-Peut-être”. Can you imagine the name they’ve been given Fada? Even the meanest of your brothers, who is sometimes not able to put food on his table, is confident enough when he calls them that. And what can I say Fada. The last time I tried to defend, “Air-Peut-être” covered my face with shame. I decided never to talk again; perhaps just to pray, and hope things get better.

The number of bosses they’ve had is way more than the number of aircrafts they have. And I think too their ancient hostesses may soon be competing with you for longevity of service. No doubt they’re unable to keep standard. Fada, imagine my embarrassment when I had to dust off breadcrumbs from the seat I was allotted. And when they decided to serve me fruit juice and something else, breadcrumbs on the folded table didn’t look like yesterday’s. It looked as ancient as the hostesses. I don’t eat pork. You know it’s possible I am allergic to it, or many others could be. They had only pork. No tuna, no veggies, just pork. And whosoever didn’t eat pork could have as well gone to he… And those seats Fada. I almost thought I’ll incur the wrath of one of the fiery ancients trolling the aisle when I failed to put up my seat as her ancient colleague intoned overhead. Miss. Ancient didn’t budge. She very well knew that seat couldn’t be raised up.

Hahahaha Fada, it’s like all the rats in the former house we occupied visited the airplane. They had entered into a love union with the chair arms and backs. The remains of the remains were awfully shameful. As shameful as the dirty wagon those trains use to travel up north.

Before the sad fate hit Eseka, it was much better, though much more unsafe with the unreliable ‘Shinshong’ wagons. The seats then smelled good. They sometimes smelled fresh. We’d have the luxury of a hot meal or a cold drink, a clean seat or a semi-cozy bed. There were many wagons then, and it seemed fine. I feel sad for those who perished last year with the ‘Shinshong trains’. I thank God that it has kind of saved us from a likely fate with the mobile death trucks. But, I feel great pity for us who have stayed behind to endure the measureless semi-measures psychedelically upped by commissions that amount to nothing.

Ohhh Fada, who would take us out of this sham? I thought you would when you ascended. Yes, ascended. It’s more like the throne of our forefathers. I understand why you’re still there. But like our forefathers, they have become fore. You too will. I will become; and I too will have fore appended to me, someday; one day.

Take care Fada!

Your daughter,

Sally.

 

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DEAR FADA 01

Dear Fada,

The other day, I watched PM Trudeau and Presi. Trump granting a press conference over Cable News Network. How I wished I could be seeing you standing and talking in place of Trudeau. Do you know he started in French, and then switched to English, and then back to French and then to English right until the end of his speech. It was so beautiful, seeing the ease with which he flowed with both lingos. I just so wished I’d be seeing you standing someday speaking to the entire world in languages you say are ours. Yours and mine!

Fada, never mind! I’m also so conscious that that could be a long long long deep deep deep dream; but, not impossible though; because if Martin’s dream could come true, how much more mine? I’d keep dreaming. One day, who knows? Just maybe, one day, someday soon enough!

You know, I’m past 20, and since I breathed my first on this earth, on this side of the globe, you’ve been there. Perhaps I’ve been watching TV or listening to radio for the past 15 or so years, and I sincerely can’t remember  ever hearing, I mean, NEVER ever hearing you so adorn your speeches with OUR family lingos. But then, I also remember you saying they are ours, right? So, I’m just wondering how come you never have, if you’re so proud of it, as you’ve asked me to believe? How?

Well, dreams do come true, or rather, they almost do. Someday, I thought mine was about coming true. That was same month 3years ago. I was in the town of Legendary hospitality. You were there too. On that day, I was so happy, just so happy; and as I told my friends in Yaounde and my family back in Mamfe, I too would want to tell youths, like Ngoh would tell us in “The Place To Be”, that “I was there”.

Yes! I was there. I braved the scorching heat; and with the shiny green chasubles the organizing committee gave us I was busy telling my juniors to keep moving. I failed to even buy sunscreen with the… was it 2000Fcfa ‘encouragement fee’! Lol J But nevertheless, I was there! I still want to tell my brothers and sisters to KEEP MOVING! Forward ever!

It was during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of our “union”. Well you said it was 50. With the little Arithmetic I did in G.B.P.S Yaounde, 1961 – 2014 would make 53, not 50. But still, maybe the arithmetic I learnt wasn’t the right one after all. Maybe that’s why the teachers are saying they rather not teach while they watch others “unteach” their progeny.

Sorry Fada, I seem to go ‘off-head’ some days. And you see, it makes me forget that the norm for our house is that things move backward. I always seem to forget we’re getting very good at that. It’s the trend! Like in the North West and South West regions for the past weeks! Well, I’m sure people lived in the dark ages when it was really dark; so, why wouldn’t they live thus now that it’s not. Lol! You really are something else, Fada!

Anyways, on that day, my ears picked some familiar sounds. But then, before I could sit them in, they had gone as swiftly as they had come. Let’s say the other times I have heard such are when you say “I do so swear”. You know, I sometimes wonder what you really so swear to. Is it to what we think you are swearing to, or to what you have in mind that you’re swearing to? How I’d like to know whether you really do believe in what you have so often sworn to. And then, how come the same persons make you swear to the same things you swore to the last time you did swear. Oh, sorry, that was just swearing. It wasn’t really ‘meaning’. Right? Perhaps wrong. I stand to learn better, and be corrected if need really be. I think you should also swear to that. How about that? Huh Fada?

Each time our uncles visit and we visit them, be it at our home or in theirs, I’d thought you’d let them; and their neighbours, as well as ours, who peep through those small beautiful cracks in our wall. You know, when they peep through and see the bookshelf, it is so orderly they know we’re gurus. Hahahaha, poor them! If a fairy could just whisper in their ears we’ve never really glanced through a handful of those, well, you know what I mean. Anyhow Fada, I always wonder why you never let our uncles, or the peeping neighbours and even the “Amebohs” know what you so sing in my ear that I should imbue in me. Why don’t you tell them, or rather, SHOW them it is imbued in you. Once in school, I was told that experience is the best teacher. Show us, and we’ll follow you. Ohhhhhh; Fada, wait! Are you of the school of those who say “Do what I say and not what I do”, noooooo! That’s not good. Fortunately, a wise teacher told me once whenever people say such; really, they are what they do and not what they say. Was he right Fada?

Would you rather I do what you do and say what you say, and be at peace with you? Or do what you say and don’t do what you do and be at peace with you? Or what else? Please Fada, come straight sometimes. Please! It helps me understand you; what you like, what you don’t,  what you want, what you don’t want, what you want me to say, and what you wouldn’t like to hear me say, even if I have to.

Reminds me of some of my friends. I think they really didn’t know what you wanted them to say. Or better still, they didn’t say as you said. I think that was their crime. You know. They said what they said because you told them they had the right to say it. But then, they failed to understand that they were not supposed to do what you say, but rather, they had to do what you do. Ahhhh, they aren’t your true children right? Adopted, perhaps? Imposed, perhaps? Whatever!

Ooooppps, we’re past St. Sylvester, St. Valentine, and soon St. Spring will be bouncing in. I just hope it wouldn’t be the spring my cousins in the dessert cassock led some few years back. Ahhh no, no, no, no. That Spring was a spring to reckon with. Noooo, though it ushered in some fresh air, water, mixed with … Perhaps we really need spring! What do you think Fada?

Well, we’ll soon be in May too. It’s somehow our national month; you know; though the way it came to be is a matter for another day. Let’s see how we plan that feast in the house.

Ohhh Fada, Little strokes fell great oaks!

Perhaps the binding cords are far more resistant than the heat of May; don’t you think? I can see a will. A will to be. Do you have that will to be Fada?

A surfer once said, and I paraphrase “If you see snakes, kill them; don’t create a commission on snakes”.

Dearest Fada, if you are proud of your lingos, show it; don’t create a commission on them. You’re our Fada. We are yearning to learn from you. Do, so that we can do.

Remember Fada, little strokes fell great oaks!

Ohhhh, goodness me, ouch, I forgot. Well, but then, not a big deal, is it? Since at home we’re good at the backward move, it’s not so bad after all, right Fada? Happy birthday in arrears!

Your daughter,

Sally.

OLD BEN’S STORY

A Minister passing through his church in the middle of the day,

Decided to pause by the altar to see who comes to pray.

Just then the back door opened and a man came down the aisle,

The minister frowned as he saw the man hadn’t shaved in a while.

His shirt was torn and shabby, and his coat was worn and frayed,

The man knelt down and bowed his head, then rose and walked away.

 

(c) gallery.com

(c) gallery.com

In the days that followed at precisely noon, the preacher saw this chap,

Each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister’s suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear,

He decided to stop and ask the man, ‘What are you doing here?’

The old man said he was a factory worker, and lunch was half an hour

Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power.

I stay only a moment because the factory’s far away;

As I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kinda what I say:

 

‘I JUST CAME BY TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.

SO, JESUS, THIS IS BEN, JUST CHECKING IN TODAY.’

 

The minister feeling foolish told Ben that it was fine.

He told the man that he was welcome to pray there anytime.

‘It’s time to go, and thanks,’ Ben said as he hurried to the door.

Then the minister knelt there at the altar, which he’d never done before.

His cold heart melted, warmed with love, as he met with Jesus there.

As the tears flowed down his cheeks, he repeated old Ben’s prayer:

 

‘I JUST CAME BY TO TELL YOU, LORD, HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

I DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.

SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME, JUST CHECKING IN TODAY.’

 

Past noon one day, the minister noticed that old Ben hadn’t come.

As more days passed and still no Ben, he began to worry some.

At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill.

The hospital staff was worried, but he’d given them a thrill.

 

The week that Ben was with them, brought changes in the ward.

His smiles and joy contagious; changed people were his reward.

The head nurse couldn’t understand why Ben could be so glad,

When no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had.

 

The minister stayed by his bed, he voiced the nurse’s concern:

No friends had come to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn.

Looking surprised, old Ben spoke up and with a winsome smile;

‘The nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know; He’s been here all the while.’

Everyday at noon He comes here, a dear friend of mine, you see,

He sits right down and takes my hand, leans over and says to me:

 

‘I JUST CAME BY TO TELL YOU, BEN, HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,

SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP, AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.

I THINK ABOUT YOU ALWAYS AND I LOVE TO HEAR YOU PRAY,

AND SO BEN, THIS IS JESUS, JUST CHECKING IN TODAY.’

 

© Anon

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