The last time I bumped into Juma was some six years ago.
As an old friend whom I had known since our childhood days, he had over achieved beyond any critic’s expectations.
Gauging by our past, not many of us could punch in his league, his was a different ball game. He led flashy life.
He had a big house in the leafy suburbs of Dar, which was complemented by his great taste of fuel guzzling automobiles and daughters of eve who came in different complexions and shapes.
Though he could not open up on his sudden metamorphosis, it was obvious that Juma had got things falling in place and word had it then that he was working with the tax collectors.
“Mwalimu lete habari let’s have some drinks for the good old days’ sake,” he said with his usual pomp.
We had a couple of things to catch up on from days in our village school.
But this was just Juma a man who during his formative years was known as the heartbreaker, who had scores of flings in the neighbourhood and despite the fact that girls knew about his nefarious exploits they still fell for him in numbers.
Soon his cell phone rang and he excused himself to take the call from the side.
“Just come over with the others, I will be waiting,” I overheard him saying.
Soon a bevy of beauties arrived, each hugging Juma passionately in a manner that suggested that it was not just an ordinary hug.
There was just more than what met the eye – they were all his girlfriends! This was his life and even as strange as it seemed none of the parties was surprised, it was a common arrangement.
He remained an enigma for so many reasons and top on the list was that despite all his wealth in the city and his advanced age Juma had never thought of marriage.
He was still single and constantly searching and sampling beauties.
Six years down the road not many had heard of Juma especially after the changes atthe Magogoni office and the bad winds that followed.
Word from the grapevine had it that he had fallen victim of Uncle Magu’s axe during the early days and that he was no longer singing from the same hymn book.
Another lad claimed that Juma was serving a term in jail after disappearance of the containers.
On numerous occasions we reminisced how this Sukuma lover boy made the whole neighbourhood tremble each time he came home.
The last time was during the Miss Lake Zone Beauty contest and whatever followed could be anyone’s guess. He went home with the princess.
But all that seemed like so long ago, Juma’s whereabouts remained a mystery that no one could unlock.
On this day we were at Mama B’s place and as usual Matata was on top of things calling for donations before we could settle for our first round of beers.
Chiku the bar maid was the usual self looking at us with pity. She couldn’t imagine that of all things men were fundraising to have a drink!
“Sasa Mwalimu, how long are you going to do this does it mean the salary you are paid is not enough?” she asked.
“Chiku learn to stay away from men’s business,” replied Matata.
But as we were about to conclude our contribution session and order for a drink a big black SUV pulled over. This was a rare citing in this area especially during these confusing times when the Makinikia story is the talk of town
The occupants seemed somehow familiar with the surroundings as the driver parked in one of the designated spaces.
It took them a while before they could step out of the car and when they did, apart from the women, the man looked familiar. It was Juma who had returned to his roots.
He was so fresh and looked so refined than ever before, accompanied by some three very beautiful women.
“Mwalimu habari za siku, give Mwalimu and his friends three each,” he said. This was Juma all that had been said about him was a lie and it seem fate had joined by the hip with the beauties.
They are part of him, even with age catching up he just won’t give up as yet! You can never under estimate a hyena even an old one!