Call them loan sharks, Shylocks or devil-may-care! I hate them with a passion. Many are times when I have found myself in a near-death situation over loans.
“Shylock” is indeed not someone’s baptismal name, lest you mistake. Nay! It is a title just like Dr, Prof and so on - a title for those unlicensed blokes whose profession it to lend stupid spendthrifts like I, money at a whopping fifty per cent interest per month then demand an arm if you do not pay at their terms.
To begin with, loans are very “sweet” until the last coin has been spent and one realises he has done nothing with it. The last experience was a call devil hours of the morning from one Shylock. I was in Uswaz dispensary, drips hanging precariously above me because of stomach ulcers caused by loans and debts! In case you do not know how stomach ulcers feel, try this; eat half kilo of needles, crashed bottles and a few knives and then drink a litre of concentrated sulphuric acid. That is how I felt when the shylock called demanding that I pay her money.
It does not matter whether such sons and daughters of the devil are colleagues or happens to be the owner of the shop next to your shack in Uswaz. Even banks are licensed “murderers” for they will lend you other people’s money but failure to pay them, they will unabashedly auction everything you own including urine-drenched mattresses, rat-infested couches or even your soul. Folks in Uswaz have even committed suicide after everything they owned was loaded in truck to devil-knows-where, leaving them as naked as they were the day they were born. Hell gets loose when you have other debts, that you don’t know which to pay first. I often expect knock on my door any time from my uncompromising landlady who reminds me of Labradors whenever I see her (Labradors are Mzungu dogs known for their ferociousness). She is said to be eagerly waiting to wring my neck to my demise if this time I do not part with several lakis - her yearly rent rates.
Mtanenge, the butcher is even more dangerous. Chopping meat with sharp knives and other evil-looking tools is his is chosen career. He needs no persuasion to convert to mishkakis (skewered meat) or mincemeat anyone who owes him fifty thousand for the meat supplied to the tribe living in their house over the past one month. I am not ready to be sent to meet St Peter at the pearly gate by an irate butcher. In the meantime, have a debt-free weekend. Au sio?