Christmas time, I must visit kandeland

Saturday December 22 2018


By Wa Muyanza

As you read this, I, son of Muyanza, will be on my way to Kandeland. Yes, travelling to the hillsides of Mount Kamwala to eat Christmas with my kith and kin. An old story, this.

Come December, and nothing will stop the Tarimos, Massawes, Mankas, Aikas, Mdhavas, Mthuyas, Nakietes, Nendiwes and the like, from buying a Dar-Moshi ticket. And, damn the cost, the lament that siku hizi hakuna pesa notwithstanding!

Questions that non-Kilimanjarians ask include: why is it crucial for these mountain people to travel to the land of their ancestors at Christmas? Can’t Wachagga and Wapare (read Vaasu) eat their Christmas in Dar, Iringa, Mwanza and indeed, anywhere else in the world, besides Kilimanjaro?

I’ve my own reasons, but being a professional(!) scribbler, I’m not supposed to write about “me”, it should be about others. Yeah, the others we pompously refer to as “sources”—news sources. Without them, you don’t have a story.

It doesn’t matter what you know or see—you’ve to prod someone to say it, otherwise how do you get a quote? Now here below are our selected sources reacting to the question: why do you always travel all the way to Kilimanjaro, as a matter of course, to celebrate Christmas?

ELIESIKIA: I’ve been doing that since I started working forty years ago; I travel to Kili to eat Krismasi with my relatives, the majority of whom had never left the village since independence. If they don’t see me at Krisimasi, they’ll conclude I’ve gone mad and send somebody to fetch me and take me to Marangu by force…

THELEMANI (Read Selemani): Thelebrate Krithimathi? Who told you I go to Uthangi because of Krithimathi? I’m not even a Mkirithito (read Christian), I just go home in Dethemba because that’s the time everybody comes home… it’s the period to reunite.

MANKA: I’ve just bought a new car, a Rav4 new model, what’s the use of buying a good car if my people won’t see it? Haki, the way the price of fuel has gone up, I wouldn’t bother travelling to Moshi if it weren’t for the need to show off my new RAV4!

NATUJWA: I’m Natujwa…my close friends call me Natu. I was born and brought up in Gonja, Same District, but I’m married to someone from another region, we call them wanyika, like, you know, persons from the wilderness, my watani in Moshi call them chasaka. You see, our kids and my mnyika of a hubby must be taken to Gonja and meet my people …Xmas provides the best time for that.

MSAKI: I love mbeke and you only get good mbeke in Moshi, especially in Uru. The mbeke they make in Dar is fake; so being home in December isn’t just about celebrating Christmas, since the Messiah can be worshipped even in Dar. I must be in Moshi in December because for Xmas, a man should drink genuine mbeke. Merry Christmas, mtani!

PS: Have a merry Xmas, dear reader. If you’re to drink, please do it responsibly—WA MUYANZA