CANDID TALK: Why I feel like the stingy man’s pet monkey

Sunday August 12 2018


By Peter Muthamia

Forgive me if this third-rate column reads like one written by a real monkey. I sometimes feel like one for I have done so many donkey (…I mean monkey) work with nothing to show for it.

Slightly before I was thrown out of Katerero Primary School for trying to peer under a girl’s skirt, my teacher, Miss Rugarabamu Rubabiriunuss Winchinslauss (her names sounded like a choking man’s gaggles) told us a story of a stingy man’s monkey. I know that you will love it because even intellectuals love to read foolish stories like this one.

Anyway, once upon a time, there was this bloke who earned his living showing off his monkey doing antics in the streets.

Crowds would throng around the monkey and would burst into peals of laughter. The mirth and frolic was akin to what happens in this part of Uswaz whenever Ngongoti man (devilishly masked stilt walkers) or those pregnant men (you have seen street comedians dressed like pregnant women) come around.

Let’s get to the monkey business. Day-in, day-out the poor monkey performed all sorts of monkey acrobatics with no reward – not even the cherished groundnuts - thankless task of keeping the streets people entertained.

The crowd in turn tossed coins into an alms box that the monkey’s master greedily stuffed into his pocket.

One afternoon, a man brandishing a banjo (stringed musical instrument) showed up in that part of the street and broke into song and dance.

Everyone, especially the monkey was mesmerized by the performance as he played some Salsa tunes. The monkey stood up, danced and clapped its hands (paws?) with pleasure.

As the happy crowd started throwing coins towards the new entertainer, the monkey thought it clever to also reward the man. It went straight to the alms box, tossing coins it had “earned” to the banjo man.

The monkey owner was so furious that he tried to spank the poor monkey but the monkey was too fast. The monkey ran into the arms of the banjo player who purchased him for a song. They made a happy team of entertainers and lived happily thereafter.

As said earlier, I feel like a real monkey that knows how to wear its fingers on the keyboard to produce third-rate columns like the one you are now reading.

In reward, my stingy boss tosses some coins in the name of wages into my bank account at Dr Charlie’s outfit on the 45th day of the month.

Like the monkey in the story above, I am waiting for a banjo player to swing me to financial bliss – very soon.