CANDID TALK: Bye Annus Horribilis, forgive my Greek and no resolutions

Sunday January 6 2019


By Peter Muthamia

A Happy New Year folks! The year 2019 just knocked at my doorsteps, and good riddance to Annus Horribilis that 2016. But don’t start getting fidgety about the use of words “Annus Horribilis” because it subject to misunderstanding. In Greek, it simply means “horrible year”. I desperately hope that it will not be an ass like the year that was – a year of tears, sweat and blood. Tears because I lost hundreds of broiler chickens to a strange disease, thus dashing hopes of becoming the next Bill Gates. Sweat because I worked hammer and I am still as poor as a church mouse.

To my pea-size brain, I think the year went up one digit the situations surrounding the lives of folks in the sprawling mother of all Uswaz will remain unchanged. The only difference is that I have grown a few more grey hairs and galleys of wrinkles the size of roadside ruts - a grim reminder that I am aging faster than I should. I will not make resolutions and neither am I going to blame the president or government for my sickly wallet and bank accounts are doing rounds at the financial ICU corridors. The only thing that I am sure of is that I will be dead broke until March this year forcing belt-tightening austerity measures I am not able to keep for I have unsuccessfully tried it before.

I always start the year on the wrong footing – indebted to the neck – school fees for one-and-only twerp I call my daughter, house rent, meat, groceries and devil-knows-what else. Although I have reduced my throat-wetting sessions at Mzee Shirima’s joint, mwendo kasi (hard stuff that can knock down an African elephant) is slowly eating away the remaining healthy section of my liver. That is not the only problem.

I enjoy puffing “cancer sticks”. Many are times that I have sworn by the gods of Lake Victoria that I shall never touch the offending sticks, only to find one between my lips.

My one-and-only woman Bisho Ntongo has been threatening to sue me for polluting the already polluted Uswaz air with cigarette smoke.

I have been earnestly praying to Jane, the “virgin god of the weaklings”, madly counting rosaries and crucifixes like a kindergarten does with an abacus.


I am a mobile rosary and crucifixes, pleading that the landlady gets knocked down by speeding car for as soon as she comes for her rent.

The mere fact that I have spent all the coins over the month of December, it seems that my family will have to contend with eating ugali and dagaa (anchovies) and other Uswaz offal for the next three months.