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Baba Jimmi: ‘Player’ stunned by surprise tackle

By Joseph Maina | Jan 19th 2014 | 4 min read

With Joseph Maina

Someone once said that marriage is a three ring-circus, which starts with an engagement ring, followed by a wedding ring and, in some cases, ends in suffer-ring. I did not agree with the twisted wisdom in this kienyeji saying, until something happened in my neighbourhood last week, involving Baba Harry, who lives two gates away from my hacienda.

On the outside, Baba Harry is a quiet, peace-loving gentleman who generally prefers to mind his own business. But, away from this saintly profile, he has built a powerful reputation as a ‘player’, and I am not talking football or netball. Those of you who know Toni Braxton’s song that says “Play me like a Spanish Guitar” will know what I mean when I say that Baba Harry plays mpango wa kando like a wandindi.

On this particular Friday, I caught up with him at the local watering hole, located a few staggers from my house. In the spirit of Furahiday, he swallowed pint after pint, and this unbridled spree eventually taxed his common sense. It did not take long before he wobbled onto the dance floor, one hand clutching booze and the other holding his well-known mistress.

Throwing all caution to the wind, the two lovebirds danced the hours away, although in his inebriated state, Baba Harry looked more like he was resisting arrest on the dance floor. The two were in a very compromising situation when Baba Harry turned around and saw his madam standing at the door, armed with all her killer instincts.

Remember, all this happened at the neighbourhood’s most patronised local, and, as happens in many a neighbourhood, tongues wag.

“Wewe!” Mama Harry shouted, addressing the father of her children by a term the police use on people they hate at first sight.


Baba Harry just looked around blankly like a confused granny who has lost the keys to her own home. The pub went dead silent.

“Aibu gani hizi unaniletea?” Mama Harry screamed, but she was not interested in answers.

Baba Harry had been caught pants down, and this was a win-lose situation, in which he had lost the case from the word go. Those of you who have ever been to a court run by the City Council, or any court where suspects hardly win cases (even when they are innocent), will understand what I mean.

“Huyu ni nani?” the missus demanded, indicating the visibly mortified mistress, while pelting the couple with the vilest of expletives in Swahili and vernacular. Most of the words would translate into English as “@$$” and “^%$#”, so there really is no point listing them here.

On a normal day, Mama Harry is a soft spoken, courteous lady whose charm and politeness would make Tanzanian cops look like bullies. But on this occasion, she meant business, and the look on her face seemed to suggest she could start a fire with nothing more than pure rage.

“Ni nini unaonanga kwa wengine?” she shrieked at her dumbfounded hubby, while wagging her finger in the general direction of ‘the other woman’.

Baba Harry may be naughty, and he probably deserved a public flogging, but this was a no-brainer.

“Huyu mama amechapa kiasi,” a drunk seated next to me whispered, noting that some ladies lose their glamour after tying the knot. I immediately hated myself for nodding in agreement.

Someone once said that the difference between a mpango wa kando and a wife is roughly 100 kilogrammes. A while ago, Mama Harry was the undisputed queen of the county catwalk, sporting a stupendously trim frame that had the power to stop traffic and make heads turn. A few comfortable years into marriage, POOF! She ballooned, and the tantalising figure went up in smoke. Worse, she threw her fashion sense out of the window.

Just before the angry wife could aim her shoe at mpango wa kando’s front teeth, there came the hasty tap-tap of the latter’s high-heeled pumps as she darted out of the pub, ending a situation that might otherwise, have called for the use of a body bag. Moments later, Mama Harry read out her husband’s long charge sheet, while issuing every threat in The Book of Vengeance.

“Nakwambia hii mambo itaishia Fida,” she was heard saying, raising the tension in the room.

As they say, hell hath no fury like a wife cheated. Happily, a couple of wise men (led by yours truly) intervened, and only then did she cool down. The couple eventually left the pub, but since then, Baba Harry has gone undercover.

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