There is one special thing about Gitegi; we owe no money to neighbouring villages. We loathe any deals that leave us at the mercy of others. Except for girls, who we import with a promise to pay dowry in the future.
But Harold has taken so many debts such that if every creditor decided to pursue him, we would need the bunker Boris Johnson hid in to avoid an interview with Piers Morgan, and it should be fortified with several layers of steel.
Every single weekend, as leader of the village, Harold used to ask some carpenters, who were never paid, to come and fix the brown house’s ceiling, lifting it a few millimetres every time. I did not know what that was supposed to mean until I realised he was lifting his debt ceiling.
From this, you might have gathered three things. The first is that Harold has a very high appetite for debt. The second is that he does not pay people, he assigns tasks. And the third is that avocado is very, very overrated.
I laud every single foreigner who extended loans to Harold because they understood well that the money was not for the village but for Harold himself. When he promised investors shares, they knew they were not going to be settlers in the village and that the only thing they could claim ownership of was Harold Assemblies of Holy Associates (HAHA).
The stock of domestic borrowing kind of surpassed that of foreign borrowing, but it is interesting to note that all the domestic debt has been extended by Sue.
But Harold’s biggest foreign debt is to Clarissa’s people, from whom he took a daughter and never paid anything.
In Gitegi’s culture, the bride price doubles when the girl becomes a mother.
Sue’s people know they were shortchanged. They, therefore, sent an emissary a week ago demanding part of the bride price, with acceptable minimums.
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A heifer that never moos, two pelicans of Caribbean descent, a wild boar that cannot run back to the wild once set free, two beehives full of worker bees and probably a king alongside the queen; a tortoise that does not have a shell and a sackful of the forbidden fruit, the avocado, along with the serpent if Harold was not already it.
But Harold decided that the debt was to be paid by the village.
On Sunday, he tried to sweet talk his congregation into helping him meet the obligations for dowry payment.
“Were it not for me, we would not really have this village,” he said.
Women nodded enthusiastically and the men snorted.