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Opinions of Friday, 11 March 2011

Columnist: The Catalyst Newspaper

Elephant Shortingo Says "All Die Be Die"

People of Akasanoma Village, I greet you. How are you all? I, Koo Didipreko, your village brother and hunter of high repute, am also well and kicking by the grace of the Bearded Old Man Above.



Although I just came back yester-night from a trip to the capital city, your brother was in the forest earlier on his usual hunting expedition after our previous gathering last market day.



The reason I had to abandon my hunting expedition in the forest to go to the capital city was because my umbrella friend in the capital city sent me an SOS message demanding I come to witness another act of buffoonery by the elephants and their new chief, the ‘almighty’ Elephant Shortingo.



Why, you are asking why your brother described him as ‘almighty’?



My people, just look at Elephant Shortingo, observe Elephant Shortingo just casually, take a cursory look at Elephant Shortingo’s body language, hear Elephant Shortingo talk and you will have no conclusion than to be convinced that indeed, Elephant Shortingo sees himself as some kind of deity with unlimited powers and strengths and expects the people of the motherland to go grovelling before him on his orders.



My people, why is your brother talking like this? Well, trust your brother. You will hear every bit of it before today’s gathering ends.



My people, Elephant Shortingo wants to create problems for the motherland. But let me ask you this simple but straightforward question. Do you know that Elephant Shortingo is obsessed about the idea of becoming the next ruler of the motherland?



Well, if you don’t know, your village hunter and brother is telling you. And moreover, Elephant Shortingo’s obsession is making him begin to act as though some screws are begging to loosen up in his upstairs.



The fila your brother is stumbling upon within the elephants’ fraternity is that it is becoming clear to Elephant Shortingo by the day that the Asomdwee Umbrella Ruler’s wonder performance is making him fizzle out into total oblivion. That, my people, is what is making Elephant Shortingo not only become reckless but unwisely dangerous.

Now hear my fila:

My people, I arrived in the capital city even before my umbrella friend could say Jack. No sooner had I reached my umbrella friend’s abode than him telling me that the elephants had a gathering coming on the next day at that place called Koo-Ofori-tree, the capital of the sunrise expanse of the motherland, the home of some of the fufu and palm nut soup and light soup-eating people of the motherland.

My umbrella friend implored me to accompany him to this gathering of the elephants. And knowing very well the elephants and the high level of buffoonery they are symbolically capable of exhibiting, your brother gladly accepted to go and see what happens this time.

So, in the company of my umbrella friend, we set off from the capital city early the next day. We got to Koo-Ofori-tree early and your brother as usual, got into his hunting elements. And bringing to bear on my fila gathering the prowess I apply in the forest during my hunting expeditions, I got an excellent result once again.

Guess what. My umbrella friend and I decided to wait patiently and see what happens later at the elephants gathering. In the meantime, your brother took interest in some bush meat on sale by the roadside and some ‘khebab’ in front of a drinking spot.

My people, don’t think anything bad for your brother O! I just wanted to know the price of the bush meat produced by hunters in that area of the motherland compared to how I sell mine around here, in Akasanoma Village. That’s all! You can call it a village hunter’s market survey in the sunrise expanse of the motherland if you like.

Also, your brother as you already know does not drink alcohol. My delicacy is meat, and for that matter, I could not see that khebab and sit idly by. So to tell you the truth, my umbrella friend and I did a bit of justice to the khebab as I bought a bowl full.

As we enjoyed the roasted meat, we realised that like joke, like joke, the elephants started arriving from the forest in groups and singles. Some looked very wretched others were in solemn mood while some others sang songs of lamentation and pain of being kicked out of the fortress of power and sent back to the bush by the people of the motherland.

My people, at this point, the elephants reminded me very much of my first encounter with them in the forest and the whole process of how amidst chants of ‘we want power, we want power’, they marched as a unit in a single file from there to invade the motherland and took control of the fortress of power and were in charge of the motherland’s affairs for good eight dozen-moons.

My people, the elephants also revivified your brother’s memory, and disgustingly enough, of how after those eight dozen-moons, they messed up the motherland and looted everything in it for themselves- something that just make you go hmmm!

But my people, of course, your brother also could not forget the joyous moment that greeted the shameful exit of the good-for-nothing elephants when the people of the motherland finally said enough is enough and decided to kick their ass and sent them packing bag and baggage back to the forest where they came from and duly belong.

So, as all this playback hit your village hunting brother’s sharp memory, the elephants purposefully trooped in to Koo-Ofori-Tree in anticipation of something extraordinary happening at the big event.

What is the big event, my people? Elephant Shortingo was leading an elephant delegation from the forest to the sunrise expanse of the motherland to rekindle the hopes of the elephants of recapturing the fortress of power from the umbrella people in the next ruler selection exercise of the motherland.

The high point of the event, my people, was that the elephants were going to be addressed by Elephant Shortingo. And the enthusiastic elephants could not wait to hear their new chief speak to them in a crusade-like setting such as this since they were sent back to the bush two dozen-moons ago by the people of the motherland.

To cut a long story as short as Elephant Shortingo himself, the elephants finally gathered. The gathering gathered momentum as time went on. Little by little, the gathering proceeded until the very climax was due- that moment which every one of the elephants was waiting for- the address of the new chief elephant, the ‘almighty’ Elephant Shortingo.

Elephant Shortingo was expected to charge the elephant fraternity towards the task ahead in two dozen-moons time when the motherland will go through another ruler selection exercise.

My people, your village hunter managed to get a strategic positioning. I wanted to hear loud and clear the bombshell Elephant Shortingo was going to drop this time round after the ‘bottoms’ fila I gave you last market day. And I was perfectly right. Elephant Shortingo did drop the bombshell.

That moment finally came, my people, and Elephant Shortingo was introduced onto the stage. He was flanked by a few of his colleague senior but much taller elephants who rendered him almost insignificant by way of height.

What did your brother see next? Elephant Shortingo stepped forward and like Aki & Porpor in a Naiger film, he raised his Lilliputian arm and waved to the elephant gathering which responded with enormous cheers. He was dressed in the type of shirt associated with the sons of Adam from the Savannah area of the motherland. But his was knitted in the adopted colours of the elephant’s fraternity.

And guess what, my people. When your brother looked at Elephant Shortingo’s armpit, it was as bushy as the bush he came from. You can imagine the bad odour that would be emanating from that bushy armpit of his.

Turning his eyes in their sockets like a typical white powder user who was high on the stuff, Elephant Shortingo cleared his voice and your guess is as good as mine. Like yesterday, he dropped yet another bombshell.

With some amount of nasal rendition, he spoke in the language of the fufu-eating people. Hear him:

“Fellow elephants gathered. As you can see, my eyes are red. I’m not here for a child’s play. I know you know that age is no longer my best ally in my quest to become the ruler of this land. But the road to the throne for me is rugged and rough. The asomdwee man and his people are too tough for me. The people of the land also do not like me very much. So I need you all to do me a favour.”

At this juncture, Elephant Shortingo paused for a while, took out from his pocket a white handkerchief and wiped his face. Then there was a prolonged murmuring among the elephants. Some said Elephant Shortingo was wiping tears as he was weeping. Others said he was wiping sweat.

Elephant Shortingo continued: “The favour I’m seeking from you is simple. Next time we face the umbrella people in battle for the rulership of this land, I want as many of you as possible to risk dying for my sake. If you die for me to become ruler of this land, I will reward your souls as soon as I get on the throne. This is because once I sit on that throne, I will have a magic wand to turn things around for every one of your souls after you are dead and gone for my sake. Your coffins will be gold-plated. Your tombs will have the best decorations in the colours of the elephant family. If you doubt me, you just die for me and see. After all, all die be die.”

Elephant Shortingo did not end there. He sought to draw a wedge between the fufu-eating people of the motherland on one hand and the rest of the people of the motherland on the other.

My people, the elephants did something that confirmed the fact that they actually belong to the bush. Come and see them cheering Elephant Shortingo who is asking them to go kill and be killed so he can become the ruler of the motherland.

As I speak to you now, I’m still wondering as to how the elephants understand the enormity of what their Lilliputian new chief elephant has told them.

But my people, the question is, will the people of the motherland sit down and watch the elephants kill them for the sake of Elephant Shortingo’s unbridled ambition to become the ruler of the motherland?

My people, this is something you my people also have to be thinking about till we meet again at this gathering next market day. Till then, its cheerio from your village hunting brother.