By Baba Galleh Jallow
Scandal upon scandal rocked the junta of Second Genamin Gyant DaMidget. From the bloody incident at Pahaw barracks to the arrest or sacking of his former colleagues in the Armed Forces Porovisual Rugged Coven, Second Genamin Gyant DaMidget, aka Mbarass, demonstrated a capacity for cruelty and brutality that soon attracted global attention. The mysterious murder and incineration of a young civilian minister in his junta barely a year after he seized power raised tensions in No-Talk Republic to boiling point and increased both internal and international condemnation of his brutality. And while he continued to maintain an iron face and pretend to be indifferent to the rising chorus of criticism, Second Genamin Gyant DaMidget felt increasingly jittery over the chorus of national and international condemnations that greeted every backward action he took or uncouth word he uttered. Occasionally, he would lock himself up in his private loo and cry profusely, pulling his hair, slapping himself and rubbing Chinese balm on his eyes and nose to ease the tension.
The international community had realized that Gyant DaMidget was a very vicious, erratic and myopic tyrant who liked to bully his people and who pretended to possess spiritual powers of dubious provenance. International human rights organizations continuously berated him for his lack of respect for human life and dignity. Press releases and open letters condemning him and calling on him to mend his evil ways flooded his house and the international media, driving him into a corner and causing him to eat vast quantities of kola nut in order to avoid falling asleep for fear that someone would pounce on him and tie him up and hand him over to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. That thought was a living nightmare for an increasingly paranoid Gyant DaMidget. He literally trembled and quaked in his hippo-hide boots at the very idea of being attacked while asleep. And so ever so often, in order to let off steam and project a semblance of courage in the face of adversity, Second Genamin Gyant DaMidget, Life Chairman of the Armed Forces Porovisual Rugged Coven would order the national radio and television to his house and deliver one of those rambling rants like the one below. On the particular day that he delivered this rant, he had eaten so much kola nut that he continuously danced on one foot then the other and did the chegin and the lembal as he rattled and squeaked endlessly on.
“I called you here today to protest against the white man’s plan to ban kola nut in this world. They are trying to ban kola nut because they do not like it and so they say we must not eat kola nut. They turn away from kola nut because if they chew kola nut, their skins will become dark and they will become like us. Do you think they want to become like us? Well we don’t want to become like them either. We chew kola nut and we like kola nut and we like our black skins. That is why if I catch any woman doing hessal to look like the white man, I will make sure that they go six feet deep. Wounded before warning!
“But I see that a wise for the word is not enough. I say that nine stiches save time and the curious kills the cat. I tell them that they are begging the believe if they think they are trying to tell me what to do. The white man came here without a visa and colonized us for 800 years and what did they do for this country? In 800 years they built only one school and one hospital. If they stayed here for another eight hundred years that means they will build only two schools and two hospitals in this country. They also built state house where I stay and they built the ports. But within only a few years I have built more schools and hospitals and ports in this country than they have built in 800 years. And now they come back here and try to recolonize us, telling us about so-called human right and so-called rule of law and so-called democracy. I will tell them that if they want human right they should keep it in their own country. This is my country and if they don’t like it they can go to hell. In fact, what is all this noise about human right and democracy? Ha? What is this so-called democracy they talk about? They want us to eat their democracy but they will not eat our kola nut. If they want us to eat their democracy they should eat our kola nut. It is a tit-for-tat business and if they don’t like it they can go to hell. They want our gold and our oil and our dry fish and our local tamasaba and ngunja fish and chaali Jaaro and yate, but nothing else from us. But they want us to buy their so-called human right and rule of law and democracy. That will never happen in a thousand years. Who do they think they are?
“They disrespect our kola nut and they want us to say yes we respect their so-called human right. If they think so then they don’t know themselves. Kola nut is a fruit of our gods and ancestors. Ever since the beginning of time our ancestors have been eating kola nut and using it as offering and gift to the spirits of the land. Even when a baby is born we eat kola nut; when we have a marriage we eat kola nut; when somebody goes to greet somebody we eat kola nut. But the white man now says kola nut is bad and we should not eat it. They are the ones that are bad because kola nut is our national treasure and will always remain our national pride as long as I am president for the next thousand years.
“Even today, if you try to go get a shenanigan visa to go to the white man’s country, they will say no because you eat kola nut. For 800 years they came to our country without visa and we did not drive them out. And we did not say they must eat kola nut to come to our country to colonize us. Do they think we are stupid? If we wanted to drive them out when they came here for 800 years without visa we could drive them out. I was not born at that time but I could choose to be born at that time because I chose to be born after the white man left because I did not want to be born under the white man’s rule. And now they come here and tell us that we should not eat kola nut. Who do they think they are?
“As far as I am concerned I don’t care whether they eat kola nut or whether they eat gejja. When I bought this country with my blood and sweat they stood there and said Second Genamin Gyant DaMidget is going to fail. But I told them they can go to hell and I am not going to fail. When they asked me where I get the money to pay my workers’ salaries, I told them they can go to hell because the Arabs are my world bank. And when I say the Arabs are my world bank I mean I can go to my fellow brother Arabs and beg them for money to pay my salaries and they would give me anything I ask for. How then can they say that that the Arabs are not my world bank? If they say that then they can go to hell. I prefer the white skins of the Arabs to the white man’s skin because all white skins are not equal and all black skins are equal in the eyes of both the Arabs and the white man. So that is why I prefer the Arab world bank to the white man’s world bank even though the white man’s world bank also give me money.
“I don’t care if they call me a beggar because when I go to the Arab people to beg, I beg in the name of their white skin which is equal to the white man’s skin. I say a lot of prayers and pretend to be pious and then I will show them some kola nut and eat some of it to proof to them that I do not care about the white man because his skin is not the Arab white skin. Sometimes my brother Arabs would ask me if I want to lead the prayers but I would say no you lead the prayers because you white skin is not the white man’s skin. But because the white man also has a white skin like the Arabs they think they are better than us. I say that is a lie because I have the Arab world bank and I eat kola nut.
“That is why I do not care about any shenanigan visa from the white man and they can go to hell. And that is why I ask my brothers in other parts of Black Africa to wake up from their white man’s slumber and eat some kola nut. If they eat kola nut they will be awakened from their slumber and stand up to the evil white man who wants to come back and colonize us and take us to America through the Atlantic slave trade and then say no more kola nut. If all the Black African leaders come together and eat kola nut, that will show the white man that we black leaders do not care about any shenanigan visas and we do not care about any so-called human right and so-called rule of law or so-called democracy. They want us to stop eating kola nut and follow their traditions but they do not want to follow our traditions by eating kola nut. In fact, from now on, every Friday will be kola nut eating day in this country. Everyone in this country must eat kola nut every Friday. If anyone refuses to eat kola nut every Friday then they are traitors to this country and will go a thousand feet deep. In fact from now on, everybody must call me Second Genamin Gyant DaMidget Kola Nut. I want to see what the so-called white man can do about it. A wise for the word is enough; a bush bird is better than two.”
As Genamin Gyant DaMidget’s incoherent ramblings polluted the airwaves on national radio and television, crowds of citizens gathered at Liberty Square chanting slogans and holding up signs in defense of their country from all oppressors. All of the placards conveyed the same message to the oppressors, whether they were white skinned white men or white skinned Arabs or dark skinned mental midgets who ate kola nuts or not: “Say what you like! We write what we like!”