People like things. That is a fact you cannot deny.
There is a reason why the now-defunct (thank the gods) News of the World made so much money for that sheep-shagging troglodyte, Rupert Beelzebub Murdoch.
We like things so much that bullshit tabloids like H-Metro and B-Metro and Z-Metro and Whateverthefuck-Metro are actually thriving in “conservative, traditional, cultural” Zimbabwe.
See, no matter how much we pretend to be all cool and sweet and well-mannered and respectful, the plain truth is that Zimbabweans (and humans in general) love a bit of gossip.
Whether you’re a church-going Christian lady in a big hat, or an airtime vendor with more buttons on his jeans than a Tipperary prostitute’s bodycount, you like things. And this is okay.
This is why Emmanuel Adebayor’s recent double-whammy of personal, family gwaans struck such a chord with many of my people.
It wasn’t just the tantalising nature of having a good old voyeuristic peep into a rich man’s life that got us going.
It wasn’t just the gleeful comparisons we made, thinking “Yeah fuck at least I didn’t do that he must be an idiot giving so-and-so so much loot what an idiot soccer players huh they’re uneducated hahaha.”
It was the fact that all of us, yes, all of us Africans have thrown money down a communal well at some point in our lives.
Whether it was to bail out some stupid drunken uncle (I’ve never done this because in my family the druncle is me), or to pay school fees for that one cousin who keeps having fucking babies despite not having a job since NRZ bought new locomotives in nineteen-gocha-nhembe.
Personally, I think it is very stupid.
Listen, I have my own problems, and not just drinking ones. There are a myriad things I need to do with my hard-earned money – why would I waste my fucking time paying the “black tax”?
I appreciate the value of supporting your immediate and extended family, believe me I do (and I have, and people who know me know I have).
But I’m not gonna miss a meal because my idiot of a little brother stole twenty-one phones from the football academy I arranged for him.
I am not gonna lose sleep over cutting that nigger off IMMEDIATELY because I gave him a shot and he flushed it down the toilet.
I am not gonna get angry if my little cousin staying at my house steals my spare cellphone, sells it, then goes on a drinking binge all weekend and comes back all apologetic on Monday.
I am not gonna get mad if I Ecocash my sexually-profligate relative money for his second-born’s school fees, only to get a desperate phone call from his wife about how “muzukuru wangu” (my nephew) was sent home from school for non-payment because daddy went down the pub and bought rounds and had a punt.
I am not that guy.
I am that guy who would yell “pita ukazichinde” ([Chewa] go fuck yourself) to my closest relative if I thought they were taking my sweat and tears for granted.
People think this life thing is a game and that their parents have to support them and their kids and their damn kids too including the little fuckers with that other chick round the way.
I say no, my people. No.
Look, it is entirely possible that my grand gender-role-reversal experiment will backfire at some point, and myself and The Mouse will find ourselves Huck Finning around Harare.
But in that hypothetical situation, there are places we can go, not because our grandfathers were distant cousins but because of relationships we’ve cultivated over the years.
Or we could just head back to Chegutu. Inotambika. Shit happens.
Basically, if you’re paying someone’s school fees just because their father is the son of that uncle who passed away in 1989 and now he can’t hold down a job because he used to work at Ziscosteel but it’s defunct and he got a job at a mine but got fired for stealing a rock he thought was gold, yet your own kid doesn’t have shoes or books and all you have to eat is pounded yam and tomatoes from your back garden?
You, my fellow African, are a stupid.