THE RETURN FROM EXILE POEMS AND OTHER STORIES

THE RETURN FROM EXILE
POEMS AND
OTHER
STORIES………………………………..
………………………THE
MANAGER
I had been at the helm
of the
company’s operations
for full fifteen
years.After a series of
considerations i
found it hard to accept
that i had been
officially laid off as
manager at the
MultiNational entity the
Jainson
Company.The institute
was owned by
the Johnson Family.
The issue was not to
do with any
national retrenchment
programme but
my behavioural
conducts which i had
perfomed during a
public interview with
the state
broadcaster.The way i
had
spoken to the
presenter did not go
down well with the
company’s top
hierachy as it was
considered a threat
to its vision of growing
into a profit
maximising entity, as it
also halted the
confidence of the
corporate world
especially foreign
investors.My
sentiments were
considered to be a
direct call for errant
action against the
whites.They said they
were meant to
trigger war against
them.
I had spoken of the
neccessity of the
state to embark on a
land reclamation
exercise if it was to
entertain any
hopes of empowering
the black
masses.My utterances
had been
misread by almost
everyone such that
immediately after
giving the interview
my superiors had
contacted me to hear
what had gone wrong
with me.They
perceived that i needed
to go and see
the psychiatrist.My
phone had rung
after and a Mr Ricky
Johnson shouted,
“Hey, Rogers what’s
this shit all
about.”He paused and
then
continued,”Have you
gone mad.”He
was the Chief Executive
Officer of the
company in the country
and the
younger son in the
Johnson family the
owners of the Jainson
franchise.
I had tried to shot back
with a
defensive statement,
“Hello Sir
Johnson…… everything……
is…
under control no……
ne…..ed to
………worry.”I had
stammered
instead.
It was too late to
choose romantic
words for the sake of
being
professional and
diplomatic.The
temperament was not
that favourable
for such words but for
me to reverse
what i had said to the
presenter, it was
not to be.Of course,I
knew that I was
on the brink of being
shown the exit
door as Mr Johnson was
no longer in a
jovial mood but had
gone on to be
more angry than
ever.He was such a
rigorous leader who did
not tolerate
anything called a slip of
tongue.
My sacking was going
to be more of a
vendetta through
action against my
interview.My wife
Shalom had wailed
as if there was a
funeral at our
apartment in the
beautifully built
suburb of Kimwil
City.She lamented
over how she would
anguish in poverty
because of my
carelessness as we
were going to lose
almost everything
from cars,house,estate
or even clothes
as the company was
going to take
everything that belongs
to it.I had tried
to hide in the cahoots
of patriotism as
the main reason for
uttering my
sentiments.In truth i
knew that it had
been out of the need to
please the
government bigwigs
such that they
would in return honour
me with a post
in their Mvela Republic
Government.
That was it politics no
longer needed
people with a heart to
fight for the
voiceless.Yes it was
just a
campaigning tool but
not a gun to stick
by.Noel my friend had
once told me
that “Politics is a dirty
game it needs
no smart boys but
heartless
gentlemen”.
I had disagreed with
him as i thought
that it was not a dirty
game but they
are just a few foxes
that are trying to
make it a dirty game by
painting it with
a wrong mixture of
paint and a rusty
wire brush.Shalom did
not like politics
and she always
vociferously
castigated the
gentlemen clad in
expensive suits as “A
band of blood
thirsty vampires”.And
also that they
had initiated for the
disappearance of
her brother Tamuka
who had become
an anarchy of late.He
had threatened
the government that
he would stage a
solo demostration
against the big
tummy boys whom he
said were
corrupt.Once i had
warned Tamuka to
join his enemies
because i knew he
would not beat them.
Shalom hated them
because they lived
in luxury while the
masses were
suffering.”Everyone is
living below the
poverty datum line
especially members
of the civil service” she
said.I was
always dismayed by
her usual
utterances which she
seemed to have
crammed and would
always recite
when i was there.I
would tell
her,”Shalom don’t be
naive as if you
still have colonial
mentality that blacks
cannot be politicians”.I
had said this
without any evidence
of where it had
been said.Before she
could reply i had
continued,”Don’t you
see that people
are suffering because
these light
skinned people are still
holding on to
our properties”.
“What they are doing is
called milking
of our resources” I had
said.Shalom
had become so angry to
the very point
that her voice was
almost shaky and
rose higher than that of
a preacher
speaking through a
microphone.
“Women are always like
that,they are
too emotional that is it
that is how they
were created”.I had
thought to myself
but had not said it out
for i was aware
that it would torch
another
unnecessary
storm.They no longer
tolerated to be cowed
by men because
they had become
liberated by the
everpopular women
rights.Women
rights where
everywhere in the
pubs,hotels,sch
ools,hospitals,toilets
and even a newly born
baby could
even tell you of
those.Chauvinism had
been replaced by
feminism.Shalom
had reprimanded me
when i once
openly told her that
women were just
spendthrift and had no
impact in the
country’s
developmental affairs.
She was bemused by
my excessive
freedom in speech
which i always
enjoyed over
anyone.She said,”Rogers
to be forewarned is to
be forearmed
one day your freedom
of tongue shall
land you in trouble mark
my words”.
It had happened now
that i had gone on
to cause suffering to
my family and the
country’s already
suffering populace.I
was going to be sacked
and the
retrenchement exercise
was going to
intensify soon after
that.Everyone was
now at odds with me
cursing
everywhere they placed
their feet.That
day my wife had drove
to the town for
a private visit and had
returned early
and in her hand was a
newspaper
headlined “Rogers Slims
Fired.”The
already anticipated
news had hard hit
my face and i failed to
read the story
after that as i had gone
nuts with the
headline.It has
happened and Mr
Johnson had not
communicated with
me to hear my side of
the story and
like Jesus i managed to
say “LORD,Let
this cup come to pass”.I
heard my wife
saying,”The
government is against
your firing as it said it
violated your
contractual rights and
the company
must quickly reinstate
you”.She
continued, “Failure to do
so would force
the government to
unwittingly takeover
the company”.It was
the news i had
wanted to hear and
this gave me
anxiety than energy
that after that was
i going to get a post in
the cabinet.
Of course,It was
something the public
would hate forever
because land
grabbing had destroyed
the economies
of many states in
Africa.It had always
been done in a greedy
way and one
other day as i was
coming out of a
shop where i had gone
for a shopping
spree i had one vendor
crying out,
“Yesterday it was ESAP
now you are at
it again with land
grabbing”.The vendor
was certainly
disgruntled and i was
not
surprised to hear that
he was a
degreed person.A
vendor with a
Masters Degree! I had
quizzed
myself.Certainly the
country had gone
to the dogs.Barking
dogs with no tails.I
had been emotionally
connected with
the standard of live
ordinary people
lived.I knew that one
would have to
fork out a bribery fee in
order to get a
job.It was like buying
employment.My
friend Noel had met me
outside the
Chicken Slice fast food
outlet and he
had immediately lashed
out at my land
grabbing utterances.He
said that he
was not happy with my
proposal of
land reclamation though
they had
received government
backing.He had
told me that majority
foreign
companies had started
to shut down
operations in protest
against the
government’s directive
to the Jaineson
Company to reinstate
me as the
manager.I did not know
that millions
had gone jobless
because of my
utterances.My company
had also
started to pack their
bags as they were
now relocating to
Djibouti.
Industries had closed
down,teachers
were staging
industriuos action
against
their paymasters while
investors had
turned their backs on
the
country.Everything had
gone sour like
a lemon.The fund
donors had stopped
forthwith to inject their
capital into our
coffers.Everyone had
now gone on to
say,”Ooh!Rogers what a
mess have
you brought to us”.
Grain had started to go
scarce mainly
due to the ignorance of
those who had
taken over the farms
forcefully taken
from the white
lads.Hunger had
starked everyone with
the money hard
hit by inflation.I had
gone from hero to
a villain in the eyes of
the people.And
the chorus grew even
louder,”Ooh
Rogers you are a
disgrace”.
Wilson Chipangura is a
18 years
passionate writer.
He can be contacted via
email:heavmany@
gmail.com

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