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A visit to the world of the dead

I last had such a dream about three years ago. I had died, that way I was able to rub shoulders with the earth’s mighty and great that had earlier passed on. Among the dead, life’s conversations seemed to continue. But now they were all stripped of their worldly powers.

Last week, I dosed off while reading Oscar Wilde’s essay ‘The Critic as Artist’. I ended up with the dead, in a world that had hardly moved on from its previous. Surprisingly, or not, they all had their full bodies – including Ben Kiwanuka and Patrice Lumumba.

Ben was still the lawyer that hardly kept quiet when he felt he had to say something. He was standing beside Idi Amin when I entered the dead’s cafeteria, demanding to know where his remains were put. Amin, obviously taunted enough, looked to the ground as he muttered, ‘Ben, won’t we let that pass? I was also unceremoniously buried in Saudi Arabia completely and also. Me, the Conqueror of the British Empire!’ 

Amin, turning his face up to Ben, whose toothbrush moustache was now standing, continued: ‘I thought you were now concerned about more recent events back home. Your house was razed. Nothing remained but a parking yard. Even if you had been buried there, your bones wouldn’t have rested. Thanks to your son’.

‘Stop it Amin! Just answer what I asked you,’ Ben thundered. Amin smiled, picked his accordion and moved to the gardens. Obote had managed to outwit Kibirige Ssebunya and gotten away with the Uganda Waragi bottle. He came in sipping and chanting, ‘everywhere, UPChi; everybody, UPChi…’

Ben turned to Obote and laughed as he quipped, ‘Me and UPC have a lot in common’. ‘What is that you share with my great party?’ Obote asked with a smile that brought out the beautiful space in his teeth. Still laughing, Ben answered: ‘we are both dead but not buried’.

Obote put his bottle down, but near enough to be monitored. His sarcastic eloquence had been invited by Ben’s meanness. Besides, near each other, friendship was a stranger. Obote cleared his throat, ‘Ben, except if you have also become emmome, you must be following what’s going on in Uganda with your DP. You are lucky you have no grave, you would be turning in there all the time’.

Ben picked his rosary and left, walking past the big tree in the gardens where Amin was now playing his accordion to new arrivals that included Arap Moi.

Moi was in the company of Jomo Kenyatta who had picked him from the rear gate through which he came in. He seemed uneasy and restless. On Kenyatta’s advice, they had avoided the main gate, where Dr Ouko had camped for years in waiting for him. The main gate was very busy and congested, both by new entrants and the angry dead that still had issues to score with the living.

So, they sat here waiting for specific people. Among the new entrants, I saw a young gospel musician arriving from Kigali. His legs were broken! I recalled that, back in earth news, this happened as he climbed up to hang himself – which is how he met his miraculous death, just like Ouko had shot and set himself ablaze. Death is infinitely creative!

Kayiira was still seated here, in whispers with Nebanda, Ayume, Kirumira, Abiriga, Kagezi, Kifeefe, Kaweesi, and a couple of Muslim clerics. Whatever they were saying, my ears missed; as my attention was on the bullet wounds some kept as flesh evidence.

At the main gate, those arriving from black Africa were rather younger than others from Europe, America, Australia, and Asia. I overheard Jesus telling his father that He wanted to come back to earth and correct the impression often given at funerals that God was responsible for having ‘called’ everyone that died. Otherwise, the world was about to accuse Him of racism.

A group of new arrivals from Somalia had come in with a petition to God, asking if indeed they had been killed in His name and if He was to reward their killers. Behind them was a group of Christians who had died of poverty. They wanted to confirm if He had received their offerings and what He had done with them. Were the Hummers, Bentleys, Range Rovers, and V8s bought from their sacrifices on his behalf? And the mansions? Was He that pompous and indifferent to the plight of His followers?

Jesus was bitter. ‘Did you read what I used to say to the Pharisees?’ He asked. ‘Is there any part of the Bible that stops you from demanding for accountability for what you offer?’ The petitioners went silent. He continued, ‘Isn’t it written in Matthew 24:4 that I said “Many will come in my name, claiming ‘I am the Messiah’, and will deceive many”’?

It’s at this point that Satan interrupted their conversation, also protesting that he was tired of being used as an excuse. He was carrying a rope, threatening to hang himself. I can’t recall who pleaded with him not to, though I imagine the economic value of his existence.

Away from the main house, Nyerere, Sankara, Steve Biko, Sobukwe, Kimathi, Nkrumah and Mandela spent most of their time by the river at the south end. There they could easily disguise their tears. They mostly preferred to listen to news from Ghana, Botswana, Namibia, and Senegal. Feelings about Tanzania were now mixed.

Mandela was particularly low. He had just seen another picture of an African ‘foreigner’ being stoned in his country. The victim was from one of those African countries where ANCs guerrilla training bases were.

I woke up panting, wondering why these afterlife dreams again! But, as the indecorous African proverb warns; when you go to bed with an itchy behind, you are likely to wake up with smelly hands. 

jsssentongo@gmail.com

The author is a teacher of philosophy

Comments

-7 #11 Lysol 2020-02-28 22:31
Quoting Lakwena;
Creativity and being smart.(academic smart) are subjective and are always open for discussion.

Some people are street smart and some are street artists(some of them are much better than one Spire here).

Only that most of them don't get the chances and the opportunities that Spire is barging about and showing off at The Observer.

He and his lovers should appreciate his critics because they keep this forum alive. That means money for The Observer to pay Spire. Economic 101.

Some of you of course don't know/understand the laws of economic. The Observer needs people like me to stay in business. Like me or not.
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-7 #12 Lysol 2020-02-28 22:41
Quoting Lakwena:
This is hilarious Dr. Spire. Thank God for the smart imaginative piece of brain you have.

In other words, Dr. Apollo Milton Obote is waiting at the Main Gate for our "Problem of Africa", Mr. M7 to pork his (M7) ribs with the walking stick, which all along he didn't even walk with but hanged it on his arm.


One man's food may be another man's poison Simply put. It's like some people cannot drink milk or eat fish, pork, sugar or chicken. One cannot blame them for that.

I don't see any humor or any sense in Spire's work. They are all his own imagination on the outlook of them world., which is wrong most of the time.

Count some of us out, but we will continue to criticize him as someone who always hides behinds his so-called imaginary world. to express himself. A sign of the Repression of Mental Disorder.
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+6 #13 Opolot 2020-02-29 19:32
Lysol, I like the way you follow and constantly read what you don’t find interesting - for over three years now you’ve been a regular follower of Dr Spire’s work.

If you found no value in them, you would simply ignore them. But you can’t because your mission is something else.

What you are trying to do is technically called Trolling, which is meant to discourage government critics and stop them from writing.

But you do it very poorly! You talk of being a critic of Spire, but you have never even advanced a single criticism against his ideas.

All you do is trolling, because your problem is his criticism of government not his ideas. Fortunately and wisely of him, he simply ignores you and goes on writing like you don’t exist.

You’ve failed miserably, because trolling can only be done by very intelligent people. His pieces continue being among the most read, even by you his sulking fan. You are wasting your time
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-3 #14 Lysol 2020-03-02 21:29
To Opolot and others haters here.

I'm at this forum to point out and shame some of you who write takataka and gasia (hope you can understand some Swahili), like K***nyoko also.
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-2 #15 Lysol 2020-03-02 23:51
To all my critics here, has any of your relatives died
in their sleeps of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS)?

It's very common with sleep apnea, which many people have.
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+1 #16 Opolot 2020-03-03 13:54
Lysol, you belong to a mental facility.

Your madness is obvious. In an advanced society you would already be somewhere in a correction facility. Seek for help please
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0 #17 Lysol 2020-03-03 22:43
To one ajono/adere drunkard Opolot and all haters of me here plus Spire's bromance takataka.

I'm not crazy, and have been tested by some members of my fellow medical professionals (including some of my immediate family members) who are real physiatrists who not pretend ones like most of you here.

By the way being called crazy is also good. It means one can say/do anything.without appeasing anyone.. Total freedom to say K***nyoko.

If anything I can afford to get treatments anywhere in one of the best hospitals in the USA or even Europe(including the UK) And not that cheap and substandard India hospitals;which many of you go to.

Spire is actually mental and his art work is not compared to that pencil painter from Kenya; one Jimmy Kihungi, who is self taught. Talking of being street smart and creative. He is now known evcen in Hollywood, USA..
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