“Pride Goes With a Fall”

Many times, our egos keep us away from many achievements, we get so locked up between such self “isms” that, we forget or refuse to see the realities of life.  Some of us are so much obsessed that, we tend to refuse to let go of the village in us.  As the saying goes, “you can take the villager out of the village, but you may not take the village

Many times, our egos keep us away from many achievements, we get so locked up between such self “isms” that, we forget or refuse to see the realities of life.

Some of us are so much obsessed that, we tend to refuse to let go of the village in us.  As the saying goes, “you can take the villager out of the village, but you may not take the village

out of him”.   Many of us decide to leave our homelands to new found homelands, but we carry all our old habits and beliefs with us along even when we may well have known that, such “baggage” may be detrimental to our current situation and bearings.  Is it the hand of God or something else?

Some years ago, a friend of mine was travelling from some point in East Africa (Nairobi to be precise) to the then République du Zaïre.  The obvious mode of travel in such circumstances was none other than going by Air.  

How else would one cover a journey of more than 3000 kilometres? Vast as Zaïre was, there was no pronounced road network; the only safe mode was only to fly. In the 1990s, there was talk that, the Zaïrean former Dictator, Field Marshall Mobutu Seseko Ngembendu wa Zabanga (as he was popularly known) advised his counterpart (then president of a neighbouring country to the East of Zaïre), that, he should not build good roads because, if attacked by opposing forces, they could drive on those highways in a day and the country would fall to them within no time.

Two of his predictions that have come to pass were that, “before him, there was no Zaïre, after him there will be no Zaïre”; the second was the march from east to west that
ousted him(this was a defiance of his rules).

These days, long after Marshall Mobutu and his Zaire are gone, the best mode of transport to the now Démocratique République du Congo (DRC), is still air.

Since my story took place before DRC was “born”, I will restrict myself to the use of the name “Zaïre”, please note that, there is no malice intended!

As I was saying, the good Lady had to buy herself an Ethiopian Airlines Air Ticket, I suppose, in those days, that was the only mode of travel to those lands, “The Pride of Africa” was probably in its infancy then and that is why Ethiopian Airlines was preferred then.  

To cut the long story short; there was no problem, passengers arrived and went ahead to board.  Hell broke loose when the passengers had boarded, there was an over religious Somali gentleman, wearing a very long beard and dressed in long white tunic attire, complete with all the head dress that goes with it.

This gentleman was made to seat with a seemingly “unholy” lady (my friend).  He stirred a mini “hurricane” on the plane, he wanted to change seats because he could not seat with a “sinner woman” because she was not wearing a “hijjab” (Islamic head dress).  
Some passengers

volunteered to give the lady a “kanga” so that she could cover her head up but she refused, arguing that, being a Christian, she was not supposed to hide under those clothes of subjugation!

The only alternative for the man of Allah was either to put up and shut up or be left behind.  Amidst curses and prayers, he opted for the latter and
decided to travel.

For over an hour or so, the guy kept his face glued to the Aircraft window as he did not want to look at the “unholy woman”.  They crossed from East African airspace to the Zaïrean territory with no incident whatsoever.

I suppose, the Almighty God has his own ways of doing things.  He created Adam and from his ribs, he extracted Eve (so the Holy Book says), I may suppose again that, he intended that, we men must appreciate them women and not to despise them, Eh!  Maybe it was because Marshall Mobutu had neglected the entire infrastructure (not repairing the “airway road” in the skies) or was it the hand of God?  

The plane hit “potholes” in the air and literary “fell” several metres (the pilot was dodging air pockets), the man of God turned and grabbed the “unholy woman” and began praying, “Allahu akbar, save this aeroblane (read plane) from crashing, Allah the merciful, don’t let me die because I have to comblete (read complete) my new house in Mogadishu, I don’t want to die and leave my wife and children”, he prayed.

Pride goes with a fall, ironically, he was hanging unto the “unholy woman” (the same lady he had refused to sit with) as if without her, he would die or she was God sent, maybe she was!

The man of God held unto her even when the turbulences had ceased, maybe he was afraid that, if he let go, the “areoblane” would fall again!  Some “beople” take others for granted whereas God does not!

Mfashumwana@fastmail.fm

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