Memoirs of a Musajja

He was born and bred in Musajjaland but basajja never considered him a bonafide ‘son of the soil’ and like Wyclef Jean sang in ‘peace God’ when he died his life was not even worth paperwork. He grew up learning that he was different. He was not bothered in his existence but there was no doubt amongst his hosts that he was also not welcome. He was the Musajja. As a result of his confusing and often compelling economic history, he was left with no option but to wander the entire expanse of Musajjaland trying to find one place that would make him comfortable, the search for a home.
L-R : Rwandans busy sorting coffee ;The current Rwandan is more interested in what you have to offer
L-R : Rwandans busy sorting coffee ;The current Rwandan is more interested in what you have to offer

He was born and bred in Musajjaland but basajja never considered him a bonafide ‘son of the soil’ and like Wyclef Jean sang in ‘peace God’ when he died his life was not even worth paperwork. He grew up learning that he was different. He was not bothered in his existence but there was no doubt amongst his hosts that he was also not welcome. He was the Musajja.

As a result of his confusing and often compelling economic history, he was left with no option but to wander the entire expanse of Musajjaland trying to find one place that would make him comfortable, the search for a home.

The less neighbours knew to him the better for his existence. It was perhaps due to this that he chose to be a nomad. But even that economic activity, like the endless summer nights, has a cycle. And so the cycle stopped. The Musajja was tired of the rat race, he decided to try his luck in Citi.

In fact prior to this event, he was not even aware that he was a Musajja, this identity was tagged on him the moment he crossed the line and entered Citi.

Years yonder after entering Citi he never knew that when the Citimen talked of Musajja they were referring to him. Many lives in exile had successfully robbed him of his identity to a point that even when all those around him reminded him he was different, the musajja never bothered.

To start with, he did not have one particular language with which to identify. And he was right. He had acquired this ‘deaf’ skill from his sojourns in Musajjaland.

His hosts had called him many names, that even he, forgot who he really was. Perhaps it was because of a mixture of his vigilance and misery. How can a refugee be so vigilant in fighting for the overall freedom of his hosts?

Either the hosts were arrogant, dumb or unreasonably proud or maybe the refugee did not have an option and so was left to be used as a condom to fight other people’s wars.

After-all he was considered to be so hapless that the only means the refugee had used to get to Musajjaland was hopping on top of fishes and swimming across borders.

The means he used to cross borders ending in Musajjaland withstanding, the Musajja had acquired the characteristics of a chameleon.

He became a successful cattle herder, a community organizer and a freedom fighter that many of the dictators reigning in Musajjaland would not have been disposed of without his compliance, his cattle, his homelessness, his love for action, his despair, his cattle and above all his elegant women.

So it was with a sense of both relief and hurt that he had acquired an identity upon entering Citiland, even if Musajja seemed inappropriate it was all the same welcome.

However, in Citi more than Musajjaland, they had been incarnated with a spirit that told them who was whom. Any slight difference amongst individuals could be detected within a distance of 70 miles away as a result of this training.

The Musajja tag was therefore coined according to his accent, his recipe, his talking manners as well as his adaptability. What however remained a dominant feature was that he was also considered a foreignor in Citi.This was hurtful.

What was relieving however was the fact that the musajja was more comfortable with the physical features that defined him as a person and that on occasions he could compete for work on equal terms with everybody else in the job market.

But even in this Citi life there was balances of foreignors and locals that had surfaced once the musajja crossed the borders.

So as the musajja competed for one particular job for which he qualified the employers were faced with a small problem of balancing the two.

The musajja, for his limited French, for his distaste of pause, (that proverbial afternoon siesta prevalent in Citi, was considered a ‘bad air’ in the working environment.)

So he lost out on all the jobs of NGOs and public parastatals. The musajja as a result found willing employers in the private sector and the government of Citi, which itself was almost operated on the principles of a profit motivated private corporation.

The ideas that the musajja was a foreigner was further strengthened and enhanced by the opinions of the visitors of Citi, since the musajja was not very eloquent in Citi he got along very well with many of such visitors to Citi but the visitors had their own agendas and quite often they interpreted the musajja as not being proud of other Citimen and wanting to align himself to foreigners.

The visitors therefore suggested that indeed the musajja was not one of the bonafide Citimen and so he belonged to lands ashore.

Faced with this paradox the musajja had to rely on his refugee skills.

The skills of believing in good, in the unlimited depth of the human spirit to love, in the drive to forge and develop a community and in the hope that one day Citi will be a home for all, foreign and locally born.

donuwagiwabo@gmail.com

ADVERTISEMENT