The 50th Anniversary of The Bloody Zanzibar Revolution!
Today 12th January 2014 is the Fifty Years since the bloody ethnic cleansing Revolution in Zanzibar – and that is also full of deceit, double dealings, betrayals and letdowns!
On the morning of Sunday January 12th 1964 – we heard shots from the suburbs family rented house that we were staying in MwembeTanga Mapembeyaani in Zanzibar. My late Mother had this very strong intuition – May Allah Bless her and my father – and all the parents – for eternal peace and the highest of heavens – for my late Father to come in! He was chatting with our neighbour who was in all aspects a full fledged local African – near a Telephone booth.
My late Mother told me – tell your father to come inside NOW! So I shouted to him. Lucky for him he heeded the call and came in. A few minutes later – these Africans neighbours of ours lay dying – after being fatally shot by some rogue elements (fellow Africans too!) They were randomly shooting at everything and at everybody!
That morning my brother and I had an argument. So he tore at the picture of a Chicken Cock I had put up! That weird action saved our lives – because all those houses that had this picture – representing the Ruling Party were butchered in their homes… Read on!
- Images – Zanzibar Revolution 1964 – Killers and Killed!
Extracted from – The Glass Is Bent! – Book 9 – Short Takes 2 – Between Us Only!
Short Takes Two – Between Us Only!
***Aged 14 – 12th January 1964***
The shot rang out! They have killed my son, the Mother cried out to the rest of the Family huddled inside. Everybody was crying! We have lost our son, the Mother cried to the Father. The shot rang out again. It was all quiet outside the house, nobody knew what was happening. The one who said he was a Police Official and had lost his job – because of you peoples – had taken the boy outside. I want your eldest son, pointing his pistol at the family. I want to ask him some questions.
When a loaded pistol is pointed at you, there is hardly anything you can do, even if you are many. Besides, this was a new experience the family had never met before. An armed man who comes into your house, and wanting to kill someone because you come from that group of peoples who had made him lose his Sergeant job – though he was not an Islander, but came from the Mainland. From even a different country for that matter. And another faith too!
Like they say, what goes around comes around! If you do good things to peoples as part of your family’s focus and aspirations, you will be recognized – and good things will come back to you. The other armed men were now shouting to the Ex Police Man, what are you doing to the boy? They are innocent peoples, they respect everyone. Besides, they just came to this place. Leave him alone. They were pointing guns at him. Give us your pistol, they said to the man. The man gave it up unwillingly. They hit him by the butt of the rifle. He fell down. Now run they told him – or we shall shoot you next. Like also in each basket, there are good and bad fish or fruits – take your pick!
Your son is alive – the men told the family – Do not cry! He shot at him, but he missed him! It is God’s wish to send us to save you all. You need to come with us, to come to the refugee centre. This town on the outskirts are no longer safe for you peoples. The boy went in, they all hugged him – including his younger brother who was always picking fights with him, trying to undercut him being the leader of the pack!
***Now – 7th June 2009**
Now – I was watching this film. Just a few days before my birthday two days back. The bullied man was saying to the ‘stronger man’. I do not care, you know what? I am happy as what I am. As I am. You think you are better than me? No, you are not. I know what I am, I do not need to think of who I am. I am proud of myself. I know my strengths and my power points, my shortfalls – and whatever you want to say about me. Do not expect me to be like you, and follow you? You think you have won? That you are master of your fate? No, you are just kidding yourself. You only think in your mind that you are better than me, but you are not. You cannot create me, nor can you change me. I am what I am – like I said am proud of myself!
I sympathise with the man. I remember that day clearly. When my strongest of the country adversary – not sober and completely not in control of his faculties – said to me – Do you know why I hate you as your boss? Do you know why? I said, No Sir – I do not know why! Then he retorts – what kind of a person are you? Always trying to look good and be nice? Always the Actor? The one who is always after a popularity contest? To impress and show off to peoples. Pretending you do not smoke. You do not drink. You have no other vices? Whom are you trying to kid? I know you well. 15 years ago this was!
And then that call at 2 am at night 15 years ago again. I am going to board my plane now, the expatriate British man said. Please M – Do Not Change! Remain as you are. Follow your ethics and principles in life. Your focus. You think you have lost? No, you have won. You are far better than all the rest of all the competition to you put together, including even the top ones. They wish secretly they were like you, but cannot be. You care and feel for people. They know it, and cannot accept it. I can tell you now – one I am not sober, and two I am leaving your country forever. I respect and esteem you a lot, forever you will be on the top of my honours and respectable list. Please don’t change!
5 years ago in that other place, it was the Messengers of the place (from another country).Always the lower echelon who felt more. Two weeks ago in my own country, as I was leaving the place, one of the Expatriate Directors came to my room – he caught my hand and kissed it. He hugged me tightly! He then said almost the same very things to me. He was sad and desolate that I was leaving so soon.
I still have it in me – to touch everyone in one way or the other! That is me, and will never change. Hate me – like me – that is M for you!
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