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Tales from the Hood – April Fool

Today I just realised the month of April is coming to an end this week and here I am wondering where the time went and what I have tangibly accomplished well that’s a tale for another day but for now am going to a reflection on the month of April in th hood.

1st April has always been a fun day for me as back as I can remember I always tried to make sure I managed to successfully fooled someone so much so that they would always remember. I would do it to my sister, brothers, friends even took a chance on the parents lol! But the “mother of all fools or even foolings as we called them was in 2011” .

It was a very rainy year and that April, the streets in the hood were still waterlogged. I pulled a few tricks fooling everyone I could but was not satisfied with what I had accomplished I thought about my grandparents. 

My grandparents too lived in the hood! There house was only 5 minutes away and I decided to take fools day to them. Before I share what transpired you need to understand the types of grandparents I had.   They were total disciplinarian unlike these spoilt brats I see around who are pampered and all my grandparents both would give you a size 9 (slap/beating) without a moments hesitation so in as much as we played silly we  were always alive to the fact that anything (beatingwise) was possible.
So with a lil bounce in my step, I told my sister I was off to pull a  fast one on ambuya, my only sister cautioned me saying careful. As I walked to my grandparents home I asked myself what possible prank I could play on them. I got to their house and peeped over the hedge and saw both husband and wife (grandma and grandpa)  on the veranda. Grandma was doing some laundry on one end  while granpa was polishing his shoes on the other.

A brilliant idea struck me and I quickly snuck past there house and walked about 30 meters away. I then sprinted into the yard and threw myself into a heap faking a serious panting as though I had run a marathon and in between shallow breaths narrated how my uncle was being beaten by his friend at his house and that it was So bad. 

Before I could finish narrating what had happened, they both bolted out of their seats and half walking half jogging towards my uncles place. Since that Uncle lived about 10 minutes away I put things in order hanging the laundry granny was working on and ran home.

Now my Grandfather was a Graceful and Tall man. He walked with a lot of confidence head held high. He was known for his smartness always well groomed combing his hair neatly and always shining his shoes and he spoke nothing but Chewa.

Oops its not about my grandparents I guess back to the story, I quickly ran back home and hid in the house. I was home for about 20 minutes when a messenger came home and told my mom that my grandparents were calling me when my mom told me I said I was not going there and could not explain why. She threatened to give me a good beating for my rudeness but my sister knew and  what had transpired, volunteered to go and hear what granny needed. 

My grandfather told my sister that “Ndiza muponda Susan” (I will Step (beat) on Susan).  Kundionesa Chitsilu kubantu, ndaponda muvi manzi vamatuvi lelo (She made me look like a fool, made me step in sewer water).  After my sister laughed and reminded them that it was fools day they said they would still beat me up for stupidity.

A few days later I bumped into my uncle’s landlord who goes to the same church as my grandmothers and they are both in the womens group (Chigwilizano). She narrated how my grandparents burst through her yard on that day “Koma weo Susan wechitanji? Ambuya wako ewela kunganda ila nsiku, nengo ona Anapi lubilo, kubaposha aliyo yanke, alume nao muvuli. Azowela kusogolo pamenso po kalipa echiti: (Susan what did you do? Your grandmother came home the other day really pissed. They walked past me and didn’t even respond to my greeting when they walked to the other house they walked back and said:

Granny: baluta kuni? (where have they gone)
Landlord:Nati bani?  (Who)
Granny:  Benzo chita ndeo na nAsai, Munitaisha ntawi baluta kuni? (The people who were fighting with Sai )

She then proceeded to give me details of how shocked they were when she told them there was no fight and that she had been in the yard all morning and I hadn’t even been there that morning. They were really angry and vowed to give me a good beating.

I kept a low profile for a couple of weeks until I missed them and went to see them. When my grandfather saw me he laughed so hard and only just said kupusa bati.

In as much as they were not happy with what happened they stopped everyone who said hello to them and shared the story of how their granddaughter had pranked them on fools day. They took great pride in telling the story. 

Am only sharing this story because its April and my Grandfather died. I miss him for his stories, for all the little things he did like get the first paw-paw from a tree and keep it for me to come and eat even if I only came a week later. His Deep voice speaking Chewa, playing pick-a-lot and so many things. His name was Jackson and I used to call him Jackie Babe…..  c’est la vie.


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