It is easy to listen to trees when your mind is cracked.
This tree of life with her fat trunk that reminds me of my fat wife the colour of chai and all our tea-colored children… This magic tree talks to me.
The place Mbuyuni is named, of course, because it is where the mbuyu is. When Konoike and company came to turn the road into an avenue to name after the president, they wanted to cut her down so that they could build in a straight line because Development is straight. Strange engineers, not to have noticed that nothing in Dar es Salaam is done with rules and rulers. Namanga’s people—the tired schoolteachers and the shopkeepers from Pemba, the parish priest and his blue-clad Sisters—said No. Those tremors travelled all the way up and down the road from Mbezi through the Salender valve straight past Ikulu, and on, and on.
Yes, even we heard about it, we who had nothing to lose by losing her. But if we could love the hibiscus and frangipanis in our gardens and the fertile papai trees, we could certainly love an old baobab and her sour fruit. I know this because, at the time, I had a big lawn and frangipanis and pink-fleshed papais and a night-blooming jasmine bush that my fat wife sniffed in the evenings, and I was one of the letter-writers.
an excerpt from the amazing short story ‘Mbuyuni’ by Elsie Eyakuze (http://mikochenireport.blogspot.com)