Mullah Mchungu And The Super Bowl
I am well rested from my trip to East Africa where cases of the Doodoo are on the up and up once again, especially in Tanzania. The increase in the death toll within the Khoja community in Dar es Salaam has prompted the powers-to-be to be extra vigilant and restrict the times of prayers at the Khoja mosque. The maulana, poor guy, faces his congregation almost daily, exhorting the worshipers to please wear a mask. Many more people do cover up now but interestingly, the ones with the whitest beards and darkest marks of piety on their foreheads sneer up at the poor Maulana, unmoved. An elderly man is heard protesting in Kutchi – Pan aw salawaat paranto, mooke doodoo kerte kade? I recite salawaat, how can the doodoo bite me? Inevitable logic.
Mulla Mchungu calls from Dar es Salaam as I am getting ready to continue working on my next novel. It’s making very slow progress and I’m worried I won’t have it ready by the end of the year. My last three novels have averaged US$77,000 per book in revenue, all donated to caring for CAI’s growing number of orphan care, worldwide, now numbering about 820. This money goes a long way in paying for the kid’s education. Mulla Mchungu is a royal pain where it hurts most but I’ve grown to like the old crow and humor his highly eccentric and erratic moods. Plus, I feel sorry for his age and loneliness and, with the doodoo on a deadly rampage in Dar es Salaam, worry about his health. So, I answer the phone.
Kisukaali, he breaths heavily over the miles, are you watching the Super Bowl?
I’m flabbergasted! How does the dude know anything about the Super Bowl? I tell him I’m not since I have a lot of work to catch up on. He says nothing for a long time but I know he’s there, breathing and clicking his ghastly dentures in place every few seconds. Then, he delivers his usual tirade.
Aree, you Americans have nothing better to do but waste your time in chasing an odd-shaped ball from one end of a field to another, running and pushing and elbowing and tripping and making clowns of yourselves. What a silly game! Football my tush, shouldn’t it be called arm ball, since you use your arms except for punting? Bah! A boring showcase that should take thirty minutes to complete but stretching it into four hours, at least. For dollars.
I remain quiet and wait for him to tire and hang up. He has a point, however. I did watch the final games and followed college football, rooting for my college team when I was in the university and the Super Bowl TV ads can be rather amusing and entertaining at times. But I did waste a lot of quality time in the process
Ayee, Kisukaali, say something, na, don’t be chicken to express an opinion. But as usual, you have no spine, do you? It is five in the morning here and everyone I know is watching the dumb game instead of reciting salaat-el-lail. My son is at it there in Florida. I called to talk to my grandchildren and they, too, just said a hurried salaam and went back to the idiot box. Even some of my friends, old and redundant in life, like me, waiting for a final tote to Ilala, watching the stupid game. It is what you greedy and manipulating Americans do best, from Coca-Cola to hamburgers to this nutty game. Hook people, not only in your country but the whole world, and then extract a heavy price later.
The man lets out a Kiswahili expletive that I cannot pen here and hangs up. Jeez. I wanted to needle him but he did not give me the satisfaction, as usual. I wanted to ask him, why, despite all the supposed manipulation and greed, the whole world, almost, want to move to the USA?
CAI – The Beginning
The most repetitive question I get asked about Comfort Aid International and my role in it is this – how did you start, what motivated you, how did this organization come alive? So, I have to repeat the various catalysts and the early days of CAI. To those who are interested, Ahlulbayt TV in London did an extensive two-part interview of mine in 2012. It reveals an in-depth look into the birth and early years of CAI. I watched it again recently and discovered it is still very relevant.
https://youtu.be/C8qna4cVkOc – Part One
https://youtu.be/27DUwlOZnRc – Part Two