Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Birthday Party

Birthday Party

One of the perks of being a journalist is getting invitations to the lavish functions of our leaders. Huge feasts given by people who wouldn’t offer you a cup of tea before they entered public life, but who are now enormously generous with public money.

And so it was that last Saturday I was sitting with other members of the press at the Birthday Bash for our Great Leader, His Excellency the Ancient Dinosaur Nyamasoyaurus, to celebrate his 74th millionth birthday. The Master of Ceremonies was a wizened little fellow by the name of Mouth Mulufyanya, who had to stand on a chair in order to be seen.

‘Why’s he so shrunken?’ I asked Sam from The Boast, who was sitting next to me.

‘Verbal diarrohea,’ cackled Sam, as he swilled down another cold Mosi. ‘He used to be full of big fat words, but now he’s left with only small thin ones.’

‘We are here this afternoon,’ began Mulufyanya, ‘to celebrate the birthday of our Great Leader, who has graciously cancelled his three week trip to Libya in order to be with us this afternoon.’ Everybody clapped politely, and nobody

dared to laugh.

I leant over to Sam. ‘Is this event being organized by the party, the government or the state?’

‘If they know the difference,’ laughed Sam, ‘they’ve never shown any sign of it.’

‘We shall proceed as follows,’ Mulufyanya was saying. ‘First the arrival of His Excellency, then the arrival of the cake, then the cutting of the cake and

finally the distribution of the cake.’

As he was speaking the Great Dinosaur’s arrival began, as the huge monster limped clumsily towards his massive throne, surrounded by a huge gang of thugs all wielding machetes.

‘Those are the Brown Shirts,’ whispered Sam. ‘They’ve just been recruited from Egypt, where they are now surplus to requirements.’

‘Now we bring on the cake,’ announced Mulufyanya, as a small army of starving slaves, dressed in rags, carried in the huge sumptuous cake on a silver platter, and placed it on the table in front of His Excellency the Monstrous Dinosaur. ‘This Birthday Cake,’ announced Mulufyanya, ‘has been provided free of charge by the Chinese Bakery, in gratitude to His Excellency for his wise suspension of all labour laws.’

As he spoke, the Brown Shirts used their machetes to chase away the starving slaves, who had been trying to pick a few crumbs from the table.

‘Your Excellency,’ said Mulufyanya, bowing low, ‘it is now my humble duty to ask you to cut the cake and distribute it according to our democratic party tradition. Your Excellency, with all due respect, I am aware that you have only recently arrived from the United National Intolerance Party, and may not be fully aware of our democratic traditions…’

As he spoke there was a deadly silence, broken only the swishing of machetes and the hissing of the deadly Red Lipped Snake.

Apparently undeterred, Mulufyanya continued ‘… according to the democratic principles of the Movement for Multiple Distribution, we must first elect twelve representatives who will be responsible for the fair distribution of the national cake, as stipulated in the rules of our constitution. So after the election of representatives, I shall ask His Excellency Nyamasoyaurus to step forward and cut the cake into twelve equal pieces.’ But as he spoke the Brown Shirts with their machetes surrounded little Mulufyanya, as if they were going to divide him into twelve pieces.

But Mulufyanya, who was apparently oblivious to the danger of his predicament, proceeded with his confident prattle … ‘I therefore call upon all those amongst you who would like to stand as candidates to raise your hands and make yourselves known.’

As he spoke, the Brown Shirts began to move amongst the crowd, and people tried to become invisible. Some slid off their chairs and sat under tables. Others lay flat on the ground with their faces down. Others covered their heads with table cloths or table napkins.

But still undeterred, Little Mulufyanya raised his own hand. ‘Somebody has to take the lead,’ he declared, ‘so I put myself forward as the first candidate, to help His Excellency the Dinosaur to distribute the… ’

He was interrupted by a terrible roar from the Dinosaur. ‘I am the Sole Candidate, and it is my job to eat the cake!’ So saying, he picked up the whole cake and swallowed it in one gulp. Then he picked up Mulufyanya and also swallowed him in one gulp.

At this point Colonel William Bandit and all his Brown Shirts raised their arms towards the Dinosaur in a flat hand salute and chanted the National Praise Song to the Great Leader:

Our Fuhrer, who art in power,

Hallowed be thy name;

Your kingdom has come,

Your will must be done

In Lusaka as it is in Mongu,

Give them their daily dread

And whip them for their trespasses

As we shall whip them who trespass against you.

And lead us not into democracy,

But deliver us from elections,

For you art our Fuhrer,

With guns and machetes,

For ever and ever,



[Based on a story idea from Hilary Mulenga, with assistance from other Facebook friends, especially Patrick Pami, Humphrey Milimo and Alexander Mwalula]


  1. quite hiralious mwe

  2. This is awesome stuff Kalaki, you just never cease to amaze me!