Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Fake Certificate


A Fake Certificate

‘Kalaki,’ said the judge sternly, ‘you are faced with a charge of obtaining employment with a fake certificate. What do you have to say for yourself?’
     ‘My Lord,’ I pleaded, ‘how was I to know it was fake? It was handed to me by the Yunza Chancellor himself at a public Graduation Ceremony in front of thousands of graduates and their relatives.’
     ‘But you Kalaki,’ said the judge sternly, ‘you obviously knew very well that you had miserably failed your exams in Physical Statistics.’
     ‘Of course I knew that, My Lord. But my degree certificate said that I had obtained a degree in Political Satire.’
     ‘Surely it much have occurred you, Kalaki, that you were the unfortunate victim of a typographical error, and that you should have owned up?’
     ‘On the contrary,’ I explained, ‘my respect for our highest institution of learning was such that it never occurred to me that an entire senate of learned academics could make such an elementary blunder.’
     ‘But did you not notice that your certificate said Political Satire instead of Physical Statistics?’
     ‘Indeed I did, My Lord. And I was much pleased and flattered that Yunza had finally recognized my imaginative sense of humour in the subversive messages I had written on every available wall during my five years of secret nocturnal campus roaming.’
     ‘You imagined,’ scoffed the judge, ‘that you had been conferred with a degree for writing filthy graffiti on lavatory walls?’
     ‘My Lord,’ I protested, ‘you have given a most unsympathetic description of my hard work at Yunza, ever busy fomenting an exciting counter-culture. And how could I doubt my success when I received a degree in Political Satire from none other than the Chancellor, who personally congratulated me.’
     The judge looked genuinely puzzled. ‘So you were now really persuaded that you could write Political Satire?’
     ‘At that time I had the highest respect for Yunza,’ I replied firmly, ‘and they had declared me qualified in Political Satire with First Class Honors!’
     ‘Kalaki,’ said the judge sternly, ‘I have seen the offending certificate, and I suggest to you that the words to which you refer actually read First Class Horrors!’
     ‘My Lord,’ I said, ‘I fear you must have slightly misread the rather difficult gothic script.’
     The judge now put his head in his hands and sighed. ‘So you now went out into world with your new certificate, looking for a job.’
     ‘That’s right My Lord. But this was during the One Party State, when the profession of Political Satire was entirely banned, along with Terrorism, Bomb Making and Having an Opinion. For twenty years I was entirely unemployed.’
     ‘And did you write satire during this period?’
     ‘Certainly not. As a university graduate I now needed a large salary before doing any work.’
     ‘But finally you went to the new Boast Newspaper and showed them your certificate?’
     ‘Yes. And they employed me immediately as a political satirist because they have great respect for university certificates.’
     ‘But then,’ said the judge, ‘came the fateful day, twenty years later, when a letter came from Yunza saying that your certificate was erroneous.’
     ‘Yes, My Lord,’ I replied, wiping a tear from my face. ‘The letter explained that the clerical officer who wrote my certificate was illiterate, and that he had obtained his job with a fake certificate. He had confessed the whole thing on his deathbed, forty years later.’
     ‘So you were fired,’ said the judge.
     ‘Yes. The editor was furious, saying that the fake certificate had deceived him into thinking I was writing satire, when I had actually been writing rubbish.’
     ‘Kalaki, you’re just a fake, and you know it!’
     I leant towards him from the dock and looked at him sternly. ‘Because of this fake clerical officer, half the graduates in this country are fake. That’s why the country is in such a mess!’
     ‘It’s you that’s before this court,’ retorted the judge, ‘so don’t concern yourself with the others. Normally, in a case like this, I would send you back to Yunza to do your degree properly.’
     ‘But in my case?’
     ‘In your case, investigations show that you got into Yunza on a fake Form 5 certificate, in the name of Kalaliki instead of Kalaki. So I should send you back to Luanshya Secondary School to repeat your Form V.’
     ‘But in my case?’
     ‘In your case, records show a discrepancy between your actual Grade VII results and the marks on your secondary school entry form. In the normal course of events, I should send you back to Grade I at Mpatumatu Primary School.’
     ‘But in my case?’ I asked hopefully.
     ‘In your case, Kalaki,’ said the judge in a kindly voice, ‘since you have just been appointed the New Minister for Certification, I find you not guilty!’

     Now the whole courtroom burst into applause and cheers, prompting more cheers from the theatre audience. As the actors all lined up to bow to the audience, our director Stewart Crehan came on stage and bowed, to more applause.
     A young woman now walked out from the wings and stood centre stage. Stewart put his arm affectionately round her shoulder and looked towards the audience, saying ‘Kulenga Mapwepwe would have liked to have written this play, but unfortunately she wasn’t qualified because she didn’t have a certificate!’
     How we all laughed and cheered!


2 comments:

  1. Yaba LOL!..KALAKI NI DONCHI KUBEBA..HAHA
    you know what i think..you should seriously consider Writing Movie Scripts of some sort..seriously

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  2. Kalaki is great! I wish we can have these published in our daily papers, alot of people are missing out because the don't have access to the internet.

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