Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Stripped Naked

Stripped Naked

     ‘Come in,’ said Cycle Mata wearily as the vast wobbly obese figure of Chipembele Kambilimbili waddled insolently into the room. ‘Take a seat,’ said Cycle Mata, as he sat with his elbows on the desk and his head in his hands. ‘How on earth did this happen?’
     ‘How did what happen?’
     ‘Let’s start with the bus station. I came back to Lusaka expecting everybody to be talking about my having lunch with the Queen, and all I hear is that one of my minister’s has been assaulted at the Inter-City Bus Station.’
     ‘Just one of those little incidents Your Excellency,’ sniggered Chipembele. ‘You know our cadres can be a bit boisterous when they meet their Honourable Minister of  Football.’
     ‘I’m told you were stripped naked!’ said Cycle Mata sternly.
     ‘Even me,’ admitted Chipembele, ‘I was a bit surprised, I thought they only did this to women. I think we should raise the matter in parliament, this is taking gender equality a bit too far! Now they are beginning to discriminate against us men!’
     ‘How were you dressed?’
     ‘Well, as you know, I can never find clothes big enough. Suddenly I was accosted by some nasty thugs…’
     ‘You mean our loyal party cadres to whom we have entrusted the management of our bus stations?’
     ‘Exactly, our young party stalwarts. Suddenly they started shouting things like His boobs are hanging out! He’s not wearing a bra! His trousers are too tight! Maybe he’s a fruitcake! Let’s see what he’s got inside those trousers!’
     ‘I’m told that you were stripped naked!’
     ‘They were shouting  Mufumyeni ibolo! Tuteye bola! Find his balls and we’ll play football!’
     ‘And did they find them?’
     ‘Luckily my essentials are well protected by my ample belly. Even me, I can’t find them. Haven’t seen them for years.’
     ‘But then you were rescued by the boma?’
     ‘A police car happened to come by, a bystander wrapped me in a chitenge, and I was whisked off to the police station.’
     ‘And did boma arrest anybody?’
     ‘No. But they said that if I did it again they’d arrest me for indecent exposure and inciting the callboys to commit rape. Then they slapped me around a bit and let me go. It was a terrible experience. I’m even beginning to wonder if we shouldn’t take more interest in human rights.’
     ‘This has nothing to do with human rights, you silly man!’ shouted Cycle Mata angrily. ‘Don't you realize that you brought this upon yourself!’
     ‘Did I?’ said Chipembele, genuinely baffled. ‘Where did I go wrong?’
     ‘You’re the one responsible for losing the football match in Sudan! That’s why they’re after your blood. You sent the team to a wrong country for training and then put them on a wrong aeroplane! Now everybody is blaming the government!’
     ‘I’m not in charge of the government,’ laughed Chipembele. ‘It’s you!’
     ‘And I’m in charge of you,’ growled Cycle Mata. ‘I know walisavuka ne miponto sana mwaiche, but I thought at least you’d be able to organize a game of football!’
     ‘So that's it!’ sneered Chipembele, ‘you thought that was all I was good for!’
     ‘On the contrary,’ replied Cycle Mata grimly, ‘Niiwe nachetekela mwaiche. All the other ministries were failing, and the people were getting angry. No new jobs. No money in their pockets. No windfall tax. No Barotseland agreement. No new constitution. Kwacha on the skids. Everything was going down the drain. But I knew that if we could just keep Chipolopolo winning then this would maintain public morale, and people would overlook all the other disappointments. But then you also let me down!’
     ‘Don’t panic,’ sneered Chipembele. ‘No vundu bakamba twalaka sova!’
     ‘You don’t seem to understand that iyi naizanda mwaiche,’ shouted Cycle Mata.   ‘Everything else had failed, and the only thing to hide our shame was success at football. Now the final veil had fallen, and we are left naked. When you were stripped naked at the bus station, it was the entire government that was being stripped naked! We have been shamed! Humiliated! Nothing is working! What can we do?’
     So saying, poor old baffled Cycle Mata put his head in his hands and groaned. Don’t despair,’ laughed Chipembele. ‘Umenifye ilya ine muma! Appoint a twenty person commission of inquiry to find out who leaked the information about going to the wrong country for training, and the botched travel arrangement. It was a conspiracy by the opposition to embarrass the government. Such leaks obviously contravene the Official Secrets Act and endanger the security of the nation. We must take stern action. As for me, I’m currently being troubled by unemployed relatives, so I can also help you by recommending several names for the new commission of inquiry.
     ‘Thank you very much for your advice,’ sneered Cycle Mata. ‘But the time has come for yet another reshuffle. I have decided to appoint King Kalulu as the new Minister of Sport, to be in charge of strategy and logistics. Monsieur Boom Boom will be the Deputy Minister in charge of training and tactics. And I’m appointing you as Chola Boy in charge of organizing the katundu.’
     ‘Chola Boy!’ exploded Chipembele. ‘How can a man of my reputation, vast experience and considerable weight be demoted to a mere Chola Boy?’
     ‘I’m giving you one last chance to succeed at something,’ declared Cycle Mata. ‘If you can prove yourself as a Chola Boy, then I shall consider appointing you as my next Vice-President.’

[Kalaki is pleased to acknowledge some assistance from Moses Chipepo]  


  1. I thought I recognised a hybrid style there and in any case the Bemba phraseology was more than a typical Kalaki piece. I will tell you though that this is a stroke of genius. The "mufumyeni ibolo tuteye bola", just killed me. I am in the library in South Korea and it took a superhuman effort to contain myself. I had to rush to the bathroom to have a good laugh. Keep it up Kalaki, hoping for more of the same. Well done to Moses Chipepo as well (is kalaki grooming a successor?), only time will tell. The cartoon work is also top-notch, aptly captures the drama. I posted on another forum that when you think about it, this conversation may not be too far from what those two actually have. Great work guys.

  2. this is a nice piece kalaki.i have been following you 4 almost 11 years & u always mek me smile.if therz a zambian that needs honouring it is u kalaki.you are truly zambian like a certain brand

  3. Great piece gud to know U take help seriously

  4. ha ha stroke of genius indeed, the lingo is hilarious i found myself smilling and evrybody is wondering what am reading..oops sorry got to go to work

  5. Wow! Fantastic!

  6. i enjoyed this text as it relates to reality and makes sense.

  7. this is hilarious...thank God its mid nyt bcoz i wudve exploded