Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Kalaki says goodbye...

Kalaki says goodbye…

I had been snoozing. I opened one eye, only to find a small crowd of people around the bed. Then I remembered where I was. I was in Ward C21 at the UTH, waiting for the operation tomorrow.  I opened the other eye. I could see immediately that the people around my bed were my regular readers. All seven of them. I looked at them angrily. ‘Who told you I was in here?’
          ‘It’s not a secret that you’re in here,’ said Sally Chawama, ‘There’s even a story in today’s Daily Nation saying Kalaki says goodbye to all his readers as he leaves Kalaki’s Korner.
          ‘So if I’ve already said goodbye,’ I snapped, ‘what are you all doing here? You want me to say goodbye again. Goodbye. Shalenipo. I’m off!’ I pulled the blanket over my head.
          ‘That’s no way to talk to us,’ retorted Stella Sata. ‘All the years we’ve been reading you and then you just up and off like you don’t even care! And daddy’s very annoyed, he says you’re the only columnist who really understands him.’
          ‘Stella,’ I said, ‘what nonsense you do talk. If anybody understands your daddy it’s only you, the rest of us are completely mystified.’
          ‘You’re being very rude and most unfair,’ snapped Ruth Henson, who never minces her words. ‘The story in this morning’s paper says that you’ve left Kalaki’s Korner, and that you’re in the UTH for a serious operation. We’re very concerned. We want to know what’s wrong with you.’
          I popped up out of the blanket and pointed a finger at Ruth. ‘I know your little farm is boring, with nothing to do except talk to the goats, and that you farmers count hospital visiting as a form of high entertainment, but you can’t come here asking me what’s wrong with me. I’m not one of your damn goats to be given a medical examination!’
          ‘Tut tut,’ said Dodson Siabwanta, as he turned in amazement to Mwila Zaza, ‘this fellow is just as insolent in real life as he is on the page!’
          ‘I knew that already,’ cackled Mwila, ‘He’s probably been at the brandy again. In fact you can be sure that’s why he’s in here. He’s got an enlarged liver. That’s what happens when you get hooked on the brandy.’
          ‘You can’t just all stand there talking to each other as if I’m not here!’ I shouted angrily.
          ‘Why not?’ sneered Symon Zulu, looking round at the other beds. That’s what all the other visitors are doing, so why should we be any different?’
          ‘More likely it’s an enlarged belly,’ declared Hope Nyambe as she unceremoniously prodded me through the blanket. ‘Look at the size of his gut! There could be all sorts of suspicious enlargements in there.’
          ‘It’s definitely not an enlarged heart,’ laughed Stella. ‘This old man is famously mean with his money.’
          ‘If it’s not an enlarged liver,’ declared Dodson, ‘it’s more likely an enlarged prostate. He’s just about the right age for that sort of thing. That’s why he doesn’t want to tell us what’s wrong. These old men will never admit that their equipment isn’t working.
          ‘Shut up, shut up, shut up!’ I sat up and shouted. ‘If you must know, the problem is that I’ve been suffering from an enlarged sense of humour.’
          ‘What nonsense,’ retorted Ruth. ‘It’s us that suffer from your sense of humour, not you.’
          ‘Look,’ I growled, ‘my job was to use my sense of humour to criticize politicians by making them look ridiculous. But with this current batch, it just wasn’t working.’
          ‘Why not?’ wondered Sally. ‘Are they not ridiculous?’
          ‘Of course they’re all entirely ridiculous,’ I admitted. ‘But the main problem is that they are extremely dangerous. While I have been making people laugh at them, I have deflected attention from the serious threat they pose to the nation.’
          ‘So you need an operation?’
          ‘You see, as my sense of humour has become enlarged, so it has squeezed all the other critical organs. My heart has been squeezed smaller, leaving me with diminished moral sense. My brain has been squeezed, limiting my analytical abilities. My nails can no longer scratch, my teeth can no longer bite, and my eyes are now so faded that I can see only the laughable and not the disastrous. My sense of humour has become so enlarged that it has encroached on all my other senses! I have no option but to have it amputated! First thing tomorrow morning!’
          The next evening they all came to see me again. They found me sitting up in bed, glass of brandy in hand, reading the Complete Works of Jurgen Habermas.
          ‘My God!’ exclaimed Mwila, ‘this is very disappointing! We expected you to be still in a coma, and on a drip!’
          ‘Don’t interrupt me,’ I hissed, ‘I’m on the crucial chapter of Legitimation Crisis.’
          ‘Can’t we at least see the stitches?’ pleaded Stella.
          ‘There aren’t any,’ I replied.
          ‘No stitches,’ they all said sadly. ‘After we’ve come all this way!’
          ‘How can there be no stitches?’ said Ruth sternly.
          ‘Not necessary,’ I replied curtly. ‘When it saw the surgeon’s knife, my sense of humour immediately and completely disappeared.

This is the last edition of Kalaki’s Korner. Next month, beginning Wednesday 4th June, Kalaki begins his new career as a political analyst, with a weekly blog entitled The Spectator.


  1. Will the analysis come in his usual style?

    1. Not in the form of allegory and metaphor, but I hope with some humour.

    2. Let it continue in this form, cause it really packs more message and sends the right kind of impact!

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  2. When and where will burial take place? Sad though. Hope he goes to heaven

  3. Watching the space thank you kalaki

  4. I will miss this Kalaki but I do understand your reasoning, I have also concluded that this new bunch of old leaders are already naturally ridiculous, how much more ridiculous can a comic make themlook? Looking forward to your more formal analysis of our ever ridiculous old leaders.

  5. Farewell! Does this mean that the throne in Kalakiland is vacant? I hope there will not be succession wrangles as is in some tribal lands.

  6. I'll personally miss the metaphoric type of your analysis. I just hope and pray that the spectator will be as humorous as the king of the land has been.

  7. Dear Roy,
    It' probably a very wise -- and politically strategic -- decision you have made. I am sure it must have been very difficult for you to realize that our current crop of leaders are such that they live up to the form of your satire. How sad when political satire becomes the new political reality! I truly look forward to your political analyses. I believe 'The Spectator' has been called forth into life by the very concrete political circumstances that no longer lend themselves to caricaturing. All the best, Fackson

  8. A Humoratomy must be a very painful and yet important operation for a person like you to undergo through. Nonetheless, like the above (1:52PM) commenter most of us will be looking forward to the political analyses the spectator will have to offer.

  9. Kalaki, we have immensely enjoyed the sojourn into the world of laughther and mirth. Your departure will surely be felt by some of us your ardent followers. For continuity's sake, which platform will host The Spectator?

    1. Humphrey, The Editor of the Daily Nation has agreed to take the Spectator column to replace Kalaki's Korner, and I shall open a new blog page.

  10. We look forward to hear more from you, am a Namibian but really do enjoy what you write on this blog, i hope your new column will have the same tone of humour. Big Up mr Spectator

    1. The surgeon was supposed to have completely removed my sense of humour, but as you grimly suggest, there is a danger that bits of it may have remained, and could again grow to threaten the body politic.

  11. We thank you Kalaki. We look forward to reading the Spectator because I am very sure the sense of humour problem you have had already metastasized. As a result, I am very sure that I will miss Kalaki's corner just a little. I wish you well

  12. Kalaki, Kalaki, Kalaki! Every week looked forward to the korner... How are going to entertain ourselves in future? Come, come Spectator Kalaki. I love armchair philosophy especially in our current political dispensation.

  13. No matter what the reasonis, we will miss this very much.
    Can't you maintain a split personality and be both the King and spectator?

  14. How does one become subscribed via email to your new blog?? Would like to continue following it too.

    1. Blog not yet established. Link to it will be found on my 'Spectator Kalaki' facebook page in due course.

  15. Nice way to say good bye...all the best.

    1. Thanks In'utu, I am grateful for your best wishes. We must all try our best, we are all toilers in the field.

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  17. Hehehe Thank you for featuring me. Shall start reading the Spectator though I'm late to the party. Good bye Kalaki...

  18. Is there a link to The Spectator??? Want to get reading...

  19. I wish there could be an animation company that could bring your ideas would be so nice

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