The Little Truth in Rumors
The next day following Rodger’s return, Angela woke a little late. The main reason besides others for the late waking up had to do with the disturbance of her sleep cycles by the man of the house’s arrival in the dead of the night the day before.
She expectantly thought in her mind that Rodger’s coming with that big polythene bag had goodies she looked forward to unraveling. Once she finished her daily routine, the first being clocking in at ‘the local post office’ she would have a look.
Unless you come from Rama village, you might think that the local post office is right outside Rodger’s house. You are very wrong. Suppose you are visiting the village for the first time and somebody excuses themselves to go to the post office, don’t ask the residents if you can accompany them to collect the mail.
Every time Rama people go to the post office, all they do there is post, and never have they collected mail. In short, the post office in Rama village is the toilet. Visiting the toilet is the very first business that ushers in a new day in Rama village and the surrounding places.
Once Angela was done posting her mail, to a very far town, as far as Timbuktu, she went back to the house directly to the green polythene bag. She wanted to confirm whether there was bread so that she could decide to make tea or porridge for breakfast.
To her surprise, inside the paper bag was a red box with a grey mirror and a bigger radio made of wood. She was disappointed that there was no bread but excited that there was something new she had never seen before. She decided to make tea in honor of this new thing.
Now, in Rama village, there have been rumors for a long time until today that Rodger has never left the village for the last fifteen years. And that it is because of that Great Wall TV that he had come with, wrapped in a green polythene paper.
Those well-traveled say that Rodger stole the TV and radio from his white settler employer. To avoid being seen and reported, he has always stayed within the village. The good thing though that he has done for the years is to ensure he is well acquainted with what is going on around the world courtesy of the radio and TV he ‘stole.’
Maybe his employer owed him and Rodger decided to pay himself in the best way he knew. The only thing he forgot to do was to steal electricity and come with it to use on the television. Despite owning a TV in the village, Rodger wasn’t any different from the rest of the villagers since he could not operate it at the very beginning.
His village was not connected to the grid which was not anywhere around it in the first place. It took Rodger two years to use a TV he had owned all along. He first heard that one could use a solar panel and battery to power a TV through his majestic radio. With a working TV, his status changed immediately.
Another rumor goes around the village that it is because of the TV that Rodger was able to dethrone Zakayo, the former village elder. Zakayo, a short man in stature was overly astute in his leadership.
He was hated by people because, for him, the post of village eldership was more for self-gain than service. He always asked for a chicken to decide a case in the event of a conflict. Stupidly, he ate all the chicken and didn’t even think of rearing one.
Rodger wasn’t any different but he was wise and cunning. He asked for chicken and reared them whilst using his television as an antidote. He would ask that you bring the chicken to his house in the evening whereby you will get the opportunity to watch the news, the bad clarity notwithstanding as a soothing mechanism to forget he was ‘robbing’ you. People enjoyed it and thought that Rodger was doing them a bigger favor by letting them watch his TV for free besides helping in the eldership office.
He reared those chickens they gave him and courtesy of those villagers he took his son Jose and her sister Joyce to school. Jose took his studies seriously and progressively excelled while Joyce kept dreaming about being captured by the Oku warriors and becoming a wife.
Unfortunately to date, she is still waiting to be captured by Oku warriors and still desires to be Okumu alias Muhammad Ali’s fifth wife. Rodger’s fear of being caught by the white settler employee almost two decades later made him miss Jose’s graduation in the city despite such a big fete of paying the fees for his son faithfully all those years.
He only left the village on Jose’s special occasion a few weeks ago as a matter of necessity. He didn’t have a choice but thankfully he only prayed to return to his home in one piece. That, he did.
The story continues next week….