Mungu ni Athumani

Mungu ni Athumani

WabongeHili neno gratuity sifahamu ni wangapi wenu mlishawahi kulisikia kabla ya kutajwa huko Dodoma. Baadhi yetu tulishakumbana nalo miaka kadhaa iliyopita, na kama ni ushamba tu, lilitutoa. Tafsiri ya haraka haraka ya gratuity inaweza kufananishwa na bakshishi. Tatizo ni kuwa, bakshishi ni kama sadaka, unatoa unachotaka kutoa. Hii ni tofauti kabisa na wahalifu wanapokuvunjia usiku, hawaulizagi ni nini ungependa kuwapa na nini ungependa kubaki nacho. Hakuna mjadala, na ndivyo hivyo ilivyo na gratuity.

Mara ya kwanza nilipofika US of A, nilifikia kwenye shamba la apple kubwa. Apple kwenye msitu wa zege? Maajabu gani haya nilijisemea safari nzima, huku nikiwa nimebanwa na shauku ya kuona ukubwa wa hili Big Apple. Ndege ilipotua uwanja wa JFK, nilikuwa tayari nimeandaa bakuli langu kwa ajili ya salad ya apple hili, lakini kwa mshangao nilijikuta nikikumbana na wanya pori aina ya vibanda vya hot dogs na pizzas vikirandaranda kwenye msitu huu wa zege.

Siku chache ndani ya jiji hili, nilijikuta tena nikishituliwa na hali halisi, iliyokuwa tofauti kabisa na ile niliyoizoe kuiona kwenye luninga kuhusu mji huu wa mabundi. Kumbe sio kila binti ni mrembo kama yule Lisa wa kwenye filamu ya Coming To America, nilishangaa. Luninga ni tapeli jamani, nilijisononekea kimoyo moyo.

Ilinibidi nilijikaze, kwani bado kulikuwa na matumaini, isitoshe kwa wale vipapatikio wa mabinti wa kirangi wenye unywele wa ki-brunette na ki-blonde, hapa ndipo palikuwa Mecca. Lakini wahenga walisema, haraka haraka haina baraka, hasa kujifanya ujuaji ugenini,  kwani papara za hamu ya matamu, zinaweza kukupeleka kusiko, ukajikuta unafilisiwa na child support. Hili nalo halinaga mjadala, wala kukwepeka, hata kama wewe ulikuwa mjuzi wa kukwepa kodi bongo.

ng'ombeMbaya zaidi, kama wewe ndio kama wale, unaweza ukajikuta unalipa child support na mtoto hata si wako.  Raha wapate wengine, karaha ubebeshwe wewe, na hii karaha wameshabebeshwa wengi, kama mfano unaotolewa kwenye makala hii, “the government – currently struggling to raise revenue and mired in huge debts – will be obligated to tax the public more to meet the huge bill by the MPs”.

Tuliendelea kulidadisi Apple hili kwani lilikuwa ni kubwa. Kila mlo ulikuwa ni kama dhifa ya kitaifa. Sahani za chakula zilikuwa kubwa na chakula chenyewe kilikuwa ni kingi. Lakini kabla mlo huo haujaja, lazima wakupe mazoezi ya kujibu maswali mia kidogo wakati wa kuagiza.  Ili kukupa tasiwra ya jinsi inavyokuwa, jaribu kufikiria umeenda kwa mama ntilie ukaagiza ugali, alafu akaanza kukuuliza; unataka wa unga wa mahindi yaliyokobolewa, unga wa yanga, unga wa mhogo n.k? Unataka usongwe na maji ya chupa au bomba? unataka uwive kabisa, uwe na mabujebuje, uji uji kwa mbali? Na Kadhalika.

Bila matarajio, ikafika siku yenyewe sasa, siku ambayo tulikutana na huyu gratuity kwa mara ya kwanza. Siku hiyo tulipata mlo wa mchana katika mkahawa mmoja, jina limenitoka. Sasa baada ya mbwembwe za visu na umma, tulikaa tukisubiria chenji. Kitu cha ajabu, tulijikuta tukikaa na kukaa, huku muhudumu wetu akiendelea kuwahudumia wateja wengine. Tulibaki tunajiuliza, kama ndio tumeshaibiwa tena mchana kweupe? Ilitulazimu kumuita muhudumu yule, ambaye alitushangaa ni vipi tunamuitisha chenji, wakati imeshakatwa kwenye gratuity. Gratuity? tulijiuliza kwa mshangao.

Baada ya kugundua mchezo huu, kaujanja na sisi kakatujia. Tabia ya kutoa dollar kumi kwa chakula kinachogharimu dollar tano ukaisha. Wenye lugha yao wanasema, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Lakini moja kati ya tatizo na hii tamaduni ya gratuity ni kuwa, hata kama mbunge huduma ya mhudumu hairidhishi, gratuity lazima ikutoke tu. Na ndio maana siku hizi mteja si mfalme, bali fala. Kwa hali halisi hii, tutajikuta tunaendelea kuwa watu wa kupiga vigelegele tu kwenye hizi send-off huko DOM.

Mwisho, nimejikuta nikikumbuka nyimbo ya Afroreign na Hashim Dogo inayoitwa “saa za kazi”. Hashim anakwambia, “fanya kweli saa za kazi, kama wewe ni tapeli kila la kheri si kejeli”. Anaendelea kwa kusema, “mungu nipe mungu nipe vitu vyote vya dhamani, lakini ebwana eeh, kumbe Mungu”; alafu kwa mbali nasikia kama waheshimiwa wanamuitikia vile, Anaweza Kuwa Athumani.

Makala nyingine: 

Bahati was born and raised in Tanzania, and then moved to California to pursue his college education. He graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. Bahati expects to be doing his Masters in African Studies in the near future. He is currently working on starting a t-shirt business and a possible publication of some of his writings. One thing that Bahati cannot live without is music, specifically Hip Hop & Bongoflava which he argues are both the voice of the youth today, and is excited to look into how Bongoflava can be a source of further entrepreneurship among the youth in Tanzania. Bahati believes that Bongoflava can help to reduce poverty in Tanzania, as can a more collective effort among key players.

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