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Paul Paunde

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We Were Kings

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Bob your head in agreement, shout then turn to your neighbor and say YES, I HAVE THAT UNCLE and what we forget about those people when we look down on them or talk at them for their lack of control over their habit, is that they sometimes offer good advice, (while at the same time showing you that you never want turn out like them) even though that might be a bit too neat to swallow, especially when the person giving the advice is well, to be more polite, Mildly polluted, if not grossly debauched. Though many have said that you become more honest when you’re “pissed out of your senses”, more have faced the traumatic consequences of alcohol, and so I wouldn’t recommend anyone to test that theory. Observe.

In this scene there are two actors, subjects of reality.  One is a teacher who had never stroke a board and the other a student who had no idea that he was being lectured.  On a warm December evening under a clear celestial sky in the community of Fomento C, Matola Mozambique, I was in the company of my uncle sitting under an avocado tree that I had waited all of the festive to give soft fruit, my uncle being the great man that he is, was passing down knowledge my so-called westernized ears that couldn’t tell the difference between marabenda and passada (Mozambican music), the sound-track for that evening.  I sat there on a chair carved from fine pine-wood mesmerized by the stars of Sirius, I listened as I was being schooled on the (ancient) art of courting a woman, family, life and other things such as taking time out for oneself and never getting old, spiritually. The conversation went on for hours; I heard stories of tribal wars in Chimoio and the war in the mid 80’s that brought with it a cloud of famine, how Samora Machell died a poor president but will forever be remembered a Patriot and Savior of modern Mozambique and what the recently deceased maestro of the arts, Honorary Malangatana Valente Ngwenya meant to Mozambican culture. While this was going on, the man was swinging Babylonian fire water, Whisky.

The mood turned somber when I started asking questions about where he worked, how come he didn’t become one of big shots in government and why? How come? Where is his prize? And as usual, he did what most men do when we’re put in a corner. Play defense but went on to talk about how back in his day he called the shot but now he praises those that surpassed him, it was at that point in the conversation when I realized he uses alcohol as a remedy for aching memories, all that time wasted on being wasted could have been invested in self-renewal and picking himself up and claiming his throne, instead of living the lyrics to the song “we were Kings and Queens” but the beauty of life today is that you can start again.  Only thing holding you back is yours against the wall.  “The sins of the father shall be weighed upon his son” some curses like the one mentioned can become generational, plenty of families remain impoverished and the mental trail can be traced back to the heads of a family. G_D gave us all enough talent and strength to become what we’re destined It is time we start taking responsibility for what we have been given and stop being cheer-leaders in the game of life, because after-all,  What good is a trumpet player who can’t blow his own horn? Live now. Think for tomorrow.

-Said

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  • Paul Paunde

    Thank you very much Eric. you’re a true brother.

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  • Eric

    brother paul,

    I am humbled by yet another thought provoking piece,cant wait for the next!

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  • Paul Paunde

    Thank you very much Eric. you’re a true brother.

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  • Eric

    brother paul,

    I am humbled by yet another thought provoking piece,cant wait for the next!

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