It was in the local primary school grounds. Canopies were set up, chairs were arranged, the Public address system was set up and tested. The cultural troupes were waiting in anticipation. The elders of the community were dressed in their best garb. The women wore wrappers with the large image of Kusunga boldly displayed on the wrapper. The people who trooped out to the village primary school to welcome Kusunga all wore t –shirts adorning the photo of Kusunga. Some wore face hats and some had hand bags that bore that smiling image of Kusunga. Old and young trooped out en masse to the rally at the village primary school.
As folks walked to the grounds, they exchanged greetings and reiterated the need to support our very own. They talked about how well life would be with the likes of Kusunga becoming the governor of the state. He had a manifesto he titled ‘Government of hope. Hope for the masses!’ He had set out five cardinal points as his electoral agenda – free education for all the young people, health centres for all rural communities, rural electrification for all the communities in the state, good road network and back to farming project. People rejoiced at this. Everybody talked about how well Kusunga meant for the good people of Nsaba State.
The rally was supposed to kick off at 2pm but Kusunga did not arrive until about 5pm. All the elders in the community were waiting tirelessly for his arrival. People kept looking at their timepieces. Refreshments were served. There were two queues at the side of the canopies that led to a large table manned by two gentlemen and a large lady. Behind them were boxes and cartons of items. As the people filed past, they were handed an envelope, a bag of rice and some other food items. People were talking loudly. A fight almost broke out. It was separated by two burly sized men who kept watch over the proceedings.
The people spoke so well of Kusunga and prayed that he should win at the forth coming polls so that life would be better for the indigenes of the state.
The sirens blared and the escort riders made their way to the centre of the field. The crowd erupted into chants of kusu baba!! Kusu baba!!! The cultural troupe broke into a dance, a little flower girl held a bouquet of flowers to hand over to Kusunga as soon as he stepped down from his vehicle. Kusunga came out of his darkly tinted Lexus jeep. The little girl handed him the bouquet and a garland was hung over his neck. He smiled sheepishly and turned to face the camera men who clicked the cameras countless times. He was led to the array of elders and traditional rulers whom he greeted and shook their hands.
He finally settled in the high table and the MC of the occasion blasted out the chant “kusu baba” and the crowd cheered “victory”.
There was a display of fanfare and entertainment and then Kusunga finally mounted the podium.
“My people” he started out.
“Kusu baba” rented the air.
Chants of “Kusu baba” took over the air.
“The great people of Ndibe tribe.”
The cultural troupe burst into a song that was composed for Kusunga. The musician, sang his praise and everybody sang and danced to the well- rehearsed tune.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce to you that I have accepted to go and serve my people in the government house in the next elections. We have been long overdue for this exalted position in the land and like they say charity begins at home. I have come home to kick off the campaign and get the blessing of my people.”
His voice droned on. A priest was called upon to bless him. The priest led other bishops and pastors to pray for Kusunga. Kusunga knelt before the priest and they laid hands upon him and pronounced him as the chosen one to occupy the government house after the elections.
There was rejoicing in the land. The royal fathers blessed him as well. The rejoicing continued. More dances and more food. Kusunga then retired to his sprawling country home to receive his guests. Food and refreshments were served.
The women group took care of the food, they rallied around the official wife of Kusunga, Cecelia. She was addressed as First Lady or Madam Cece. Her husband called her Cece baby. She wore a permanent grin on her face. Her face was always plastered with makeup and always ready for a photo shoot. She loved all the attention she got, especially from people who wanted to have access to Kusunga through her. She charged them a fee to facilitate a meeting between those people and her husband. One time a bunch of Asians who wanted to do business with the state needed to meet with her husband. She set up a meeting in Dubai, when the family had gone to Dubai on a vacation. These Chinese men flew in from China and met with Kusunga. She earned USD100K for facilitating this meeting. These people knew that if Kusu baba won, they stood the chance of winning the contract to mine for bauxite in the state and that would be a life changing experience for the Chinese. China we know has a population of over two billion people and they were looking for ways to decongest China.
Uwem Mbot Umana©2020