Safari ya Prospa

Prospa's Journey

kimeandikwa na Elieshi Lema na Tor Edvin Dahl written by Elieshi Lema and Tor Edvin Dahl
© Eliesha Lema, 1995, 1997, 2001, and 2004 © Eliesha Lema, 1995, 1997, 2001, and 2004

Hadithi, hadithi... Story, story...
Safari ya Prospa ni hadithi ya ujasiri na upelelezi. Hadithi hii imeandikwa katika lugha mbili. Imeandikwa katika lugha ya Kinorwegian na Bwana Tor Edvin Dahl na katika lugha ya Kiswahili na Bibi Elieshi Lema. Prospa's Journey is a story of courage and investigation. This story has been written in two languages: in Norwegian by Mr. Tor Edvin Dahl, and in Swahili by Ms. Elieshi Lema.
Waandishi hawa wawili walifanya utafiti pamoja, walitayarisha majina ya wahusika pamoja na kukubaliana juu ya mtiririko wa matukio. Baada ya hapo, kila mmoja alibuni hadithi yake. These two authors have worked together, they prepared the names of the characters together and agreed on the flow of events. After that, each one composed their story.
NORAD ilifadhili utafiti wa mwanzo. Katika tolea hili, Siham Ahmed amefafanua masuala mbalimbali kaitka utamaduni wa Zanzibar. Magdalena Ng'maryo alionesha waandishi njia iliyowafikisha TPC. NORAD sponsored the start of this work. In this edition, Siham Ahmed has explained various cultural aspects of Zanzibar. Magdalena Ng'maryo showed the authors around TPC.
Hadithi Njoo... Now for the story...

Sura ya kwanza

Chapter One

Prospa alisikia sauti ndogo kama ya mtoto ikimwita. Iliskia kama inatoka mbali: "Pro, Prospaaa____" Prospa heard a little voice like that of a child's calling him. It sound like it came from afar: "Pro, Prospaaa____"
Hakuitika. Mchezo wa mpira wa miguu aliokuwa anacheza na wenzake ulikuwa umekolea. Walijigawa wawiliwawili kila upande. Walicheza kwa kuchengana na kurushiana mpira. Mchezo ulikuwa hauna mshindi, bali uliwasisimua sana. Upande ulioonesha ustadi wa kupiga chenga ulijawa na furaha na cheko kwa kufanya upande wa pili uonekane kama mabwege wasiojua kucheza boli. He didn't respond. The football game he was playing with his companions was going well. They had divided themselves into two sides. They played by dribbling and throwing the ball. The game didn't have a winner, but it still very much excited them. One side showed skill at passing, and they were filled with happiness and laughter for making the other side look foolish for not knowing how to play ball.
Prospa na wenzake walikuwa wanacheza mpira katika uwanja wa golfu, TPC. Uwanja huu upo katikati ya kota za aina mbili. Upande wa Magharibi wa uwanja ziko kota za maboi na wakata miwa. Upande wa Mashariki, karibu zaidi na uwanja, kuna nyumba za maafisa. Prospa and his companions were playing ball on the TPC golf course. This course was in the middle of two kinds of quarters. The western side was where the quarters for boys and sugarcane workers were. On the eastern side, closer to the course, were the officers' homes.
Mfereji wa maji machafu yanayotoka kiwandani uliweka mpaka kati ya uwanja wa golfu na kota za maboi na wakata miwa. Wakati mwingine maji haya yalitumika kunyeshea mashamba ya mahindi yaliyokuwa karibu. The ditches of water polluted by the factory went up to the middle of the golf course, the boys' quarters, and those of the sugarcane workers. Sometimes this water was used to water the corn fields nearby.
Baada ya muda, Prospa alisikia tena sauti ikiita jina lake. Wakati huu alisita, akaacha kucheza ili asikilize vizuri, asikie sauti inakotokea. After some time, Prospa again heard the voice calling his name. When it paused, he stopped playing in order to listen better, so as to hear where the voice was coming from.
"Cheza kwanza Prospa. Sasa unaona umenyang'anywa mpira. Agh," mwenzake alilalamika. "Play first Prospa. Now you have lost the ball. Agh," his teammate complained.
"Nasikia kama mtu ananiita," Prospa alisema. "I hear a person calling me," Prospa said.
"Mnaanza kushindwa nyie," wenzake wa upande wa pili walisema. Waliongeza madaha katika kupasiana mpira. "You all are starting to lose," the teammates from the other side said. They showed added grace in passing the ball.
"Cheza bwana. Muda unakwenda bwana. Au kama hutaki kucheza tena, sema," mwenzake alilalamika. "Play man. Time is running out man. Or if you don't want to play again, say so," complained a teammate.
Prospa alipuuza sauti akaendelea kucheza mpira. Alijiambia kwamba Merisho, mtoto wa dada yake alikwisha kula, kwa hivyo haiwezekani kuwa ni yeye analia kwa njaa. Prospa alimwacha Merisho na watoto wa jirani wa umri wake wakati alipokwenda uwanjani kucheza mpira. Prospa ignored the voice and continued to play ball. He told himself that Merisho, his sister's child, finished eating, therefore it couldn't possibly be him crying out in hunger. Propsa abandoned Merisho and the neighbors' children of his age when he went to the course to play ball.
Hatu hivyo, muda wa kutumia uwanja wa golfu ulikuwa umwekwisha. Kamwe watoto walikuwa hawaruhusiwi kucheza mchezo wo wote, licha ya mpira, katika uwanja huu. Uwanja ulitunzwa kitaalamu na wafanyakazi wenye ujuzi wa kazi hiyo. Uwanja ulitumiwa na maofisa wa ngazi wa juu wa TPC kucheza golfu. Even so, the time for using the golf course was over. The children were never permitted to play games at all, let alone ball, on this course. The course was studiously cared for by workers with experience in this type of work. The course was used by the high-ranking officers of TPC for playing golf.
Katikati ya mchezo, dakika za mwisho, Prospa alisema "Nimechoka. Nakwenda zangu." During the game, in the final minutes, Prospa said, "I'm tired. I'm going to my place."
"Prospa, nini wewe? Karibu tumalize mchezo ndio unaondoka? Bwege nini?" walimzomea wenzake. "Prospa, what are you? It's nearly the end of the game and you're leaving? Are you stupid?" his teammates sneered.
Hakuwajibu. Aliondoka akikimbia kwa hatua ndefu kuelekea kwenye kota za maboi na wakata miwa. Hizi nyumba zilijulikana kama kota namba tatu. Alriuka mfereji wa maji machafu bila kutazama. Miguu ya Prospa ilifahamu vema alama zote za mazingira ya TPC. Alifuata barabara nyembamba ya miguu katikati ya mashamba na muda si mrefu, akawa amefika nyumbani. He didn't respond. He left so as to escape, and after awhile headed for the boys' and sugarcane workers' quarters. These homes were known as quarter #3. He jumped over the ditches of dirty water without looking. Prospa's feet knew the environment of TPC well. He followed the thin road by foot through the middle of the farm, and after a short time, he was arriving at home.
Hakumwona Merisho katika kundi dogo la watoto waliokuwa wakicheza nje ya numba. He didn't see Merisho in a small group of children who were playing outside the house.
"Merisho, Merisho," Prospa aliita. Hakusikia jibu. Watoto waliendelea kucheza. Prospa alivamia mlango wa nyumba yao na kuingia ndani. Alifikiri kwamba Merisho amekwenda kulala au labda alikuwa analamba sukari. Merisho alipenda sana kulamba sukari. Dada Josefina aliikewa kwenye kopo la zamani la biskuti halafu alilificha chini ya kitanda. Lakini Merisho alikwisha gundua siri hiyo. "Merisho, Merisho," Prospa called. He didn't hear an answer. The children continued to play. Prospa threw open the door to the house and entered inside. He thought that Merisho had gone to sleep or maybe he was licking sugar. Merisho loved to lick sugar. Sister Josefina was keeping for herself an old tin of biscuits that she then hid under the bed. But Merisho had already discovered this secret.
"Merisho," Prospa alimwita tena mpwa wake. Alikuwa amesimama ukumbini. Palikuwa na meza ndogo fupi katikati ya chumba. Juu ya meza palitandikwa kitambaa cheupe kilichodariziwa maua ya rangi ya zambarau. Juu yake paliwekwa kakopo kadogo ka bati yenye maua ya nailoru. Upande wa kulia kutoka pale aliposimama kulikuwa na kitanda alicholalia yeye na Merisho. Dada yake alilala chumba cha pili. "Merisho," Prospa called out again to his nephew. He was standing on the porch. There was a small, short table in the middle. A white cloth embroidered with purple flowers had been laid out on the table. Atop it was a tiny iron can with nylon flowers. To the right of where he stood was the bed in which Merisho slept. His sister slept in the second room.
"We Merisho, kama unakula tena sukari utaniona," Prospi alitishia. "Merisho, if you're eating sugar again you will get it from me," Prospa threatened.
Alifuanga mlango pole pole akaingia chumbani kwa dada yake. Macho yake yalichukua muda kidogo kuzoea giza. Aliinama na kuchungulia chini ya kitanda. Hakuona mtoto. He slowly opened the door and entered into his sister's room. His eyes took a brief time to adjust to the darkness. He bent down to look under the bed. He didn't see the child.
Alitoka mbio, akasahau kufunga milango yote miwili. Leaving quickly, he forgot to close both doors behind him.
Nyama ya nyumba yao kulikuwa na uwanja. Watoto kadhaa walkikuwa wanacheza hapo. Prospa aliwakimbilia na kuwauliza, "Merisho yuko wapi? Mmeshamwona Merisho?" Moyo ulikuwa ukipiga kwa nguvu kifuani. Behind their house was a playground. Several children were playing here. Prospa ran over to them to ask, "Where is Merisho? Have you all seen Merisho?" His heart was beating forcefully in his chest.
Mtoto mmoja alimjibu, "Merisho alikufuata uwanjani." One child replied, "Merisho followed you to the golf course."
"Lini? Alinifuata wapi?" Prospa aliuliza. "When? Where did he follow me to?" Prospa asked.
"Uwanjani. Ulipokuwa unacheza mpira," mtoto mwingine alisema bila kumtazama Prospa. "To the golf course. You went there to play ball," another child said without looking at Prospa.
"Mbona sikumwona?" Prospa alijiuliza. Alimwendea yule mtoto aliyemjibu bila kumtazama, akamshika shati na kumtikisa ili amsikilize vizuri. "Why didn't I see him?" Prospa asked himself. He went over to the child who had answered without looking at him, then took hold of his shirt and pulled him close so as to make him listen closely.
"Hebu niambie vizuri bwana," Prospa alimkazania. "You better be telling me the truth man," Prospa said as he pulled him close.
Mtoto huyo, jina lake Mustafa, alisimama, akamtazama Prospa, halafu akasema, "Usinirarulie shati yangu." Alikaa tena, akaendelea na shughuli yake ya kuunda garila la bati na matairi yake ambayo alikata kutoka soli ya ndala iliyochakaa. This child, named Mustafa, stood up, looked at Prospa, then said, "Do not tear my shirt." He sat back down, then continued his work of making a cart from metal and tires that he had cut from the soles of some worn-out sandals.
"Mustafa niambie. Niambie basi," Prospa alimbembeleza. "Mustafa tell me. Tell me the truth," Prospa coaxed him.
Kamtafute uwanjani huko," Mustafa alisema. "Look for him at the range," Mustafa said.
Prospa alihisi hasira, na pamoja na hasira akajisikia kulia. Lakini alijikaza, kwani Mustafa angemchecka. Prospa felt angry, and along with his anger he felt like crying. But he composed himself, for Mustafa would laugh at him.
"Mustafa jamani. Niambie," Prospa alimsihi. "Mustafa friend. Tell me," Prospa urged.
Mustafa aliendelea kuchora mviringo wa tairi kwenye ndala ili akate na kuweka kwenye gari yake iliyokuwa tayari. Mustafa continued to carve circular tires out of the sandals in order to cut and place them on his cart that he was preparing.
"Usinisumbue," Mustafa alilalamika, lakini alisema, "Alikuja mama mmoja pale, walipokuwa akina Merisho wanacheza. Huyo Mama alimwita Merisho, halafu akamshika mkono akamwambia amwoneshe ulipokuwa unacheza." "Don't annoy me," Mustafa complained, but he said, "A mama came over there, where Merisho and his friends whre playing. This mama called to Merisho, then pulled him by the hand and told him to show her where you were playing."
"Mama gani?" Prospa aliuliza. "Which mama?" Prospa asked.
"Sijui mimi," Mustafa alisema. "I don't know myself," Mustafa said.
"Ni nani huyo? Ulimwona vizuri? Labda alikuwa Mama Sofia?" Prospa aliuliza. "Who was it? Did you see her well? Maybe it was Mama Sofia?" Prospa asked.
"Sijui," Mustafa alisema. "I don't know," Mustafa said.
"Walielekea wapi? Niambie Mustafa, huyo mama alielekea wapi?" Prospa alimsihi. "Where did they go? Tell me Mustafa, where did this mama go?" Prospa urged.
Mustafa alikwishaanza kukata tairi lake kwa kipande kidogo cha wembe. Alikuwa akifanya kazi hiyo kwa makini, kwa hiyo hakumjibu. Mtoto mdogo aliyekuwa akitazama ufundi wa Mustafa alimwonesha Prospa kwa kidole. Alionesha upande wa Kaskazini mwa uwanja wa golfu kuelekea kota za Uhindini. Mustafa started to cut his tires into small pieces with a razor. He did this work attentively, and therefore didn't respond. A small child who was watching Mustafa's craftsmanship pointed a finger at Prospa. She indicated to the northern part of the golf course, towards the Indians' quarters.
Prospa alichepuka pale akakimbia kuelekea kota za Uhindini. Kwenye uwanja wa golfu hapakuwa na mtu. Mbali kidogo kwenye nyumba za maofisa, kulisikika, hapa na pale, muziki kutoka redioni ukichanganyika na kelele za watoto waliokuwa wakicheza. Prospa dashed away and ran towards the Indians' quarters. That part of the golf course was void of people. A ways away in the direction of the officers' houses could be heard, here and there, music from the radio along with the sounds of children playing.
Prospa hakuweza kujizuia tena. Alianza kulia. Kila mtu aliyekutana naye almuuliza, "Umeshamwona Merisho?" Waliokuwa hawamfahamu Merisho waliuliza, "Ni nani huyo?" Prospa couldn't bring himself to stop again. He turned right. He asked every person he came across, "Have you seen Merisho?" Those who didn't know Merisho asked, "Who?"
Prospa alijibu, "Ni mtoto wa dada. Sijui amekwenda wapi." Prospa answered, "He's my sister's child. I don't know where he has gone."
Mama mmoja aliyekuwa anapalilia bustani ya mboga alimwambia, "Mbona Merisho kapita hapa kitambo? Alikuwa amefuatana na mama mmoja aliyejitanda kitenge. Merisho alikuwa anakula andazi. Mie sikuwa na wasiwasi, nilifikiri ni rafiki ya dada yako." One mama who was weeding her vegetable garden told him, "Why did Merisho pass by here a short time ago? He was following a mama wearing a dress. Merisho was eating a pastry. I myself was not concerned, I thought she was a friend of your sister."
"Sasa wamekwenda wapi?" Prospa aliuliza bila tumaini. "Now where have they gone?" Prospa asked hopelessly.
Mama yule aliendelea kueleza, "Ndiyo, mama alijitanda kitenge chekundu na alivaa raba za buluu kama za watoto wa shule. Balaa gani hii! Sasa kimbia haraka ukamwite Mwalimu Josefina shuleni. Mtoto hawezi kutafutwa na mtoto mwenzie. Kimbia." The mama continued to explain, "Indeed, she was wearing a red dress with blue trainers like those worn by schoolchildren. How terrible this is! Now run quickly and call for Teacher Josefina at school. The child can't be found by another student. Run."

Sura ya pili

Chapter Two

Eneo la TPC liko katika bonde tambarare kama sahani kusini kuwa mji wa Moshi. TPC is located in a valley, flat like a plate, south of the town of Moshi.
TPC inaoenekana kama mshazari wa rangi ya kijani kibichi kama mtu akiitazama akiwa amesimama katika sehemu iliyoinuka ya kijiji cha Tela, kitongoji kilicho juu ya Kiboriloni, kaskazini mwa mji wa Moshi. It appears in a slanting color of green as one looks at it while standing in the elevated village of Tela, above the village of Kiboriloni, to the north of Moshi.
Kuna lango moja tu la kuingia TPC. Pande zote zimezingirwa na mashamba makubwa ya miwa. Kusini kuna mbuga, na mbali, kwenye upeo wa macho, milima ya buluu inaonekana. There is only a single entrance gate to TPC. All parts are surrounded by large fields of sugarcane. To the south is savannah, and further away, on the horizon, blue mountains can be seen.
Lango hilo moja linalindwa na askari wakati wote. Njia kuu ya usafiri kutoka mjini Moshi kwenda na kutoka TPC ni basi, na maarufu kati ya mabasi hayo ni Black Rhino na Black Nyau. Njia nyingine ni baiskeli. Wakazi wengi wa TPC hutumia baiskeli. Siyo rahisi mgeni kwenda TPC kwa miguu kwani makazi yako mbali na lango kuu. Miwa ndiyo zao pekee linaloonekana, kushoto na kulia: miwa iliyokamaa, miwa michanga, miwa iliyokua lakini bado kukomaa, na vipande vya ardhi ambako miwa imekwishavunwa. This one gate is guarded by security at all times. The main way to travel from the town of Moshi to and from TPC is by bus, with the most prominent among these buses being Black Rhino and Black Cat. Another way is by bicycle. Many TPC workers use a bike. It's not easy for visitors to go TPC by foot, for their buildings are far from the main gate. Their sugarcane is indeed a sight to behold, left and right: ripened sugarcane, sugarcane that isn't yet ripe, sugarcane that has grown but not yet ripened, and areas of land from which the sugarcane has already been harvested.
Kituo cha kwanza cha uwazi wa nusu eka hivi ni kituo cha kupakia miwa. Hapa, miwa iliyokwisha katwa hupakiwa kwenye viberenge vilivyoungwa katika msururu mrefu. Viberenge hivi, vikiwa vimejaa miwa huvutwa na trekta juu ya reli kuelekea kwenye kituo cha kukusanyia miwa karibu na mashine za kusindika. The first station, in a half-acre area, is the sugarcane loading station. Here, cut sugarcane is loaded onto train cars joined together in a long line. These cars full of sugarcane are pulled by a tractor in front, on rails leading to the collection station near the extraction machine.
Kabla ya kuvuna, shamba zima la miwa huchomwa moto. Moto huu hufukuza wadudu wenye sumu, ikiwa ni pamoja na nyoka. Pia huchoma majani yake yanayowasha. Before harvest, the whole sugarcane farm is lit on fire. This fire is extinguished by poisonous insects, when all goes well. The grass is also lit on fire.
Miwa hukatwa kwa panga fupi, pana, lililobinuka nchani kama mkia mfupi wa mbuzi. Panga hili huitwa Honda. Kila mkata miwa ana honda yake. The sugarcane is cut with a short blade, which is curved at the top like the short tail of a goat. This blade is called a Honda. Each sugarcane cutter has his own honda.
Kabla ya kufika kituo cha kukusanyia miwa, kota za wakata miwa zinaanza kuonekana upande wa kushoto. Hapohapo, zinaonekana pia nyumba za wasimamizi wa mashamba. Baada ya hapo, barabara inakuwa na michepuo miwili. Before arriving at the sugarcane collection station, the workers' quarters appear on the left. The farm supervisors' homes are also right here. After this, the road forks in two.
Barabara ya kushoto inakwenda Uhindini na kwenye kota za maofisa. Barabara nyingine inakwenda moja kwa moja kwenye kitovu cha utawala. Huko kuna kituo cha askari, ofisi, kituo kikuu cha mabasi, posta, jumba la maendeleo la wakata miwa pamoja na kantini yao. Kiwanda cha kusindika miwa kiko nyuma kituo cha askari. The road on the left goes to the Indians' and officers' quarters. The other road goes straight to the administrative center. Here there is a guard station, office building, the main bus station, a post office, and the sugarcane workers' union building and their cafeteria. The sugarcane extraction factory is behind the guard station.

Sura ya tatu

Chapter Three

Mwalimu Josefina alifika katika kituo cha utawala akiwa anahema. Macho yulikuwa yamemtoka pima kwa woga na hofu nyingi. Teacher Josefina arrived at the administrative station out of breath. Her eyes were filled with fear.
Hakupitia lango kuu. Shule aliyokuwa anafundisha, shule namba nane, iko Magharibi ya eneo la utawala. Hivyo alikimbia kasi kwa kupitia katikati ya vishamba vya mahindi na kota za wakata miwa, akaenda moja kwa moja kwenye kituo cha askari kama walivyomshauri wenzake. She didn't pass through the main gate. The school at which she taught, school number eight, was west of the adminstrative area. Thus she walked quickly through the corn fields and sugarcane workers' quarters, then went directly to the security station for help.
"Askari, mwanangu amepotea. Nisaidieni," alisema Mwalimu Josefina bila salaam wala maelezo. "Security, my child has gone missing. Help me," said Teacher Josefina hurriedly and without an explanation.
"Askari, mnanitazama kama hamnioni? Mwanangu amepotea, haonekani." "Security, do you not believe me? My child is missing, he's nowhere to be seen."
"Hebu kaa utulie. Kaa hapa kwenye kiti," askari mmoja alisema, halafu akaondoka. Mwenzake alichukua daftari kubwa na pana kwenye dawati la meza, akafungua kwenye ukurasa ambao haukuandikwa. Alifungua tena dawati na kutoa kalamu. "You just sit here quietly. Sit here in this chair," one guard said, then he left. Another guard took out a large, wide notebook from the drawer of his desk, and opened it to a blank page. He opened the drawer again to get a pen.
Mara Prospa aliingia akiwa amefuatana na yule mwanamke aliyesema kwamba amemwona Merisho akiwa amebebwa na mwanamke aliyejitanda kitenge chekundu. At this time Prospa entered, accompanied by the woman who said she had seen Merisho being carried by a woman wearing a red dress.
"Kaeni nje," askari aliwaambia akina Prospa kwa sauti kali. "Stay outside," a guard told them as they entered loudly.
"Huyu ni mdogo wangu," Mwalimu Josefina alisema haraka. "Alikuwa amebaki na mtoto nyumbani." "This is my younger brother," Teacher Josefina said hastily. "He has been staying with the child at home."
"Kaeni nje," askari alirudia tena kwa kusisitiza. Halafu alimwambia Mwalimu Josefina, "Hebu eleza vizuri, mtoto amepoteaje?" "Stay outside," the guard repeated forcefully. "You explain well, what about this lost child?"
Prospa alijipeleka tena ndani na kusogea mbele ili atoe maelezo. Prospa went back inside and stepped forward in order to give an explanation.
"Tulia. Dada yako kwanza," askari alimwambia Prospa, halafu alianza kuuliza: "Quiet. Your sister first," the guard said to Prospa, then he began to ask:
"Jina?""Name?"
"Josefina Tadeo Ringo.""Josefina Tadeo Ringo."
"Unafanya kazi gani?""Your profession?"
"Mwalimu.""Teacher."
"Unaishi wapi?""Where do you live?"
"Kota namba tatu.""Quarter #3."
"Umri?""Age?"
"Miaka ishirini na sita.""Twenty-six years old."
"Una watoto wangapi?""How many children do you have?"
"Mmoja.""One."
"Jina la mtoto?""The child's name?"
"Merisho.""Merisho."
"Umri wake?""His age?"
"Miake minne.""Four years."
"Jina la mume?""Your husband's name?"
"Sina mume.""I don't have a husband."
"Mtoto alipotea saa ngapi?""At what time did the child go missing?"
"Prospa amekuja kunipa habari sasa hivi. Mimi nilikuwa shuleni.""Prospa has come to tell me just now. I was at school."
"Hujui lolote zaidi?""You don't know anything else?"
"Sijui.""I don't."
"Mtoto alizoea kutembea au kucheza peke yake?" "Is the child used to walking or playing by himself?"
"Hapana. Mara nyingi, wakati Prospa hayuko nyumbani namwacha kwa rafiki yangu," Josefina alieleza. "No. Often, when Prospa isn't home, I leave him with my friend," Josefina explained.
"Huyu rafiki yako anaitwa nani?" "What's the name of this friend of yours?"
"Sofia. Sofia Mohamed.""Sofia. Sofia Mohamed."
"Anaishi wapi?""Where does she live?"
"Anaishi jirani na mimi, hapohapo kota namba tatu mstari wa wakata miwa.""She's a neighbor of mine, there in quarter #3 along with the sugarcane cutters."
"Mmeshakwenda kutazama kama mtoto yuko huko?""Have you already gone to see if the child is there?"
"Ndiyo. Prospa amekuta nyumba imefungwa. Sofia hayupo nyumbani," Joseinfa alijibu."Yes. Prospa has found the home closed up. Sofia isn't home," Josefina replied.
"Anafanya kazi gani huyu Sofia?""What kind of work does this Sofia do?"
"Hafanyi kazi. Yeye ni mama wa nyumbani.""She doesn't work. She's a house mama."
"Ana watoto wangapi?""How many children does she have?"
"Hana mtoto.""She doesn't have a child."
"Sawa," askari alisema. "Kijana, hebu njoo," askari alimwita Prospa."Alright," the guard said. "Boy, come," the guard called to Prospa.
Prospa aliulizwa jina, umri, shule anayosoma, na alikuwa wapi mtoto alipopotea.Prospa was asked his name, age, school at which he studied, and where the child went missing.
Prospa alijibu, "Wenzangu walikuja kunichukua tukacheze boli uwanjani. Nilimwacha Merisho akicheza na watoto wa jirani."Prospa answered, "My friends came to get me to play ball at the golf course. I left Merisho playing with the neighbors' children."
"Uligundua wakati gani kwamba mtoto amepotea?""Did you find out when the child went missing?"
Prospa alianza upya kueleza maelezo ya Mustafa pamoja na maneno ya mama aliyefuatana naye.Prospa recounted Mustafa's explanation and the words of the mama who had accompanied him.
"We mama. Sogea huku," askari alimwita."You, mama. Come here," the guard called to her.
"Jamani, haya mambo siyafahamu vizuri. Siyafahamu kabisa. Mimi siwezi kuwa shahidi kwenye mambo nisiyoyajua," yule mama alijitetea."Friend, I don't understand this situation well. I don't understand it at all. I can't be a witness for a matter I know nothing about," the mama said defensively.
"Unaitwa nani mama?" askari alimuuliza bila kujali maneno yake."What's your name mama?" the guard asked her without paying attention to her words.
"Jamani, mbona makubwa askari, sijui lolote kuhusu huyu mtoto," yule mama alisema."Why are you so serious, I don't know anything about this child," the mama said.
"Mama, jina lako nani?" Askari aliuliza kwa sauti kali."Mama, what is your name?" the guard asked in a fierce tone.
Yule mama alimtazama machoni, macho yake makavu kabisa akamwambia askari, "Sijui lolote."The mama looked directly in his eyes, her eyes devoid of emotion, and told the guard, "I don't anything at all."
"Hujui lolote?" askari aliuliza."You know nothing at all?" the guard asked.
"Sijui kitu," yule mama alisema akiwa ameminya mdomo."I don't know a single thing," the mama said, her lips pursed tightly together.
"Uliniambia kwamba umemwona Merisho," Prospa alianza kulalamika."You told me that you saw Merisho," Prospa started to protest.
Yule mama alidakia palepale na kusema, "Mtoto we, kuona mtu barabarani ndio kujua kitu? Niacheni. Bwana askari, naapa sijui lolote."The mama swung around and said, "You, child, did you meet anyone on the road who knew a single thing? Let me go. Guard, I swear I know nothing at all."
"Sawa mama, unaweza kwenda," askari alimwambia, halafu akaandika misitari kadhaa kwenye daftari. Baada ya muda, askari alisema, "Yawezekana kabisa kwamba mtoto wenu ameibwa.""Alright mama, you can go," the guard told her, then proceeded to draw several lines in his notebook. After some time, the guard said, "It seems absolutely apparent that your child has been stolen."
"Ameibwa?" Prospa na Josefina waliuliza kwa pamoja."Stolen?" Prospa and Josefina asked in unison.
"Ndiyo," askari alijibu. "Inawezekana kwamba mtoto ameibwa na mtu aliyemfahamu vizuri. Inawezekana vilevile kwamba huyu mama aliyekataa kutoa taarifa alimtambua huyo mwizi.""Yes," the guard replied. "It appears that the child was stolen by someone who knew him well. It also seems that the mama did not want to report that she recognized the thief."
Josefina alisema, "Maskini mwanangu." Machozi yalianza kumlengalenga.Josefina said, "My poor child." She began to weep.
"Tutampata mama, usiwe na wasiwasi," askari alimfariji huku akichukua 'woki toki.' Aliwasiliana na wenzake getini na kuwaambia, "Kuna mtoto ameibiwa hapa TPC. Mtoto wa kiume wa miaka minne. Kila mtu anayetoka TPC na mtu wa umri chini ya miaka kumi ashushwe kwenye gari akaguliwe. Mtaletewa picha ya mtoto sasa hivi.""We will get him mama, don't worry," the guard comforted her as he retrieved his walkie-talkie. He contacted his coworkers at the gate and told them, "A child has been stolen here in TPC. The child is with a young woman and is four years old. Everyone leaving TPC with a child under the age of ten is to be removed from their car and searched. A photo of the child will be brought to you soon."
Prospa na dada yake waliondoka kituoni wakaenda nyumbani kungojea taarifa za askari.Prospa and his sister left the station and went home to wait for an update from the guards.
Walingojea hadi saa nne usiku bila taarifa yoyote yenye kuwapa matumaini.The waited until 10pm without any update at all to give them hope.

Sura ya nne

Chapter Four

Prospa alisaidia askari katika uchunguzi.Prospa aided the guard in his investigation.
Walichunguza sehemu zote alizokuwa anacheza Merisho.They searched every area in which Merisho played.
Waliongea na watoto, wakiuliza maswali mengi. Watoto waliongea kidogo sana walipoulizwa maswali. Mara nyingine walitingisha vichwa tu kukubali au kukataa, au walinyamaza kabisa.They spoke with the children, asking them many questions. The children said very little when asked. Sometimes they shook their heads only to agree or disagree, or remained absolutely silent.
Prospa na askari walikwenda kuongea na Mustafa. Askari alianza kuuliza Mustafa maswali; "We ndiye Mustafa siyo? Hebu tueleze uliyoyaona siku Merisho aliyopotea?"Prospa and the guard went to speak with Mustafa. The guard started to ask Mustafa questions; "You're Mustafa right? Explain to us what you saw the day Merisho disappeared."
"Nimeshemweleza Prospa," Mustafa alijibu."I've already explained to Prospa," Mustafa replied.
"Sifahamu uliyomwambia Prospa," askari alijibu. "Rudia tena uliyomweleza.""I'm not aware of what you said to Prospa," the guard replied. "Repeat to me what you explained to him."
Mustafa alinyamaza. Alionesha kutompenda askari. Lakini askari hakukata tamaa. Alisema, "Tunahisi kwamba Merisho ameibwa, kwa hiyo lazima tufanye kila juhudi tumpate."Mustafa was silent. He looked at the guard with disdain. But the guard didn't lose hope. He said, "We feel that Merisho has been stolen, therefore we must make every effort we can for him."
Mustafa alicheka. Wenzake aliokuwa akicheza nao wakacheka vile vile.Mustafa laughed. His friends playing nearby laughed as well.
"Mustafa, huu siyo utani," askari alisema kwa ukali. Alitambua mara moja tabia ya ukaidi aliyokuwa nayo Mustafa, akaamua kuendesha uchunguzi kwa ukali zaidi."Mustafa, this is not a joke," the guard said severely. He recognized at once Mustafa's stubborn nature, and decided to conduct his investigation with greater force.
Mustafa alimtazama askari machoni na kumuuliza, "Hivi mtu anaweza kuibwa?" Wenzake walicheka tena.Mustafa looked the guard in his eyes and asked him, "Like that, a person can be stolen?" His friends laughed again.
Askari alimjibu, "Ndiyo. Watoto wanaweza kuibwa na watu wazima kwa sababu mbalimbali."The guard replied to him, "Of course. Children can be stolen by adults for various reasons."
Mustafa alimuuliza askari, "Sababu zipi?"Mustafa asked the guard, "Which reasons?"
Sasa askari alikasirika. Uchunguzi wake ulikuwa hauendi popote. Askari alisema, "Acha ukaidi mtoto we. Kwanza ni nani anauliza mwingine maswali? Wewe huwezi kuniuliza swali lolote. Naweza nikakuweka ndani mie hata kama wewe ni kinda tu. Ala! Kwanza babako nani?"At this the guard became angry. His investigation was going nowhere at all. The guard said, "Stop your stubbornness you child. Who else is asking questions? You can't ask me any question at all. I can bring you in even though you're just like an animal. Ala! First of all, who is your father?"
Wenzake hawakucheka tena. Mustafa hakucheka. Watoto wote, pamoja na Prospa ambayo alikuwa hajaongea walimtazama Mustafa.Mustafa and his friends didn't laugh. All of the children, along with Prospa who until then had been silent, looked at Mustafa.
"Baba yangu anakata miwa. Tena ni mkata miwa hodari. Hulala na honda lake chini ya mto," Mustafa alimwambia askari."My father is a sugarcane cutter. A brave sugarcane cutter. He sleeps with his honda under his pillow," Mustafa told the guard.
Askari alimtazama Mustafa kwa muda mrefu, halafu akaondoka. Ilibidi Prospa amfuate. Kabla hajaondoka, Prospa alimtazama Mustafa kwa macho yaliyosema: "Nitarudi kwako."The guard looked at Mustafa for a long while, then left. Necessarily, Prospa followed him. Before leaving, Prospa looked at Mustafa with eyes that said: "I'm coming back for you."
Walikwenda kumwona Sofia Mohamed, rafiki yake Josefina. Walimuuliza maswali mengi: Wewe na mume wako ni watu wa wapi? Je, ulikuwa wapi siku mtoto alipopotea? Ulikwenda kufanya shughuli gani mjini? Kwa nini ulirudi usiku sana?They went to see Sofia Mohamed, Josefina's friend. They asked her many questions: Where are you and your husband from? Where were you the day of the child's disappearance? What business did you have in the city? Why did you return late at night?
Maswali mengi: Unapenda sana kukaa na Merisho wakati mama hayupo? Unampenda sana Merisho? Kwa nini? Kwa nini wewe hujapata mtoto? Ungependa Merisho awe mtoto wako?Many questions: Do you love staying with Merisho when his mother isn't here? Do you love Merisho? Why? Why have you not yet had a child? Would you love Merisho as your own child?
Mwishowe Sofia aliuliza, "Mnanidhania nini? Kwa nini mnaniuliza maswali yote hayo?"Finally Sofia asked, "What are you suspecting me of? Why are you asking me all of these questions?"
Askari alimjibu, "Tunafanya uchunguzi wa kawaida tu. Tafadhali ufike kituoni kesho asubuhi. Tuna maswali machache zaidi ambao tungependa kukuuliza."The guard replied to her, "We are just conducting a routine investigation. Please come to the station tomorrow morning. We have a few more questions that we'd like to ask you."
Baada ya hapo, Prospa alifuatana na askari hadi kituoni. Askari alimuuliza Prospa maswali mengi yanayomhusu Sofia na dada yake. Na mengine yaliyohusu Sofia na Merisho. Askari alitaka kupata habari zaidi kuhusu Mustafa, baba yake, mama yake, rafiki zake na kadhalika. Askari aliuliza kuhusu Mohamed, mume wake Sofia. Askari aliuliza maswali mengi kuhusu watu wengi. Halafu alimruhusu Prospa kuondoka.Afterwards, Prospa accompanied the guard back to the station. The guard asked Prospa many questions about Sofia and her sister. Other questions concerned Sofia and Merisho. The guard wanted to get more information about Mustafa, his father, his mother, his friends, and so on. The guard asked about Mohamed, Sofia's husband. The guard asked many questions about many people. Afterwards he allowed Prospa to leave.
Prospa aliondoka kituoni akiwa hana raha. Merisho alikuwa bado hajaonekana. Askari alikuwa anauliza maswali tu. Atauliza haya maswali mpaka lini? Prospa aliwaza.Prospa left the station discontentedly. Merisho had not yet been seen. The guard was just asking questions. How much longer will he ask these questions? Prospa thought.
Usiku alimsikia Dada Josefina akilia chumbani. Prospa alijisikia uchungu. Alijiona kama yeye ndiye mwenye hatia. Asingekwenda kucheza mpira uwanjani, Merisho asingeibwa.That night he listened to his sister Josefina cry in her room. Prospa himself felt anguished. He saw himself as the one to blame. If he hadn't gone to play ball at the golf course, Merisho wouldn't have been stolen.
Usiku ule aliwaza sana. Prospa alikata shauri kufanya uchunguzi wake mwenyewe utakaokuwa na matendo kuliko wa askari. Aliamua kumtafuta Merisho mpaka ampate. Lakini aanzie wapi?That night he thought hard. Prospa decided to conduct his own investigation, one more active than the guard's. He decided to search for Merisho until he found him. But where should he start?
Wakati mmoja Mmasai alishajaribu kumshawishi mtoto mdogo wa jirani aende naye lakini hakufanikiwa. Yawezekana huyu mama aliyeonekana akiwa na Merisho ni Mmasai aliyejibadilisha kwa kuvaa vitenge? Halafu hawa Wamasai hawapitii getini, wanatokea kwenye mbuga na kurudia hukohuko. Labda ndiyo sababu Merisho hakuonekana getini? Amepotelea hukuhuku mbugani? Prospa aliwaza. Ni mtu gani atataka kumchukua Merisho? Na kwa nini?One time a Masai woman attempted to persuade a small child from the neighborhood to go with her, but she didn't succeed. Is it possible that the mama seen with Merisho is the Masai woman disguised in a cotton dress? And then there's the fact that the Masai don't pass through the gate, they come from the grasslands and return there. Maybe that's the reason why Merisho wasn't seen at the gate? Is he lost out there in the grasslands? Prospa wondered. What kind of person would want to take Merisho? And why?
Lazima ni Sofia tu, Prospa alijiambia kila mara. Ni yeye anayempenda sana Merisho, anayempa zawadi mara kwa mara kama vile ni mtoto wake. Bila shaka anatamani angekuwa wake kwa vile hana mtoto. Lazima ni yeye tu. Ingawa Mama Sofia huvaa baibui kila akitoka nyumbani, inawezekana alijifunga vitenge ili watu wasimtambue.It must just be Sofia, Prospa told himself over and over. It's her that loves Merisho so much, giving him gifts all the time as if he's her child. Undoubtedly she wishes he was her child since she has none of her own. It must be her. Although Mama Sofia usually wore a black veil whenever she left the house, it's possible she wore dresses so that people wouldn't recognize her.
Kulipokucha, Prospa alimwendea Mustafa. Mustafa alitaka kufahamu jinsi uchunguzi ulivyokwenda.At dawn, Prospa went to see Mustafa. Mustafa wanted to know how the investigation was going.
Prospa alimwambia, "Hamna lolote. Askari bado anauliza maswali tu."Prospa told him, "There's nothing at all. The guard is still just asking questions."
"Ovyo yule," Mustafa alisema."That's careless of him," Mustafa said.
Prospa alimwambia, "Sasa mimi nimeamua kufanya uchunguzi wangu mwenyewe. Utanisaidia siyo Mustafa?"Prospa told him, "Just now I decided to conduct my own investigation. You'll help me, right Mustafa?"
Mustafa hakusema lolote.Mustafa said nothing.
Prospa aliendelea, "Hebu niambie Mustafa, huyo mwanamke alifananaje usoni? Ulimwona vizuri?"Prospa continued, "Hey tell me Mustafa, what about this woman's face? Did you see her well?"
"Sikumtazama, lakini alikuwa kama bibi hivi. Mzee kidogo.""I didn't look at her, but she seemed like a grandmother. Elderly and small."
Mustafa aliendelea, "Kaja vile, kupitia barabara ya miguu. Aliuliza watoto pale, kwa Josefina Ringo ni wapi? Mtoto mmoja akamwonesha kwa kidole. Mtoto mwingine akamuita Merisho."Mustafa continued, "They passed through on the road by foot. She asked the children there, where is Josefina Ringo? One child showed her by pointing. Another called out to Merisho."
"Ehe.""Uh-huh."
"Sijui alimwambia Merisho nini, lakini huyo mama na Merisho waliondoka pamoja," Mustafa alieleza."I don't know what he said to Merisho, but the mama and Merisho left together," Mustafa explained.
Prospa alimuuliza, "Ulisikia Merisho akiniita?"Prospa asked him, "Did you hear if Merisho called my name?"
"Hapana. We ulisikia akikuita?" Mustafa aliuliza."No. Did you hear him call for you?" Mustafa asked.
Prospa hakujibu. Alimshika Mustafa mkono wakatembea kwenda mbali na nyumbani kwao, mbali na watoto wengine. Prospa alimwambia Mustafa, "Mimi nimeamua kwenda Darisalam."Prospa didn't reply. He grabbed Mustafa by the hand and they walked far from their houses, far from any other people. Prospa said to Mustafa, "I've decided to go to Dar es Salaam."
"Kwa nini? Kuna kitu gani huko?" Mustafa aliuliza kwa mshangao."Why? What's there?" Mustafa asked with surprise.
Prospa alisema, "Sasa ngoja nikueleze. Kila mara namsikia Mohamed akimwambia Sofia kwamba amchukue Merisho Darisalam. Aende akatembee naye Darisalam. Mimi katika mawazo yangu naona kwamba hayo maneno hayakuwa ya utani."Prospa said, "Now let me explain to you. Several times I heard Mohamed say to Sofia that she should take Merisho to Dar. That she should go with him to Dar. In my thoughts I remember that these words weren't a joke."
"Kwa hiyo?" Mustafa aliuliza."So?" Mustafa asked.
"Nakwenda Darisalam kumtafuta Merisho kwa ndugu yao Mohamed," Prospa alisema."I'm going to Dar to look for Merisho and Mohamed," Prospa said.
"We utapotea. Utajuaje wanakoishi?" Mustafa aliuliza."You will get lost. Do you know where they're staying?" Mustafa asked.
"Nitajua tu. Nimeshawahi kusikia Mama Sofia akimwambia Dada Josefina kwamba kwao ni Magomeni," Prospa alisema."I'll just find out. I've heard Mama Sofia telling Sister Josefina that their place is in Magomeni," Prospa said.
"We Prospa hupajui huko," Mustafa alimuonya mwenzake."Prospa, you don't know anything about that place," Mustafa warned his friend.
"Kuna ndugu zangu wengi Darisalam. Nitawatafuta kwanza. Yuko Kaka Petro ambaye anaishi huko Manzese, halafu kuna mjomba pia. Lazima niende," Prospa alimhakihishia Mustafa."There are many relatives of mine in Dar. I'll find them first. There's Brother Petro who lives in Manzese, then there's an uncle also. I must go," Prospa assured Mustafa.
"Nauli je? Si hela kibao?" Mustafa aliuliza, akiwa bado ana wasiwasi kuhusu mafanikio ya safari kama hii. Mustafa alinyamaza kwa dakika chache, akawa anafikiri. Mwishowe alisema "Haya, jaribu. Mimi nitakusaidia shilingi hamsini. Sina hela zaidi.""What about fares? Isn't it a lot of money?" Mustafa asked, still doubting the success of a trip like this. Mustafa was silent for a few minutes as he contemplated. Finally he said, "OK, go ahead and try. I'll provide fifty shillings. I don't have more money than that."
Prospa alimshukuru sana. Halafu alisema, "Naondoka kesho. Sasa wewe, kesho hiyohiyo mwambie Dada Josefina kwamba nimekwenda Darisalam kumtafuta Merisho. Mimi sitamweleza chochote leo. Halafu, Mustafa, huyo askari."Prospa thanked Mustafa profusely. Afterwards he said, "I'm leaving tomorrow. Now as for you, tomorrow tell Sister Josefina that I've gone to Dar to find Merisho. I won't be able to explain anything myself today. Then, Mustafa, carefully follow the guard around."
"Agh, yule askari ovyo bwana," Mustafa alisema."Agh, that guard is a foolish man," Mustafa said.
"Wewe mfuatilie tu." Prospa alimsihi. "Mwambie unataka kusaidia katika uchunguzi, halafu usikilize mambo yake. Usiseme kitu mpaka akuulize swali.""Just follow him around," Prospa urged. "Tell him that you want to help with the investigation, then listen to his goings-on. Don't say anything until he asks a question."
"Nitaona," Mustafa alisema."I shall see," Mustafa said.
Walikubaliana na kushikana mkono wa kwaheri.They gave each other their word and shook hands goodbye.

Sura ya tano

Chapter Five

Usiku wa kuamkia safari Prospa alilala usingizi wa kushtukashtuka. Aliamka mapema kuliko kawaida, akawasha jiko la mafuta ya taa la Mchina, akaweka maji ya chai jikoni. Kila siku, Prospa alifanya kazi hiyo kabla ya kujitayarisha kwenda shule. Dada yake alipoamka alikuta tayari chai iko mezani kwenye chupa pamoja na maandazi ambayo yalitayarishwa jioni.The night before leaving on his journey, Prospa slept fitfully. He rose earlier than usual, lit the Chinese kerosene stove, and put tea and water on the burner. Every day, Prospa did this before preparing to go to school. His sister would wake up to find tea on the table, along with the maandazi that had been prepared the night before.
Baada ya kunawa na kupiga mswaki, Prospa angemuamsha Merisho na kumnawisha uso. Lakini asubuhi hii Merisho hakuwepo.After bathing and brushing his teeth, Prospa would awaken Merisho and wash his face. But this morning Merisho wasn't here.
Dada yake aliamka na kumuuliza Prospa, "Mbona leo umeamka mapema?"His sister woke up and asked Prospa, "Why are you up so early today?"
Prospa alimwamkia dada yake halafu akanyamaza. Mazungumzo kati yao yalipungua sana baada ya Merisho kupotea. Prospa alihisi kwamba dada yake hakumpenda tena kwani alimwacha Merisho peke yake hata akaibiwa.Prospa greeted his sister but said nothing more. Conversation between them had lessened ever since Merisho was taken. Prospa felt that his sister resented him for leaving Merisho by himself before he was taken.
Walipokwisha kuvaa, walikaa wakanywa chai. Hawakuongea. Kila mmoja alihisi upweke wa kutokuwepo Merisho. Wakati kama huu wa chakula Merisho angekuwa na kelele nyingi. Angemwaga chai, angetaka maandazi yote yawe yake, angekataa kukaa kwenye kiti, angetaka mama yake ampozee chai, angeuliza maswali mengi. Asubuhi hii, kimya na upweke vilikaa katikati yao vikachukua nafasi ya fujo za Merisho.When they finished dressing, they sat down to drink tea. They didn't speak to each other. Both of them felt lonely due to Merisho's absence. Usually when they sat down to eat like this, Merisho would be very noisy. He would refuse tea, he would want all the maandazi for himself, he would refuse to sit in his chair, he would want his mother to cool the tea down, and he would ask many questions. This morning, the silence and solitude among them took the place of Merisho's chaos.
Baada ya chai, Prospa alijichelewesha kwa kufanya mambo madogo madogo yasiyo ya lazima. Dada yake alimuuliza, "Huendi shule?"After tea, Prospa stalled around, busying himself with small, unnecessary tasks. His sister asked him, "You aren't going to school?"
Prospa alitikia kwamba atakwenda shule mara akimaliza kuosha vyombo vya chai. Aliwaza: afadhali kuondoka tu, dada asishtuke, halafu alichukua daftari zake akaondoka. Prospa alifahamu njia atakayopita dada yake. Alifahamu kwamba dada yake alipita njia hiyo kila siku, kwani ilikuwa njia ya mkato. Kwa hiyo, alichagua kupita njia nyingine. Alijichelewesha njiani kwa muda mrefu hadi alipohisi kwamba dada yake atakuwa ameshafika shule, halafu alirudi nyumbani.Prospa replied that he was going to school after he finished washing the dishes from tea. He thought: it would be better to just leave, his sister would think nothing of it, so after taking his notebook he left. Prospa knew the road his sister would take. He knew his sister took this particular road every day, because it was a shortcut. Therefore, he set out on a different road. He walked slowly along the road for a while until he was certain that his sister had already arrived at school, then returned home.
Prospa alichukua funguo mahali pa siri walipokuwa wakiziweka, akafungua mlango, akainigia ndani. Haraka haraka alitoa sanduku lake la mbao chini ya kitanda na kuchukua nguo zake chache. Alichukua suruali moja, shati mbili na fulana. Alichukua pia manati yake aliyotengeneza yeye mwenyewe.Prospa took the keys from the secret hiding place in which they were always placed, then opened the door and stepped inside. He quickly took out his wooden chest from under the bed and removed a few items of clothing. He took one pair of pants, two shirts and a sweater. He also took his catapult that he had made himself.
Yeye na Mustafa walitengeneza manati ili waweze kuwinda ndege kwenye mbuga iliyo mpakani kusini mwa TPC. Uwindaji wa ndege ulikuwa mchezo kwao, kwani hawakuwahi kuuwa nedge hata siku moja. Walifurahi sana walipoweza kulenga juu mtini kwenye matawi mengi na kuona ndege wanavyokurupuka kwa vishindo na kelele. Zaidi ya hilo, ni yeye na Mustafa tu waliokua na ustadi huo wa kutengeneza na kutumia manati. Mchezo wa kuwinda nedge uliwatoa katika kundi la watoto wa kawaida wa kota namba tatu, ukawaweka katika ngazi ya juu, ngazi yavijana wenye vipaji.He and Mustafa made this catapult in order to hunt birds in the grasslands bordering TPC to the south. Hunting birds was their game, but they couldn't manage to catch one until they built the catapult. They rejoiced when they were able to aim at the top of a tree with many branches and watch how the startled birds reacted with shrieks and noise. Furthermore, only him and Mustafa were skilled at making and using the catapult. Their game of hunting birds was well known in the usual group of children of quarter #3, and their abilities gave them high status in the group.
Prospa alivua sare ya shule, akavaa kaptula na shati, kisha akavaa raba mpya alizopewa zawadi na mjomba wake.Prospa changed out of his school uniform, put on shorts and a shirt, then donned the new sneakers given to him as a gift by his uncle.
Sasa nguo abebee wapi? Alichukua mkoba mdogo wa safari wa dada yake. Prospa alijihisi vibaya kufanya hivyo. Alifahamu kwamba dada yake aliutunza sana mkoba wake na alikuwa hataki utumike ovyo.Now how to carry his clothes? He took a small travel bag that belonged to his sister. Prospa felt guilty about doing this. He knew that his sister valued this bag and she didn't want it to be used carelessly.
Hata hivyo, aliweka nguo zake kwenye mkoba, akarudisha sanduku chini ya kitanda, akaweka pesa zake kwenye mfuko wa kaptula aliyovaa. Alitoka nje, akafunga mlango na kurudisha funguo pale alipoutoa, halafu akaondoka.Even so, he placed his clothes in the bag, pushed his trunk back under the bed, and placed his money inside the pocket of his shorts. He went outside, closed the door and returned the keys to the place from which he had taken them, then left.
Prospa alipitia njia za mkato hadi kwenye kituo cha basi. Hapakuwepo basi. Aliwaza haraka; hawezi kusimama kituoni kwa muda mrefu, anaweza kutambuliwa na mtu yeyote anayewafahamu au askari ambaye atataka kumuuliza maswali.Prospa took the shortcut until he arrived at the bus station. There wasn't a bus in sight. He thought fast; he couldn't stand at the station for too long, he could be seen by anyone who knew him, or by the guard, who would want to ask him questions.
Alipita kwenye uwazi wa eneo la utawala kwa kasi, akaendelea hadi kwenye jumba la posta. Aliwaona akina mama wawili wakinunua stampu. Alipita mbele ya kantini ya wakata miwa ambamo kelele nyingi zilitoka. Prospa hakutazama kuna nini humo ndani. Alikaza mwendo kuelekea kwenye mashamba ya miwa na mbele zaidi, getini.He passed quickly through an open area of the administrative center and kept going until he reached the post office. He saw two mamas buying stamps there. He went a little further to the sugarcane cutters' cafeteria, from which much noise emanated. Propsa didn't look inside. He focused on heading towards the sugarcane fields and beyond that, the gate.
Prospa alifikiri, "Nitaomba lifti za watu wanaokuja kukata majani ya ngo'mbe na kuyabeba kwenye pick-up. Nitapata lifti tu. Nitasema nini? Nitasema nakwenda mjini Moshi. Hapana. Nakwenda kumsalimia bibi. Hapana. Nitasema nini? Nitasema kwamba bibi anaumwa, kwa hiyo nampelekea dawa. Nadhani mtu atanionea huruma atakaposikia kwamba bibi anaumwa." Alikariri, "Bibi anaumwa nampelekea dawa. Bibi anaumwa..."Prospa thought, "I will ask for a lift from the people who are coming to cut the cattle's grass and carrying it by pick-up truck. I'll only get a lift. What will I say? I'll say I'm going to Moshi. No. I'm going to greet my grandmother. No. What'll I say? I'll say that my grandmother is ill, so I'm bringing medicine to her. I bet someone will feel sorry for me if they hear that my grandmother is sick." He recited, "My grandmother is sick so I'm bringing her medicine. My grandmother..."
Alitembea chapuchapu. Mbele yake aliona pick-up inapakia majani, akakimbia ili aiwahi kabla hajiaondoka. Alipofika alimwona dereva aliyevaa vizuri akiwa na vijana wengine wawili wachafu.He walked quickly. In front of him he saw a pick-up loading grass, so he ran to catch it before it could leave. He arrived to see a well-dressed driver in the company of two dirty youth.
Vijana hao walikuwa tayari wamekwisha ingia kwenye gari. Prospa alimwendea dereva aliyekuwa amevaa vizuri akamwamkia.The youth were ready to leave, and had already gotten in the back of the truck. Prospa approached the well-dressed driver and greeted him.
"Nini?" dereva alimuuliza badala ya kuitikia salamu."What?" the driver asked him instead of returning his greeting.
"Nakuomba lifti kaka," Prospa alisema kwa heshima. Moyo wake ulianza kumwenda mbio."I beg you for a lift brother," Prospa said respectfully. His heart started to beat quickly.
"Gari imejaa majani, huoni?" dereva alisema. Aliwasha gari na kuingiza gia."The truck is full of grass, don't you see?" the driver said. He started the truck and put it in gear.
"Bibi anaumwa kaka nampelekea..." Prospa alianza kukariri haraka."My grandmother is ill brother, so I'm bringing her..." Prospa started to recite hastily.
"We mtoto huoni majani yalivyojaa? Hakuna nafasi," dereva alisema kwa sauti isiyokuwa na subira."Child, do you not see how the grass has been loaded up? There isn't any space," the driver said impatiently.
"Bibi anaumwa, nampelekea dawa," Prospa aling'ang'ania, akiwa ameshika gari kama vile ataweza kulikataza kuondoka. Nikiondoka hapa! nikiondoka hapa tu, nitakuwa nimeokoka, Prospa alijiambia kimoyomoyo."Grandmother is sick, I'm bringing her medicine," Prospa insisted as he held onto the truck so as to prevent it from leaving. I will leave here! I'm leaving her, I will be rescued, Prospa told himself silently.
Dereva alipiga gari moto. Prospa aling'ang'ania gari "Kaka...," alisihi.The driver started the truck. Prospa held onto the truck, insisting "Brother..."
"Sharui yako, panda," dereva alisema, huku akiondoa gari."If that's what you want, get in," the driver said as he stopped the truck.
Prospa alitupa mkoba kwenye majani ndani ya gari halafu akarukia ndani huku gari tayari limekwisha anza kuondoka.Prospa threw his travel bag into the pile of grass inside the truck, then jumped inside as the waiting truck started to leave.
Alianguka kwenye majani, akawa amelala hivyohivyo kwa dakika chache. Hakuamini bahati yake! Mara alisikia anaulizwa, "Unakwenda wapi?" Alikuwa hakujitayarisha kwa swali hilo. Alitapatapa kidogo kwa dakika chache akifikiria: nakwenda wapi? Aha, nampelekea bibi dawa...He setlled into the grass, lying down for a few minutes. He couldn't believe his luck! At one point he heard someone ask, "Where are you going?" He was unprepared for this question. He struggled for a few minutes, thinking: where am I going? Aha, I'm bringing medicine to grandmother...
"Kiboriloni," alisema kwa sauti kubwa ili dereva asikie."Kiboriloni," he said loudly so that the driver could hear him.
"Hatuendi huko," dereva alijibu."We're not going there," the driver replied.
"Basi niache mahali popote tu," Prospa alisema."Then I'll get out anywhere," Prospa said.
"Mahali popote? Haya basi, shuka hapa," dereva alisema akashika breki na kusimamisha gari."Anywhere at all? OK then, get out here," the driver said, then pressed the brakes to stop the truck.
Lo! hapa ni karibu na getini palipo na askari, tena wawili.Lo! they had stopped near the gate where the guards were, two of them.
Watanitambua tu, halafu watauliza maswali. Hapana, hapana! Prospa alikaa kimya nyuma ya gari bila kusema au kufanya kitendo chochote. Alisali. Ghafla dereva aliingiza gia tena akaondoka kwa kasi.They will recognize me, then ask questions. No, no! Prospa remained silent in the back of the truck without saying or doing anything. He prayed. Suddenly the driver put the truck in gear again and quickly drove off.
Getini hawakusimamishwa. Askari aliyewaona wanaingia aliwapa ishara watoke. Dereva aliendesha gari kwa kasi katikati ya vitongoji vya mji wa Moshi. Walipofika barabara inayokwenda Arusha, kabla ya mviringo wa sanamu ya askari, Prospa aliambiwa ashuke.They weren't stopped at the gate. The guard who saw them approach gave them the signal to pass. The driver quickly drove through the neighborhoods of Moshi. When they arrived at the road leading to Arusha, before reaching the traffic circle with the statue of the soldier, Prospa was told to get out.
Saa nne kamili asubuhi, Prospa alifika kwenye kituo cha mabasi mjini Moshi.At exactly 10am, Prospa arrived at Moshi's bus station.
Sasa Prospa alijisikia salama katikati ya watu wengi: vijana, watoto, wazee, wanaume na wanawake. Alitembea katika upenyo wa vibando vidogovidogo ambavyo ni maduka ya bidhaa mchanganyiko. Alitafuta vijana wadogo waliotoka kijiji kimoja naye huko Old Moshi. Vijana hawa walifanya biashara ya kuuza peremende, biskuti na vitu vingine. Walitembeza bidhaa zao zikiwa kwenye vikapu na viboksi vidogo ambavyo ni rahisi kubeba. Waliweza kutembea mji mzima kwa miguu, lakini, mara nyingi walizunguka palapale kituoni penye watu wengi kwa pamoja. Prospa alijawa na furaha kuchanganyika katika umati huu wa watu wasiyotulia, wanaotembea huku na kule, wanaoongea kila dakika, wakinunua na kuuza vitu kila wakati.Now Prospa felt content to be among many people: youth, children, elders, men and women. He walked among the collection of small booths which were selling a mix of merchandise. He found some small youth who had come from the same village in Old Moshi. These youth were in the business of selling sweets, biscuits, and other things. They were hawking their goods in baskets and boxes that were easy to carry. They could easily walk around town by foot, but often they wandered around the bus station where many people were gathered together. Prospa was filled with happiness to be mixed in with this noisy crowd of people walking here and there, talking every minute, buying and selling things all the time.
Katika muda wa saa kadhaa aliokaa pale, Prospa alisahau hata safari ya kwenda Darisalam na umuhimu wake. Alitembea kituoni bila kuchoka, akiangalia watu, vitu madukani, magari mengi ya abiria yaliyoingia na kutoka kila mara. Prospa alishangaa jinsi mji ulivyobadilika. Ilikuwa muda mrefu tangu atembee mjini, na wakati ule vibanda vya biashara havikuwa vingi hivi. Watoto wafanya biashara alikuwa wachache zaidi. Prospa aliwaangalia na kuwaza: Hivi hawa hawaendi shule?For the several hours that he was there, Prospa forgout about his trip to Dar and its importance. He walked around the station without becoming tired, observing the people, the store items, the many buses constantly coming and going. Prospa was surprised at the way things in town had changed. It had been a long time since he had walked around town, and back then the shops didn't have all of these things. The children doing business had been fewer. Prospa watched them and thought: Do these youth not go to school?
Alikumbuka fedha zake alizoweka mfukoni wakati anaondoka nyumbani. Aliingiza mkono mfukoni haraka kuhakikisha kwamba bado zipo. Shilingi mia saba hamsini, alijiambia kimoyomoyo. Hizo hela alikuwa amezikusanya polepole kila mara alipopewa zawadi na wageni wa Dada Josefina na kumwambia akanunue biskuti au peremende ale na Merisho. Alikuwa ameazimia kununua viatu au labda shati la kuvaa krismasi akienda nyumbani kwao Old Moshi. Sasa alitamani kununua kitu chochote kitamu pale stendi. Chokoleti labda. Lakini alihisi kwamba chokoleti itakuwa bei kubwa sana. Jinsi alivyofikiria kuhusu chokoleti ndivyo alivyozidi kutamani kununua. Alishawahi kuonja kipande cha chokoleti wakati mmoja katika nyumba moja ya ofisa wa TPC. Aah, ilikuwa laini mdomoni, taamu... Mate yalimjaa mdomoni. Alihisi njaa, tumbo lake lilitoa mgurumo wa ajabu, kana kwamba simba wa Manyara amehamia mle. Hamu ya chokoleti ilikuwa kubwa na yenye kusababisha mambo ya ajabu tumboni mwake.He remembered his money that he'd placed in his bag when he left home. He quickly rummaged through the bag to ensure that it was still there. Seven hundred and fifty shillings, he told himself silently. This money had been slowly collected each time he had been given a gift by visitors to Sister Josefina and been told to buy biscuits or sweets with Merisho. He had intended to buy shoes or maybe a shirt to wear at Christmas when going to their home in Old Moshi. Now he wished to buy a few delicious things at one of the stands. Maybe chocolate. But he felt that chocolate was going to be expensive. The more he thought about the chocolate, the more he wanted to buy it. He had tasted a piece of chocolate once, in the home of a TPC official. Aah, how fine it tasted, delicious... He salivated at the thought. He felt hungry, his stomach growling as if lions from Manyara had settled there. His desire for chocolate was so great that it was giving him issues with his stomach.
Alimwendea mvulana aliyekuwa anauza chokoleti kumuuliza, "Chokoleti bei gani?"He went up to a youth selling chocolate to ask him, "How much for chocolate?"
"Mia mbili hamsini.""Two hundred and fifty."
"Yesu! Mbona ghali hivyo?" Prospa aliuliza, akishangaa. Mvulana aliondoka akmuacha Prospa amesimama."Jesus! Why so expensive?" Prospa asked, surprised. The youth left Prospa where he stood.
Prospa alimtazama yule mvulana kwa hasira, halafu alimwendea mwingine aliyekuwa amekaa kama kachoka, akamuuliza, "Chokoleti bei gani?"Prospa shot the boy an angry look, then approached another one who looked tired and asked, "What's the price for chocolate?"
"Mia mbili hamsini," alijibiwa. Prospa alijikausha, hakuonesha kushangaa hata kidogo. Aliuliza, "Biskuti?""Two hundred and fifty," came the response. Prospa kept his composure, withholding his surprise for a little while. "Biscuits?" he asked.
"Sabini." Prospa alitamani sani chokoleti lakini aligundua kwamba biskuti ni bei nafuu. Kwanza biskuti ni nyingi kwenye kasha kuliko chokoleti. Alitoa noti ya shilingi mia mfukoni, akampa mvulana, halafu akachagua boksi la biskuti."Seventy." Prospa very much desired the chocolate but knew the biscuits were a good deal. Especially since a package of biscuits contained more than a package of chocolate. He retrieved a hundred shilling note out of his bag, gave it to the youth, then took a box of biscuits.
Alifungua boksi palepale akaanza kula. Alirudishiwa haki yake akaiweka mfukoni.He opened the box right there and began to eat. His change was returned to him, which he placed inside his bag.
Prospa aliendelea kuzunguka kituoni. Alining'iniza mkoba wa nguo begani huku akila biskuti. Baada ya muda, alichoka kutembea. Alitafuta ofisi za mabasi yanayokwenda Darisalam ili aweze kukata tiketi wakati wake ukifika.Prospa continued to wander around the station. He hung his travel bag of clothes on his shoulder while eating his biscuits. After awhile, he tired of walking. He sought out the office for the buses going to Dar so that he'd have a ticket when his time came to leave.
Ghafla walikutana uso kwa uso na mzee mmoja wa kijijini kwao Old Moshi. Waliamkiana, waliulizana hali zao na zile za watu wengine nyumbani kwao. Moyo wa Prospa ulimuenda mbio. Je, atafahamu kwamba ametoroka nyumbani? Lakini mzee hakuwa na wasiwasi. Aliendeleza mazungumzo kwa kumweleza mambo mengi ya kijijini. Huyu alikuwa mzee aliyeendelea, kwani alifika mjini mara kwa mara kununua vifaa vya duka lake dogo huko kijijini. Miwsho aliuliza, "Mnakimbia miwa au nini? Jusi hapa alimuona mtoto Merisho akiwa na msichana wenu wa kasi. Leo nakuona wewe, hapahapa kituoni."Suddenly he was face to face with an elder from their village in Old Moshi. They greeted each other, asking each other about their conditions and those of the people in each other's homes. Prospa's heart beat quickly. Will he know that he'd escaped from home? But the man didn't appear concerned. He continued the conversation with explanations of many village matters. He also explained that he came to the city often in order to buy supplies for his small shop in the village. Finally he asked, "Are you all running away from sugarcane or what? The day before yesterday I saw Merisho with a girl from your place, walking quickly. Today I see you, right here at the station."
Moyo wa Prospa ulipasuka! Lo! Alihisi sawasawa! Merisho kachukuliwa Darisalam! Na huyo msichana wa kazi ni nani? Msichana wa kazi? Labda rafiki yake Sofia?Prospa's heart soared! Lo! He felt alright! Merisho had been taken to Dar! And who was this girl? A girl from work? Maybe a friend of Sofia's?
Alifananaje? Alikuwa msichana mdogo au mkubwa? Ni mwanamke? Kichwa cha Prospa kilizunguka kwa maswali ambayo hakuthubutu kumuuliza yule mzee.What did she look like? Was she small or big? A grown woman? Prospa's head swam with questions that he didn't dare ask the elder.
Mwishowe Prospa alisema, "Huyo msichana wa kazi mkaidi kweli. Alikuamkia mzee?"Finally Prospa said, "This girl from work is truly stubborn. Did she greet you?"
Alinitasama tu, akaniacha nikasungumsa na mjukuu wangu. Basi lilipokuja nikaondoka bila kumwona Mwalimu Josefina," Mzee alieleza."She just looked at me, then looked away and spoke with my grandson. The bus came and went without a sight of Teacher Josefina," the elder explained
Prospa aliitikia.Prospa acknowledged this.
Baada ya mzee huyo kuondoka, Prospa alijihisi kuwa na nguvu mpya. Alikwenda haraka katika ofisi ya Safari Trans na kuuliza, "Nauli ya kwenda Darisalam ni shilingi ngapi?"After the elder had left, Prospa felt newly strong. He went quickly to the Safari Trans office and asked, "How many shillings is the fee to go to Dar?"
"Elfu moja mia nane. Zimebaki siti mbili tu za nyuma," aliambiwa."One thousand eight hundred. There are two seats left in the back," he was told.
Prospa alishtuka. Elfu moja mia nane! Alitoka nje haraka sana, akiwaza, "Nitatoa wapi nauli kubwa kiasi hicho!" Alipata Wazo: treni! Nauli ya treni itakuwa nafuu kuliko basi. Atakwenda kwa treni, Prospa aliamua. Alimuuliza kijana mmoja saa za kuondoka za treni ya Darisalam. Kijana alimtazama kwa mshangao, halafu akacheka na kumwambia kwa kejeli, "Nenda kalale pale stesheni mpaka Jumapili treni itakapoondoka," halafu alikwenda zake.Prospa was shocked. One thousand eight hundred! He rushed outside, thinking, "Where I will get money to pay for such a high fare!" A thought came to him: the train! Train fare would be a better deal than bus fare. He would go by train, Prospa decided. He asked a youth for the time at which the train to Dar would leave. The youth looked at him with surprise, then laughed and told him sarcastically, "Go sleep in the station until Sunday, the train leaves then," then walked away.
Atafanya nini? Hawezi kurudi TPC hata kidogo. "Siwezi. Siwezi. Lazima niondoke leo," Prospa alijipa moyo.What would he do? He couldn't return to TPC for awhile. "I can't. I can't. I must leave today," Prospa reminded himself.
Sasa, raha yote ilimtoka. Alihisi jua ni kali zaidi. Alijaribu kufikiria, kubuni mbinu za kupata fedha, lakini akili ilimsaliti. Ilikataa katu kufanya kazi.Now all happiness left him. The sun felt hotter. He tried to think, to devise a plan to get money, but his wits failed him. They failed to work at all.
Baada ya muda alikata shauri kuondoka na basi lolote lile. Alifahamu kwamba itabidi afanye kila njia aingie ndani ya basi bila kuonekana.After some time he decided to leave on any bus at all. He knew that he would need to do everything he could to enter the bus without being seen.
Prospa aliamua kufanya hivyo, ingawa hakujua angetumia mbinu gani kufanikiwa.Prospa had made his decision, but he had no idea what plan he would use to succeed.

Sura ya sita

Chapter Six

Mabasi ya kwenda Darisalam yanaanza kuingia kituoni tangu saa kumi jioni na kuendelea. Yakiingia tu, hekaheka zinaanza. Watu wanasimama, wanaanza kukusanya mizigo yao pamoja, wanatembea huku na kule, wanatafuta wasaidizi wa kupakia mizigo na kadhalika. Wale ambao hawaendi na basi hilo wanakaa tu, lakini kwa wasiwasi zaidi, kwani mizigo yao maweza kuibwa. Wakati mwingine yanaingia mabasi mawili au matatu mara moja. Sasa hapo panakuwa na fujo.The buses going to Dar started to arrive at the station at 4pm. As soon as they entered, a scramble began. Everyone standing began to gather their luggage together, walk here and there, look for others to help with loading their baggage, and so on. Those who weren't going on a particular bus remained where they were, but with increased concern, since their baggage could be stolen. Sometimes two or three buses entered at once. When this occured, there was chaos.
Katika hekaheka hizo, Prospa alimwona mama mmoja, umri kama wa dada yake, anaharakisha kupanda kwenye basi akiwa na mizigo pamoja na watoto wadogo. Prospa alimtazama anavyohangaika kubeba mizigo huku watoto wanalia, akapata wazo. Alimwendea yule mama akamwambia, "Nikusaidie mizigo mama? Naona unahangaika sana."Amidst this scramble, Prospa saw a mama, who looked to be the same age as his sister, hurrying to board a bus along with her luggage and small children. Prospa noticed how anxious she was as she carried the bags while her children cried, and a thought came to him. He approached the mama and said to her, "Shall I help with your baggage mama? I see that you're very stressed."
"Sina pesa," yule mama alisema."I have no money," the mama said.
"Nitakusaidia bure tu," Prospa alimwambia."I will help you for free," Prospa told her.
"Lo, asante ndugu yangu. Usipoangalia mizigo itaibwa hivi hivi," yule mama alisema. "Nisaidie huyu mtoto.""Lo, thank you my brother. Watch my bags to ensure they aren't stolen," the mama said. "I better help my child here."
Prospa alimwambia, "Hapana. We kaa na watoto nikusaidie mizigo."Prospa said to her, "No. You stay here with the children while I help with your bags.
Prospa alimpa yule mama mkoba wake mwepesi auchunge, halafu alianza kushughulikia mizigo. Alianza kubeba gunia dogo, akagundua kwamba lilikuwa zito kama jiwe. Alijaribu kuliweka kichwani akashindwa. Aliomba mtu aliyekuwa karibu naye amsaidie ili waweze kumpa kondakta. Kisha, alibeba sanduku, akampa kondakta. Prospa alijihisi shingo kukatika, akasikia maumivu makali katika mishipa ya shingo. Miguu ikawa haina nguvu, lakini alijikaza. Alipomaliza, alipokea mkoba wake kutoka kwa yule mama, akamshika mkono mtoto aliyeweza kutembea, wakaingia ndani ya basi.Prospa quickly gave the mama his travel bag to look after, then started to busy himself with her luggage. He attempted to carry a small sack, and was surprised to find that it weighed as much as him. He tried to place it on his head but failed. He called out to someone nearby for assistance in giving the bag to the conductor. In this way, he was able to carry the sack and give it to the conductor. Prospa felt his neck twist, then felt sharp pains in the nerves of his neck. His legs felt weak, but he held steady. He finished with the bags, took the arm of one of the children, and walked onto the bus.
Prospa na yule mama walikaa kwenye kiti kirefu cha mwisho. Mama yule alimshukuru Prospa na kumuuliza, "Siti yako iko wapi?"Prospa and the mama sat down in a tall chair at the back. The mama thanked Prospa and asked, "Where's your seat?"
Prospa alimjibu, "Nakaa hapahapa."Prospa replied, "I'm sitting right here."
Wasafiri wengi walikaa nje wakati mizigo ikipakiwa. Waliingia ndani ya gari dereva alipoanza kupiga gari moto.Many passengers stayed outside while their bags were loaded. When they were all inside the bus, the driver started the engine.
Saa kumi na mbili na nusu, Rundugai Bus Service alimokuwa Prospa, iliondoka kituoni Moshi kuelekea Darisalam.At 6:30pm, Rundugai Bus Service left Moshi station for Dar with Prospa onboard.
Wasafiri waliopanda dakika za mwisho waliendelea kutafuta mahali pa kukaa kwani wenye tiketi walikuwa wengi kuliko viti, kwa hiyo ilibidi wasafiri wengine wasimame. Kila mtu alikuwa akiongea, wengine kwa sauti kubwa, hivyo kulikuwa na kelele nyingi ndani ya basi.Those passengers who had boarded in the final minutes continued to search for a place to sit, for there were more people with tickets than seats, and it was thus necessary for some travellers to stand. Each person was talking, some loudly, so it was extremely loud inside the bus.
Prospa alijihisi mwenye furaha nyingi kwa sababu ya ushindi alioupata katika hatua hii kubwa itakayofanikisha safari hii ya hatari. Lakini hakuonesha furaha hiyo. Alinyamaza kimya, akiangalia nje. Aliona jinsi gari linavyokata mwendo kwenda mbele wakati kila kitu nje kilirudi nyuma kwa kasi ileile.Prospa felt incredibly happy with his victory in taking this successful big step on his bold journey. But he didn't show this happiness. He remained silent, looking outside. He noticed the way the bus moved so quickly that everything outside was soon behind them.
Walipofika sehemu inayoitwa Uchira, basi ilisimama. Prospa alielewa kinachotokea kwa kusikia malalamiko ya mama mwenye watoto kwamba basi bado linaendelea kupakia mizigo.They arrived at a place called Uchira, where the bus stopped. Propsa understood from listening to the complaints of the mama with children that the bus was loading still more luggage.
Giza jembamba lilianza kuingia na kufunika ardhi kama mtandio.Gradually darkness began to fall and cover the land like a veil.
Dereva alipoondoka Uchira aliongeza mwendo. Wasafiri walikuwa bado wanaongea kwa sauti kubwa wakielezana matukio mbalimbali. Basi lilipofika Kileo halikusimama.The driver left Uchira and increased his speed. The passengers were still talking loudly, discussing various events. The bus passed through Kileo without stopping.
Kondakta alianza kuongea kwa sauti kubwa kuliko zote akisema, "Haya, haya, haya, tayarisheni tikti."The conductor started to yell over everyone, "Alright, alright, alright, everyone get your tickets ready."
Prospa alishangaa. Mapigo ya moyo kifuani mwake yakawa na nguvu zaidi. Kumbe wanakagua tiketi baada ya kupanda basi! Ingekuwa giza ndani ya basi, labda angeweza kujificha chini ya kiti, lakini taa ziliwaka, zikatoa mwanga kama wa saa sita mchana wakati wa kiangazi.Prospa was shocked. His heart beat quickly inside his chest. They're checking tickets after boarding the bus! It would be dark inside the bus, maybe he could hide under the seat, but when the lights were turned on, they would shine down on him as if it were noon on a summer day.
Prospa alitazama dirisha, akaona kwamba hangeweza kupita kama akiamua kurukia nje. Labda watamwonea huruma wamwachie tu, alijifariji.Prospa looked out the window, and saw that he wouldn't die if he decided to jump out. Maybe they would take pity on him and just let him go, he comforted himself.
Wazo lilimjia mara moja, akamwambia mama mwenye watoto, "Unajua, tiketi yangu ilipotea nilipokuwa napakia mizigo yako. Naitafuta mfukoni siioni." Prospa aliendelea kujipapasa na kuingiza mikono mifukoni.All of a sudden a thought came to him, and he turned to the mama with children to say, "You know, my ticket was lost when I was loading your luggage. I'm looking for it in my bag but I don't see it." Prospa continued to feel around and search his bag with his hands.
"Kweli?" Mama mwenye watoto alishtuka. "Mbona sikuona tiketi yoyote ikidondoka na mimi nilikuwa nakuangalia wakati wote?""Really?" the mama said with surprise. "Why didn't I see any ticket fall out while I was watching you the whole time?"
"Sijui sasa," Prospa alisema."I don't know," Prospa said.
Kondakta alikuwa amefika katikati ya basi.The conductor had arrived at the middle of the bus.
Kifuani mwa Prospa moyo uligonga dum, dum, dum kama ngoma. Mambo haya yote yalikuwa mapya kwake lakini afanyeje? Ilimbidi aondoke TPC akamtafute Merisho hadi ampate, kwa hiyo, yatakayomtokea na yawe tu. Hakuweza kupata mawazo mapya ya kujitoa katika janga la tiketi. Tiketi imepotea, alijiambia kimoyomoyo tena na tena. Tiketi imepotea, tiketi imepotea.In his chest Prospa's heart beat dum, dum, dum like a drum. All of these issues were new to him but what else could he have done? It had been necessary to leave TPC in search of Merisho until he found him, therefore these problems would just keep happening to him. He was unable to think of a new way to get himself out of the ticket mess. The ticket has been lost, he told himself silently, over and over again. The ticket has been lost, the ticket has been lost.
Alianza kumfikiria Merisho badala ya tiketi. Mapigo ya moyo yakapungua nguvu. Kondakta alipomfikia mawazo yake yalikuwa mbali.He started to think about Merisho instead of the ticket. The beating of his heart slowed. When the conductor arrived at him his thoughts were far away.
"We mvulana, leta tikti," kondakta alisema."You young man, bring me your ticket," the conductor said.
Prospa alijitia kushtuka na kuanza kutafuta tiketi mfukoni huku akisema, "Ha! siioni. Ilianguka nilipokuwa napakia mizigo kwenye gari. Laizma!"Prospa began to shake as he searched his bag for the ticket while saying, "Ha! I don't see it. It fell out when I was loading bags onto the bus. It must have!"
"Acha uhuni wako hapa. Leta hiyo tikti mara moja.""Quit your ridiculousness right now. Give me your ticket at once."
Mama mwenye watoto alisema, "Ni kweli jamani. Alinisaidia kupakia mizigo. Bila shaka tiketi yake ilanguka wakati huo."The mama with children said, "It's true brother. He was helping me load my baggage. His ticket undoubtedly fell out then."
"Mlipie basi," kondakta alisema, huku akiendelea kukagua zingine."Pay for it then," the conductor said, then continued to check other passengers.
"Tafuta hiyo tikti bwana mdogo, bila hivyo tutakufanyia unyama sisi," kondakta alimwambia Prospa."Look for your ticket young man, we will be harsh to you without it," the conductor said to Prospa.
Dereva alisikia mazungumzo haya akasema kwa sauti, "Asiye na tikti ashushwe. Rundugai siyo mama huruma."The driver listened to this exchange and said loudly, "Without a ticket you will be kicked out. Rundugai is no sympathetic mother."
Kondakta alipomrudia Prospa baada ya kukagua tikti za watu wote, Prospa alikuwa hana la kusema isipokuwa, "Imepotea. Imepotea kweli, sidanganyi mimi. Tiketi imepotea..."When the conductor returned for Prospa after checking everyone's tickets, Prospa had nothing to say except, "It's lost. It's really lost, I'm not lying. The ticket is lost..."
Msafari mmoja alisema, "Mshushe huyo, ni mmoja wa vibaka wanaoingia kwenye magari kutuibia."One passenger said, "Kick him out, he's one of those thieves who sneak into buses to steal from us."
Mara moja zogo lilizuka. Watu walianza tena kuongea kwa kelele na wote kwa pamoja, kila mtu akisema lake. Watu wakawa hawasikilizani. Wengine wakaanza ugomvi.At once a commotion sprang up. People again began to talk loudly all at once, everyone speaking their mind. People continued without listening to each other. Others started arguments.
Sauti moja ilitoka katika hili zogo la maneno ikasema, "Tumchangie pesa kidogokidogo apate nauli."One voice rose above the commotion to say, "We should all donate a little money for his fare."
Watu waliendelea kubishana na kuongea. Sasa jambo lilikuwa ni pesa. Hakuna hata mmoja aliyejitolea isipokuwa mama mwenye watoto. Yeye alimpa Prospa shilingi mia mbili. Prospa alipokea. Macho yake tu ndiyo yaliyoonesha shukrani, ingawa hakusema neno lolote.Everyone continued to argue and discuss. Now the issue involved money. There wasn't a single person volunteering except the mama with children. She gave Prospa two hundred shillings. Prospa accepted. His eyes showed his apprecation, even though he said not a word.
Msafiri mwingine alisema, "Nimpe pesa ya nini wala sijui anakokwenda."One passenger said, "I would give him money but I don't know where he's going."
Mwingine aliuliza, "Wewe unakwenda wapi?"Another asked, "Where are you going?"
"Darisalam," Prospa alijibu."Dar es Salaam," Prospa replied.
"Kufanya nini?" mwingine alisema."To do what?" another said.
"Kumtafuta mtoto wa dada yangu aliyepotea," Prospa alisema kwa unyonge."To find my sister's lost child," Prospa said miserably.
Basi zima lilicheka. Wengine kwa muda mrefu. Papohapo wakaanza mazungumzo kuhusu ujanja wa vijana wa leo. Lakini yule mama mwenye watoto alimuonea huruma. Alimtazama Prospa kana kwamba amamuona kwa mara ya kwanza. Alimuuliza, "Ilikuwaje?"The entire bus laughed. Some for a long time. They immediately began conversing about the cleverness of today's youth. But the mama with children felt sympathy for him. She looked at Prospa as if seeing him for the first time. She asked him, "How did it happen?"
Prospa hakuweza kumjibu. Hakutaka watu wamsikie halafu waanze tena kucheka. Aliangalia nje, koo lake likiwa limebanwa na kitu kichungu kilichomfanya atake kulia.Prospa couldn't respond. He didn't want people to hear him and then start laughing again. He stared outside, his throat tight with pain that made him want to cry.
Mama mwenye watoto alimwambia, "Usiwe na wasiwasi. Utampata tu, waliomchukua siyo watu wa mbali."The mama with children said to him, "Don't worry. You'll get him back, the people who took him can't be far away."
Prospa alimtazama, akanyamaza.Prospa looked at her but said nothing.
Walipofika Kisangara, dereva alisimamisha gari na kusema, "Kijana, tunakushusha hapa. CCM itakusaidia ikufikishe Darisalam kwa ndugu yako."When they arrived at Kisangara, the driver stopped the bus and said, "Young man, we are kicking you out here. CCM will help you get to your brother in Dar."
Hapa na pale ndani ya basi wasafiri walilalamika na kusema kwamba huo ni unyama. Mzee mmoja alisimama akaongea muda akisisitiza kwamba haiwezekani kabisa kumuacha mtoto mdogo kama huyo barabarani, tena usiku. Kwamba Mungu atamwadhibu mtu yeyote atakayefanya hivyo. "Kweli nawaambia, kabisa, Mungu hatasamehe dhambi hiyo," mzee alimalizia.Here and there inside the bus passengers complained and said that this was a travesty. One man stood to speak for awhile, insisting that it was completely impossible to leave a small child like this on the road, especially at night. That God would punish anyone who did such a thing. "Truly I say to you, God will not forgive this sin," the man finished.
Dereva alisema, "Mzee, kwa heshima yako mlipie huyo mtoto shilingi elfu moja tu. Zingine tunamsaheme."The driver said, "Sir, with all due respect to you, pay just one thousand shillings on the child's behalf. The rest we will forgive."
Mzee alisema, "Nakwenda Darisalam kwa mwanangu Yosua. Si unamfahamu? Nikifika Darisalam Yosua atalipa hiyo elfu moja."The man said, "I'm going to Dar es Salaam to meet my son Yosua. Don't you know him? When I arrive in Dar Yosua will pay one thousand."
Kondakta hakuwa tena na subira. Alimshika Prospa mkono kwa fujo na kumshusha. Alipokuwa nje ya basi kondakta alimwambia, "Ofisi ya CCM ile palee." Alimwonesha kwa kidole huku akiingia ndani ya basi. Watu waliendelea kulalamika na kulaani, lakini basi halikusimama.The conductor lost his patience. He seized Prospa by the arm and roughly led him off the bus. Outside the bus, the conductor told him, "The CCM office is there." He pointed with his finger as he returned inside the bus. People continued to complain and curse, but the bus didn't stay any longer.

Sura ya saba

Chapter Seven

Saa mbili na nusu usiku Prospa alijikuta mahali pageni kabisa pasipo na ndugu wala rafiki wala jirani. Mwanga Kisangara. Alisimama mahali pamoja kwa muda mrefu akitazama basi likitokomea gizani.At 8:30 at night Prospa found himself in a completely unknown place without relatives, friends, or neighbors. Mwanga Kisangara. He stood there for a long time watching the bus disappear into the darkness.
Alijihisi kulegea miguu. Uchovu ulimwelemea mwili mzima. Akatazama huku na kule akitafuta mahali pa kukaa. Kando, kushoto kwake aliona mapipa yaliyokwisha tolewa lami yamelundikwa sehemu moja. Akatembea polepole, akatengeneza pipa moja vizuri ili lisiviringike, akakaa. Mbele yake, ng'ambo ya barabara aliona ofisi ya CCM. Jengo dogo liliopakwa rangi nyeupe, milango na madirisha yamefungwa. Kulia kwake kulikuwa na hoteli ndogo. Nje ya hoteli, kijana mdogo kama yeye alikuwa anachoma mishikaki.His feet felt tired. Fatigue weighed on his whole body. He looked here and there in search of a place to sit. Beside him, on his right he saw some barrels that had been piled up in one place on the pavement. He walked over slowly, prepared one of the barrels so that it wouldn't roll, and sat on it. In front of him, on the other side of the road he saw the CCM office. It was a small building painted white, with its doors and windows closed up. On his right was a small hotel. Outside the hotel, a youth his age was roasting kebabs.
Prospa aliketi juu ya pipa kwa muda mrefu. Alihisi donge kavu kooni mwake. Alijaribu sana kufikiria la kufanya, lakini kila mara akili yake ilimwambia kwamba alishakata shauri kumtafuta Merisho hadi ampate. Agh, donge kavu la kooni lilizidi kumuumiza. Alijaribu kumeza mate ili apunguze maumivu. Alijikaza. Alipoona karibu aanze kutoa kilio, alijisema kwa sauti ya chini chini, "Sitalia, sitaogopa, sitalia, sitaogopa, sitalia, sitaogopa, sitalia, sitaogopa."Prospa sat atop the barrel for a long time. His throat felt like a dry lump. He tried hard to think of what to do, but each time his mind reminded him that he had already decided to look for Merisho until he got him back. Agh, the dry lump in his throat was starting to hurt him. He tried to swallow so as to relieve the pain. It worked. When it seemed like he was about to cry, he told himself very quitely, "I won't cry, I won't be afraid, I won't cry, I won't be afraid..."
Katika sehemu zilizokuwa na giza, sehemu ambazo hazikumulikwa na mwanga hafifu wa taa, Prospa aliona maumbo ya ajabu na yenye kutisha. Aliacha kuangalia gizana akawa anatazama sehemu zilizomulikwa na taa.In the darkened areas, those parts not illuminated by weak lamp light, Prospa saw shapes that surprised and frightened him. He stopped looking into the darkness and focused instead on the illuminated areas.
Harafu nzuri ya nyama ya kuchoma ilipeperushwa na upepo, ikamjaa puani. Ikatoa mawazo yake kwenye maumbo ya kutisha ya gizani, akaanza kufikiria chakula. Alihisi njaa kali, tumbo likanguruma.The good scent of roasted meat was carried to him by the wind, filling his nose. It reminded him of his thoughts about the scary shapes in the darkness; he began to think about food instead. He felt extremely hungry, his stomach rumbling.
Ghafla walitokea wanaume watatu upande wake wa kushoto. Prospa alifikiria kwamba wangeweza kumpiga au kumfukuza. Aliogopa. Alijisema tena mwenyewe kimoyomoyo, "Sitaogopa, sitaogopa, sitaogopa." Moyo ulimdunda kifuani hadi akausikia masikioni.Suddenly three men appeared to his left. Prospa considered that they would hit him or chase him away. He was afraid. He again told himself quietly, "I won't be afraid, I won't be afraid, I won't be afraid." His heart beat so hard in his chest that he could hear it in his ears.
Wanaume wale walipita karibu naye kabisa lakini hawakumjali. Labda hata hawakumwona. Waliingia hotelini. Prospa alipoona hivyo aliishiwa na wasiwasi akajua kwamba hakuna watu watakaojali kumuuliza na kwa nini yuko nje saa hizi usiku na anafanya nini pale.The man passed right by him without paying him any mind. Maybe they hadn't seen him. They entered the hotel. When Prospa saw this he stopped worrying, knowing that there was no one who cared to ask why he was outside at this hour of the night and what he was doing there.
"Nasikia njaa," Prospa alijiambia. Alianza kujizungumzia kwa sauti, kwani aligundua kuwa akifanya hivyo alikuwa kama anazungumza na mtu mwingine karibu naye. "Nitakula chakula kwenye hoteli ile, halafu nitatafuta mahali pa kulala.""I'm feeling hungry," Prospa told himself. He started to talk to himself, then was startled to be doing this as if he was talking with someone next to him. "I will eat at the hotel there, then look for a place to sleep."
Alining'iniza mkoba wake begani akatembea kuelekea hotelini. Alitamani sana ile nyama ya kuchoma, lakini hakuuliza bei yake. Aliingia hotelini, akakaa karibu na mlango. Wale wanaume watatu walikuwa wanakula huku wakiongea kwa sauti ya juu.He slung his bag over his shoulder and walked towards the hotel. He very much desired the meat being roasted there, but he hadn't yet asked for its price. He entered the hotel, staying near the door. The three men were there talking with each other in loud voices.
Ugali ng'ombe shilingi 100Beef ugali 100 shillings
Wali ng'ombe shilingi 150Rice and beef 150 shillings
Ugali maharage shilingi 75Ugali and beans 75 shillings
Prospa alisoma kwenye ubao alioning'inia ukutani kama ule wa darasani kwao kule TPC. Ugali ng'ombe? Ah, Mustafa angekuwa hapa tungecheka kwelikweli.Prospa read the board hanging from the wall like those in the classrooms at TPC. Beef ugali? Ah, if Mustafa were here we would be laughing for sure.
Aliagiza wali na nyama.He ordered rice with meat.
Kijana alimletea chakula, wali mkono mmoja na mchuzi mkono mwingine. Alitumbukiza dole gumba lake kwenye mchuzi. Akamwekea mezani bila kumkaribisha. Prospa angefanya hivi, Dada Josefina angemchapa kabisa na kumwambia kwamba yeye ni mchafu na hana adabu. Hakulalamika. Alikula chakula chake bila neno. Alikula haraka. Hakushiba, lakini aliogopa kusema aongezewe. Alitamani sana kukaa palepale hotelini awasikilize watu wakiongea ingawa alielewa ile lugha kidogo sana.A youth brought him his food, rice in one hand and sauce in the other. He had his thumb in the sauce, and placed the food on the table for him without welcoming him. Prospa would do this, and sister Josefina would hit him hard and tell him he was dirty and lacked manners. He didn't complain. He ate his food without a word. He ate quickly. He wasn't full, but he was afraid to ask for more. He wanted very much to stay there in the hotel and listen to the men as they conversed, even though he understood little of their language.
Alipotoka nje, Prospa hakujua aende wapi. Azungumze na nani amwombe mahali pa kulala? Yule mtoto aliyekuwa akichoma mishikaki alishaondoka. Atembee kuelekea wapi? Aliogopa kupotea katika giza, ajikute tena mahali pageni zaidi, mbali na barabara itakayomfikisha Darisalam.When he was outside, Prospa didn't know where he should go. With whom should he talk to ask for a place to sleep? The child who had been roasting kebabs had already left. In what direction should he walk? He was afraid of getting lost in the dark, that he would end up in an even stranger place, far from the road that would take him to Dar.
Prospa alirudi kwenye mapipa ya lami, akakaa. Alisema, "Merisho, Merisho, tutaonana eh." Alijaribu kuongea, lakini hata mambo ya kuongea yalikuwa yamekwisha kichwani mwake. Wakati mwingine akili yake ilikataa kufanya kile alichotaka kufanya.Prospa returned to the barrels on the pavement, and sat down. He said, "Merisho, Merisho, we will meet." He tried to talk, but the issue of talking was finished in his mind. Sometimes his mind refused to do that which he wanted it to do.
Alijisikia amechoka kupita kiasi. Aliona nafasi kati ya mapipa mawili iliyofichika pande tatu. Aliingia kwenye nafasi hiyo, akaweka mkoba wake chini, mwishoni mwa pembe iliyofichika akajilaza kwenye vumbi. Aliweka kichwa chake juu ya mkoba akautumia kama mto. Palikuwa na joto zuri. Muda si mrefu, Prospa alilala fofofo.He felt more tired than usual. He saw a space between two barrels hidden among three. He crawled into this space, placed his bag on the ground at the end of the hiding place, then laid himself down in the dust. He placed his head on his bag, using it as a pillow. The place was nice and warm. After a short time, Prospa fell sound asleep.

Sura ya nane

Chapter Eight

Prospa aliamshwa na baridi ya asubuhi. Alipofungua macho, mji ulikuwa bado umelala. Hakuona mtu wala hakusikia kelele. Alijisikia mvivu na mchovu, akatamani kuendelea kulala lakini alipokumbuka mahali alipo aliamka haraka. Alijipangusa vumbi, akapangusa mkoba wake halafu akauning'iniza begani. Saa ngapi? alijuliza. Alijipangusa uso ili kutoa uchafu machoni, akaelekea barabarani.Prospa was awoken by the morning cold. When he opened his eyes, the town was still sleeping. He saw no one, nor heard a sound. He felt lazy and exhausted, and he wanted to continue sleeping, but when he remembered where he was he rose quickly. He wiped the dust off himself, then wiped the dust off his bag and slung it over his shoulder. What time is it? he asked himself. He wiped his face so as to clear the dirt from his eyes, then walked towards the road.
Aliamua kutembea. Alijiambia kwamba Darisalam haiwezi kuwa mbali sana. Asubuhi, wakati jua halijawa kali, atakimbia. Yeye aliwahi kushiriki katika mashindano shule yake kijijini Old Moshi kabla hajaenda TPC kuishi na dada yake.He decided to walk. He told himself that Dar couldn't be very far. In the morning, when the sun wasn't yet hot, he would run. He used to participate in races at his school in Old Moshi before he moved to TPC to live with his sister.
Prospa alitembea katikati ya barabara. Kabla hajafika mbali aliona taa za gari mbele yake, akaipisha gari lakini akarudi tena barabarani. Mara aliskia honi kali nyuma yake, akaondoka tena barabarani. Akatambua kwamba barabara hiyo ina magari saa zote, akatembea kandokando ya barabara.Prospa walked in the middle of the road. Before long he saw the lights of a vehicle in front of him, so he let it pass before continuing to walk in the road. Then he heard a horn behind him, and he again left the road. He realized that this road was trafficked at all hours, so he walked alongside the road instead.
Aliamini kwamba Darisalam haiwezi kuwa mbali sana. Imani hiyo ilimpa nguvu, akawa anakimbia akijishangilia mwenyewe kama amabvyo mtangazaji wa redio hufanya wakati wa michezo. Baada ya kukimbia kwa muda hakuona tena nyumba. Pande zote za barabara zilikuwa tupu, uwazi usiyokuwa na msitu. Vichaka vilionekana hapa na pale. Alikimbia kwa nguvu zaidi. Ingawa sasa nchi ilishakuwa na mwanga, Prospa alianza kuona woga. Mbona hakutani na mtu yeyote? Hakuna watu wanoishi huku?He believed that Dar couldn't be far away. This faith gave him strength, and he began running, cheering himself on the way radio announcers do during games. After running for some time, he no longer saw any homes. Every area around the road was bare, lacking even trees. Bushes could be seen here and there. He ran faster. Even though the land was illuminated, Prospa began to worry. Why hadn't he seen anyone at all? Was there no one who lived here?
"Merisho. Kwa nini ulipotea?" aliuliza kwa sauti kubwa. Alitamani kusikia sauti ya binadamu. Alifurahi alipoona gari barabarani, akatamani lingekuwa linaenda polepole zaidi. Labda angeomba lifti. Alianza kuona shamba la mkonge, akajua kwamba lazima kuna watu wanaolima huo mkonge. Angeona watu, asingeogopa. Alitembea sana, sehemu ndefu akiona mkonge tu, pande zote mbili za barabara."Merisho. Why did you disappear?" he asked loudly. He wanted to hear the sounds of humanity. He was happy when he saw a vehicle on the road, he hoped it would slow down for him. Maybe he would ask for a lift. He started to see a sisal farm, and knew that there must be people farming this sisal. If he saw people, he wouldn't be afraid. He walked for a long time seeing only sisal on both sides of the road.
Alishaanza kupumua kwa nguvu na kutoa jasho wakati alipoona maskani ya watu. Aliona nyumba ndogondogo za udongo zilizoezekwa kwa majani yaliyokauka. Nyumba nyingine zilizungushiwa uzio wa mianzi michanga.He was already breathing hard and sweating when he spotted someone's residence. He saw tiny clay houses covered with dried grass. Other houses were surrounded by fences of bamboo saplings.
Alipunguza mwendo. Hakukimbia. Alitamani kuona mtu, hasa mtoto kama yeye aongee naye, lakini hakuona mtu ye yote.He slowed down, no longer running. He hoped to see someone, especially a child his age who would talk with him, but he didn't see anyone at all.
Kila alipoendelea kutembea, nchi ilibadilika, ikawa kijani zaidi. Alianza kuona miembe. Upande wa kushoto kulikokuwa na vilima, watu walilima mashamba yao katika mitelemko mikali ya vilima. Hapa na pale, Prospa aliona viraka vya vichaka vya migomba na mahindi.As he continued to walk, the landscape changed; it was greener, with more plants. He started to see mango trees. The area to the left was hilly, the people working their land in the steep slopes of the hills. Here and there, Prospa saw clumps of banana and maize plants.
Bonde lililala zaidi upande wa kulia wa barabara. Bonde tupu lisilokuwa na mimea isipokuwa vichaka vilivyoashiria ukame. Hapa na pale, mbali kutoka barabarani, nyumba mbili au tatu zilionekana. Zilikaa pamoja kama watoto walioachwa peke yao kwenye baridi ya asubuhi.On the right side of the road, the valley was getting deeper. The empty valley was devoid of plants except shrubs, indicating a drought. Here and there, far from the road, two or three houses could be seen. They were grouped together like children who had been left out in the morning cold.
Prospa alianza kuchoka. Mbona hafiki? Darisalam iko wapi? Merisho yuko wapi? Alisikia tena sauti ya Merisho ikimwita, "Proo. Prospa, njoo uone." Akilini mwake aliona Merisho akimwonesha mnyoo, huku akicheka na kumwambia, "Hebu, ona unavyofanya."Prospa started to get tired. Why hadn't he arrived? Where was Dar? Where was Merisho? Once again he heard Merisho calling, "Proo. Prospa, come and see." In his mind he saw Merisho showing him a worm, laughing and saying to him, "Hey, look how it moves."
Alikaza mwendo. Wimbo ulimjia kichwani, akaanza kuimba huku akikimbia kufuatia mapigo ya wimbo.He picked up his pace. A song popped into his head, and he started to sing while running to its rhythm.
Kioo, kiooMirror, mirror
Alikivunja naniWho has broken it
Sijui, sijuiI don't know, I don't know
Wa mwisho akamatweMay they eventually be arrested
Atiwe gerezaniAnd imprisoned
Heeeeeee.Heeeeeee.
Alipoimba "Heee" alikimbia kwa nguvu zaidi kwamba anakimbia asikamatwe. Alirudia kuimba huu wimbo mara nyingi hata uchovu ukamtoka.When he sang "Heee" he ran harder as if to avoid being arrested himself. He continued to sing this song many times until he ran out of energy.
Prospa alisimama alipoona watoto watatu wa kiume wa umri wake. Hawakuwa mbali kutoka barabarani. Walikuwa wanachoma mkaa. Prospa alifurahi sana kuwaona. Aliwaendea wale watoto. Alipowafikia, alisimama akawaangalia wanavyofanya kazi. Nao walipoona hazungumzi, waliacha kazi wakasimama wakamtazama. Walianza kumzungumzia Prospa kwa Kipare.Prospa stopped when he saw three boys his age. They weren't far from the road. They were burning charcoal. He headed over towards them. When he reached them, he stopped to watch them work. When they saw him standing there silently, they stopped their work and stood to look at him. They started to speak with Prospa in Kipare.
Ingawa Prospa alielewa kidogo, alisema "Sijui Kipare."Although Prospa understood a little, he said, "I don't know Kipare."
Wakatazamana na kucheka. Wakaongea wenyewe kwa wenyewe.They looked at each other and laughed, then talked amongst themselves.
"Mnafanya nini?" Prospa aliwauliza."What are you all doing?" Prospa asked them.
Wakatazamana tena. Mmoja wao akasema, "Huoni?"They looked at each other again. One of them said, "Don't you see?"
Mwingine akasema, "Tunachoma mkaa."Another said, "We're burning charcoal."
Prospa alinyamaza kwa muda. Alitamani kuongea Kipare kama Mama Joni wa TPC. Mama Joni ni Mpare aliyetoka Same. Alimwita Dada Josefina mtani na kila siku alijaribu kumfundisha Dada Josefina Kipare.Prospa was silent for some time. He wished he could speak Kipare like Mama Joni of TPC. Mama Joni was a Pare from Same. She was friends with Sister Josefina and every day tried to teach her Kipare.
"Nakwenda Darisalam," Prospa alisema ghafla. "Mtoto wa dada aliibwa, nakwenda kumtafuta nimrudishe nyumbani.""I'm going to Dar," Prospa said suddenly. "My sister's child was taken, I'm going to search for him and bring him back home."
Wale watoto walitazamana tena. Wakaongea Kipare, halafu mmoja akauliza. "Unatoka wapi?"The children looked at teach other again. They speak with each other in Kipare, then one of them spoke up. "Where are you from?"
"Moshi," Prospa alijibu akiwaza, "Ningefahamu Kipare, ningewafaidi kweli.""Moshi," Prospa replied, thinking, "If I understood Kipare, I would really get to know them well."
"Moshi?" waliuliza kwa mshangao. Wakaongea Kipare kwa muda mrefu. Wakaanza kubishana. Mwishowe, mmoja wao akasema, "Huwezi kufika Darisalam.""Moshi?" they asked with surprise. They spoke with each other in Kipare for a long time. Then they started to argue. Finally, one of them said, "You can't reach Darisalam."
"Kwa nini?" Prospa aliuliza."Why?" Prospa asked.
Mwingine akamwambia aliyekuwa amezungumza, "Hujui, hujui Darisalam."One of the others who had been conversing told his friend, "You don't know, you don't know Dar."
"Najua, najua, najua," alisema mtoto aliyeongea kwanza."I know, I know, I know," said the child who had spoken first.
Prospa alisema, "Naomba chakula. Nasikia njaa," halafu akakaa chini kwenye majani.Prospa said, "I would like some food. I feel hungry," then sat down in the grass.
Wote watatu walisita. Prospa aliwatazama kwa kuwakazia macho. Jua lilikuwa kali. Prospa alihisi joto kali miguuni, akavua raba alizokuwa amevaa. Wale wavulana watatu wakazitazama raba za Prospa kwa matamanio. Prospa akazivaa tena. Wakacheka.All three of them paused. Prospa stared at them. The sun was hot. Prospa's feet were extremely hot, so he took off the sneakers that he was wearing. The three youth looked at Prospa's sneakers enviously. Prospa put them back on again, and they laughed.
Walianza tena kuongea Kipare kama vile Prospa hakuwa nao. Prospa alikaa akiwatazama kwa muda mrefu. Alihisi kiu na njaa kali. Jinsi alivyozidi kufikiria kiu na njaa, ndivyo haja hiyo ilivyoongezeka. Alisema, "Naomba maji. Jua ni kali sana."They started to talk amongst themselves in Kipare again, as if Prospa wasn't there. Prospa stayed there, looking at them for a long time. He felt very thirsty and hungry. It was unbearable to think about his thirst and hunger, in fact doing so only made it worse. He said, "I would like some water. The sun is very hot."
Mmoja wao alisema, "Hatuna maji hapa mpaka tuende nyumbani."One of them said, "We don't have water here, we'd need to go home."
"Nitakwenda na nyie," Prospa alisema."I'll go with you all," Prospa said.
Wavulana wakaongea tena Kipare kama vile Prospa hayupo nao. Magari yalipita kwa kasi barabarani. Mengine yalielekea Darisalam na mengine yalielekea Moshi.The youth continued to talk amongst themselves in Kipare as if Prospa wasn't there. Vehicles passed quickly on the road. Some headed towards Dar and others towards towards Moshi.
Baada ya kuona kuwa hatafanikiwa kupata maji au chakula, Prospa aliinuka kuelekea barabarani kuendelea na safari.After seeing that he wouldn't be successful in getting water or food, Prospa stood up and headed towards the road to continue his journey.
Jasho lilikuwa linamtoka kwa fujo. Vumbi lilitanda kwenye nywele, kwenye ngozi, liliingia machoni na kumfanya asione vizuri. Alitamani kukaa chini ya kivuli cha mti, lakini hakuona mti hata mmoja karibu na barabara. Alipozidiwa, aliona afadhali kuomba msaada. Alianza kusimamisha magari kwa kutoa ishara kwa mkono, lakini magari yalimpita vyup kwa kasi kubwa. Afanyeje? Angepata maji tu, hata gilasi moja, angepata nguvu.He was sweating profusely. His hair and skin were covered in dust, and it was in his eyes too, preventing him from seeing well. He wanted to sit in the shade of a tree, but he didn't see a single tree near the road. Feeling overwhelmed, he saw that it'd be better to ask for help. He began to flag down vehicles by signaling with his hand, but the vehicles passed him by vyup at great speed. What should he do? He would just ask for water, even if only a single glass, and he'd feel better.
Alipunguza mwendo kwa sababu alianza kizunguzungu. Mbele yake, mbali kidogo, aliona watu wawili wanachunga ng'ombe na mbuzi. Alipata moyo, akaazimia kuwaomba maji hadi wakubali. Prospa alianza kuimba huku akitembea kwa kufuata mapiga ya wimbo:He started to feel dizzy, so he slowed down. Ahead of him, just a little ways away, he saw two people herding cattle and goats. He was heartened by this, and intended to ask them for water until they agreed. Prospa started to sing as he walked, stepping to the beat of this song:
Watoto wangu eeMy children
Mimi baba yenu eeI am your father now
Sina nguvu tena eeI'm no longer strong enough
Ya kumtua simba eeTo calm the lion
Aliua mama eeHe killed your mother
Aliua baba eeHe killed your father
Haya watoto njooni.Come to me children.
Alijikuta anakimbia kumkwepa simba, na kadri alivyorudia wimbo ndivyo alivyokwenda haraka na kusahau kiu na njaa. Kizunguzungu kilimwisha. Wakati mwingine alibadilisha maneno na kuimba:He found himself running to escape the lion, and the way he repeated the song was indeed so fast as to make him forget his thirst and hunger. His dizziness evaporated. Then he changed some words, singing:
Merisho wangu eeMy Merisho
Mimi mpwa wako eeI'm your uncle
Sina nguvu tena eeI'm no longer strong enough
Ya kumuua simba eeTo kill the lion
Aliua mama eeHe killed mother
Aliua baba eeHe killed father
Merisho wangu eeMy Merisho
Alishitukia ameshawafikia wale wachunga ng'ombe. Walikuwa wasichana wawili. Prospa alishangaa kuona wasichana wanachunga. Alipowafikia aligundua kwamba mmoja alikuwa mdogo na mwingine mkubwa.He was startled when he reached the people herding cattle. They were two young women. Prospa was surprised to see young women herding. When he reached them he discovered that one was young and the other older.
Alimwamkia yule mkubwa, "Shikamoo dada."He greeted the older one, "Shikamoo, sister."
Hakumjibu. Prospa alishindwa kuongea kwa muda, halafu alisema, "Dada naomba maji. Nasikia kiu sana."She didn't respond. Prospa couldn't think of anything to say for a few moments, then said, "Sister, I would like some water. I feel very thirsty."
Yule dada alimjibu kwa Kipare.The sister responded in Kipare.
Prospa alimwambia, "Sijui Kipare. Mimi nimetokea Moshi."Prospa told her, "I don't know Kipare. I'm from Moshi."
"Sasa unakwenda wapi?" yule dada aliuliza."Where are you going now?" the sister asked.
"Darisalam," Prospa alijibu."Dar," Prospa replied.
"Darisalam kwa miguu?" yule dada aliuliza. Alishangaa sana."You're going to Dar by foot?" the sister asked. She looked shocked.
"Ni mbali sana?" Prospa alijibu."Is it far?" Prospa replied.
"Hee, labda maili elfu na elfu. Kaka yetu anakaa huko. Unakwenda kufanya nini?""Very, maybe thousand of miles. Our brother lives there. What are you going to do there?"
"Nakwenda kumtafuta mtoto wa dada yangu. Anaitwa Merisho. Aliibwa.""I'm going to look for my sister's child. He's named Merisho. He's been taken."
"Mwongo," yule dada alisema."Liar," the sister said.
"Kweli," Prospa alisisitiza."I'm telling the truth," Prospa insisted.
"Kwa nini kukwenda kwa gari?" yule dada mdogo aliuliza."Why aren't you going by car?" the younger sister asked.
"Tiketi yangu ilipotea, dereva akanishusha njiani," Prospa aliwajibu."My ticket got lost, so the driver threw me out on the road," Prospa told them.
"Oo, pole," dada mkubwa alisema."Oh, I'm sorry to hear that," the older sister said.
"Naomba maji," Prospa alisema huku akijifanya kama anataka kuzimia. Alikaa chini ghafla, akapumua kwa nguvu hadi yule dada akamuonea huruma. Akamwambia mdogo wake aende akalete maji waliyokuwa wameweka chini ya kichaka ili yasipate joto sana."I beg you for some water," Prospa said as he pretended to collapse. He fell to the ground suddenly, breathing hard in hopes that one of the sisters would take pity on him. He told the younger to fetch some water from a well so it wouldn't be hot.
Prospa alikunywa maji kwa pupa, akayamaliza yote, chupa nzima.Prospa drank the water eagerly, finishing off the whole bottle.
"Kaa na sisi mpaka upate nguvu," dada mkubwa alisema."Stay with us until you've regained your strength," the older sister said.
Prospa alisema, "Asante dada."Prospa said, "Thank you sister."
Alikaa na wale wasichana hadi jioni walipopeleka mifugo nyumbani. Walipomwambia kwamba wanaondoka, Prospa alisema, "Naomba niende na nyie."He remained with the girls until evening, when they headed the herd home. When they told him that they were leaving, Prospa said, "I want to go with you."
Yule mkubwa alisema, "Tutagombezwa."The older sister said, "We will be scolded."
Prospa hakuwabishia. Alifahamu kwamba hawatampeleka nyumbani kwao hata akiwabembeleza. Aliamua kuwafuata kimyakimya, akawa anatembea mbali kidogo nao mpaka walipofika kijijini Dagau. Akawafuata hadi nyumbani kwao.Prospa didn't argue with them. He knew that they wouldn't take him to their home even if he tried to persuade them. He decided to follow them silently, walking a little ways behind them until they arrived in the village of Dagau. Then he followed them to their home.
Wasichana walishaona kwamba Prospa anawafuata. Walipofika nyumbani walimweleza mama yao jinsi Prospa alivyowaomba maji na kwamba anakwenda Darisalam kwa miguu.The girls had already noticed that Prospa was following them. When they arrived home, they explained to their mother how Prospa had asked for water and that he was going to Dar on foot.
"Anakwenda Darisalam kwa miguu?!" Mama yao alishtuka sana. "Hajui analofanya, maskini," mama yao alisema na kumkaribisha Prospa aliyekuwa amesimama mbali kidogo na nyumba yao akiogopa kufukuzwa."You're going to Dar on foot?!" their mother exclaimed. "He doesn't know what he's doing, poor boy," their mother said as she beckoned to Prospa, who was standing a little ways away from their home, afraid of being chased away.
Prospa alionana na wazazi wa wale wasichana, wakamkaribisha awe mgeni wao hadi kesho yake.Prospa greeted the girls' parents, and they welcomed him to stay as their guest until the next day.
Jioni walikula ugali wa muhogo na mchicha. Prospa aliwasimulia jambo lililotokea, wakasikitika sana. Walimwona kwamba ni kijana jasiri kwa kuthubutu kuanza safari kama hii ili kumtafuta mpwa wake.In the evening they ate ugali with cassava and spinach. Prospa told them what had happened, and they felt very sorry for him. They saw that he was a brave youth for daring to begin such a journey in search of his nephew.
Walimuuliza, "Dada yako alifanya nini kuhusu jambo hili?""They asked him, "What did your sister do about this matter?"
Prospa alijibu, "Hofu na huzuni ilimzidia dada. Yeye aliwapelekea wazee habari, halafu akangoja matokeo ya uchunguzi wa polisi. Polisi waliuliza maswali mengi sana, lakini mtoto hakupatikana."Prospa replied, "My sister was stricken with fear and grief. She sent our elders the news, then waited for the results of the police investigation. The police asked many questions, but the child wasn't found."
Waliuliza tena kama alipeleka habari kwenye redio na kwenye magazeti.They asked if he had informed the radio and newspapers.
Prospa alisema, "Hapana. Kwani redio na magazeti yangemtafutaje Merisho?"Prospa said, "No. Why would the radio and newspapers look for Merisho?
Yule msichana mdogo aliyekuwa akichunga ng'ombe alicheka, "Ee, wewe hujui? Ukitangaza kwenye redio kila mtu Tanzania atasikia. Halafu kwenye gazeti unapeleka picha. Labda mtu angemwona amrudishe nyumbani."The younger sister who had been herding cattle laughed, "You don't know? If you announce it on the radio everyone in Tanzania will hear. Then you send in a photo to the newspapers. Maybe someone will see him and return him home."
Prospa hakuamini.Prospa didn't believe her.
Asubuhi na mapema watoto wote waliamka na kutayarisha chai, kufagia ua na kuosha vyombo. Walichota maji na kuyajaza kwenye mapipa. Baada ya kunywa chai na muhogo, watu wote walitawanyika.All of the children rose early in the morning and prepared tea, swept the floor and cleaned the dishes. They fetched water and poured it into barrels. After drinking tea with cassava, everyone dispersed.
Baba alichukua panga na mama alichukua jembe. Kabla baba yao hajaondoka alimwambia Prospa, "Sasa wewe mtoto usiondoke mpaka tutafute njia nzuri ya kukufikisha Darisalam. Unasikia?"The father picked up a blade, the mother a hoe. Before their father left, he said to Prospa, "Now, you child, are not to leave until we find a good way to get you to Dar. Do you hear?"
Prospa aliogopa kubishana naye. Alipanga kuondoka asubuhi hiyohiyo. Baba alipoona Prospa amenyamaza, alimwambia, "Ukiondoka hapa utapata taabu sana njiani. Darisalam hakufikiki kwa miguu kijana. Halafu kuna wanyama wakali wanaokula watu huko njiani. Safari hii siyo jambo la mchezo. Usiondoke."Prospa was afraid to argue with him. He had planned to leave this very morning. The father noted Prospa's silence, and told him, "If you leave here you will have many problems on the road. Dar is not reachable on foot young man. And there are many fierce animals that eat people travelling on the road. This journey is no laughing matter. You are not to leave."
Prospa alisema, "Nidyo, baba."Prospa said, "Yes, father."
Yule msichana mdogo aliambiwa abaki na Prospa nyumbani. Wote wawili waliambiwa wachote maji, halafu wafue nguo zao zilizokuwa chafu.The younger sister was told to remain with Prospa at home. The two of them were told to fetch water, then to wash their dirty clothes.
Prospa alimwambia yule msichana kwamba kwao wavulana hawachoti maji. Wakichota maji watakosa wachumba. Msichana alicheka, alisema, "Siyo keweli."Prospa told the girl that at his place, boys don't fetch water, they only fetch water when their girlfriends are not around. The girl laughed, saying, "That's not true."
Prospa hakumbishia, ila alisema, "Wewe nenda uchote maji, na mimi nitafua nguo."Prospa didn't argue with her, but said, "You go fetch water, and I'll wash the clothes."
Msichana alikubali. Prospa alifurahi.The girl agreed, which pleased Prospa.
Msichana alipoondoka tu, Prospa alichukua muhogo wa kuchemsha walioachiwa kama chakula chao cha mchana, akafungua kwenye jani la mgomba alilolainisha na joto la moto. Prospa aliweka chakula kwenye mkoba ili ale njiani atakaposikia njaa. Akaondoka harakaharaka bila kuaga.Right after the girl left, Prospa took the boiled cassiva that had been set aside for their lunch, then wrapped it up in a banana leaf that he had smoothed out with a flame. Prospa placed the food in his bag to save for when he got hungry on the road. Then he left quickly without saying goodbye.
Alitembea kwa kasi wakati wa asubuhi jua lilipokuwa bado linaaga huko lilikokuwa. Mazingira yalibadilika kidogo kadri alivyozidi kuendelea na safari. Alianza kuona miembe na vichaka vya migomba. Hapa na pale, aliona dalili za ukulima. Aliona watu wanatengeneza barabara. Wazungu wanasimamia na Waafrika wanaendesha mashine kubwa kubwa zilizotoa milio ya kutisha. Zilisambaza udongo, nyingine zilishindilia kokoto, nyingine ziliparua ardhi kama paka mwenye hasira. Lo! Prospa alishmgaa. Alisimama kwa muda mrefu akiwatazama wanavyoendesha hizo mashine.He walked quickly while the morning sun was still low in the sky. The environment changed a little more as he continued his journey. He started to see mango trees and bushes of banana plants. Here and there, he saw signs for farms. He also saw people fixing the road. Foreigners were supervising as Africans droves large machines around, making fearsome noises. Some spread dirt around, others were pressing down gravel, and others cut into the ground like an angry cat. Lo! Prospa was awed. He stood for a long time watching the way they drove those machines.
Mbali kidogo, katika kilima kilichoonekana kwenye upeo wa macho, Prospa aliona mashine nyingine ikichimba udongo. Udongo huo alipakiwa kwenye malori makubwa na kumwagwa katika lundo kubwa sana karibu na barabara.A little ways away, on a hill on the horizon, Prospa saw another machine scooping up soil. This soil was being loaded into big trucks and poured into a very large pile near the road.
Prospa alitamani akae pale siku nzima akiwatazama wanavyojenga barabara. Lakini ilibidi aendelee na safari.Prospa wanted to remain there all day and watch them build the road. But he had to continue his journey.
Mbele ya safari yake alikutana tena na wasichana waliokuwa wanachunga mbuzi. Prospa alishaanza kuzoea mazingira, kwa hiyo aliwapungia mkono na kuendelea na safari yake.Before doing so, he encountered the girls who had been herding goats. Prospa had already familiarized himself with his surroundings, so he waved to them and carried on.
Jioni iliingia, jua likapotelea nyuma ya vilima vya magharibi pale vilipokutana na anga. Giza likaingia. Prospa alitembea barabarani katikati, akikimbia kando kila alipoona taa za gari. Hakuogopa sana, kwani hapa na pale, wakati taa za gari zilipomulika barabara, aliona watu waliokuwa wakitembea bila wasiwasi. Wengine walisimama kandokando ya barabara wakiongea.Evening arrived, the sun disappearing behind the hills to the west at the place where they touched the sky. Darkness fell. Prospa walked in the middle of the road, running to the side each time he saw the lights of a vehicle. He wasn't afraid, for here and there, whenever the lights of a vehicle illuminated the road, he saw other people who were walking alongside without worry. Others were standing right next to the road, talking with each other.
Prospa alipata hamu ya kuimba kila mara. Alipoimba aliweza kukimbia kwa kufuatia mapigo wa wimbo. Pia, alisahau urefu wa safari na uchovu wa mwili wake. Alijisikia kama yuko na rafiki zake wakicheza. Upweke ulipungua na hata woga uliisha. Alikimbia akiimba:Prospa got the urge to run for awhile. He sang so that he could run to the rhythm of a song. He also forgot about the length of his journey and his body's fatigue. He felt as if he was with his friends, playing together with them. Loneliness left him and even his fear evaporated. He ran while singing:
Nakwenda uuI'm going
Darisalam uuto Dar es Salaam
Kumsalimia uuTo greet him
Rafiki yangu uuMy friend
Alisita kidogo, akasimama na kusema, "Hapana," halafu alianza tena:He hesistated, then stopped and said, "No," beginning again:
Nakwenda uuI'm going
Darisalam uuto Dar es Salaam
Kumtafuta uuTo search for him
Merisho wangu uuMy Merisho
Nitakutana naye uuI will meet him
Nitampa mkonoI will take him by the hand
Ehe rafikieh friend
Wimbo huu ulimtia moyo na nguvu za kuendelea bila kuhisi uchovu. Alipoimba "nitampa mkono, ehe rafiki" alitoa mkono wake kama vile amemuona Merisho kweli. Alitingisha na kusokota kiuno kama walivyofanya katika mchezo. Alifahamu kwamba kiuno chake siyo chepesi kama cha msichana lakini hakujali.This song gave him the courage and strength to continue without feeling tired. When he sang "I will give him my hand, eh friend" he extended his hand as if he had truly seen Merisho. He shook and twisted his hips the way players do in a game. He knew that his hips weren't as flexible as those of a girl, but he didn't care.
Alianza kuona taa nyingi pamoja, akafahamu kwamba amekaribia mji. Hakufahamu ni mji gani hadi alipoingia na kusoma kwenye bango barabarani kwamba alikuwa ameingia Same.He started to see many lights grouped together, and realized that he was approaching a town. He didn't know which town, until he entered and read the sign telling him that he had arrived at Same.

Sura ya tisa

Chapter Nine

Prospa alishaanza kufahamu kwamba kuna tofauti kati ya mji na kijiji. Kijijini, watu wangemwona yuko peke yake na hana mahali maalumu anapokwenda wangemuuliza kwamba yeye ni mtoto wa nani? Wangetaka kufahamu anakwenda wapi, au amepotea njia? Kama angesema kwamba ametokea kijiji kingine, wangeendelea kumhoji na kumuuliza kama amefika kusalimia tu ama ana shughuli nyingine. Wangetaka kufahamu ukoo wake huko kijijini kwake ili watazame katika kumbukumbku zao vichwani mwao kama ukoo huo una chanzo katika kijiji chao.Prospa was beginning to understand that there were differences between a town and a village. In a village, people would see him alone with no place to go and they would ask him, who are your parents? They would want to know where he was going, or had he gotten lost? If he said that he'd come from another village, they would continue to question him and ask him if he had just come to greet someone, or if he had other business being there. They would want to know about his family members in his village, so as to search their memories to see if any of his family had ancestors in their own village.
Mjini, hakuna mtu aliyeuliza mambo hayo. Kama mtu hakufahamu anakupita tu, bila maswali. Kama mtu hakufahamu hakujali. Inakuwa kama vile huonekani. Jambo hilo lilimfanya Prospa alijihisi kuwa shupavu zaidi alipokuwa mjini. Hata yeye hakujali tena kwamba watu wangemuonaje. Alifahamu kwamba akitembea mahali popote hatakutana na mtu atakayemtambua mara moja kwamba yeye siyo mtu anayeishi Same. Kwa hiyo Prospa alitembea mjini Same kwa uhakika zaidi kuliko alivyofanya huko Msangara. Mji wa Same ulikuwa na taa zaidi, na watu wengi zaidi walitembea barabarani usiku.In town, there was no one who asked him about these things. If someone doesn't know you they pass right by you, no questions asked. If someone doesn't know you, they don't pay any attention to you. It's as if you can't be seen. This affected Prospa; he felt indignant when he was in town. But he no longer cared whether people acknowledged him or not. He realized that he could walk anywhere at all and not meet anyone who would be able to tell that he wasn't living in Same. For this reason, Prospa walked around the town of Same with greater confidence than he had done in Msangara. The town of Same had more lights, and many more people walked along the road at night.
Prospa alitafuta hoteli ndogo ili apate chakula. Muziki ulipigwa kwa kelele sana hata masikio yake yaliuma. Kulikuwa na watu wengi katika hoteli. Watu waliongea kwa sauti ya juu kushindana na kelele za miziki. Wengine walikula chakula haraka, wakiwa kimya kama vile walikuwa wanafukuzwa. Prospa aliketi karibu na kona palipokuwa na giza kidogo.Prospa looked around for a little hotel where he could get some food. Music was being played so loudly that his ears hurt. There were many people in the hotel. People were conversing loudly so as to be heard over the noise of the music. Others were eating quickly and silently as if they were being hurried away. Prospa sat down in a corner where it was somewhat dark.
Baada ya kula ugali na maharage, chakula kilichokuwa cha bei nafuu kuliko vingine, Prospa alitembea tena mjini Same. Alitembea tu bila kufahamu alikokwenda. Alipopita barabarani aliona vijana wa umri wake wakicheza hapa na pale. Aliona duka moja lililokuwa na baraza kubwa, akajiambia kwamba atalala pale. Mwanga wa taa ulimulika kila mahali, lakini hakujali. Prospa aliendelea kutembea akingoja watu wapungue barabarani, waingie majumbani mwao. Hakuwa na saa. Hakuwa na haja ya kufahamu ni saa ngapi, kwani usiku na mchana ndio ulioelekeza mwenendo wa safari yake.After eating ugali with beans, the cheapest meal on the menu, Prospa walked around Same again. He walked without a destination in mind. When he passed through the road he saw youth his age playing here and there. He saw a shop with a large veranda, and told himself that he would sleep there later. It was brightly lit, but he didn't mind. Prospa continued to walk as he waited for more people to leave the road and return to their homes. He had no idea what time it was. In fact, he didn't need to know what time it was, since night and afternoon were his cues to continue his journey.
Prospa alilala barazani mahali pa wazi kabisa. Hakujali tena kama watu wangemuona au la. Baridi ilikuwa kali usiku, akajikunyata, akafanana kama kifurushi kidogo cha nguo. Sakafu ni baridi kuliko ardhi, Prospa alitambua. Aliamka mapema sana. Maungo yake yote yalikuwa yemechoka kama vile alifanya kazi ngumu ya kubeba mizigo usiku.Prospa laid down on a clear spot on the veranda. He didn't care whether anyone saw him or not. The cold of the night creeped up on him; he looked like a small bundle of clothes. The floor of the veranda was colder than the ground, Prospa realized. He awoke very early. Each of his joints was tired, as if he had worked hard carrying luggage the night before.
Prospa alinawa kwenye bomba lililokuwa kwenye kituo cha petroli. Halafu alizubaa pale bombani akingojea mji uamke. Mbele yake, upande wa kushoto aliona Same Guest and Bar ambamo watu walikuwa tayari wanashughulika. Aliamua kwenda kuona kama angeweza kupata chai bila kulipia.Prospa bathed using a faucet at a gas station. Afterwards, he remained there idly, waiting for the town to awake. In front of him and to the left he saw Same Guest and Bar whose employees were already busy. He decided to go see if he could get some tea without paying for it.
Kabla hajafika pale, alikutana na msichana aliyeelekea hukohuko Same Guest and Bar. Msichana alijifunga kitenge kifuani juu ya matiti. Alikuwa amebeba kichwa cha ng'ombe aliyechinjwa, bado damu inadondoka.He hadn't yet left when he saw a young girl headed for Same Guest and Bar herself. The girl had wrapped a cotton cloth around her chest to cover her breasts. Atop her head she was carrying a calf that had just been slaughtered, the blood not drained.
"Yesu!" Prospa alishtuka akataka kukimbia. Alishika mdomo kwa mshangao."Jesus!" Prospa exclaimed; he wanted to run away. His jaw dropped in shock.
Msichana alisimama na kumwangalia Prospa, halafu alicheka sana.The girl stopped and looked at Prospa, then began laughing hard.
"Mungu wangu," Prospa alizidi kushangaa, akionesha uso wa kustaajabu na hata kuogopa."My God," Prospa exclaimed, growing even more shocked, his face betraying his astonishment and even fear.
Msichana, akiwa na sura ya ucheshi, aliuliza, "Ee nini?"The girl, smiling humorously, asked him, "What?"
Prospa hakujibu. Aliendelea kustaajabia msichana ambaye jicho lake la kushoto lilikuwa bovu. Mboni ya jicho ilionekana kama ilitoboka, ikapoteza range yake na kupata weupe kama maziwa. Isitoshe, jicho hilo lilikuwa kubwa kuliko la kulia. Matone ya damu yalikuwa yamedondokea usoni mwake na kuganda. Lakini alipocheka, tabasamu yake iling'arisha uso mzima na kubadilisha ile sura ya ajabu.Prospa didn't reply. He continued to be astonished at this girl, whose left eye was bad. The pupil looked like it had been punctured and lost its color; it was white as milk. As if that weren't enough, the eye was bigger than her right one. Drops of blood from the calf had fallen onto her face and stuck there. But when she laughed, her smile filled her whole face and transformed it wonderfully.
Msichana alisema, "Twende tukanywe thupu.""Let's go have thome thoup," the girl said to him.
Prospa alitingisha kichwa kukubali lakini hakuondoka kumfuata.Prospa nodded his head in agreement but didn't follow her.
Alimtazama hadi alipoingia ndani ya Same Guest and Bar.He watched her until she entered inside Same Guest and Bar.
Msichana alirudi mara moja, akanawa uso wake palepale aliponawa Prospa, halafu akamfuata na kumshika mkono. Prospa aliogopa.The girl came back out immediately, washed her face in the same place Prospa had, then went up to him and grabbed his hand. Prospa was afraid.
Msichana alimwambia, "Twende kwetu.""Come to our place," the girl said to him.
"Siwezi. Nakwenda Darisalam," Prospa alimjibu."I can't. I'm going to Dar," Prospa replied.
"Kweli? Na mimi nataka kwenda Darithalam," msichana alisema. "Twende wote. Thiku thote natamani kwenda kutembea Darithalam. Nataka nithome univethiti.""Really? I altho want to go to Dar eth Thalam," the girl said. "Let'th go together. I've alwayth wanted to walk to Dar. I want to thudy at univethity.".
"Nakwenda kumtafuta mtoto wa dada yangu aliyeibiwa nyumbani kule TPC," Prospa alimwambia."I'm going there to look for my sister's child, he was taken from my home at TPC," Prospa told her.
Msichana alimtazama Prospa kwa makini. Jicho lake bovu lilionekana kama linaelea tu kwenye tundu lake bila kupepesuka. Mara alisema, "Bathi, nafahamu huyo mtoto alipo. Nitakuthaidia kumtafuta."The girl stared at Prospa. Her bad eye looked as if it was just floating in its socket. Then she said, "Alright, I know where thith child hath gone. I will help you find him."
Prospa alikuwa na wasiwasi. Hakumwamini huyu msichana, lakini hakumkatalia.Prospa was worried. He didn't believe this girl, but he didn't tell her so.
Msichana alisema, "Thikia, mimi nitakwenda nyumbani kuchukua nguo. Ningoje hapa. Uthiondoke. Ukiondoka nitakupata tu." Alicheka kwa furaha. Jicho lake la kulia liling'aa. Aliondoka pale akikimbia kuelekea kilimani.The girl said, "Lithen, I'm going home to get thome clotheth. Wait for me here. Don't leave. If you leave I will juth find you again." She laughed happily, her right eye shining brightly. Then she ran off, headed towards a hill.
Prospa aliduwaa. "Msichana huyu ni mchawi, au ni mtoto wa mchawi," Prospa aliwaza. "Sura yake inatisha lakini yeye mwenyewe hatishi! Na kwa nini sikukataa au sikukimbia aliposema kwamba atakuja na mimi Darisalam? Itakuwaje afahamu Merisho alipo bila kumfahamu hata kidogo?"Prospa was dumbfounded. "This girl is a witch, or the child of a witch," Prospa thought. "Her face is frightening but she herself isn't threatening! And why didn't he refuse or run away when she said that she'd come with him to Dar? And what was this about her knowing where Merisho is without even having met him?"
Prospa aliamua kungoja aone mwisho wa maajabu ya huyu msichana mwenye sura ya ajabu.Prospa decided to wait and see more about this girl with the strange face.
Msichana alirudi akikimbia. Alikuwa amevaa gauni. Mkononi alikuwa na kifurushi kidogo sana.The girl came running back. She was wearing a gown. In her hand was a very small bundle.
"Nini hicho?" Prospa aliuliza kwa wasiwasi."What is this?" Prospa asked worriedly.
"Kitenge. Weka kwenye mfuko," msichana aliamuru."A drethth. Put it in your bag," the girl commanded.
Prospa alisita. Alitamani kumwambia akifungue hicho kitenge, akikung'ute ili ahakikishe kwamba hakufungia vitu vya uchawi.Prospa hesitated. He wanted to tell her to unfold it and shake it out so that he could be sure that nothing evil was wrapped inside.
Msichana hakuwa na subira. Alisema, "Agh, hebu," akachukua mkoba wa Prospa aliokuwa ameuning'iniza begani, akafungua zipu, akaweka kitenge chake bila kutazama ndani. Alifunga zipu, akaning'iniza mkoba begani mwa Prospa. Halafu akasema, "Thatha tukanywe thupu."The girl lost her patience. She said, "Agh, hey," then took Prospa's bag that he'd slung over his shoulder, opened the zipper, then stuffed in her dress without looking inside. She closed the zipper and slung the bag back over Prospa's shoulder. Then she said, "Now let'th have thoup."
Prospa alimfuata bila neno. Alikuwa anawaza na kujiambia, "Nitamtoroka huyu msichana. Nikishakunywa supu tu, nitakimbia na hataniona tena."Prospa followed her without a word. He thought and told himself, "I will escape from this girl. I'm just going to have some soup, then I'll run and she'll never see me again."
Waliingia ndani ya Same Guest and Bar, msichana akapitiliza akaenda jikoni. Aliporudi alikuwa na bakuli mbili za supu. Walikaa wakanywa. Supu ilikuwa na pilipili nyingi iliyomfanya Prospa akohoe hadi kutoa machozi. Msichana alimcheka sana, akapigapiga meza kwa furaha akisema, "We mtoto kumbe, we bado mtoto mdogo tu."They entered inside Same Guest and Bar, where the girl went directly to the kitchen. She returned with two bowls of soup. They sat and drank them down. The soup contained many chili peppers, which made Prospa cough until tears came to his eyes. The girl laughed at him, pounding the table happily while saying, "You're a child, you're still just a little child."
Prospa alikasirika, akaacha supu bila kuimaliza ingawa ilikuwa tamu sana.This made Prospa angry. He set down his soup without finishing it, even though it was delicious.
Walipotoka nje Prospa alisema, "Sina nauli."When they had left, Prospa said to her, "I have no money for bus tickets."
"Huna nauli? Thame umefikaje?" msichana aliuliza."You don't? How did you get to Thame?"
Kabla Prospa hajajibu, msichana alisema, "Bathi wathiwathi ondoa. Mimi Edithon mthichana mthuri nitaomba lifti." Alijigeuza na kujipinda kwa maringo.Before Prospa could reply, the girl said, "Fine, don't worry. I, good girl Edithon, will athk for a lift." She turned and bowed ostentatiously.
"Unaitwa Edison?" Prospa aliuliza."Your name is Edison?" Prospa asked.
"Ee, kumbe hujui? Jina langu Thara Edithon. Mtoto wa mfalme.""Yeah, don't you know? My name is Thara Edithon. The king's daughter."
"Edison ni jina la kiume," Prospa alisema. "Na siku hizi hakuna mfalme.""Edison is a boy's name," Prospa said. "And these days there is no king."
Sara alicheka sana, akaondoka akikimbia huku akicheza na kusema, "Nani kathema, nani kathema."Sara laughed, running away playfully while saying, "Who thayth, who thayth."
Prospa alisimama alipokuwa. Alisema, "Yesu Ruwa, huyu Sara ni kichaa. Zilikwisha fyatuka."Prospa stood where he was. "Jesus Christ, this Sara is insane. She's already lost it."
Sara alikwisha mbali. Alisimama na kugeuka. Alimwita Prospa kwa nguvu. "Njoo, kimbia. Njoo nikuambie thiri."Sara had gone far. She stopped and turned, calling enthusiastically to Prospa. "Come, run. Come tho I can tell you a thecret."
Prospa, bila kusita, alimkimbilia Sara. Sara alimpokea kwa kumshika mkono. Akamvuta na kukimbia naye wakifuata barabara.Prospa ran after her without hesitation. Sara took him by the hand. She pulled him along as she ran, both of them following the road.
Prospa hakupenda kuvutwa, alisema kwa hasira, "Sara mi sitaki."Prospa didn't like being pulled. "Sara stop," he said angrily.
"Niite Edithon," Sara aliamuru."My name is Edithon," Sara corrected him.
"Sitaki," Prospa alijibu."Stop," Prospa replied.
"Niite Eidthon na mimi nikuite Maiko," Sara aling'ang'ania."Call me Edithon and I'll call you Maiko," Sara insisted.
"Sitaki. Jina langu ni Prospa. Sitaki kuitwa Maiko.""I don't want that. My name is Prospa. I don't want to be called Maiko."
"Ohoo. Prothpa, Prothpa, kopa, kopa,"Ohoo. Prothpa, Prothpa, cheater, cheater
mwenye shingo kama chupa,"with a neck like a bottle,"
Sara aliimba kwa furaha. Wote wakacheka.Sara sang happily. At this both of them laughed.
Walitembea kufuata barabara bila kupanga. Prospa alimuuliza Sara, "Una miaka mingapi?"They walked along the road without a plan. Prospa asked Sara, "How old are you?"
Sara alisema, "Kama wewe.""The same age as you," Sara said.
Prospa alisema, "Mwongo, we mkubwa. Mimi nina miaka kumi na mbili tu, hata bado sijabarikiwa."Prospa said, "Liar, you're older. I'm only twelve, I haven't even been blessed yet."
Sara alisimama ghafla, akamgeukia Prospa na kummuliza kwa sauti laini, "Prothpa, hebu thema, unanipenda?"Sara stopped suddenly, then turned to Prospa and asked him sweelty, "Prothpa, tell me, do you like me?"
Prospa alishangaa. Akamtazama Sara halafu akasema, "Jicho lako linatisha."Prospa was surprised. He looked at Sara, then said, "Your eye is scary."
Sara alisema, "Thio kitu," halafu akatembea kwa kasi.Sara said, "It'th nothing," then walked away quickly.
Ilikuwa bado asubuhi, jua lilikuwa halijawa kali. Prospa alikimbia hadi akaanza kuhema, lakini hakuweza kushindana na Sara. Mwishowe Prospa alimwita Sara, akamwambia amgojee. Prospa alipomfikia Sara, alimwambia, "Ulisema utaomba lifti."It was already morning, the sun was up but not yet hot. Prospa ran until he was out of breath, but he couldn't catch up with Sara. Finally Prospa called to her, telling her to wait for him. When he reached Sara, he told her, "You said you would ask for a lift."
Sara alicheka, akachepuka pale akiimba:Sara laughed, dancing away from him while singing:
"Prothpa Prothpa,""Prothpa Prothpa,"
mpenda lifti,lover of liftth,
kiuno chake kama kiti."his hipth are ath wide ath a chair.
Prospa alikasirika. Alipiga miguu chini akisema, "Sara, Sara, mbaya, mbaya. Sitaki unifuate." Lakini Sara aliendelea kuimba na kucheka na kwenda mbali zaidi.Prospa became angry. He stomped his feet as he said, "Sara, Sara, evil, evil. I don't want you to follow me." But Sara continued to sing and laugh and race ahead of him.
Mwishowe Prospa alimfuata akikimbia alipoona kwamba Sara anajaribu kusimamisha gari.Eventually Prospa ran to catch up with her; when he did, he saw that Sara was trying to flag down a car.
Magari mengi yaliwapita kwa kasi yakitimua vumbi. Baada ya kujaribu kwa muda mrefu, mtu mmoja alisimamisha gari lake. Sara alimshika Prospa kwa nguvu na kumwambia, "Acha niombe mimi. Uthitheme kitu."Many vehicles sped past them, leaving them in the dust. After trying for a long time, someone stopped his car. Sara grabbed Prospa and told him, "Leave me to athk by mythelf. Don't thay anything."
"Usipopata utaniona," Prospa alimtishia."If you fail you'll get it from me," Prospa threatened her.
Sara alimwambia mwenye gari, "Baba, tunatembea mimi na mdogo wangu kwenda Darithalam. Tuthaidie."Sara said to the driver, "Father, me and my little brother are walking to Dar eth Thalaam. Please help us."
"Mnatembea? Mmetoroka nyumbani?" mwenye gari aliuliza."You all are walking? Are you running away from home?" the driver asked.
Mkono mmoja wa Sara ulimfinya Prospa asije akasema kitu.One of Sara's hands pinched Prospa to remind him to keep quiet.
Sara alisema, "Hapana baba. Baba yetu yuko Darithalam, thatha mama ametukimbia, amemfuata baba. Nyumbani hakuna chakula."Sara said, "No. Our father ith in Dar, now our mother hath run away from uth to follow him. There ith no food at our home."
"Lo! Nyie watoto mnasema kweli?" mwenye gari aliuliza."Lo! Are you children telling the truth?" the driver asked.
Prospa alidakia, "Hapana baba, ni kweli kabisa."Prospa turned to say, "Yes sir, it's completely true."
"Ingieni," mwenye gari alisema, akawafungulia mlango. Halafu aliwaambia, "Mnajua kwamba safari yenu ni ya hatari? Hapa katikati ya Same na Makanya kuna mbuga ya wanyama wakali. Giza lingeingia kabla hamjafika popote, mngeweza kuliwa na simba.""Get in," the driver said, opening the door for them. Then he told them, "Do you know how dangerous your journey is? Here, between Same and Makanya, the savannah is filled with fierce animals. Darkness would have fallen before you would have reached anywhere, you could have been eaten by a lion."
Wote wawili walinyamaza kimya. Mwenye gari aliendesha kasi. Prospa na Sara walishikilia viti walivyokalia ili wasigongane. Wakati mmoja dereva alitingisha kichwa kama vile alikuwa akiwaza jambo la kusikitisha, halafu alisema, "Hatari tupu hii. Mnaona hamna kabisa maskani ya watu."Both of them were silent. The driver drove fast. Prospa and Sara held tightly on to their seats so that they wouldn't slam into each other. At one point the driver shook his head as if he was thinking of something disappointing, then said, "These plains are very dangerous. See how absolutely no one lives here."
Prospa na Sara walitazama huku na kule, pande zote za barabara. Hawakuona nyumba hata moja.Prospa and Sara looked all around. They saw not even a single home.
Jua lilikuwa linakuchwa walipowasili Makanya. Mwenye gari aliwaambia, "Nitawaacha hapa mtafute gari nyingine ya kuwafikisha Darisalam. Mimi nafanya kazi hapa Makanya katika Shirika la Reli. Magari mengi yanapita hapa usiku."The sun had set by the time they arrived in Makanya. The driver said to them, "I am dropping you off here so you can find another vehicle to take you to Dar. I work here in Makanya, at the Railroad Company. Many vehicles pass through here at night."
Prospa alisema, "Hatuna nauli baba."Prospa said, "We don't have money for the bus fare."
"Sina hela mimi," mwenye gari alisema. Lakini Prospa na Sara waliposhuka kwenye gari, yule mtu aliwapa shilingi mia tano."I don't have any money myself," the driver said. But when Prospa and Sara got out of the car, he gave them five hundred shillings.
"Sina hela," alisema tena na kuondoa gari."I have no money," he said again and drove off.
Prospa na Sara walizurura pale Makanya wakingojea magari ya usiku yanayokwenda Darisalam. Hawakuona kitu kisichokuwa cha kawaida isipokuwa aina fulani ya udongo uliokuwa umelundikwa pamoja tayari kwa kupakiwa kwenye treni.Prospa and Sara hung around Makanya waiting for overnight vehicles going to Dar. The saw nothing out of the ordinary, except for the way dirt had been piled together in preparation for laying down train tracks.
Hawakutembea mbali na barabara.They didn't stray far from the road.
Sara alimwambia Prospa, "Unajua? Jicho langu linaona kwa ndani."Sara said to Prospa, "Do you know that my eye can thee inthide mythelf?"
Prospa aliuliza, "Uliumizwa na nini?""What caused it?" Prospa asked.
Sara alisema, "Thijui. Niliugua sana nilipokuwa mdogo. Lakini thatha naona kila kitu kwa ndani."Sara said, "I don't know. I wath very ill when I wath an infant. But now I thee everything inthide."
Prospa alinyamaza, akamtazama kwa huruma. Alichukua ile noti ya shilingi ma tano waliyopewa, akampa Sara.Prospa said nothing, looking at her sympathetically. He took out the 500 shilling note they had been given earlier and handed it to Sara.
"Thitaki hela," Sara alisema."I don't want money," Sara said.
Prospa aliuliza, "Kwa nini?""Why?" Prospa asked.
Sara alisema, "Edithon aligundua umeme. Unajua?"Sara said, "Edithon dithcovered electricity. Don't you know?"
Prospa alirudisha hela mfukoni, halafu akasema, "We hujui chochote."Prospa returned the money to his bag, then said, "You don't know anything."
Sara alicheka sana, halafu alisema, "Edithon aligundua umeme, na Prospa aligundua ujinga, halafu akapotetha mtoto, akajamba pfu, pfu." Sara aliendelea kucheka.Sara laughed hard, then said, "Edithon dithcovered electricity, and Prothpa dithcovered ignorance, then when he lotht a child, he farted pfu, pfu." Sara kept on laughing.
Prospa alichota mchanga chini akamtupia Sara, akisema, "Sara, mie sitaki utani."Prospa picked up some sand and threw it at Sara as he said, "Sara, I don't want your jokes."
Sara aliuliza, "Utaniita Edithon?"Sara asked, "Will you call me Edithon?"
Prospa alikataa.Prospa refused.
Sara alionesha kusikitika. Prospa alimuuliza, "Mambo ya Edison ulijulia wapi?"Sara looked sad. Prospa asked her, "Where did you find this out about Edison?"
Sara alisema, "Nilithoma kwenye kitabu."Sara said, "I read about it in a book."
"Mwongo we. Hujui kusoma Kiingereza. Mimi najua, lakini sijasoma mambo ya Edison," Prospa alisema."You're a liar. You can't read English. I do, but I've never read anything about Edison," Prospa said.
Sara alisema, "Hebu, hebu Prothpa. Funga jicho lako moja. Unaona mwanga?"Sara said, "Hey, hey Prothpa. Clothe one of your eyeth. Do you thtill thee?"
Prospa alisema, "Ndiyo.""Yes," Prospa said.
Sara alisema, "Nikifunga jicho langu moja, naona githa. Kwa hiyo thilifungi mpaka ninapolala. Hili linaona kila kitu, na hili linaona kwa ndani, linaona ndoto."Sara said, "When I clothe one of my eyeth, I thee darkneth. Tho I don't clothe it until I go to thleep. Thith one theeth everything, and thith one theeth inthide me, it theeth my dreamth."
Prospa alimwonea huruma. Akamwambia, "Sasa tufanye hivi; ukinisaidia mpaka Merisho apatikane, nitakuita Edison siku zote. Sawa?"Prospa felt pity for her. He told her, "Alright this is what we'll do; if you help me get Merisho back, I'll call you Edison forever. Alright?"
Sara alisema, "Thawa.""Alright," Sara said.
Magari mengi yalipita Makanya bila kusimama. Usiku ulikuwa na baridi lakini walijikaza. Hawakusinzia, kwani waliogopa. Walikaa upande wa kushoto wa barabara kwenye shamba la mkonge. Wakangoja.Many vehicles passed through Makanya without stopping. The night was cold but they remained strong. They didn't sleep, for they were afraid of what might happen. They stood on the left side of the road, on the outskirts of a sisal farm, and they waited.
Baada ya muda mrefu sana, waliona gari kubwa kwa mbali, wakawa na matumaini. Gari hilo lilisimama kabla halijafika walipokuwa wamejificha.After a very long time, they saw a large vehicle off in the distance and grew hopeful. The vehicle stopped before it reached them.
Sara alimvuta Prospa wakakimbia wakiwa wameshikana mkono. "Twende thatha. Twende tujaribu," Sara alimwambia Prospa kwa sauti ya chini. Walikimbia wakiwa wameinama ndani ya shamba la mkonge hadi walipofika sambamba na lile gari.Sara tugged on Prospa, and they began to run, holding each other's hand. "Let's go now, let's go try," Sara said to Prospa quietly. They ran hunched over, through the sisal farm, until they arrived next to the vehicle.
Wanaume kadhaa walikuwa wanakojoa kandokando ya barabara. Wanawake walizunguka upande wa pili. Prospa na Sara walingoja hadi wale wanaume walipoingia ndani ya gari, nao wakachepuka haraka kutoka kwenye shamba la mkonge, wakapanda ndani ya gari. Wanawake walifuata nyuma yao wakati huohuo.Several men were urinating right next to the road. The women were gathered on the other side. Prospa and Sara waited until the men went back in the vehicle, then bolted out of the sisal farm and up into the vehicle. The women followed right behind them.
Walikwenda hadi nyuma ya basi kwenye viti vya mwisho, wakasimama wakiwa wamejishika kwenye vyuma vya viti.They walked back to the last row of seats, then stood with those who were holding on to the backs of the seats.
Dereva aliuliza, "Tayari?""Ready?" the driver asked.
Watu wakasema, "Tayari.""Ready," people said.
Dereva aliingiza gia na kuondoka. Walikaa chini kwenye vumbi, wakanyamaza kama bubu.The driver put the bus in gear and drove. They sat down on the dusty floor, quiet as a mute.

Sura ya kumi

Chapter Ten

Lo! Darisalam ni msitu wa watu na magari. Ni msitu wa majengo ya kila aina. Majengo mapya na yaliyochakaa, ghorofa na ya kawaida! Darisalam ni jungu la mambo! Watu wengi: wanaume na wanawake, watoto na vijana, kila mmoja na shughuli yake! Wanaelewanaje?Lo! Dar es Salaam is a jungle of buildings and every kind of thing. New and run-down buildings, apartments and the usual. Dar es Salaam is a melting pot! Many people: men and women, children and youth, everyone and their affairs! Wouldn't they agree?
Prospa na Sara walijua wamefika Darisalam dereva alipotangaza: Manzese. Watu walikuwa wameanza kushuka tangu Kibaha, wakashuka tena Mbezi hospitali, Kimara, Ubungo, halafu Manzese.Prospa and Sara knew they had arrived in Dar when the driver announced: Manzese. People had started to get out at Kibaha, then again at the Mbezi hospital, Kimara, Ubungo, and then Manzese.
Prospa alimnong'oneza Sara, akamwambia, "Tushuke hapa."Prospa whispered to Sara, "We should get off here."
"Hapa?" Sara aliuliza."Here?" Sara asked.
"Ndiyo. Kaka Petro anakaa mahali panapoitwa Manzese. Lazima ni hapa," Prospa alimwambia Sara."Yes. Brother Petro lives at a place called Manzese. It must be here," Prospa told Sara.
Walishuka haraka haraka. Wakatua chini Manzese, basi likaondoka.They quickly got out of the bus. As soon as their feet touched the ground in Manzese, the bus drove off.
Walisimama kwa kitambo kirefu, wakiwa wameduwaa. Kila upande waliotazama ulikuwa na watu wanatembea, wanazungumza, wanagombana, wananadi biashara kwa yeyote aliyekuwa mbele yao, wote wanakwenda mahali. Wapi?They stood there for a long while, taking it all in. Everywhere they looked, there were people walking and talking, people arguing with each other, people selling to anyone who happened to be in front of them. Everyone was going somewhere. Where?
Watu walivuka barabara, wakienda pande zote za barabara, saa zote. Magari yalijazana kituoni. Yametoka wapi wagari yote haya na yanakwenda wapi?People crossed the road every which way constantly. Vehicles crammed into the station. Where had all these vehicles come from, and where were they going?
Watu walipanda magari, watu walishuka kwenye magari.Some people climbed aboard the vehicles, others got out of them.
Watu waliuza nguo, wengine machungwa, wengine karanga. Watu walikwenda huku na wengine walikwenda kule.Some people sold clothes, others sold oranges and peanuts. Some went this way and others went that way.
"Yesu Ruwa. Hebu Sara angalia msururu wa magari!" Prospa alisema kwa mshangao na wasiwasi. Sara alitazama lakini hakusema kitu. Alimshika Prospa mkono, akitazama kwa haraka pande zote kama mtu anayejitayarisha kukimbia hatari."Jesus Christ. Hey Sara look how many buses are lined up!" Prospa said with awe and worry. Sara looked but said nothing. She took Prospa by the hand, and quickly looked around as if she was getting ready to run from danger.
Ghafla Sara alisema, "Twende," alimvuta Prospa ili amfuate.Suddenly Sara said, "Let'th go," pulling Prospa behind her.
Prospa alikataa kuondoka. Aliuliza kwa mshtuko na woga, "Twende wapi?"Prospa refused to leave. With shock and fear he asked, "Where should we go?"
Sara alisema, "Twende.""Let'th jutht go," Sara said.
Prospa alikataa. "Siendi. Siendi, siendi," alisema kwa hasira. Sara hakumsikiliza Prospa. Hakutambua hali ya woga uliomkamata mwenziwe.Prospa refused. "I'm not going. I'm not, I'm not," he said angrily. But Sara didn't listen to Prospa. She didn't recognize that fear had taken hold of her friend.
Sara aliondoka, akavuka barabara akimbia. Hakutazama nyuma, alifikiri kwamba alimfuata. Alitembea kuelekea sehemu watu walipouza nguo zilizokwishavaliwa. Pia watu waliuza machungwa, machenza, ndizi, karanga, na vitu vingine vingi.Sara left, crossing the road at a run. She didn't glance behind her; she thought Prospa was following her. She walked towards an area where people were selling used clothing. There were others selling oranges, tangerines, bananas, tangerines, and many other items.
Prospa alimwita Sara kwa hofu, "Saraa!"Prospa called out to Sara fearfully, "Saraa!"
Hakuna hata mtu aliyemgeukia kutazama chanzo cha hofu yake. Hakuna mtu aliyemshutuma Sara kwa utundu wake au kwa kumwacha mwenzake peke yake. Hakuna mtu aliyewaona!Not a single person turned to see the reason for his fear. No one reproached Sara for her mischief or for leaving her companion on his own. No one even looked at them!
Sara alirudi pale alipokuwa Prospa na kusema kwa utuliva kabisa, "Prothpa, twende tukanywe chai."Sara went back to Prospa and said to him gently, "Prothpa, let'th go drink thome tea."
"We, Sara, ulikwenda wapi? Nilifikiria umepotea," Prospa alimwambia. Bado alikuwa na wasiwasi, lakini alimshika Sara mkono na kumfuata bila neno. Ataniona, ataniona, Prospa alijambia kimoyomoyo. Alijihisi kumchukia Sara kwa kutojali. Alimchukia kwa kujua mambo na kumfanya aonekane muoga."You, Sara, where did you go? I thought you were lost," Prospa said to her. He remained worried, but he took Sara's hand and followed her without a word. She will look at me, she will look at me, Prospa told himself silently. He felt angry at Sara for her indifference. He was angry with her for knowing what was the matter yet doing something that made him appear nervous anyway.
Walitafuta mahali watakapoweza kunywa chai, wakakosa.They looked for a place where they could drink tea, but found none.
Waliona watu wakielekea kila upande. Mwisho Sara alisema, "Thatha Prothpa tuvuke barabara."They saw people heading every which way. Finally Sara said, "Let'th crothth the road now Prothpa."
Mara waliona mwanamume amevaa nguo nyeupe akivusha watoto wa shule waliovaa sare. Lakini mwanamume huyo alirudi tena upande wa pili wa barabara. Magari yalikuwa yanaongezeka kila mara. Nani awavushe?Then they saw a man wearing white clothing helping schoolchildren wearing ties cross the road. But the man kept returning to the other side of the road. Cars were constantly streaming by. Who would help them cross?
Walirudi kule walikotokea na kusimama kando ya barabara. Watu waliwasukuma huku na kule katika pitapita yao. Walijaribu kufuata watu wawili waliovuka barabara lakini gari ikaja wa kasi na kushika breki kwa nguvu. Walishtuka na kulia, "Mama wee!" Waliacha kushikana mikono katika msukosuko huo. Sara alikimbia upande wa pili na Prospa akarudi alikotoka.They went back to where they had started and stood next to the road. People were jostling them here and there as they hustled and bustled about. They tried to follow two people who were crossing the road, but a rapidly oncoming car came so close to hitting them that the driver had to slam on his breaks. They trembled and cried out, "Mama!" In the midst of this confusion they lost hold of each other's hands. Sara had run over to the other side while Prospa had retreated.
Sasa wasiwasi aliwashika wote wawili. Prospa alitazama Sara akiwa upande wa pili wa barabara, moyo yake ukamwenda mbio. Akipotea je? Atampata tena? Prospa aliangalia kushoto, halafu kulia, magari yakawa hayana mwisho. Aliogopa kuvuka barbara, lakini vilevile aliogopa kusimama upande wa pili wa barabara peke yake bila Sara. Alipotazama tena upande wa pili, hakumwona Sara. Basi kubwa, refu, lilisimama sambama na pale alipokuwa amesimama Sara.Now fear gripped both of them. Prospa looked at Sara standing there on the other side of the road, his heart beating fast. What if he lost her? Would he find her again? Prospa looked left, then right, the cars passing by endlessly. He was afraid to cross the road, but he was even more afraid of remaining there by himself without Sara. When he looked again to the other side, he didn't see Sara. A big, tall bus had stopped next to the place Sara had been standing.
"Sara, Sara!" Prospa aliita kwa wasiwasi. Alianza kutapatapa. Akaamua kuingia barabarani. "Potelea mbali hata nikigongwa na gari," Prospa alisema."Sara, Sara!" Prospa called out worriedly. He started to shake, and decided to cross the road. "So what if I get hit by a car," Prospa said.
Alichepuka alipokuwa amesimama, akaingia barabarani. Alikwepa magari kama mtu aliyekuwa na uzoefu wa siku nyingi. Alisika honi, lakini hakujali. Alijikuta upande wa pili akiwa anahema, moyo ukiwa unamdunda ovyo na miguu ikuwa haina nguvu. Hata hivyo, Prospa alicheka kwa furaha. Alitazama huku na kule akimtafuta Sara.He darted into the road from where he was standing. He dodged through traffic with the skill of someone who was experienced at it. He heard a horn, but he didn't care. When he reached the other side he was out of breath, his heart was beating irregularly and his feet were tired. Despite this, Prospa laughed happily. He looked around in search of Sara.
Hakumwona.He didn't see her.
"Amekwenda wapi?" Prospa alisema kwa sauti. "Sara, Saraa," aliita."Where has she gone?" Prospa said aloud. "Sara, Saraa," he called out.
Prospa alitembea ovyo akimtafuta Sara. Alivuka mfereji wa maji machafu kuelekea kwenye majumba. Aliwaza: Yuko wapi huyu? Alitamani kumuuliza mmoja wa watu wengi waliokuwa wakitembea barbabarani kama wamemwona Sara. Mara alisikia sauti ya kiume imkimwita.Prospa darted around looking for Sara. He crossed a ditch filled with dirty water and headed towards some buildings. He thought: where is this girl? He wanted to ask one of the many people walking along the road if they had seen Sara. Then he heard a guy's voice calling him.
"We Prospa.""Hey you, Prospa."
Prospa aligeuka, lakini hakutambua mtu ye yote.Prospa turned, but he didn't recognize anyone around him.
"We siyo Prospa Ringo?""Are you not Prospa Ringo?"
Prospa aliendelea kuduwaa. Alimtazama kijana aliyekuwa kasimama mbele yake kwa mshangao. Alikuwa mrefu, mwembamba. Nywele hakuchana. Suruali yake ilikuwa chafu. Alivaa shati la rangi ya buluu lakini hakufunga kifungo hata kimoja. Alivaa raba zilizochakaa miguuni. Kijana alicheka kama kumkebehi Prospa, na mara macho ya Prospa yakafunguka!Prospa was dumbfounded. He looked with wonder at the youth standing in front of him. He was tall and rail-thin. His hair was messy, his pants were dirty, and not even one of the buttons on his blue shirt had been buttoned. The shoes on his feet were worn out. The youth laughed as if he had just insulted Prospa, and instantly Prospa's eyes were opened.
"Kaka Petro!" Prospa alitamka, "Sikukutambua!""Brother Petro!" Prospa exclaimed, "I didn't recognize you!"
"Mezea basi," Petro alisema. "Unafanya nini Dar.""Out with it then," Petro alisema. "What are you doing in Dar."
"Tumefika sasa hivi. Kwa basi. Lo! Jamani, siamini bahati hii! Nilikuwa nataka kuulizia unakoishi. Nimekuja kumtafuta Merisho." Prospa alisema kila kitu kwa haraka, akiwa amefurahi sana."We just arrived. By bus. Lo! Friend, I can't believe this luck! I was planning to ask around for your address. I've come to look for Merisho." Prospa said everything quickly, so happy was he to see Petro.
"He, unakuja kuulizia mtu jijini hapa? Unafikiria huku ni Kiboriloni?" Petro alisema, huku akiangalia huku na kulu. Prospa alimtazama Kaka Petro kwa mshangao, kama bado hajaamini kwamba macho yake yanamwambia kweli."Ha, you're coming to ask someone in the city here? You think this is Kiboriloni?" Petro said, as he looked around here and there. Prospa stared at Brother Petro in shock, as if he still couldn't believe his eyes were telling him the truth.
"Habari za Moshi?" Petro aliuliza."What's the latest in Moshi?" Petros asked.
Akili ya Prospa ilikuwa imetekwa nyara na habari za kupotea kwa Merisho, kwa hiyo alijibu, "Aliibwa, nimekuja huku kumtafuta."Prospa's mind was preoccupied with the news of Merisho's vanishing, so he replied "He's been taken, I've come here to look for him."
"Aa, ndiyo. Nilisoma kwenye gazeti la Uhuru wasingeandika jina la Ringo, nisingeamini," Petro alisema. "Mpaka sasa hajapatikana tu.""Ah, yes. I read about it in the Freedom newspaper; if they hadn't written the name 'Ringo', I wouldn't have believed it," Petro said. "He hasn't yet turned up."
"Kumbe habari zilipelekwa gazetini?" Prospa alishangaa."What! Notice was sent to the newspaper?" Prospa exclaimed.
"Ala, umetokea wapi? Kwani hamkwenda polisi kutoa ripoti?" Petro aliuliza."Ay, where have you been? Why didn't you report it to the police?" Petro asked.
"Polisi waliuliza maswali tu," Prospa alisema."The police just asked questions," Prospa said.
Kaka Petro alicheka, "Ndiyo kazi hiyo. Kwani ulitakaje?" Petro alitazama huku na kule, kama vile ana wasiwasi fulani, kama vile kuna mtu anamkimbia. "Sasa?" aliuliza, halafu aliendelea, "Mimi nina mipango mahali mara moja. Kaa hapahapa nitakukuta."Brother Petro laughed, "That's indeed their job. What did you expect?" Petro looked here and there, as if he was worried about something, as if someone was chasing after him. "Now?" he asked, then continued, "I have plans to be somewhere right now. Stay right here, I'll come back to get you."
"Hapa?" Prospa alipatwa na kiwewe, aliangalia huku na kule. Hekaheka za Manzese zilikuwa hazielekei kupungua. Hakuona usalama kuachwa pale."Here?" Prospa was overcome with anxiety. The chaos of Manzese showed no signs of diminishing. He saw nowhere safe to stay behind.
"Mipango yangu inalala aise," Petro alisema, akaanza kuondoka."I have things to do, I say," Petros said, then started to leave.
"Sasa unaishi wapi kaka? Nakuomba unipeleke nyumbani basi," Prospa alimsihi kaka yake. Alimshika mkono kama kumzuia asiondoke."Where are you living now brother? Send me to your home, I beg you," Prospa urged his brother. He grabbed his hand as if to prevent him from leaving.
"Yaani umekuja kwangu?" Petro aliuliza."You want to come to my place?" Petro asked.
"Nilikuwa nataka... utanipeleka kwa Mjomba Feliksi basi," Prospa alisihi."I originally wanted... you to send me to Uncle Feliksi," Prospa urged.
"Mambo ya kushtukiza siyawezi mie," Petro alilalamika."I can't deal with this problem," Petro complained.
"Kaka Petro jamani," Prospa alisema kwa sauti ya unyonge."Brother Petro friend," Prospa said in despair.
"Agh! Balaa hii," Petro alilalamika, akionesha kukasirika. "Basi twende," alisema kwa ghadhabu. Waliondoka pamoja na kuelekea kwenye uchochoro mmoja katikati ya nyumba nyingi zilizosongamana."Agh! Curse this," Petro complained, growing angry. "Let's go then," he said furiously. They left together and headed for an alley among the many homes grouped together.
Walikuwa hawajafika mbali waliposikia sauti ya msichana inawaita huku akiwakimbilia.They hadn't gone far when they heard the voice of a girl calling them as she ran after them.
"Prothpa, kwenye duka lilee nimeona magatheti yenye picha. Njoo ukaone," Sara alisema kwa hamu."Prothpa, in a thop over there I thaw a newthpaper with a picture of Meritho. Come and see," Sara beckoned.
Petro alisimama akamtazama Sara kwa mshangao. "Nani huyu?" alimuuliza Prospa.Petro stopped and looked at Sara with surprise. "Who is this?" he asked Prospa.
Kabla Prospa hajajibu, Sara alimtazama Petro na kusema, "Mimi naitwa Thara Edithon. Wewe unaitwa nani?"Before Prospa could respond, Sara looked at Petro and said, "My name is Thara Edithon. What's your name?"
Prospa aliwatazama Petro na Sara wakitazamana. Sara aligeuza shingo yake upande ili jicho lake zuri limuone Petro vizuri. Prospa hakusema lolote.Prospa watched as Petro and Sara stared at each other. Sara craned her neck so her good eye could see Petro well. Prospa didn't say a word.
Petro hakumjibu Sara. Alimwangalia Prospa na kumuuliza kwa mara ya pili, "Nani huyu?"Petro didn't reply to Sara. He looked at Prospa and asked him a second time, "Who is this?"
"Anaitwa Sara," Prospa alijibu kwa sauti isiyokuwa kakamavu. "Tumekuja pamoja kumtafuta Merisho," alieleza."Her name is Sara," Prospa replied uncertainly. "We have come together to look for Merisho," he explained.
"Haya mambo ni makubwa. Sikuwezi bwana," Petro alisema kwa hamaki, akikuna kichwa kwa mikono yote miwili. Alimtazama Sara kwa muda. Hakuweza kusema neno. Prospa alimtazama Petro kwa woga. Akanyamaza. Sara alimtazama Petro, halafu akamtazama Prospa, kisha akamtazama Petro tena. Halafu alisema, "Thatha nini? Twendeni. Mbona mmethimama?""This is a big problem. I can't handle this man," Petro said angrily as he held his head in his hands. He looked at Sara for some time, unable to say anything. Prospa looked at Petro fearfully. He stayed quiet. Sara looked at Petro, then at Prospa, then back at Petro again. Then she said, "Now what? Let's go. Why are you two still standing around?"
Sara alianza kutembea. Petro na Prospa wakamfuata. Kisha Petro akatangulia ili awaoneshe njia inayokwenda kwake.Sara started to walk away. Petro and Prospa followed her. Then Petro took the lead to show them the way to his place.
Petro aliwafikisha kwenye nyumba iliyokuwa kwenye bonde, mwisho wa uchochoro. Aliwaingiza katika chumba kimoja kati ya vyumba vingi vya nyumba hiyo. Ndani ya chumba kulikuwa giza na joto lilikuwa jingi. Kulikuwa na kitanda kimoja cha banko na godoro la pamba lililotanda madoa ya jasho la miaki mingi. Hapakuwa na shuka. Dirisha lilikuwa moja tu, na harufu ya hewa nzito iliwajaa puani walipoingia. Chumba kilikuwa na kabati ndogo ya vyombo na viti viwili vya kukunja. Sara na Prospa walisimama wakitazama chumba bila kusema lolote.Petro ushered them into his home, in a recessed area at the end of an alley. He showed them into one of the house's many rooms. The room was dark and hot. There was a single bunkbed and a cotton mattress covered in many years of sweat stains. It didn't have any sheets. There was a single window, and the stench in the heavy air filled their noses when they entered. The room had a small cabinet for dishes and two folding chairs. Sara and Prospa stood in the room and looked around without saying a word.
Petro aliwaambia, "Kaeni hapa mpaka nitakaporudi." Halafu aliondoka.Petro told them, "Stay here until I return." Then he left.

Sura ya kumi na moja

Chapter Eleven

Petro alirudi saa nne usiku. Aliwakuta Prospa na Sara wamelala bila kuoga wala kula. Petro aliwaamsha, akawambia, "Nendeni mkaoge. Nimewawekea maji kwenye ndoo mbili bafuni. Aanze Sara."Petro returned at 10pm. He found Prospa and Sara had slept without bathing or eating. Petro awoke them and said, "Go wash. I've kept water for you in two buckets in the bathroom. Sara first."
Aliwaonesha mahali pa kuogea, akawapa kipande cha sabuni ya mbuni, halafu akawaambia, "Nakwenda kuwaletea chakula."He showed them where to bathe, gave them a piece of ostrich soap, then said, "I'm going out to get some food."
Petro aliporudi, alikuta Prospa na Sara wamekwishaoga na kubadilisha nguo. Aliwaletea viazi vya kukaanga pamoja na vipande vichache vya nyama ya kuchoma. Chakula kilikuwa kimefungwa katika gazeti.When Petro returned, he found Prospa and Sara had already finished bathing and had changed their clothes. He had brought them fried potatoes along with a few pieces of roasted meat. The food was wrapped up in newspaper.
Walipomaliza kula, Prospa alimueleza Petro mambo yaliyowapata. Merisho alivyoibwa, jinsi yeye na Dada Josefina walivyosikitishwa na tukio hilo.When they had finished eating, Prospa explained to Petro the situation at hand. How Merisho had been taken, and how saddened Sister Josefina was by this event.
Petro alisema, "Hivi mtu anaiba mtoto mdogo kama yule kumfanyia nini? Huyo si hasara tu, kula na kuvaa bila jasho."Petro said, "This person who abducted a small child like Merisho, what is he trying to accomplish? This isn't simple theft by someone living without working."
Wote walikaa kimya kama vile wanatafuta jibu.They all sat there silently as if searching for an answer.
"Unafikiri labda mtoto alipatikana?" Sara aliuliza."Do you think maybe he's already turned up?" Sara asked.
"Sina habari," Petro alijibu. "Labda angepatikana tungejua. Labda habari zingepita katika bomba," Petro alisema."I haven't heard anything," Petro replied. "We'd probably know through the grapevine if he'd been found."
"Lazima apatikane. Najua Merisho hajafa. Najua," Prospa alisema."He must turn up. I know Merisho hasn't died yet. I know it," Prospa said.
"Mimi nafahamu alipo," Sara alisema."I know where he ith," Sara said.
"Yuko wapi?" Petro aliuliza."Where is he?" Petro asked.
"Nafahamu," Sara alisema tena."I know," Sara said again.
"Sema basi. Tunacheza hapa?" Petro alisema."Say it then. Are we playing around here?" Petro said.
"Yuko hapahapa Darithalam. Yuko na mama yake," Sara alisema."He'th right here in Dar eth Thalam. Him and hith mother both," Sara said.
"Ah, mwache huyu bwana. Mama yake si Dada Josefina ambaye ni mwalimu kule TPC? Nilimwacha nyumbani nilipokuja huku," Prospa alieleza."Ah, drop this nonsense man. Are you saying his mother isn't my sister Josefina who's teaching at TPC? I left her at home when I came here," Prospa explained.
Petro hakutaka kubishana na Sara, wala hakutaka kumtazama usoni. Jicho la Sara lilimfanya akose raha hata ya kumtazama tu. Aliuliza, "Mnafikiri ni nani aliyemwiba Merisho."Petro didn't want to argue with Sara, nor did he want to look at her face. Just looking at Sara's bad eye made him uncomfortable. He asked, "Who do you two think took Merisho?"
"Dada ana rafiki yake anayeitwa Sofia na mume wake anayeitwa Mohamed. Walimpenda sana Merisho. Mimi najua tu ni wao waliomtorosha," Prospa alieleza."Sister has a friend named Sofia and her husband is named Mohamed. They very much love Merisho. I just know it was them who ran away with him," Prospa explained.
"Una uhakika gani kwamba ni wao?" Petro aliuliza."What makes you so sure it was them?" Petro asked.
"Siku Merisho aliyopotea, Mama Sofia hakuwa nyumbani," Prospa alieleza. "Polisi walipomuuliza kwamba alikuwa wapi, yeye alisema kwamba alienda mjini Moshi kununua kitambaa cha gauni. Polisi walipomwambia alete kitambaa, alisema hana. Nikajua tu hicho kilikuwa kisingizio," Prospa alimalizia."The day Merisho went missing, Mama Sofia wasn't home," Prospa explained. "When the police asked her where she was, she said she went to Moshi to buy cloth for a dress. When the police told her to bring the cloth, she said she didn't have it. I just know that this was a cover-up."
Petro alisema, "Kwa nini unafikiria kwamba mama Sofia angemwiba mtoto? Haitoshi kusema kwamba hakutoa kitambaa alichonunua mjini Moshi. Inawezakana kwamba alikuwa na shughuli zake nyingine amabazo hakutaka polisi wajue. Kutokuwa na kitambaa hakutoshi kumbana, bwana Pro."Petro said, "Why do you think that Sofia took the child? It isn't enough to say that she couldn't produce the cloth that she bought in Moshi. It's possible that she had some other business that she didn't want the police to know about. Not having the cloth isn't enough to implicate her, Pro."
Prospa alibabaika. "Hana mtoto, halafu alimpenda sana Merisho," alisisitiza.Prospa started to stammer in confusion. "She doesn't have a child, and she very much loved Merisho," he insisted.
"Haitoshi hiyo," Petro alisema. "Nyie mnajitia wajanja bure, mnapoteza wakati tu mnapojifanya wapelelezi. Yaani mtu akishampenda mtoto tu basi, iba!" Petro alicheka kwa kebehi."That isn't enough," Petro said. "You all pretending to be clever is useless, you're just wasting time when you pretend to be investigators. As if someone steals a child just because they love them!" Petro laughed derisively.
Sara aliuliza, "We kaka Petro hutaki mtoto?"Sara asked, "You don't want a child brother Petro?"
"Wa nini? Mie natafuta mali bwana. Natafuta pesa. Unasikia?" Petro alisema."For what? I'm searching for wealth man. I'm looking for money. You hear?" Petro said.
Wakati wote Prospa alikuwa anafikiria, mwishowe alisema, "Hata mnieleze nini, hata mniambie nini, ni lazima nimtafute Merisho mpaka nimpate. Na mimi najua tu, nikiwafuatilia hawa watu nitampata Merisho. Najua tu."The whole time Prospa had been contemplating. Finally he said, "No matter what you explain to me, no matter what you tell me, I must look for Merisho until I get him back. And I just know that if I follow these people carefully, I will get Merisho back. I just know."
Petro alinyamaza kwa muda, halafu alisema, "Kesho nitaulizia kuhusu hao watu, halafu nitawapa taarifa."Petro was silent for awhile, then said, "Tomorrow I will ask around about these people, then I'll call on them."
Siku hiyo, Sara alilala kitandani. Petro na Prospa walilalia mkeka chini sakafuni. Asubuhi Sara na Prospa walipoamka walikuta Petro amekwishaondoka. Aliwaachia maandazi manne kwenye sahani juu ya kabati. Chai ilikuwa kwenye birika ndogo ya bati. Petro hakurudi tena mpaka usiku. Aliporudi aliwaambia, "Nimepata habari."That night, Sara slept on the bed. Petro and Prospa slept on the mat on the floor. In the morning Sara and Prospa awoke to find that Petro had already left. He had left for them four pieces of bread on a plate above the cabinet. Petro didn't return again until night. When he returned he told them, "I've got some news."
"Tuelethe," Sara alisema kwa hamu."Tell uth," Sara said anxiously.
"Sema basi kaka," Prospa alisema."Say it then brother," Prospa said.
Petro alinyamaza. Alikuwa kama anafikiria jambo. Mara alisema, "Itabidi muondoke hapa. Mambo yangu mengi yamelala."Petro was silent. It was as if he had a problem on his mind. Then he said, "You all need to leave here. I have many things to deal with."
"Thema kwantha hitho habari," Sara alimhimiza huku akipigapiga miguu chini."Tell uth the newth firtht," Sara coaxed him as she stamped her feet on the ground.
"Ni mambo gani umesikia?" Prospa aliuliza."What kind of news have you heard?"
Petro alisema, "Sasa sikilizeni. Nimepata habari kwamba Mohamed ana ndugu yake hapa Magomeni."Petro said, "Now listen you two. I've received news that Mohamed has a brother here in Magomeni."
"Thatha?" Sara aliuliza."Now what?" Sara asked.
"Ehe," Prospa alihimiza."Ehe," Prospa encouraged.
Petro aliendelea, "Labda huyu ndugu atafahamu habari za mtoto. Tunatakiwa tupange jinsi ya kumwingia. Labda tuchukue polisi."Petro continued, "Maybe this brother will have some news about the child. We will need to plan some way to approach him. Maybe we should get the police involved."
Wote walinyamaza, wakawa wanafikiria.They were quiet for some time as they thought.
Sara alisema, "Mimi nitakuwa mfanyakathi wa nyumbani kwake Mohamed. Prothpa atakuwa kaka yake Merisho. Tutathema tumetumwa kuja kumthalimia mtoto."Sara said, "I'll be a worker from Mohamed'th houthe. Prothpa will be Meritho'th brother. We'll thay we've been sent to come greet the child."
Petro na Prospa walicheka. Walicheka sana.Petro and Prospa laughed, hard.
"Ngoja, ngoja," Sara aliendelea. "Tutathema kwamba Mohamed ni baba yake Merisho.""Wait, wait," Sara continued. "We'll thay that Mohamed ith Meritho'th father."
"Acha utani wa kijinga," Petro alisema."Drop this stupid joke," Petro said.
"Thio utani wewe," Sara alisema. "Ndugu yake akijua kwamba Merisho ni mtoto wa Mohamed, atatuambia alipo. Wewe huoni?""It'th not a joke," Sara said. "If hith brother thinkth that Meritho is Mohamed'th child, he'll tell uth where he ith. Don't you thee?"
"Tusichukue polisi, itakuwa kazi bure," Prospa alisema."We shouldn't get the police involved, it will be useless," Prospa said.
"Haya, mmoja anasema tusichukue polisi. Mwingine anasema tuingie jukwaani tucheze mchezo wa kuigiza. Nendeni zenu mhangaike wenyewe basi," Petro alisema kwa hasira."One of you says we shouldn't go to the police. Another says we should get on stage and start acting. Go do these things and suffer the consequences yourselves," Petro said angrily.
Prospa na Sara walimtazama Petro kwa wasiwasi.Prospa and Sara looked at Petro with worry.
Sara alisema, "Tutaenda thithi, Ee, Prothpa. Mimi thiogopi kwenda."Sara said, "We'll go ourthelveth Prothpa. I'm not afraid to go."
"Nyie balaa kabisa, mnapoteza nguvu zangu bure tu," Petro alisema. "Mnataka kumpata huyu mtoto, ama hamtaki. Kwanza wewe Prospa ni wa kupeleka polisi utiwe jela ya watoto. Umemtoroka dada yako, halafu umekwenda umemtorosha msichana wa watu, wazazi wake huwajui aliko, eti kwa kujitia wewe ni mpelelezi! Dada yako umemwona bwege kwa kuwaachia polisi mambo haya? Na msichana mwenyewe basi, nusu kichaa nusu mchawi! Agh, nakwenda zangu kulala." Petro alitoka nje, akaacha mlango wazi, akaenda zake."This is completely insane, you two have wasted all of my energy," Petro said. "Either you want to get this child, or you don't. First of all, Prospa you should be sent to a juvenile prison. You've abandoned your sister, then you've gone and taken this girl from her people, her parents have no idea where she is, and on top of that you're pretending to be an investigator! Do you think your sister is stupid for leaving this matter to the police? And this girl herself is half crazy and half witch! Agh, I'm leaving to sleep by myself." Petro went outside, leaving the door open, and went on his way.
"Utalala wapi?" Prospa aliuliza."Where will you sleep?" Prospa asked after him.
Petro hakujibu.Petro didn't respond.

Sura ya kumi na mbili

Chapter Twelve

Walipoamka asubuhi walikuta maandazi pamoja na chai vimewekwa juu ya mkeka kwenye kona moja ya chumba. Hawakujua Petro alirudi saa ngapi, na aliingaje ndani bila wao kusikia. Hawakujua kama alirudi usiku ama asubuhi. Na kwa nini hakuwaamsha?They awoke in the morning to find that maandazi and tea had been placed on the mat in one corner of the room. They didn't know what time Petro had returned, or how he had come in without them hearing anything. Nor did they know whether he had returned sometime in the night or that morning. And why hadn't he awoken them?
Walivamia maandazi na chai bila hata kupiga mswaki. Walikuwa wanahisi njaa sana kwani walikuwa hawakula chakula usiku uliopita. Walizungumza huku wakitafuna hadi Sara akapaliwa.They pounced on the maandazi and tea without even brushing their teeth. They were incredibly hungry as they hadn't eaten dinner the night before. They talked as they chewed until Sara started choking.
"Ha, unakula harakaharaka kama unakimbizwa?" Prospa alimkemea Sara."Ha, you're eating as if you're being chased?" Prospa scolded Sara.
"Na wewe je?" Sara alimuuliza. Wote walianza kula polepole. Sara alikaa kwenye kiti na Prospa alikaa kitandani."And what about yourthelf?" Sara asked him. They both started to eat slowly. Sara was sitting in a chair, Prospa on the bed.
"Thatha leo vipi?" Sara aliuliza."Now how about today?" Sara asked.
Prospa alimtazama Sara bila kujibu lolote. Alikuwa anatafuna andazi na kunywa chai mfululizo bila kujipa nafasi ya kuongea. Alitafuna harakaharaka kama vile anachelewa kufanya jambo jingine muhimu.Prospa looked at Sara without answering. He was chewing maandazi and drinking tea non-stop without giving himself a chance to speak. He chewed quickly as if he was late for some other important matter.
Sara aliendelea kusema, "Unakumbuka? Mimi leo nitakuwa mfanyakathi wa Mohamed. Wewe utakuwa nani Prothpa?"Sara continued, "Do you remember? Today I'll be one of Mohamed'th employeeth. Who will you be Prothpa?"
"Polisi," Prospa alisema huku akimeza chai."The police," Prospa said as gulped down tea.
"Halafu utafanya nini?" Sara aliuliza."Then what will you do?" Sara asked.
"Wewe ndiye unayefahamu kila kitu. Niambie nitafanya nini," Prospa alisema. Lakini mawazo yake hayakuwa katika kufikiria juu ya kazi watakayofanya siku hiyo. Alitoka kitandani akaelekea kwenye birika la chai, akatingisha birika, akakuta kwamba ni tupu. Hakuamini. Alitoa kifuniko chake ili ahakikishe kwamba chai imekwisha. "Lo, chai tamu kweli hii," alisema."You're the one who knows everything. You tell me what I'll do," Prospa said. His thoughts weren't on the work they had to do that day. He got up from the bed and went over to the tea kettle, tipping it over only to find it empty. He didn't believe it. He removed the lid to be sure the tea was finished. "Lo, this was really good tea," he said.
Sara alikuwa bado hajamaliza chai wala maandazi. Prospa alimtazama kwa macho ya uchu.Sara hadn't yet finished her tea and maandazi. Prospa looked at her with hungry eyes.
Sara alisema, "Thikupi. Thikupi hata ukilia."Sara said, "I won't give it to you. Not even if you cry."
Prospa hakusema kitu lakini aliendelea kumtazama Sara anavyoweka andazi mdomoni, anavyotafuna polepole, anavyomeza.Prospa said nothing but continued to watch as Sara put the maandazi in her mouth, as she chewed slowly, and as she swallowed.
Sara alijifanya kama haoni hamu ya Prospa, alisema, "Prothpa utakuwa nani? Leo lathima tumpate Merisho."Sara pretended as if she didn't see Prospa's hunger and said, "Prothpa who will you be? Today we have to get Meritho back."
"Sijui kuna nini leo. Sijisikii vizuri na kichwa kinaniuma," Prospa alisema. Akarudi kukaa kitandani."I don't know anything today. I'm not feeling well and my head is hurting me," Prospa said. He got back up on the bed.
"Wewe una tamaa, ndiyo thababu kichwa kinauma. Mlafi we," Sara alimbeza Prospa."You're greedy, which ith indeed the reathon your head ith hurting; you're being a glutton," Sara said to Prospa scornfully.
Prospa alinyamaza. Sara alimaliza chai, halafu akamega kipande kidogo cha andazi akampa Prospa, kisha akatafuna kipande kilichobaki polepole. Akarudisha kikombe juu ya kabati.Prospa was silent. Sara finished her tea, broke off a small piece of maandazi and gave it to Prospa, then slowly chewed the piece that remained. She then returned her cup to its place above the cabinet.
"Twende," Sara alisema."Let'th go," Sara said.
"Twende wapi?" Prospa aliuliza."Where?" Prospa asked.
"We twende utaona mwenyewe," Sara alisema."Jutht come on and you'll thee for yourthelf," Sara said.
"Tupange kwanza. Huku ni Darisalam, usilete mchezo," Prospa alisema."We should plan first. This is Dar, quit playing around," Prospa said.
Sara alifungua mlango akaondoka.Sara opened the door and walked out.
"Sara, Sara njoo kwanza. We Sara..." Prospa alimwita. Alijua kwamba Sara ni mkaidi, alijua kwamba hatarudi. Alikasirika. Kwa nini hasikii huyu? Kichwa chake kibovu? Lakini alichepuka kitandani, akamfuata haraka, akamkuta nje karibu anakata kona kuingia kwenye uchochoro."Sara, Sara come here first. Hey Sara..." Prospa called after her. He knew that Sara was stubborn. that she wouldn't come back. He became angry. Why didn't she listen to him? Was there something wrong with her head? But he lept up from the bed and hurried after her, finding her outside as she turned a corner to enter an alleyway.
Walitembea bila kuongea. Walikata kona nyingi, walipita uchochoro mmoja hadi mwingine. Prospa alichanganyikiwa. Kila mahali walikuta biashara zinazofanana. Wauzaji walifanana. Wauza karanga, ndizi mbivu, machungwa, watembeza nguo mpya, watembeza mitumba, wote walifanana. Walisema maneno yale yale. "Nguo safi, haya mama, nguo safi kabisa hizi; machungwa safi mama..." Wote walivaa kanda mbili, miguu yao ilifunikwa na vumbi. Wote walinuka jasho. Prospa alikumbuka watoto wa kijijini kwao wakati wa kiangazi. Vumbi lilitanda miguu yao, likawa kama viatu. Prospa alivutiwa na wauza karanga waliogongagonga pesa zao kwa ustadi katika mkono mmoja na mwingine ukiwa umebeba kapu dogo lenye karanga. Hawaibiwi hizi pesa? Tena nyingi namna hii! Zikianguka je, zisambae kila upande huku na kule, halafu kila mtu akimbie kuokota zake...!They walked without speaking to each other. They turned many corners, passing through one alley after another. Prospa was all mixed up. Everywhere they went they found the same businesses. Every seller looked alike. People selling peanuts, ripe bananas, oranges, hawking new clothes, second-hand clothes; they all looked alike. Their words blended together. "Clean clothes, yes mama, completely clean clothes here; fresh oranges mama..." Everyone carried two bags, and their feet were covered in dust. Everyone swelled of sweat. Prospa recalled the children in their village during the dry season. The dust coating their feet looked like shoes. Prospa's attention was drawn to the people selling peanuts as they jingled their loose change skillfully in one hand and carried a small basket of peanuts in the other. How come they weren't being robbed of their money? Moreover they had so much of it! And if the coins happened to fall from their hands, they would scatter every which way, and everyone would run to claim their share...!
Manzese iliwachekea. Iliwakaribisha kwa rangi za bidhaa aina kwa aina. Watu wa kila namna. Vicheko, ugomvi, kelele zilichanganyika hata ilikuwa vigumu kuzitenganisha katika masikio.Manzese laughed at them. It welcomed them with a rainbow of colors from all kinds of things. People of every type. Laughter, arguments, and noise all mixed together until it was difficult to tell them apart.
Walitembea bila kuelewa walipokuwa wakienda. Manzese ilwalewesha, wakawa hawataki kufikiria jambo lingine bali kutembea tu.They walked without any idea of where they were going. Manzese exhilirated them, so much so that they didn't want to focus on anything except simply walking.
Wakati mmoja walijikuta sokoni. Soko refu, lililojinyoosha kufuatia mtaa. Kelele za wachuuzi zilijaa hewani zikachanganyika na harufu za bidhaa mbalimbali. Harufu ya samaki wa kukaanga ilichanganyikana na ile ya ndizi mbivu pamoja na harufu ya mafenesi yaliyokatwakatwa yakiwa yamezingirwa na inzi wengi. Kulikuwa na harufu ya mitumba na ya maji machafu yaliyopita katika mifereji ambayo haijulikani ilianzia wapi na ilikwenda wapi.Eventually they found themselves at the market. It was huge, stretching out along the length of the road. The noise of the sellers filled the air, along with the scents of an array of goods. The smell of roasted fish mixed with that of ripe bananas, together with the scent of jackfruit, freshly cut and surrounded by many flies. Then there was the musk of second-hand clothes and the stench of dirty water passing through ditches with no beginning or end in sight.
Prospa na Sara walitembea katikati ya makundi ya watu wasiotulia. Hakuna aliyewajali. Walitembea wakiwa wameshikana mikono wakisimama hapa na pale.Prospa and Sara walked among the groups of noisy people. No one paid them any mind. They held hands as they walked, stopping occasionally here and there.
Waliona wabeba mizigo, vijana wa kiume wenye vifua vigumu vilivyotandwa jasho. Vijana hao walibeba gunia zima la mahindi au viazi mgongoni! Walikuwa wakali, wasiokuwa na subira. Bila shaka wana nguvu sana, na labda ni wagomvi vilevile, wachokozi. Prospa aliwaza; wakampiga mtu ngumi..., halafu alisema ghafla, "Twende, tutoke huku." Alimvuta Sara kuelekea walikotoka. Sara hakutaka kurudi, lakini alimfuata Prospa bila ubishi, kisha akasema, "Mwoga thana wewe."They saw some people carrying bags, young men with hard chests covered in sweat. These men were carrying entire sacks of corn or potatoes on their backs! They looked fierce and impatient. Without a doubt they were very strong, and probably were also argumentative and easily provoked. Prospa thought; then struck one of them with his fist..., then said suddenly, "Let's go, let's get out of here." He pulled Sara back in the direction they had come from. Sara didn't want to go back but followed Prospa without putting up a fight, then said, "You're thuch a coward."
Prospa alisema, "Na wewe je? Kama si mwoga rudi basi, peke yako."Prospa said, "And how about you? If you aren't a coward go back then, by yourself."
"Thitaki," Sara alisema."I don't want to," Sara said.
"Mwoga huyoo," Prospa alisema kwa sauti na kuanza kukimbia."Coward here," Prospa said loudly as he started to run.
Sara alimkimbilia na punde si punde akamkamata shati na kumfanya asimame.Sara ran after him and soon grabbed him by his shirt, forcing him to a stop.
Walitazamana. Wote walikuwa wakihema. Walicheka sana kama vile walikuwa wamepata ushindi fulani.They looked at each other. Both of them were out of breath. Then they began laughing hard, as if they had just gotten away with something.
Jua lilikuwa kali. Walitokwa jasho. Walisikia kiu. Waliingia kwenye duka moja la bidhaa za kila aina, mafuta ya kupika, mafuta ya nywele, mafuta ya taa, sabuni za aina mbalimbali, vitu vya urembo kama hereni, bangili za rangi, na kadhalika.The sun was blazing hot. Sweat poured out of them and they were parched. They entered into a shop selling various kinds of goods: cooking oil, hair gel, kerosene, different types of soap, and beauty products like earrings, colorful bracelets, and so on.
Sara alisema, "Tunaomba maji kaka."Sara said, "We would like thome water brother."
Kijana wa Kiarabu alimjibu bila kumtazama, "Hakuna maji, yanauzwa mbele kidogo karibu na soko. Au nunueni soda baridi duka la pili hapo."An Arab youth replied without looking at her, "There's no water here, you can get some a little further down near the market. Or buy a cold soda from the second shop down."
"Maji yanauzwa? Sara unasikia, umesikia Mwarabu amesema nini? Sara, eti maji yanauzwa! Kule TPC ukiuza maji watu watakuona kama una kichaa.""Water is being sold? Sara did you hear, did you hear what that Arab guy said? Sara, they sell water here! At TPC if you sell water people will look at you like you're crazy."
"Thio TPC hapa," Sara alimjibu. Alikuwa anatembea harakaharaka. Jasho lilikuwa linamtiririka usoni. Jua liliwaka, lilichoma ngozi zao kama moto. Walipofika duka lenye soda, Sara alimwambia aliyekuwa akiuza, "Nipe thoda.""This isn't TPC," Sara replied. She was walking quickly. Sweat was flowing from her face. The sun was burning, roasting their skin as would a fire. When they arrived at the shop selling soda, Sara said to the shopkeeper, "Give me a thoda."
"Soda gani?" muuza duka aliuliza."What kind?" the shopkeeper asked.
"Thoda gani? Thi hitho hapo," Sara alisema."What kind? There'th none here," Sara said.
"Hee, wakwetu, unataka mirinda, pepsi, kokakola, ama soda maji," muuza duka alisema kwa sauti isiyokuwa na subira."Ehh, at my place they are, do you want a Mirinda, Pepsi, Coke, or soda water," the shopkeeper said impatiently.
"Nipe mirinda," Sara alisema."Give me a Mirinda," Sara said.
Prospa alimnong'oneza, "We Sara, utaninunulia na mimi?"Prospa whispered to her, "Sara what are you going to buy for me?"
Muuza duka alisema, "Leta hela. Shilingi sabini."The shopkeeper said, "Pay first. Seventy shillings."
Prospa alicheka kwa huzuni, kwani alishapata matumaini ya kunywa soda, akifikiria kuwa ingekuwa bei rahisi.Prospa laughed bitterly, for he had already gotten his hopes up for a soda he had thought would have been cheap.
"Nipe thoda kwanza. Mimi thio mwidhi," Sara alimwambia mwenye duka."Give me the thoda firtht. I'm no thief," Sara told the shopkeeper.
"Kama hamtaki soda nendeni zenu," muuza duka alisema kwa hasira. "Kwanza tokeni hapa. Tokeni! Nendeni! Vijizi vya mchana nyie mnajitia wajanja," yule muuza duka alifoka vikali."If you two don't want a soda then be on your way," the shopkeeper said angrily. Get out of here. Get out! Go! You're thieves in broad daylight pretending to be clever," the shopkeeper exploded.
Sara alimtazama muuzaji. Prospa alimtazama muuzaji.Sara and Prospa just looked at the shopkeeper.
Prospa alimshika Sara mkono wakaondoka.Prospa grabbed Sara by the hand and they left.
Prospa alimuuliza Sara kwa upole, "Ulikuwa na pesa?"Prospa gently asked Sara, "Do you have money?"
Sara aliingiza mkono ndani ya mfuko wa gauni lake, akatoa kafundo kadogo ka kitambaa cha mkono, akafungua. Alikuwa na shilingi mia mbili.Sara reached her hand inside her dress, pulled out a small bundle of cloth, and opened it. She had two hundred shillings.
Baadaye walinunua machungwa mawili wakala. Walijishauri warudi nyumbani wakapmuzike.Later they bought two oranges and ate them. They then decided to return home to rest.
Petro alirudi saa moja jioni akawakuta wamelala. "Nyie, nyie, amkeni, amkeni haraka niwapashe," Petro alisema akiwa na furaha.Petro came back at 7pm and found them sleeping. "You two, hey you two, get up, get up quickly, I got ahold of them," Petro said happily.
Petro alikuwa amebeba kifurushi kidogo ndani ya mfuko wa plastiki. Alikiweka juu ya mkeka kwenye kona, halafu akakimbia tena nje. Alirudi baada ya muda mfupi akiwa amebeba soda tatu, akaziweka juu ya mkeka. Alitafuta sahani kubwa ndani ya kabati ya vyombo, halafu akafungua kifurushi polepole. Kwanza Prospa na Sara walinusa harufu nzuri ya kuku wa kuchoma kabla hata hawajaiona.Petro was carrying a small bundle inside a plastic bag. He placed it on a corner of the rug, then ran outside again. He returned after a short time carrying three sodas, which he placed atop the rug as well. He searched inside the cabinet for a large plate, then opened the bundle slowly. Prospa and Sara smelled the delicious scent of roasted chicken before they could even see it.
Petro aliendelea kufungua kifurushi polepole. Kilichokuwa ndani kilifungwa kwenye karatasi za magazeti. Walianza kuona ndizi tatu za kuchoma, halafu wakaona viazi vya kukaanga. Chakula kikatoa harufu iliyokolea, ikajaa ndani kama vile imefukizwa. Mwishowe, ndani ya kifurushi kingine waliona kuku wa kuchoma amekatwa vipandevipande.Petro continued to open the bundle slowly. The contents had been wrapped inside newspaper. They glimpsed three roasted bananas, then saw fried potatoes. The food gave off a delicious aroma, filling the room like incense. Finally, inside another bundle they saw roasted chicken that had been cut into small pieces.
Sara alisema, "Thiamini."Sara said, "I don't believe it."
Prospa alisema, "Bado mambo. Leo tutafanya sherehe.""This is nothing yet. Today we will have a celebration."
Prospa aliuliza, "Kaka Petro, umemwona Merisho?"Prospa asked, "Brother Petro, have you seen Merisho?"
"Subira. Uwe na subira bwana mdogo," Petro alisema."Wait. Have patience little man," Petro said.
Prospa alipatwa na wasiwasi. Kwa nini Kaka Petro amefanya yote haya? Aliuliza tena, "Merisho ameniulizia? Niambie kaka. Niambie, umemwona? Bado ananikumbuka?"Prospa was getting worried. Why was Petro doing all this? He asked again, "Did Merisho ask about me? Tell me brother. Tell me, have you seen him? Does he still remember me?"
Petro hakumjibu Prospa. Alisema, "Bado maji ya kunawa." Akaenda tena nje kuleta maji kwenye bilauri ya plastiki. Petro aliwaamuru wanawe mikono. Baada ya kunawa, alisema, "We Sara, kaa kwenye kiti, mimi na Prospa tutakaa kitandani."Petro didn't reply to Prospa. He said, "We haven't yet washed." He went outside again carrying water in a plastic cup. Petro motioned for them to come wash their hands. After washing, he said, "Sara you sit in the chair, Prospa and I will sit on the bed."
Wakatii.They did as he instructed.
Petro alisema, "Karibuni chakula, mle, mshibe, mfurahi."Petro said, "Help yourself to all this food; eat, fill up, be happy."
Petro alianza kula. Prospa na Sara waliduwaa.Petro started to eat. Prospa and Sara just sat there, dumbfounded.
Sara aliuliza, "Merisho amekua? Ulimwona?"Sara asked, "Has Merisho grown any? Did you see him?"
Prospa aliuliza, "Kaka Petro, umesikia kwamba amefariki siyo? Na sasa unatufariji kijanja."Prospa asked, "Brother Petro, have you heard whether he's dead or not? Now you're just comforting us cleverly."
"Ohoo, sasa mmezidi. Kuku amewapa kiwewe. Bwana wee, Merisho ni mzima kabisaaa. Mzima. Sasa kuleni halafu nitawaeleza habari nilizopata leo.""Ohoo, now you've gone too far. The chicken has made you anxious. Man, Merisho is completely fine. Fine. Now eat you two, then I'll explain to you the news I got today."
Prospa na Sara walikula bila raha ingawa walikuwa na njaa na chakula kilikuwa kizuri.Prospa and Sara ate reluctantly, even though they were hungry and the food was excellent.
Baadaye Petro alitoa karatasi mbili katika mfuko wa suruali, akazitandaza mezani na kuwaambia, "Hizi ni pasi zenu. Kesho mtaondoka na meli kwenda Zanzibar."Later Petro took out two pieces of paper from his pants pocket, spread them out on the table and said to them, "These are your passes. Tomorrow you two are getting on a ship to Zanzibar."
"Pasi?" Prospa aliuliza."Passes?" Prospa asked.
"Thanthibar?" Sara aliuliza kwa mshangao wa furaha."Thanthibar?" Sara asked excitedly.
"Sasa nisikilizeni vizuri. Hamwezi kwenda kisiwani Zanzibar bila pasi. Msiniulize kwa nini, mie sijui," Kaka Petro alieleza."Now listen to me well you two. You can't go to the island of Zanzibar without a pass. Don't ask me why, I have no idea," Petro explained.
"Zanzibar kuna nini?" Prospa aliuliza."What's in Zanzibar?" Prospa asked.
"Swali zuri, bwana mdogo, Zanzibar kuna wazazi wa bwana Mohamed. Nimepata hiyo habari leo. Haijulikani vizuri, labda Merisho yuko huko, labda hayupo.""Good question, little man; Mohamed's parents are in Zanzibar. I received this news today. It's not well known, maybe Merisho is there, maybe's he not."
"Nani kakuambia? Sara aliuliza.""Who told you? Sara asked."
"Tueleze vizuri basi, Kaka Petro," Petro alimsihi. Moyo ulianza tena kumwenda mbio."Explain to us well, brother Petro," Petro insisited. His heart started to beat fast again.
"Ehee. Leo asubuhi niliondoka hapa nikamtafuta huyu ndugu yake Mohamed wa TPC anayeishi Magomeni. Nikampata, kwa njia zangu mwenyewe. Nikamwambia, bwana we, yule mtoto aliyeandikwa kwenye gazeti la Uhuru kwamba kabiwa huko TPC, ni mtoto wenu. Ni mtoto wa Mohamed aliyemzaa nje na msichana wa siri."Ehee. This morning I left here in search of this brother of Mohamed who's living in Magomeni. I found him, by my own means. Then I said to him, man, that child who's been written about in the Uhuru newspaper, the one who was taken from TPC - that's our child. He's a child of Mohamed's born to him out of wedlock by a secret young woman.
Alaa, ndugu ya Mohamed akasema.'Alaa,' Mohamed's brother said.
Nikanogewa na hadithi. Hasa, nikasisitiza. Sasa? Yeye akaniuliza.I was pleased with my story, and I insisted to him that all was truly as I had said. 'Now what?' he asked me.
Mimi nikamwambia kwamba wazazi wake Mohamed walitaka wamuone mjukuu wao. Sasa, msichana alikuwa hataki kumachia mtoto wake. Hapo ndipo Mohamed na mke wake walipofanya mbinu zao hadi wakamtorosha mtoto. Alaa, jamaa akasema.I then told him that Mohamed's parents wanted to see their grandson. Now, the girl didn't want to leave the child with them. So Mohamed and his wife hatched a plan to take the child away. 'Alaa,' his brother said.
Na yeye vilevile alianza kunogewa na mambo. Mimi nikamwambia kwamba kuna vijana hapa, wametumwa na Mzee Mohamed wakaangalie kama mtoto kafika. Lakini mambo ni siri kabisa, kwa sababu polisi bado wanafanya uchunguzi. Hivyo, tulikubaliana kwamba mwondoke mapema iwezekanavyo mwende huko Zanzibar kwa babu na bibi wa mtoto. Hizi pasi tumezitafuta sote wawili.Now he also started to take an interest in the matter. I then told him that there are some youth here, employed by Mr. Mohamed to go and ensure the boy has arrived. But it's a complete secret since the police have yet to complete their investigation. So, we agreed that you two would leave as early as possible to go to the grandparents' place in Zanzibar. The two of us sought out these passes."
"Loo! Kosa kubwa umefanya," Prospa alisema."Loo! You've made a huge mistake," Prospa said.
"Kosa gani? Petro aliuliza.""What mistake?" Petro asked.
"Merisho aliibwa na mwanamke, kwa hiyo haiwezekani Mohamed ahusike," Prospa alisema."Merisho was taken by a woman, so Mohamed couldn't possibly have been involved," Prospa said.
"Una hakika gani wewe?" Kaka Petro aliuliza akianza kukasirika.What makes you so sure?" brother Petro asked, becoming angry.
"Rafiki yangu Mustafa alimwona. Jirani yetu mwanamke vilevile alimwona," Prospa alisema."My friend Mustafa saw her. One of the women in our neighborhood also saw her," Prospa alisema.
"Walikudanganya hao. Ulidanganywa bwana mdogo. Wewe utadanganywa hivyo kila siku tu," Petro alisema kwa uhakika."Those people lied to you. You've been deceived little man. At this rate you'll keep getting tricked every day," Petro said confidently.
"Thanthibar! Thanthibar, ni nchi ya ajabu?" Sara aliuliza."Thanthibar! Ithn't Thanthibar a land of wonderth?" Sara asked.
"Nendeni mkaone," Petro aliwaambia."Go and see for yourselves," Petro told them.
"Tutakwenda Thanthibar Prothpa. Labda huyo mwanamke mwithi aliagithwa na Mohamed," Sara alisema."We'll go to Thanthibar Prothpa. Maybe thith thief of a woman wath following Momahed'th inthtructionth," Sara said.
Petro aliwaambia, "Sasa, wazazi wake Mohamed wanaishi sehemu inayoitwa Chuini. Chuini, mnasikia? Nyie mkifika tu Zanzibar, mtauliza Chuini ni wapi, halafu mwende huko. Mkifika Chuini, ulizieni Mzee Mohamed Zinja."Petro told them, "Now, Mohamed's parents are living in a place called Chuini. Chuini, you hear? When you get to Zanzibar, you are to ask where Chuini is, then go there. When you get to Chuini, ask for Mr. Mohamed Zinja."

Sura ya kumi na tatu

Chapter Thirteen

"Bahari! Bahari! Hebu Sara tazama," Prospa alisema kwa mshangao. Kitu gani kama glasi? Mwisho wake uko wapi? Prospa alitazama boti, akashangaa zaidi. Ni kama nyumba inayoelea kwenye karai kubwa sana! "Sara, boti haitazama kweli, mbona inayumbauymba?!""The sea! The sea! Hey Sara look," Prospa said in awe. What made it look like glass? Where did it end? Propsa looked at the boat and only became more awestruck. It was like a house floating in a giant bathtub! "Sara, the boat doesn't look right, why is it swaying back and forth?!"
Moyo wa Prospa ulipiga kwa kasi kwa sababu ya wasiwasi wa safari. Petro alishughulika, alilipa, akapata tiketi za wote wawili. Wakati huo, Prospa na Sara waliangalia huku na kule, wakitazama meli zilizotia nanga baharini.Prospa's heart beat quickly, so concerned was he about the trip. Petro was busy; he had paid and given both of them their tickets. Then before they knew it, Propsa and Sara were taking in their surroundings, looking at the ships that had anchored out at sea.
Prospa alimuuliza Sara, "Naweza nikasimama juu ya maji kama meli?"Prospa asked Sara, "Can I stand on top of the water like a ship?"
Sara hakujibu.Sara didn't answer.
Waliagana na Kaka Petro, wakashuka ngazi kutoka ofisi za kukatia tiketi kuelekea kwenye boti. Mwanamume mmoja alikagua tiketi zao kabla ya kuingia na kuwaonesha sehemu za kukaa.They had said goodbye to brother Petro, walked down the stairs leading out of the ticket office, and headed towards the boat. A woman checked their tickets before they entered and showed them where to sit.
Prospa na Sara walikaa pamoja kwenye viti karibu na dirisha ili waweze kuona bahari. Kulikuwa na wazungu wamekaa karibu yao, vijana wakubwa kuliko wao kidogo. Walikuwa wanaongea lugha ya kigeni lakini Prospa aliweza kuhisi kwamba nao hii ilikuwa safari yao ya kwanza.Prospa and Sara sat together in two seats by the window so they could look out at the sea. Some foreigners were seated nearby, youth a few years their elder. They were speaking to each other in their language but Prospa could see that this was also their first trip.
Sehemu ya mbele ya boti ilitengwa, ikawa peke yake, imefichika kutoka sehemu waliyokuwa wamekaa. Huko, watu waliangalia sinema.The area at the front of the boat was separate from the section in which they were seated. Here, people were watching a movie.
Sara alitamani kwenda kuangalia sinema. Alipojaribu kuingia huko aliambiwa kwamba hiyo ni sehemu ya daraja la kwanza.Sara wanted to go watch the movie as well. When she tried to enter she was told that this was first-class seating.
Ghafla walisikia mlio kama wa ngurumo inayotoka mbali.Suddenly they heard a thunder-like roar off in the distance.
Wote walishtuka. Lakini mara boti iling'oa nanga, ikarudi nyuma halafu ndiyo ikaenda mbele.They were both startled. But it was just the boat raising its anchor; the boat went backwards a little, then started straight ahead.
"Lo, Sara ona. Dunia inarudi nyuma na sisi tunakwenda mbele, kama kwenye gari," Prospa alisema."Lo, Sara look. The world is being left behind and we're going straight ahead, just like in a car," Prospa said.
Sara alitazama tu bila kusema chochote. Jicho lake moja liling'aa kwa udadisi. Upande wa kulia waliona bandari imejaa meli zenye winchi zikiwa pamoja na boti nyingi ndogondogo.Sara just looked without saying anything. Her good eye shined bright with curiousity. To her right she saw a harbor filled with ships bearing cranes, along with many tiny boats.
Baada ya mwendo kidogo tu, boti ilisimama ili kupisha meli iliyokuwa inaingia bandarini. Waliondoka tena baada ya dakika chache kuelekea Zanzibar.After going just a little ways, the boat stopped to yield to a ship entering the harbor. A few minutes later they once again headed towards Zanzibar.
Waliona mashua ndogo kwenye bahari. Mashua hizo zilionekana ndogo ya nyepesi, zikiyumbishwa na mawimbi madogomadogo ya bahari.They saw little sailboats on the sea. These boats looked small and light, swayed by even the ocean's smallest waves.
"Wanavua samaki," Sara alisema. "Hao hawana woga," aliendelea."They're fishing," Sara said. "They must be fearless," she added.
Prospa alisema, "Kweli hawana woga.""Really fearless," Prospa agreed.
Walijua kwamba wamekwenda mbali walipojiona katikati ya bahari bila kuona nchi kavu upande wowote. Kwa mbali, waliona visiwa vidogovidogo, na kwenye upeo wa macho kulionekana mawingu mazito. Mwangaza wa jua ulipiga uso wa bahari ukawa unang'aa kama bati jipya.They knew they had gone far when they found themselves in the middle of the ocean and dry land was nowhere in sight. For awhile they saw only tiny little islands, and on the horizon they saw heavy clouds. The sun's light hit the surface of the ocean, giving it a metallic shine.
Boti iliyumba, ikiinamia upande mmoja halafu tena upande mwingine. Mawimbi yalizidi kuwa makubwa na yenye nguvu kadri walivyoendelea na safari. Mawimbi mazito yalipiga mbavu za boti kwa nguvu kama kwamba yalitaka kusukuma hiyo boti irudi ilikotoka.The boat swayed back and forth. As time went on, the waves got bigger and stronger. Heavy waves crashed against the boat, as if wanting to push it back to where it came from.
Mawimbi yalitetema baharini, yakafanana kama ndege wadogo wa angani wanavyorukaruka na kupiga mbawa zao kwa maringo, wakionekana wepesi kama majani makavu yanayoelea hewani. Boti ilielea juujuu kwenye mgongo wa wimbi kama vile kuliambia; hamniwezi.The waves danced on the water, in the same way that birds jump around and flap their wings ostentatiously, appearing as light as dry grass floating in the air. The boat sailed over the back of each wave as if to tell it: you all can't mess with me.
Prospa na Sara walisikia kichefuchefu, lakini hawakutapika.Prospa and Sara felt nauseous, but they didn't throw up.
Kwa muda waliokuwa safarini, Prospa alimsahau Merisho. Wakati mwingine hakumhisi hata Sara aliyekuwa amekaa karibu naye. Mara kwa mara, Sara alimgusa Prospa na kumwonesha hiki na kile.The entire time they were on the boat, Prospa forgot about Merisho. At one point he forgot even Sara was present with him. Often, Sara tapped Prospa to show him this and that.
Mawazo yote ya Prospa yalikuwa juu ya maajabu ya bahari. Je, bahari hii imetoka wapi? Ina mwisho? Na kama ina mwisho, ukoje na uko wapi? Haya mawimbi yanasababishwa na kitu gani? Na kwa nini bahari inaonekana ina rangi ya kijani au buluu, ambapo maji yenyewe hayana rangi hizo?Prospa thought about the wonderous ocean. Where has it come from? Does it have an end? And if it does, what is it like and where is it? What kind of thing caused these waves? And why does the ocean appear green or blue, when water itself isn't either of these colors?
Prospa aliwaza sana. Bahari inazunguka dunia? Maji yote haya yalitoka na yanaendelea kutoka wapi?Prospa thought hard. Does the ocean go all the way around the world? Where did all this water come from, and where is it all going?
Walikuwa wamefundishwa shuleni kwamba maji ya bahari yanatoka kwenye mito. Lakini kweli inawezekana maji yote haya kutoka kwenye mito peke yake?They had been taught in school that ocean water comes from rivers. But was it really possible that all this water came from rivers alone?
Walishtukia nchi kavu inaonekana kwa mbali mbele yao, wakafahamu kwamba wanakaribia kufika Zanzibar. Boti ilianza kupunguza mwendo, mawimbi yakawa hayana nguvu. Walifika pwani, bandarini, wakapita katikati ya meli zingine hadi boti yao ilipoweka nanga ukingoni kabisa mwa nchi kavu. Watu walianza kushuka kwa fujo, wengine wakiwa wamebeba watoto, wengine mizigo midogo na wengine walibeba mabegi yao.They were surprised to see dry land appearing far ahead of them; then they realized that they were approaching Zanzibar. The boat decreased its speed, and the waves grew weaker. They reached the coast and the port, then passed among other ships until their boat dropped its anchor close to the beach. People began to get off the boat chaotically, some carring children, others small handbags, and still others with bulky luggage.
Prospa alimwambia Sara, "Tufuate watu wanavyofanya na wanapokwenda, bila shaka tutafika mjini."Prospa said to Sara, "Let's do what everyone else is doing and when they leave, no question we'll arrive in town."
Walifuata umati wa watu waliotoka kwenye boti hadi ofisi ya uhamiaji walikoonesha tena makaratasi ya pasi.They followed the crowd of people off the boat to the immigration office, where they once again showed their passes.
Hawakuwa na mzigo, kwa hiyo walitembea harakaharaka. Walipita katikati ya wasafiri waliokuwa wakitafuta teksi. Wenyeji wa kisiwani walifanya biashara ndogondogo. Waliuza samaki wabichi, samaki waliokatwakatwa na kukaushwa juani, samaki wa kukaanga. Hewa yote ilinukia samaki.They had no luggage, and thus walked quickly. They passed through the travellers looking for taxis. Residents of the island were selling their wares: fresh fish, chopped fish that had then been dried under the sun, roasted fish. Everywhere the air smelled of fish.
Baada ya kuzoea hekaheka za Manzese, makundi yake makubwa ya watu, maduka na bidhaa mbalimbali, shughuli zake huku na kule na kelele za kila aina; za magari, za watu; Prospa na Sara waliona Zanzibar kama imepwaya.After having grown accustomed to the chaos of Manzese, its large groups of people, shops selling various goods, businesses everywhere and noise of all kinds; its vehicles; its people; Prospa and Sara considered Zanzibar to be spacious and relaxed.
Barabara ya Majanini iliwaongoza kutoka bandarini kuwapeleka mjini. Baadaye ilibadilika ikawa barabara ya Forodha, iliyowapeleka hadi bustani ya Jamituri. Kabla ya kufika Jamituri waliona Jumba la Maajabu ambalo zamani wakati wa enzi za ukoloni wa Kiarabu lilikuwa jumba alimoishi Sultan Seyyid Bharghash.Majanini Road led them from the harbor towards town. Later the road became Forodha Road, which led them to Jamituri Gardens. Before reaching Jamituri they saw the Palace of Wonders which, in the days of Arabic colonial rule, was the mansion in which Sultan Seyyid Bharghash lived.
Walizurura kwa muda mrefu katika bustani ya Jamituri wakiangalia bahari. Kwa mbali kidogo, kutoka hapo walipokuwa waliona watoto wanaogelea baharini, wakicheka na kucheza kwa furaha. Huko baharini waliona boti ndogondogo zenye injini. Boti hizi ziliwachukua watu kuwapeleka kwenye visiwa vidogo huko mbali baharini.They roamed around Jamituri Gardens for a long time, looking out at the sea. A little ways away from where they were, they could see children swimming in the ocean, laughing and playing happily. In this area of the water they saw small boats with outboard motors. These boats were taking people on and sending them to small islands farther out to sea.
Waliuliza watoto waliokuwa wanastarehe chini ya kivuli cha mti mkubwa, "Hao watu kwenye boti wanakwenda wapi?"They asked some children relaxing under the shade of a tree, "Where are those people in the boats going?"
"Waenda visiwani, wengine Chapwani na Changuu," mtoto mmoja alijibu."They're going to the Chapwani and Changuu islands," one child replied.
"Wanakwenda kufanya nini?" Prospa aliuliza."What are they going to do?" Prospa asked.
Hakujibiwa.He didn't get an answer.
Walitembea katika bustani bila shabaha. Walikuwa wanafikiria jinsi ya kufika Chuini. Sara alisema, "Tuulithe njia."They walked aimlessly around the gardens, thinking about how to get to Chuini. Sara said, "Let's ask for directions."
"Labda ni mbali," Prospa alisema, akiwa anatazama huku na kule. Hakuona watu karibu nao."It's probably far away," Prospa said as he looked around. There was no one in their vicinity.
Bila kuzungumza zaidi, Sara alitema mate kwenye kiganja cha mkono wa kushoto. Alichapa yale mate kwa kidole kimoja cha kulia, chap. Mate yakaruka kuelekea majumba yaliyokuwa upande wa pili wa barabara ya Forodhani.Without saying anything more, Sara spit into the palm of her left hand. With her right index finger she tapped the spit, chap. The spit flew out of her palm in the direction of the buildings on the other side of Forodhani Road.
Sara alisema, "Chuini iko upande huu."Sara said, "Chuini is that way."
"Unajuaje?" Prospa alimuuliza."How do you know?" Prospa asked her.
"Najua," Sara alisema."I just know," Sara said.
Naye Prospa alitema mate kwenye kiganja, akachapa chap kwa kidole, lakini mate yake yalikuwa kidogo kwa hiyo haikuwa rahisi kujua yalirukia upande gani.Now Prospa spit into the palm of his hand and tapped it chap with his finger, but he had spit too little, and so it was difficult to know in which direction it had gone.
Prospa alimwambia Sara, "Hebu fanya tena."Prospa told Sara, "Hey, do it again."
Sara alirudia tena. Safari hii mate yalirukia upande wa baharini.Sara repeated it. This time the spit flew out towards the sea.
Prospa alicheka sana. Alicheka mpaka akashika tumbo lililokuwa limeanza kuuma kwa sababu ya kicheko. Sara alimtazama, akajidai kukasirika lakini mwishowe na yeye alicheka mpaka machozi yakamtoka.Prospa laughed hard, catching hold of himself only when his stomach began to hurt from laughing so much. Sara looked at him and pretended to be angry, but finally she laughed along with him until tears came to her eyes.
Baadaye walishikana mikono wakavuka barabara pamoja. Walipofika upande wa pili, Prospa alimuuliza Sara, "Ehe, mtaalamu wa kienyeji, twende wapi sasa?"Later they took each other's hands and crossed the road together. When they reached the other side, Prospa asked Sara, "Ehe, local expert, where do we go now?"
Wakati huu hawakucheka. Sara alishika kiuno kwa mkono mmoja na mwingine ukashika kichwa, halafu akasema, "Huku." Alinyoosha kidole mbele yao.This time neither of them laughed. Sara put one hand on her hips and the other on her head, then said, "There." She extended her finger directly ahead.
Kweli, mbele yao, Mji Mkongwe ulisambaa. Majengo ya mji huu yalijengwa kwe mawe ya matumbawe na udongo wa chokaa kali. Ni majumba makubwa yenye kuta nene. Barabara za Mji Mkongwe uliojengwa na Waarabu ni nyembamba na zinapindapinda. Wakati huo watu walikuwa hawatumii magari, kwa hiyo barabara zilikuwa nyembamba tu. Mji Mkongwe ulinasa udadisi wao mara moja. Sara aliposema 'huku,' waliingia mjini bila kubishana.Indeed, directly ahead of them stood Stonetown. The buildings in this town were built with rock, coral stone, and hard, rocky soil. They are big buildings with thick walls. Stonetown's roads, which were built by the Arabs, are narrow and twisty. At that time there were no vehicles, so the roads were simply narrow. Stonetown captivated them immediately. When Sara said, "There," they entered the town without any disagreement.
Prospa na Sara walifuata barabara moja, wakaingia ndani ya mji mkongwe bila kufahamu wanakokwenda. Walitembea tu, kama watu wanaopiga mbizi kwenye maji ya kina kirefu.Prospa and Sara followed the road, entering Stonetown without knowing where they were going. They simply walked, like people diving into deep water.
Mara pua zao zilijaa harufu mchanganyiko za viungo vya chakula; harufu ya karafuu, iliki, kungumanga, mdalasini, pilipili manga... Lo! Kila walipotoka katika barabara moja na kuingia nyingine, harufu iliwafuata. Mara nyingine walinusa harufu ya manukato mazuri ya maua ya yasumini na milangilangi. Walijiona kama vile wameingia katika dunia tofauti. Muziki mwororo wa Taarab ulisikika hapa na pale. Mji Mkongwe uliwanasa katika rangi, harufu na sauti za mazingira yake.Immediately their noses were filled with the scents of an array of spices: clove, cardamom, cinammon, black pepper... Lo! Every time they left one road and entered another, the scents followed them. Sometimes they caught a waft of good perfume, made from flowers like jasmine and ylang ylang. It was as if they had entered an entirely different world. Soft Taarab music could be heard here and there. Stonetown enshrouded them in all of its colors, scents, and sounds.
Kengele za baiskeli ziliwashtua mara kwa mara. Ilibidi wachepuke kando ya barabara na kuzipisha kwanza ndipo waendelee.Bicycle bells startled them often. They had to dash to the side of the road and let them pass before continuing on their way.
Baada ya kutembea kwa muda mrefu, waliuliza, "Barabara hii inakwenda wapi?"After walking for a long time, they asked some people, "Where does this road lead to?"
"Nyie mwenda wapi?" waliulizwa."Where are you two going?" came the reply.
"Tunakwenda Chuini," walijibu."We're going to Chuini," they answered.
"Chuini? Lo! Huku mtapotea. Mwatokea wapi?" waliulizwa."Chuni? Lo! You'll get lost going this way. Where are you coming from?"
"Bara!""The mainland!"
"Ndo maana!""Ah, that makes sense!"
"Chuini? Nendeni hivi hadi mfike markiti. Baada ya markiti mtakuta barabara ya Vikokotoni. Palepale markiti, upande wa chini yake kuna magari ya mbao yaendayo shamba kupitia Chuini. Haya nendeni.""Chuini? Go this way until you reach the market. After the market you'll reach Vikokotoni Road. On the lower side of the market there are some wooden carts going out to the farms that pass by Chuini. Go on."
Walifuata barabara jinsi walivyoelekezwa. Walidhani ingewafikisha sokoni bila wasiwasi. Lakini barabara katika Mji Mkongwe ziko kama michoro ya chemsha bongo.They followed the road as had been explained to them. They had expected to reach the market without any problems. But the Stonetown roads were like a drawing of a crossword puzzle.
"Samahani mzee, markiti ni upande gani?""Excuse me sir, where is the market?"
"Markiti ni kulee, huku mwaenda baharini.""The market's that way, right now you're headed towards the ocean."
Barabara katika Mji Mkongwe hazina mwanzo na hazina mwisho. Zinaingiliana, zinaachana. Maduka katika barabara hizi yanafanana. Maduka ya nguo, maduka ya viungo mchanganyiko, mengine ya vitu vya urembo. Maduka ya visanduku vilivyorembeshwa urembo mzuri wa kuvutia; maduka ya vyakula na mengine ya mchanganyiko wa bidhaa.The roads in Stonetown have no start or end. They meet each other, they leave other other. The shops on these roads all resemble each other. Clothing shops, spice shops, beauty supply shops. All of the parcel shops adorned in attractive decorations; shops selling food and others selling a little bit of everything.
Kila mara waligongewa kengele za baiskeli. Kila mara ilikuwa lazima wapishe basikeli ipite. Kwenye majengo mengine zilitoka harufu nzuri za maandazi yanayokaangwa. Kwingine harufu ya ubani. Kwenye majumba mengine yaliyoelekea kuwa na giza jingi kulisikika sauti za watoto wadogo wakisoma. Sauti nyororo na nyembamba zilizosikika kama vile walikuwa wanaimba: ALIFU BE TE THE GIM HE KHE DALI DHALI RE ZE SINI SHINI SWADI DHWADI TWE DHWE AINI AGHAINI FEI KAF KYAF LAM MIMI NUNI WAU KHEBicycle bells ringed at them repeatedly. Each time they had to move over and let them pass. From some of the buildings floated the delicious sent of bread being baked. From others came the scent of gum. In some darkened buildings up ahead they could hear the voices of small children reading. Their soft, light voices made it sound as if they were singing: ALIFU BE TE THE GIM HE KHE DALI DHALI RE ZE SINI SHINI SWADI DHWADI TWE DHWE AINI AGHAINI FEI KAF KYAF LAM MIMI NUNI WAU KHE
Prospa alisema, "Labda ni shule ya wasichana."Prospa said, "It's probably a girls' school."
Sara alichungulia dirishani na kusema, "Kuna wavulana vilevile."Sara looked through the window and said, "There's boys too."
Walitembea kufuata barabara ambayo ingewafikisha sokoni ili wapande magari yanayokwenda shamba kupitia Chuini. Kwenye duka moja mlimouzwa viungo vya chakula vya kila aina, waliona mzungu ameketi kwenye meza ndogo. Prospa na Sara waliingia dukani. Msichana wa Kiafrika alitokea chumba cha ndani na kumwatazama.They continued to follow the road that would lead them to to the market in order to get on one of the vehicles going to the farms past Chuini. In one of the shops selling all kinds of spices, they saw a foreigner sitting at a small table. Prospa and Sara entered inside. An African girl came out from an inner room and stared at them.
"Thikamo dada," Sara alimwamkia."Thikamoo thithter," Sara greeted her.
Msichana alinyamaza. Prospa alimwendea Mzungu na kusema, "Chuini. Tunataka kufika Chuini."The girl said nothing. Prospa went over to the foreigner and said, "Chuini. We want to get to Chuini."
Mzungu aliendelea kuandika kwenye daftari. Alitingisha kichwa kukataa, lakini hakusema wala hakumtazama Prospa. Prospa na Sara waliondoka. Walisononeka. Walitembea. Baada ya muda mrefu, Prospa alimtazama Sara na kusema, "Turudi kule baharini kwenye bustani ya Jamituri tukaanze tena."The foreigner continue to write in her notebook. She shook her head in refusal, but she neither spoke to nor looked at Prospa. He and Sara left, walking dejectedly. After a long time, Prospa looked at Sara and said, "We should go back to the ocean by Jamituri Gardens and start over."
Sara alisimama na kumtazama Prospa. Hakusema neno. Prospa alimwambia, "Sara, mbona macho yako hayang'ai? Umechoka?"Sara stopped and looked at Prospa without saying anything. Prospa said, "Sara, why aren't your eyes shining? Are you tired?"
Macho ya Sara yalikuwa yanalengalenga machozi. Prospa alimshika Sara mkono. Walianza kutembea tena.Sara started to cry. Prospa took her by the hand, and they started to walk again.
"Samahani mzee, tutafikaje markiti?""Execuse me sir, how do we get to the market?"
"Markiti? Mbona mko karibu. Twende niwaoneshe.""The market? You're already close. Let's go, I'll show you."
Huyu alikuwa mwanamume mmoja aliyeonekana kachoka, mfupi, mwembamba. Mvi zilikuwa zimeanza kumtanda kichwani. Macho yake malegevu kama vile hajapata usingizi kwa siku kadhaa. Suruali aliyovaa ilikuwa imekunjwa hadi kufikia katikati ya miguu. Ndala zilichakaa hadi visigino vya miguu vilikanyaga chini. Mzee huyu alitembea haraka sana. Hapa na pale alisalimiana na watu wengine aliokutana nao.The person before them was a tired-looking, short, thin man. His hair was graying, and his eyes were droopy, as if he hadn't slept for several days. The pants he was wearing had been folded so that they came halfway down his legs. His sandals were so worn-out that his heels touched the ground. This man walked very quickly; here and there he greeted some of the people he came across.
"Je, hali?" aliluliza mara kwa mara, na aliendelea na safari yake bila kungojea majibu. Walipofika sokoni aliwambia Sara na Prospa, "Haya, markiti hapa.""How are you?" he asked often, continuing on his way without waiting for a reply. When they arrived he told Sara and Prospa, "Alright, here's the market."
"Asante sana," Prospa na Sara alisema, na hapohapo waliuliza, kwa mara nyingine, ili kuhakikisha hawatapotea tena, "Tutafikaje Chuini?""Thank you very much," Prospa and Sara said; then, to ensure they wouldn't get lost again, they asked him, "How do we get to Chuini?"
"Kwani hasa mwatokea wapi?" mzee yule aliuliza."Where exactly are you from?" the man asked.
"Tumetoka bara," Prospa alisema."We've come from the mainland," Prospa said.
"Alaa! Bara! Sehemu gani?" mzee aliuliza."Alaa! The mainland! Which part?" the man asked.
Sara na Prospa walitazamana. Prospa alijibu na kusema, "Manzese."Sara and Prospa looked at each other. Prospa replied, "Manzese."
"Manzese? Nimeshawahi kusikia habari za Manzese. Mimi bara sijawahi kufika," mzee aliwaambia. "Chuini, mwaenda kwa nani Chuini?" aliuliza."Manzese? I've heard about Manzese before. But I've never been to the mainland," the man said to them. "Chuini, who are you going to see in Chuini?" he asked.
"Kwa Mzee Mohamed Zinja," alidakia Prospa haraka."Mr. Mohamed Zinja," Prospa said, turning quickly back towards the man.
"Mohamed Zinja?" mzee alinamisha kichwa akiwaza. Alijiuliza kimyakimya, "Zinja? Zinja? Simfahamu. Lakini msiwe na wasiwasi, mkiuliza mtafahamishwa tu. Mkifuata hii barabara ya Vikokotoni ni moja kwa moja hadi Chuini. Hamuwezi kupotea.""Mohamed Zinja?" the man cocked his head as he thought. "Zinja? Zinja?" he asked himself. "I don't know him. But don't you two worry, if you ask around you'll be introduced to him. If you follow this Vikokotoni Road, Chuini is straight ahead. You can't get lost."
Barabara ya Vikokotoni ni ya lami, haipindi kushoto wala kulia. Jambo hili liliwapa Prospa na Sara matumaini kwamba watafika Chuini.Vikokotoni Road is paved, turning neither left nor right. This gave Prospa and Sara hope that they would get to Chuini.
Waliamua kutembea. Walitembea kwa muda mrefu. Walitembea sana. Magari yaliwapita kila baada ya muda yakiwa yamejaza watu hadi mlangoni ambako walining'inia. Walitamani kupanda gari lakini walifahamu kwamba hawana nauli. Waliona minazi mingi mirefu, waliona nyumba ndogo nyingi zilizokandikwa kwa udongo na kuezekwa kwa majani makavu ya minazi. Waliona miti na mimea yenye rangi za kijani kilichokolea. Walitembea. Kila baada ya mwendo mrefu waliuliza watu waliokutana nao au waliokuwa wamekaa katika vijumba vidogo kandokando ya barabara, "Njia hii itatufikisha Chuini?"They decided to walk. They walked for a long time. The cars that continually passed them by were so full of people that they were hanging out of the doors. They wanted to get in one but they knew they didn't have the fare. They saw many towering palm trees bearing coconuts, many small houses plastered with soil and roofed with dried palm leaves, and flourishing green trees and plants. They kept on walking. After going some distance they asked people walking by them, or those sitting in the small booths dotting the side of the road, "Will this road get us to Chuini?"
Mara nyingine waliuliza, "Chuini ni karibu na hapa?"Other times they asked, "Is Chuini nearby?"
Kila mara walijibiwa, "Chuini? Bado, bado kabisa. Mtaenda hivihivi na hii barabara, mtapita magofu ya Maruhubi, halafu mtaendelea tena. Chuini haitakuwa mbali baada ya hapo."Each time they were told, "Chuini? No, not yet. Go this way down the road, you'll pass the ruins of Maruhubi, then keep going. Chuini isn't far after that."
Walipofika kwenye shamba la Maruhubi la minazi na miembe, walichepuka kushoto kuelekea kwenye magofu ya Kasri ya Sultan Barghash. Sultani huyo alijengo hiyo kasri kwa madhumuni ya kustarehe na masuria wake tisini na tisa aliowachagua kutoka katika kundi la vijakazi wake.When they arrived at the Maruhubi coconut and mango plantation, they dashed right and headed for the ruins of Sultan Barghash's mansion. The sultan had built it as a place for relaxing, and for his ninety-nine concubines, whom he had chosen from among his contingent of female slaves.
Sara alianza kufurahi, akapata nguvu ya kukimbia na kucheka.Now Sara was happy, gaining the energy to run and laugh.
"Prothpa," aliita. "Fanya haraka uje uone! Prothpa njoo uone nyumba tha ajabu!""Prothpa," she called out. "Quick, come and thee! Prothpa come and see this amazing house!"
Sara alifika kwenye magofu, akaingia ndani. Maajabu. Magofu lakini ni masafi! Prospa alifika, akasimama nyuma ya Sara, wakashangaa.Sara got to the ruins and entered inside. It was glorious. They were ruins, but they were so clean! Prospa caught up and stood behind her, amazed.
"Sara, twende," Prospa alisema."Sara, let's go," Prospa said.
Sara alimshika mkono mmoja ili Prospa asiondoke. Walitembea chumba hadi chumba, bila kusema neno, wakiwa wameshikana mikono. Mara walishtushwa na sauti iliyosema, "Niwasaidie?"Sara grabbed one of Prospa's hands so he wouldn't leave. They walked from room to room, saying nothing, as they held hands. Then they were startled by a voice saying, "Can I help you?"
Roho ziliwaruka. Mioyo iliwaenda mbio, na wangekimbia kama mzee mmoja aliyevaa kanzu na makubazi na kibandiko kichwani hakusimama mlangoni ambapo wangepita. Mzee huyo alirudia tena kuuliza, "Niwasiadie? Niwaeleze historia ya rafiki yangu Seyyid Barghash?"Their hearts jumped and began to beat quickly; they would have run if an elderly man wearing a robe, sandals, and head covering hadn't been standing in the doorway. The man asked once more, "Can I help you? Shall I explain to you the history of my friend Seyyid Barghash?"
"Kwani we nani?" Prospa aliuliza."Who are you?" Prospa asked.
Papohapo, Sara aliyekuwa ameshikwa na bumbuwazi aliuliza, "Theid Barghash ni nani?"At the same time, a bewildered Sara asked, "Who is Theid Barghash?"
"Ngoja. Ngoja niwaone vizuri," mzee alisema."Wait. Wait and I'll show you clearly," the man said.
Aliwasogelea. Prospa na Sara walisogea nyuma kuelekea kwenye jukwaa. Walishangaa kuona mwanga mahali pasipokuwa na dirisha. Wakatazama juu, wakaona paa la duara kama bakuli. Katikati kulikuwa na tundu kubwa la duara ambalo ndilo liliingiza mwanga wa jua ndani.He walked over to them. Prospa and Sara stepped backwards towards the middle of the room. They were surprised to see light in a place without windows. When they looked up, they saw a round ceiling shaped like a bowl. In the middle was a large hole which allowed sunlight to enter inside.
Baada ya Mzee kuwasogelea karibu walitambua kwamba alikuwa haoni vizuri.Once the man was near them, they realized that he couldn't see well.
Mara moja Mzee alianza. "Ehe, hapa ndipo alikaa kustarehe, akiwa amezungukwa na masuria wake tisini na tisa. Ndiyo. Lakini asingekuwa na masuria wake wote pamoja. La hasha! Labda watano au sita; wakimpepea na kumlisha na kumpapasa pale palipompendeza. Alipenda sana starehe rafiki yangu Seyyid Bhagarsh. Alijenga kasri ya Maruhubi apate kustarehe kandokando ya bahari."The man began to explain at once. "Ehe, in this very place he lived and relaxed, surrounded by his ninety-nine concubines. Indeed. But he wouldn't be with all of them together at once. Of course not! Maybe five or six; fanning him, feeding him, and pleasuring him. My friend Seyyid Bhagarsh very much liked to relax. He built this Maruhubi mansion so that he could do so right by the ocean."
Mzee alitabasamu kama vile alijua mengi yaliyomhusu huyo sultani. "Alitengeneza bustani ya miembe na minazi, akachimba mabwawa ya kuogelea ili roho yake ifurahi akiwa mapumzikoni."The man smiled as if he knew much about this sultan. "He planted mango and coconut gardens, and dug swimming pools, to make this resting place as peaceful as possible."
Sara aliuliza, "Masuria ni nani?"Sara asked, "Who were hith concubineth?"
Mzee alitabasamu tena. Alipendeza alipotabasamu. Macho yake yaliangalia juu kama vile kutafuta mwanga.The man smiled again. He looked charming when he was smiling, lifting his eyes to the sky as if in search of the light.
Prospa na Sara walimtazama. Kimya. Halafu Sara, akifikiria labda amesahau swali, alianza tena, "Masuria..."Prospa and Sara looked at him. Silently. Then Sara, thinking maybe he'd forgotten the question, started again, "The concubineth..."
Mzee aliinua mkono wake kama kumkanya. Alisema, "Masuria wa Sultan Barghash walikuwa wanawake warembo aliowapenda yeye. Alikuwa nao tisini na tisa. Wote warembo. Wote walipendwa."The man raised his hand to stop her. "Sultan Barghash's concubines were beautiful women whom he loved. He had ninety-nine. All of them beautiful. All of them loved."
Sara aliuliza tena, "Alitoka wapi huyu mtu?"Sara started again, "Where did this man come from?"
"Na hao warembo wake walikuwa Waarabu?" Prospa aliuliza."And these beautiful women of his, were they Arabs?" Prospa asked.
Sara alimtazama Prospa, akatabasamu. Halafu akauliza haraka, "Wote walikuwa wathuri kabitha?"Sara looked at Prospa and smiled. Then she quickly asked, "Were they all really that beautiful?"
Mzee alicheka kwa furaha. Swali lilimtekenya, likamjaza furaha. "Masuria wa Sultani? Lahaula!" alisema kwa mshangao.The man laughed happily. The question tickled and delighted him. "The sultan's concubines? Lord!" he exclaimed.
"Basi niwaelezeni. Uzuri wao ulisifika dunia nzima. Dunia nzima! Sultani aliwachagua kwa makini kama mkulima anavyochagua mbegu. Yenye doa ilibaki, kwani doa laweza kuleta kidonda. Mbegu ndogo, isiyokuwa na matumaini ya kuota kwa afya, iliachwa. Aaa, afya ni kitu muhimu maishani, afya yavutia macho haswa, yavuta heri. Mkulima hutazama mbegu kwa makini wanangu, huchagua mbegu moja moja, zikiwa changa, kabla hazijaliwa na wadudu waharibifu au kukaushwa vibaya."Fine, let me explain. Their beauty was reknowned worldwide! Worldwide! The sultan chose them carefully, the same way a farmer chooses seeds. Those with blemishes are left behind, since a blemish can lead to bigger problems. Small seeds, those without hope for a healthy life, are abandoned. Aaa, health is the most important thing in life; health attracts eyes especially, and brings happiness. The farmer looks closely at seeds, my children, choosing just the best young ones, those that haven't yet been marred by pesty insects or dried out.
Hawa akina mama waling'aa kama mwezi. Walikuwa hawana kovu wala kilema. Waliokuwa wembamba walinepa kama mnazi kwenye upepo, waliokuwa wanene walipendeza. Kwani maungo yao yalikamilika sawasawa kama vile waliumbwa na mfinyanzi aliyeathiriwa na wimbi la mapenzi."These women shined like the moon; they had neither scars nor disabilities. Those who were thin sagged like a coconut in the wind, but the thick ones were most attractive; for they were built just right, as if by a sculptor hit by a wave of love."
"Lakini Mthee, uliwaona hao wanawake? Wewe ulikuwepo?" Sara alimuuliza."But sir, did you see these women? Were you here?" Sara asked him.
"Aha, mwanangu, macho yanaweza kuona ya jana na leo pia. Macho yanaona, akili inaweka. Halafu kesho, kile kilichohifadhiwa na akili jana, kitaonekana tena. Walahi nawaambia.""Aha, my child, eyes can see the past and the present as well. The eyes see, the mind remembers. Then tomorrow, that which was preserved by the mind yesterday will be seen again, I tell you."
Prospa alikuwa hamsikilizi Mzee. Alitaka kuondoka. Alimshika Sara mkono, akaubonyeza. Lakini Sara hakutaka kuondoka. Alivutiwa na maelezo ya Mzee. Aliuliza, "Walikuwa na watoto?"Prospa wasn't listening to the man; he wanted to leave. He took Sara by the hand and gave her a tug. But Sara didn't want to leave; she was interested by the man's explanations. "Did they have any children?" she asked.
Hapohapo Mzee alisema, "Njooni niwaoneshe." Aliwapeleka kwenye vyumba vya kuogea, akasema, "Kila mwanamke alikuwa na bafu lake na watumwa wake wa kumuogesha. Walioga maji ya uvuguvugu, yaliyowekwa chumvichumvi za kulainisha maungo, na zenye harufu ya kupendeza.To this the man said, "Come with me I'll show you." He took them to the bathrooms, then said, "Every woman had her own bath and servants to wash her. They bathed in stimulating water infused with salts to soften their skin and imbue them with a pleasant scent.
Watumwa waliwapaka mafuta mazuri ya manukato na kuchana nywele zao zilizofika miguuni."Servants rubbed perfumed oils on them and combed their hair, which went all the way down to their legs."
"Walifanya kazi gani?" Prospa aliuliza."What kind of work did they do?" Prospa asked.
"Kazi zilifanywa na watumwa na vijakazi. Masuria waliimba na pengine walitamba hadithi.""Work was done by the servants and female slaves. The concubines sang and some told stories."
"Walikuwa wavivu hao," Prospa alisema na kutoka nje."So they were lazy," Prospa said as he went outside.
Upepo mwanana ulikuwa unapepea. Bahari ilikuwa imetulia. Hapakuwa na mawimbi. Rangi ya bahari ilipenyeza katikati ya minazi ikionekana kama buluu iliyokolea.A light breeze was blowing. The ocean had calmed. There were no waves. The color of the water filtering through the coconut trees appeared as a soothing blue.
Sara na Mzee walibaki ndani wakiongea. Prospa alizunguka magofu, akaona mabwawa ya mviringo yaliyokuwa na maji yaliyooza kwa kutuama kwa muda mrefu. Ndani ya mabwawa hayo kuliota majani yanayostawi majini. Viluwiluwi vya aina aina viliogelea katikati ya mizizi na majani.Sara and the man stayed inside conversing. Prospa wandered around the ruins, eventually coming to the circular pools filled with dirty water that had been sitting there for a long time. Inside these pools water-dwelling plants had sprung up. All kinds of insects were swimming among the roots of the plants.
"Bila shaka waliogelea huku wakati wa jua kali," Prospa aliwaza. Alizunguka gofu tena kwa upande mwingine, akaona sehemu ambazo hazijafanyiwa ukarabati. Aliendelea kuzunguka hadi alipoona kibanda kidogo kilichojengwa kwa fito na udongo na kuezekwa kwa majani makavu ya minazi."They must have swam here whenever the sun was hot," Prospa thought. He wandered around the rest of the mansion and saw places that hadn't yet been renovated. He continued to wander until he found a small hut that had been built with poles and soil and covered with dried palm leaves.
"Ah, kasri ya Mzee hii," Prospa alijiambia kimoyomoyo huku akitabasamu."Ah, this is the old man's mansion," Prospa said to himself silently as he smiled.
Sara, akiwa amemshika Mzee mkono, walimkuta Prospa anachungulia ndani ya kibanda akijaribu kuona kuna nini ndani.Sara, holding the man's hand, found Prospa peering inside the hut trying to see what was inside.
"Wee," Sara alimkemea."You," Sara scolded him.
Prospa alishtuka, akasema kwa kujitetea, "Sikuona kitu."Prospa was startled; "I didn't see anything," Prospa said defensively.
Mzee alisema, "Ingieni, ingieni, sifungi mlango."The man said, "You can enter, go on, I didn't lock the door."
Waliingia ndani. Dirisha moja lililokuwa upande wa baharini liliingiza mwanga wa jioni pamoja na upepo. Kulikuwa na kitanda cha miti kilichosukwa kwa kamba, kiti kimoja, meza ndogo na daftari moja kubwa iliyokuwa na kalamu ndani yake. Mzee alifungua ile daftari akawaambia, "Haya, andikeni majina pamoja na ujumbe wenu."They went inside. A single window faced the sea, letting in the evening light along with the breeze. There was a bed made from woven tree limbs and rope, a single chair, a small table and a large notebook with a pen inside. The man opened the notebook and said to them, "Alright, write your names along with a message."
"Kwa nini?" Prospa aliuliza."Why?" Prospa asked.
"Historia. Historia mwanangu," Mzee alisema."History. History, my child," said the man.
Prospa aliandika jina lake lakini hakuacha ujumbe.Prospa wrote his name but didn't leave a message.
Ujumbe wa Sara alisema: "Nitarudi tena."Sara's message said: "I will return."
Ilishafika majira ya saa kumi walipoondoka kutoka kwenye gofu la Maruhubi kuelekea Chuini.It was already 4pm by the time they left the Maruhubi ruins and continued on towards Chuini.

Sura ya kumi na nne

Chapter Fourteen

Mwisho walifika mahali penye vibanda vya maduka madogomadogo kandokando ya barabara ambapo meza nyingi zilipangwa. Meza ndogo zilizotengenezwa hovyo bila kurandwa vizuri. Bidhaa mbalimbali zilikuwa zimetandazwa kwenye meza hizo; chumvi kwenye vipakti vidogo, binzari, dagaa wakavu, viungo aina kwa aina, pilipili kavu, pilipili iliyosagwa, pilipili manga, tangawizi mbichi, na kadhalika. Prospa alimsogelea mwanamume mmoja aliyekuwa ameketi kwenye kiti cha kukunja akamwamkia, halafu akauliza, "Chuini ni mbali sana kutoka hapa?"At last they arrived at a place filled with tiny shop stalls right next to the road, where many tables had been set out. These small tables had been arranged haphazardly so that it was difficult to wander around. Various items had been laid out on these tables: small packets of salt, curry powder, tiny dried fish, all kinds of spices, dried chili pepper, crushed chili powder, black pepper, fresh ginger, and more. Prospa approached a man seated in a folding chair, greeted him, then asked, "Is Chuini far from here?"
Sara alibaki kandokando ya barabara, akingojea Prospa aambiwe kwamba Chuini ni mbali sana kutoka hapa halafu amcheke kisirisiri.Sara remained by the road, expecting to silently laugh at Prospa when he came back to tell her that Chuini was still far away.
Yule mwanamume alimtazama Prospa, halafu akamuuliza, "Watokea wapi?"The man looked at Prospa and asked him, "Where are you two coming from?"
Prospa alisita kidogo asijue hasa ajibu vipi. Sara alisogea karibu.Prospa hesitated slightly, unsure of how to respond. Sara walked over to them.
"Tumetoka Moshi," Prospa alisema. Alimtazama Sara ambaye alimpa ishara ya kukubali."From Moshi," Prospa said. He looked over at Sara, who gave him a nod of agreement.
"Moshi! Ndiyo maana! Maanake hapa ndipo Chuini," yule baba alijibu. Halafu alichangamka. Alitaka kufahamu wametokea Moshi sehemu ipi; na je, wamekwishafika tena kisiwani? Wamesafiri vipi kutoka Moshi."Moshi! So that's why! You're already at Chuini," the man replied. His mood became lively. He wanted to know which part of Moshi they had come from, and was this their first time on the island? How had they traveled here from Moshi?
Prospa alijibu maswali yote, halafu alisema, "Tunamtafuta Mzee Mohamed Zinja. Tumetumwa na mtoto wake anayefanya kazi TPC."Prospa answered all of his questions, then said, "We are looking for a Mr. Mohamed Zinja on behalf of his son, who is working at TPC."
Bila kutarajia, moyo wa Prospa alianza kumdunda. Uwezekano wa kumwona Merisho ukawa wazi. Kweli huku ndiko wangekuja kumficha. Huku ni mbali sana na TPC, Prospa alijiambia kimoyomoyo, "Nakuja, nakuja Merisho." Macho yake yalijaa wasiwasi.Unexpectedly, Prospa's heart quickened. The possibility of finally seeing Merisho was in sight. This had to be the place where they'd hide him, being so far away from TPC. Prospa told himself silently, "I'm coming, I'm coming Merisho." His eyes betrayed his anxiety.
Yule baba alimtazama, akauliza, "Ya salama?"The man looked at him and asked, "In peace?"
"Naam?" Prospa alisema. Hakuelewa alichoulizwa."Yes?" Prospa alisema. He didn't understand what he'd been asked.
Yule baba alitingisha kichwa, halafu akaamka kwenye kiti, akaondoka bila kuvaa ndala zilizokuwa kandokando ya kiti.The man shook his head and rose from his chair, leaving without putting on the sandals that were beside it.
"Twendeni," aliamuru."Let's go," he directed.
Walipita kwenye uchochoro katikati ya nyumba nyingi zilizofanana. Nyumba zilitenganishwa na miti mikubwa ya miembe, minazi na mafenesi. Walitembea hadi walipofika kwenye nyumba moja iliyozungukwa na miti mikubwa, mirefu ya miembe na mafanesi.They passed through a narrow alley among houses that all looked alike. These houses had been separated by big mango, coconut, and jackfruit trees. They walked until they arrived at a house surrounded by big, tall mango and jackfruit trees.
"Mzee Mohamed, Bibi Mohamed," yule baba aliita. Alikuwa amesimama kwenye uwanja mdogo mbele ya nyumba. Mihogo iliyokuwa imemenywa ilianikwa kwa kuning'inizwa kwenye kamba iliyofungwa kwenye nguzo mbili ndogo. Mihogo ilishaanza kupoteza rangi ya weupe inayokuwa nayo wakati wa kumenywa. Rangi ya kufanana udongo mkavu ilishaanza kuonekana. Prospa alikuwa akiiangalia mihogo. Sara alikuwa anamwangalia mtoto wa kike aliyekuwa ametokea nyumba ya jirani, naye akawa anamtazama Sara na kucheka. Prospa na Sara walishtuka waliposikia sauti ya mwanamke mzee ikisema, "Nani aniita? Eh, ni wewe Abdula?""Mr. Mohamed, Mrs. Mohamed," the man called out. He was standing in a small area in front of the house. Peeled cassava was hanging from a string that had been tied up between two small posts. The cassava had already started to lose the white color it has after being peeled. Now its color was beginning to resemble dry dirt. Prospa looked at the cassava. Sara looked at a young girl who had come out from a neighboring home and was looking at Sara, laughing. Prospa and Sara snapped to attention when they heard the voice of an elderly woman saying, "Who's that? Eh, is that you Abdula?"
Prospa na Sara waligeuka, wakatafuta ile sauti kwa macho, wakamuona aliyekuwa anaongea. Papohapo Abdula alisema, "Naam Bibi Fatuma. Shikamoo. Wageni wako hawa."Prospa and Sara turned, looked around for the source of the voice, and then saw who had been speaking. As they did so Abdula said, "Yes Madame Fatuma. Shikamoo. You have guests here."
"Wageni wangu?" Bibi Fatuma aliuliza, halafu akawasogelea Sara na Prospa, akawachunguza."My guests?" Madame Fatuma asked, approaching Sara and Prospa for a closer look.
"N'mezeeka wanangu. Akili za uzee tena, zasahau ovyo. Mwatokea wapi watoto?""I've grown old children. Elderly minds, they're so forgetful. Where are you coming from?"
"Bara," Prospa alisema."The mainland," Prospa said.
"Thikamoo bibi," Sara alimwamkia."Thikamoo ma'am," Sara greeted her.
Bibi Fatuma aliendelea kuwaza. Hakuitikia salamu za Sara, bali aliuliza, "Bara?" Halafu aliita, "Mzee Mohamed, Mzee Mohamed, ee. Hebu njoo usikilize."Madame Fatuma continued to think. She didn't reply to Sara's greeting, asking instead, "The mainland?" Then she called out, "Mohamed, Mohamed, ee. Come and listen to this."
"Na we Abdula umewatoa wapi hawa?" Bibi Fatuma aliendelea kuuliza maswali."And you Abdula, where did you find them?" Madame Fatuma asked.
Aliingia ndani haraka, bila kungojea majibu ya Abdula, akaleta vigoda viwili akaweka kwenye upenu wa nyumba katika kabaraza kembamba, akasema, "Kaeni watoto, njooni mkae."She hurried inside, without waiting for Abdula's response, and came back with two stools which she placed on the home's narrow front porch. "Sit here children, come and sit."
Prospa na Sara walikaa. Prospa alingojea Merisho ajitokeze. Labda yuko mahali ndani ya nyumba? Labda amelala?Prospa and Sara sat. Prospa waited for Merisho to appear. Maybe he was somewhere inside the house? Or maybe sleeping?
Hapana, hizi siyo saa zake za kulala. Alitazama nyuso za watoto wadogo. Wengine walibebwa migongoni na dada zao. Kwa Mzee Mohamed kumekuja vijana kutoka bara, habari zilienea. Kwa hiyo, walikuja kuona wageni. Wavulana wengine walikuwa wakiendesha vigari vyao, wakitoa milio iliyofanana na aina ya gari waliyokuwa nayo. Prospa aliona moja lililofanana na gari la Mustafa kule TPC. Akatabasamu. Akatamani kumwomba yule mvulana ili aliendeshe kidogo.No, he wouldn't be sleeping at this hour. He spotted the faces of small children, some of whom were being carried on their sisters' backs. The news of youth visiting Mr. Mohamed from the mainland had spread, and people had come to see them. Some boys were driving their toy cars around, making engine sounds based on the type of vehicle they had. Prospa saw one that resembled Mustafa's back at TPC. He smiled. He wanted to ask that boy if he could drive it for a little bit.
"Majina yenu nani? Nyie watoto wa nani?" Bibi Fatuma aliuliza."What are your names? Who are your parents?" Madame Fatuma asked.
Prospa alijibu harakaharaka. Moyo ulianza tena kumwenda mbio. Sara alinyamaza kimya.Prospa replied quickly. His heart was beating quickly once more. Sara stayed silent.
Prospa alieleza kwamba Mohamed alikuwa amempa rafiki yake, mkata miwa mwenzake, mtoto ili amlete huku nyumbani Zanzibar kwa wazazi wake. Tangu hapo, hajasikia habari za mtoto kufika salama wala rafiki yake kurudi TPC. Jambo hili limemsumbua sana Bwana Mohamed. Alimwandikia Mzee Zinja barua, lakini hakupata majibu. "Kwa hiyo Mohamed ametutuma, yaani, amenituma mimi na Sara amenisindikiza. Tumekuja kuona kama mtoto aliletwa na kama hajambo. Amesema eti nirudi naye kwa sababu Mama Sofia ni mpweke sana bila mtoto."Prospa explained that Mohamed had placed a child in the care of his friend, a fellow sugarcane worker. The friend was to bring the child to his parents' house in Zanzibar. Since then, he hasn't heard any news that the child arrived safely, nor that his friend made it back to TPC. The matter has greatly worried Mr. Mohamed. He even wrote a letter to Mr. Zinja, but never received a response. "So Mohamed tasked us with finding out; just me actually, Sara is accompanying me. We've come to see if the child was brought here or whether there's a problem. He told me I should return with the child, because Mama Sofia is lonely without him."
Sara alikaa kimya.Sara remained silent.
Kulitokea kimya cha sekunde chache kati yao, halafu Bibi Fatuma alisema, "Allah Wakbal! Mzee Mohamed, mwanetu ana mtoto. Allah mkubwa. Wasikia Mohamed, Allah kasikia dua yangu."A few seconds of silence passed between them before Madame Fatuma said, "God Almighty! Mohamed, our son has a child. Great God. Are you hearing this Mohamed, Allah has answered my prayers."
Bibi Fatuma alitembea huku na kule akiwa ameingiwa na nguvu zaidi za aina fulani. Bibi Fatuma ni mwanamke mfupi na ni mwembamba. Nywele zake zilichanganyikana nyeupe na nyeusi. Meno yake ni meupe kabisa, yenye mwanya mdogo. Anaonekana mdogo kuliko umri wake. Propsa alimtazama, akamwonea huruma. Alimpenda. Alijisikia vibaya sana kwa kumdanganya. Lakini alijua kwamba bila kufanya hivyo, hawezi kumpata Merisho.Madame Fatuma paced around, invigorated with energy. Madame Fatuma is a short, thin woman. Her hair is a mix of white and black. Her teeth are completely white, with small gaps here and there. She looks younger than her age. Prospa watched her, feeling sympathetic. He liked her, and he felt bad for deceiving her. But he knew that without doing so, he wouldn't be able to get Merisho back.
"Hebu kwanza. Hawa watoto wana uhusiano gani na mwanangu Mohamed," Mzee Mohamed aliuliza."Hold on first. What kind of relationship do these children have with my son Mohamed?" Mr. Mohamed asked.
"Allah mkubwa. Wenzangu nawaambieni," Bibi Fatuma aliendelea kusema. "Labda vijembe na vineno vitaisha.""Great God. My children, I say," Madame Fatuma continued. "Maybe now the jokes and nasty words will stop."
Mzee Mohamed alijaribu kusema, alitaka kuelewa mambo haya yalivyoanza.Mr. Mohamed tried to speak, wanting to understand how the matter at hand had come about.
Bibi Fatuma hakumpa nafasi. Alikuwa anazungumza kama vile hamsikii Mzee Mohamed. "Nimechoka vijembe. Namuomba Mungu kila siku. Mie kila siku naambiwa mtoto mwenyewe ni huyo mmoja tu na mwenyewe mtoto hana," Bibi Fatuma alilalamika.Madame Fatuma didn't give him a chance. She continued to speak as if she didn't hear Mr. Mohamed. "I've grown tired of the jokes. Every day I pray to God. Every day I'm reminded that my only child is himself without a child," Madame Fatuma complained.
"Nasema nyamaza!" Mzee Mohamed aliamuru kwa ukali. Alipoona kwamba Bibi Fatuma hatamsikiliza hata kama akiwa mkali namna gani, aliamua kuondoka. Alimwambia Prospa, "We mtoto wa kiume, njoo nifuate.""Be quiet I say!" Mr. Mohamed commanded fiercely. When it became clear that Madame Fatuma wasn't going to listen to him no matter how angry he got, he decided to leave. He told Prospa, "You, boy, follow me."
Prospa aliondoka pale akamfuata Mzee Mohamed Zinja. Wote wawili waliingia kwenye nyumba iliyokuwa kando ya ile alimokuwa Bibi Fatuma.Prospa got up and followed Mr. Mohamed Zinja. The two of them entered the house next door to the one Madame Fatuma was in.
Prospa na Mzee Mohamed waliongea kwa muda mrefu. Kundi la watu waliokuwa wamekusanyika nje walingojea watoke nje, mwisho wakakata tamaa, wakaondoka mmoja mmoja.Prospa and Mr. Mohamed talked for a long time. The group of people who had gathered outside, waiting for them to come out, finally lost hope and left, one by one.
Bibi Fatuma aliingia ndani, akiongea mwenyewe. "Wenye maneno na wanyamaze sasa. Mohamed ana mtoto, tena wa kiume. Na tusikie mtakachosema sasa."Madame Fatuma entered inside, talking with herself. "They have something to say, yet we have silenced them. Mohamed has a child, and a boy at that. We should listen to what you all have to say now."
Sara alibaki pale, alipokuwa ameketi peke yake.Sara remained where she was, sitting by herself.
Mama mmoja aliyekuwa ameondoka alirudi akamkuta Sara amekaa, akauliza, "Vipi sasa? Hivi ni kweli mambo mnayosema?" Sara alimtazama, akanyamaza.A mama who had been out and about returned to find Sara sitting there; she asked her, "Is what you all are saying true?" Sara just looked at her, saying nothing.
"Mi ni Tatu. Mke mdogo wa Mzee Zinja. Hebu niambie, haya maneno ni ya kweli?""I'm Tatu. Mr. Zinja's younger wife. Tell me, are you speaking truthfully?"
Bibi Tatu alikuwa amebeba mtoto ubavuni. Mtoto alijaribu kufungua kanga aliyokuwa amejifunga mama yake ili aweze kuchukua titi anyonye. Aliposhindwa kufungua kanga alianza kulia.Madame Tatu was carrying a child on her side. The child tried to open the kanga that his mother was wearing so that he could breastfeed. When he failed to do so, he started to cry.
"Maneno haya ya Mohamed kuwa na mtoto yi na kweli?" Bibi Tatu aliuliza tena."Is what you've said about Mohamed having a child true?" Madame Tatu asked again.
"Ndiyo," Sara alimjibu."Yes," Sara replied.
"Najua kabisa huyo mtoto siyo wa Sofia," Tatu alisema."I know for sure that this child is not Sofia's," Tatu said.
Sara alimkazia mtoto macho. Alikuwa bado anajaribu kupata titi. Alishindwa, akalia kwa nguvu zaidi.Sara stared at her child. He was still trying to breastfeed; he eventually gave up and began crying even louder.
Sara alimwambia Bibi Tatu, "Mtoto ana njaa."Sara said to Madame Tatu, "Your child is hungry."
"Hamna lolote," Bibi Tatu alisema, lakini akatoa titi ndani ya kanga. Mtoto akaliinua mwenyewe, akaanza kunyonya."There's no milk," Madame Tatu said, but she pulled out a breast from her kanga anyway. The child raised himself up and began to suckle.
"Wewe ni mtoto, huwezi kufahamu, lakini mimi najua. Kuna uongo tu mahali. Bibi Sofia hana mtoto," Bibi Tatu alisema."You're just a child, you can't understand, but me, I know. Something doesn't add up. Sofia doesn't have a child."
Sara alimwangalia sana Tatu. Alimwona kama amekasirika, akataka kumuuliza kuwa kakasirishwa na nini.Sara looked hard at Tatu. She was looking at Sara as if she was angry. Sara wanted to ask her why she was so upset.
Bibi Tatu alihangaika hangaika pale nje. Alitaka kuingia ndani akaongee na Bibi Fatuma, lakini alibadilisha mawazo baada ya kufika mlangoni. Akarudi.Madame Tatu paced around anxiously outside. At one point she moved to go inside and speak with Madame Fatuma, but she changed her mind after reaching the door and went back.
Sara alianza kumuuliza, "Wewe ni..."Sara started to ask, "You are..."
Bibi Tatu alidakia mara moja na kuuliza, "Mwanamke gani kamzalia mtoto?"Madame Tatu rushed back in at once and asked, "Which woman gave birth to this child?"
"Thijui," Sara alijibu."I don't know," Sara replied.
Gaza liliingia ghafla. Vivuli vyeusi vilitanda katikati ya miti na nyumba. Vimulimuli viliwaka katika giza, sauti za wadudu mbalimbali zilisikia. Mwishowe Bibi Tatu aliondoka.Darkness fell suddenly. The trees cast dark shadows on the houses. Fireflies shimmered in the darkness, and the sounds of various insects could be heard. Finally Madame Tatu left.
Baada ya kuona Bibi Tatu kaondoka, Bibi Fatuma aliita kutoka ndani, "Sara, we mwana uliye nje. Njoo ndani mjukuu wangu. Njoo tupike."After seeing Madame Tatu leave, Madame Fatuma called out from inside, "Sara, you child sitting outside. Come inside my grandchild. Come so we can cook."
Sara aliingia ndani na kukaa. Bibi Fatuma alimpa kiazi kitamu alichokuwa amechoma chini ya majivu ya moto, akamwambia, "Onja hicho kiazi, bila shaka una njaa."Sara went inside and sat down. Madame Fatuma gave her a sweet potato that had been roasting in the ashes of the fire, then told her, "Taste this potato, surely you must be starving."
Sara alipokea kiazi, akashukuru na kula kimyakimya. Chakula kiliiva, Bibi Fatuma akapakua. Alichukua chakula akapeleka kwenye nyumba walimokuwa Prospa na Mzee Zinja. Alirudi pale kukawia, wakakaa kwenye mkeka wakala. Mihogo iliyopikwa kwenye tui zito la nazi.Sara accepted the potato, gave thanks and ate it silently. When the food was ready, Madame Fatuma served it. She took some of the food out to the house where Prospa and Mr. Zinja were. After some time she returned, sat down on the rug, and ate. Cassava cooked in thick coconut milk.

Sura ya kumi na tano

Chapter Fifteen

"Mliongea?" Prospa alimuuliza Sara walipoonana kesho yake asubuhi."Did you two talk?" Prospa asked Sara when they met the following morning.
"Kidogo thana," Sara alijibu."Only a little," Sara replied.
"Bibi Fatuma hakuuliza maswali? Mimi nilifikiria atakuuliza maswali mengi. Nilikuwa na wasiwasi," Prospa alisema."Madame Fatuma didn't ask you any questions? I thought she was going to ask you many. I was worried," Prospa said.
"Kwa nini? Thiwethi kujibu mwathwali?""Why? I can't anthwer questionth?"
"Humfahamu Merisho, wala Mohamed ambaye ni mtoto wa Bibi Fatuma. Nilikuwa na wasiwasi," Prospa alimwambia Sara."You don't know Merisho, nor Madame Fatuma's son Mohamed. I was worried," Prospa said to Sara.
"Unaniona thina akili?" Sara aliuliza."You think I'm stupid?" Sara asked.
"Haya basi una akili sana. Una akili kwelikweli," Prospa alisema huku akiondoka. Alichukia kiburi cha Sara."Alright, alright, I know you're smart. Really smart," Prospa said as he left, sick of Sara's arrogance.
Sara aliuliza, "Unakwenda wapi?"Sara asked, "Where are you going?"
Prospa alijibu, "Wewe una akili sana, utajua tu ninakokwenda."Prospa replied, "You're smart, you'll figure it out."
Lakini Prospa alikuwa hajui anakokwenda. Alikuwa hana raha. Alifikiria kwamba angepata fununu ya mahali Merisho alipofichwa, lakini hakufanikiwa hata kidogo. Mzee Mohamed alikuwa naye anafanya uchunguzi wake tu ambao haukuhusiana na mahali Merisho alipo.But Prospa had no idea where he was going. He felt restless. He thought that he'd seek out some rumors of places where Merisho could have been hidden, but he wasn't even a little bit successful. Mr. Mohamed was looking into some things himself, but they had nothing to do with finding Merisho.
Prospa alitembea kufuata barabara ya miguu iliyopita kijijini. Alikuwa ameshiba. Asubuhi Bibi Fatuma aliwapatia chai ya maziwa na mihogo ya kuchemsha. Sasa alitembea tu katika kijiji hiki cha Chuini. Labda atakutana na Merisho?Prospa walked along the road passing through the village. He was full. That morning Madame Fatuma had given them milk tea and boiled cassava. Now he was just walking around the village of Chuini. Maybe he would come across Merisho?
Labda walimficha kwenye nyumba ya jirani au ndugu, au walikwisha msafirisha kwenda mbali zaidi, labda kwa mjomba au shangazi? Prospa alikutana na watoto wengi waliomtazama kwa muda mrefu. Walijua kwamba yeye ni mgeni. Prospa aliwatazama vilevile. Akili yake ilijaa mawazo kuhusu Merisho. Alimkumbuka Merisho alipokuwa mtoto mdogo, akitambaa, akila matope na chochote alichoweza kushika na kupeleka mdomoni. Prospa alikumbwa na hisia kali za upendo kwa Merisho.Maybe they had hidden him in the home of a neighbor or relative, or they hadn't taken him any further and left him with an uncle or aunt? Prospa encountered many children who stared at him. They knew he was from somewhere else. Prospa stared back at them. His mind was filled with thoughts of Merisho: memories of Merisho as an infant, crawling around and eating mud and anything he could grab ahold of and put in his mouth. Prospa was bombarded with sharp pangs of love for Merisho.
Yuko wapi sasa?Where could he be now?
Masikio yake yalisikia sauti ya Merisho akilia. Merisho alipenda sana kulia, hasa alipotaka kitu kutoka kwa Prospa halafu asikipate. Merisho alilia bila kutoa machozi hata tone. Wakati mwingine Prospa alikuwa hamwonei huruma.He recalled the sound of Merisho crying. Merisho loved to cry, especially when he wanted something from Prospa and didn't get it. Merisho would cry without shedding a single tear. Sometimes Prospa didn't show him any sympathy.
Labda Merisho amefariki? Hapana. Haiwezekani, Prospa alijiambia haraka kama vile kufukuza wazo hilo. Alisikia kitu kimembana kooni. Alisikia uchungu. Machozi yalimjaa machoni, yakadondoka yenyewe. Alifuta machozi haraka. Hakutaka watoto waliokuwa wanacheza wamuone analia. Dada Josefina alishamwambia kwamba wanaume hawalii hovyohovyo. Lakini alijisikia vizuri zaidi baada ya kulia, kwani maumivu yaliyokuwa kooni yalipungua.Maybe Merisho had died? No. Impossible, Prospa told himself quickly as if to chase away these thoughts. He felt something gripping his throat tight. Prospa felt anguished. Tears filled his eyes and began to fall. He quickly wiped them away. He didn't want the children playing nearby to see him crying. Sister Josefina had told him that men don't cry. But he felt better after crying, and the pain in his throat lessened.
Prospa alikutana na mtoto mmoja wa kike amebeba sufuria ya maji kichwani. Yule mtoto alimuuliza, "Unaitwa nani?"Prospa crossed paths with a girl carrying a pot of water on her head. "What's your name?" she asked him.
Prospa hakusema kitu.Prospa said nothing.
"Unakwenda wapi huko?" Mtoto wa kike aliuliza. Maji yalidondoka, yakamlowesha uso. Alilamba maji yaliyomdondokea usoni kwa ulimi."Where are you going around here?" she asked. Water spilled out and soaked her face. She licked it up with her tongue.
Prospa hakumjibu. Alimtazama tu.Prospa didn't answer her. He just stared.
Mtoto yule alimwacha Prospa akaendelea na safari yake. Alipofika mbele kidogo aligeuka, akakuta Prospa bado anamwangalia, halafu alisema, "Hapo mbele kuna joka kubwa, usiende."The girl left Prospa and continued on her way. When she had gone a little ways ahead she turned, saw that Prospa was still looking at her, then said, "Up ahead there's a large snake, you shouldn't go there."
Prospa alisimama wima kwa muda akimtazama msichana hadi alipotokomea mbali. Hakumwamini, lakini hakutaka kuweka maisha yake hatarini kwa kuumwa na nyoka. Baada ya kuhakikisha kwamba msichana amekwenda mbali, Prospa aliamua kurudi nyumbani kwa Bibi Fatuma. Alimkuta Sara anafundishwa kusuka ukili.Prospa stood stock still as he watched the girl until she disappeared from sight. He didn't believe her, but he also didn't want to risk losing his life to a dangerous snake. When he was sure that the girl was far away, Prospa decided to return to Madame Fatuma's home. There he found Sara being taught how to weave strips of palm tree leaves.

Sura ya kumi na sita

Chapter Sixteen

Chuini. Chuini ni kijiji kikubwa. Watu wa kijiji hiki ni wakarimu, wenye kupenda wageni, wenye kutaka kuwafahamu wageni na kuongea nao na kucheka nao.Chuini. Chuini is a big village. The people of this village are hospitable; they like visitors, they want to get to know them and converse with them.
Mbali, mbali sana, mwendo wa maili nyingi kutoka kwa Mzee Mohamed Zinja kulikuwa na mzee mwingine aliyeitwa Ali.Far away, very far away, many miles from Mr. Mohamed Zinja's home, there lives another man named Ali.
Walipita nyumba nyingi, walitembea katikati ya miti mirefu ya matunda na vichaka vikubwa vya migomba. Walikwenda kwa Mzee Ali asubuhi, asubuhi sana kabla jua halijafungua macho. Ardhi ilikuwa baridi. Vivuli vyeusi vilionekana juu ya miti vikiongea.They passed many homes, malking among tall fruit trees and big bunches of bananas. They left for Mr. Ali's early in the morning, before the sun had risen. The land was cold. The tops of the rustling trees were shrouded in darkness.
Walipofika kwenye nyumba moja ndogo ya udongo iliyoezekwa kwa nyasi, Bibi Fatuma aliita, "Babu."When they reached a small clay house covered in grass, Madame Fatume called out, "Babu."
Mzee Mohamed alikohoa kidogo, halafu wote walisimama mbele ya nyumba. Kimya.Mr. Mohamed coughed for a spell, then they all stood silently in front of the house.
Jua lilikuwa bado halijafungua macho, halijitoka nje. Ardhi ilikuwa baridi. Dunia ilipoa. Vivuli juu ya miti vilipaaza sauti.The sun hadn't yet come out, wasn't yet in the sky. The land was cold. The world felt peacefully calm. The rustling of the trees grew louder.
Mzee Ali alifungua mlango wa nyumba yake polepole. Prospa alisikia baridi kali, hadi meno yake yakawa yanajigonga mdomoni.Mr. Ali opened the door of his home slowly. Prospa was freezing, so much so that his teeth were chattering.
Mzee Ali alirudi ndani bila kusema neno. Hakuonesha dalili kwamba amewaona wageni wake. Wala hakuwakaribisha waingie ndani. Alirudishia mlango wa nyumba yake. Baridi ilimwisha Prospa, akajisikia kawaida. Aliogopa. Alitaka kukimbia, lakini miguu yake ikawa mizito. Miguu ikawa mizito kama mawe.Mr. Ali went back inside without saying anything. He didn't give any indication that he had seen his visitors. Nor had he welcomed them inside. He closed the door behind him. The cold had so thoroughly engulfed Prospa that it was beginning to feel normal. Now he was afraid. He wanted to run, but his feet were heavy. Heavy like boulders.
Jua lilikuwa bado kufungua macho. Lilikuwa bado kutoka nje. Vivuli juu ya miti vilipaaza sauti.The sun hadn't yet opened its eyes, still hadn't risen in the sky. The sounds of the rustling trees grew louder still.
Baada ya muda, Mzee Ali aliita. Aliita jina gani? Prospa alisikia, lakini alisahau hapohapo. Bibi Fatuma na Mzee Mohamed waliingia ndani. Naye Prospa alifuata, bila kupenda. Hakutembea. Miguu yake ilikuwa myepesi, haikugusa ardhi. Prospa alihisi kupaa angani pasipo na kitu bali baridi. Prospa aliruka kama ndege, akajikuta ndani.After some time, Mr. Ali called to them. Whose name did he call? Prospa heard, but forgot immediately. Madame Fatuma and Mr. Mohamed entered inside. Prospa followed them unhappily. He didn't merely walk. His feet were like wings, they didn't even touch the ground. Prospa felt like flying high, to any place above the cold. Prospa flew like a bird; before he knew it, he was inside.
Giza. Ndani ya nyumba ya Mzee Ali ni giza jeusi ti. Halafu baadaye mwanga hafifu kama wa koroboi iliyoisha mafuta, ulitokea.Darkness. It was pitch black inside Mr. Ali's house. It wasn't until a little while later that faint light, like that of a lamp running out of kerosene, filtered into the home.
Sauti ya Mzee Ali ilikuwa kongwe. Imezeeka, imekuwa neyembamba mno kama nyuzi za nguo ya zamani.Mr. Ali's voice sounded ancient. Worn out and extremely thin, like the worn out threads of old clothes.
"Sema Bibi Fatuma," sauti ilisema kutoka mbali sana. Prospa hakumwona Mzee Ali. Alitamani kumwona, lakini Mzee Ali hakuonekana."Tell me Madame Fatuma," the voice said distantly. Prospa couldn't see Mr. Ali. He wanted to, but Mr. Ali just wasn't visible.
"Babu, naomba unisomee, mjukuu wangu kapotea. Nitazamie.""Babu, I need your help. My grandchild has gone missing. I am searching for him."
Baridi ilimrudia Prospa. Baridi kali, baridi iliyosikika hadi kwenye mifupa ya kichwa, ya uso, ya miguu, ya kifua, ya mikono. Prospa hakutetemeka, lakini alisikia baridi. Macho yalifunga. Alijaribu kujizuia lakini hakuweza. Alipatwa na usingizi mzito sana, ingawa hakulala. Prospa aliona giza linaingia kama kivuli. Giza likawafunika, likawafunika wote waliokuwa ndani ya nyumba ya Mzee Ali. Prospa alisikia sauti za vyombo vingi, vinagongana, vinapasuka, vinaviringika. Halafu kimya. Kimya kabisa.Prospa was freezing again. It was bitterly cold, so cold he could feel it in the bones of his head, his face, his feet, his chest, his hands. Prospa wasn't shivering, but he still felt frigid. He closed his eyes, trying to calm himself but failing. He was overcome by heavy exhaustion, but he didn't sleep. Prospa saw dark shadows cast inside the home. The darkness spread over them, enshrouding everyone in Mr. Ali's home. Then Prospa heard dishes banging, flying, and spinning around. Afterwards, silence. Complete silence.
"Humfahamu," mwishowe Mzee Ali alisema. "Yuko mbali," aliendelea."You don't know him," Mr. Ali said finally. "He's far away," he continued.
Nyumba nzima ilikuwa kimya tena. Kimya kabisa.The whole house was silent again. Completely silent.
Mwanga hafifu kama koroboi iliyoisha mafuta ulitokea. Ukasukuma lile giza kando. Mwanga hafifu ukatanda tena ndani, polepole.Weak light, like that of a lamp running out of kerosene, began to appear. It began to push the darkness aside. Slowly, the inside of the house became faintly visible.
Muda ulipita. Kimya kilikaa nao, kimya kilikuwa mgeni kama wao. Aaa, moyo ulimtoka Prospa. Ulimhama kifuani, haukupiga tena. Woga uliisha. Kichwa chake kilikuwa chepesi, chepesi kama jani kavu. Mwili wake ulikuwa mwepesi, ulielea hewani kama jani, kama jani kavu linavyoelea hewani. Muda ulipita. Giza jembamba likaingia tena kama kivuli.Time passed. The silence remained, as though it were a visitor just like them. Aaa, Prospa's heart lept as if to leave his chest, beating no longer. The fear left him. He felt light-headed, his head like a dry leaf. His whole body felt light, floating in the air like a leaf, just like a dry leaf floating through the air. More time passed. Slight darkness fell once more when a shadow was cast upon them.
Hapakuwa tena na kelele za vyombo. Sasa, Prospa alihisi mawimbi kama yale ya baharini, au kama upepo ule unaong'oa migomba na kuangusha miti na kung'oa mapaa ya nyumba. Mwanga haukurudi. Kivuli kilikaa pamoja nao kama mgeni.The noise of falling dishes wasn't heard again. Now, Prospa heard what sounded like ocean waves: it was the wind, trying to knock down some bananas, fell some trees, or take off the roof of the house. The light didn't return. The shadow remained with them as a visitor.
"Kazi ngumu," sauti ya Mzee Ali ilisikika ikisema. Sauti ilitoka mbali. Sauti ilikatikakatika kama nyuzi za nguo chakavu."Hard work," Mr. Ali's voice could be heard saying. His voice sounded far away and thin like threadbare cloth.
"Kazi ngumu," sauti ya Mzee ilisema tena."Hard work," the voice said again.
Kimya. Kimya kabisa. Mwanga hafifu ulirudi polepole.Silence. Complete silence. Gradually, faint light began to return.
Moyo wa Prospa ulimrudia kifuani mwake. Ulipiga tena. Alianza kuona woga. Alihisi baridi.Prospa's heart returned to his chest, beating once more. He started to worry, feeling cold once more.
Ooo, Merisho! Yuko wapi?
"Kaleteni nguo yake, au unywele au ukucha wa kidole kikubwa cha mguu wa kulia," Mzee Ali alisema."Bring some of his clothing, or some of his hair, or a toenail clipping from his right foot," Mr. Ali said.
Baridi ilimtoka Prospa. Bibi Fatuma alitoa kitu kitoka ndani ya nguo zake. Kitu kilichofungwa kama kifurushi kidogo. Alikiweka kwenye ungo uliokuwa karibu naye. Halafu Bibi Fatuma alisimama. Mzee Mohamed alisimama. Prospa alisimama. Walitoka nje mmojammoja, bila kuongea.The cold left Prospa. Madame Fatuma produced an item from inside her clothing, wrapped up in a small bundle. She placed it in a basket next to her. Then she just stood there. Mr. Mohamed and Prospa did the same. Finally they went outside, one by one, without speaking to each other.
Walitembea katikati ya miti mirefu ya matunda na vichaka vikubwa vya migomba. Sasa, jua lilifungua macho, kichwa chake kilianza kutoka nje. Rangi nyekundu ya macho yake ilionekana kama utando, kulee dunia ilikoanzia.They walked among the tall fruit trees and big bundles of bananas. The sun had finally risen, its head just visible on the horizon. A thin film of red could be seen, out there at the edge of the world.
Mzee Mohamed alikohoa. Alitembea chapuchapu kama vile ana haraka. Bibi Fatuma aliweka buibui lake vizuri. Hakusema lolote, wala hakukohoa kama Mzee Mohamed. Alitembea akiwa ameangalia chini. Wakati mwingine alinong'ona. Prospa hakumsikia. Yeye alikuwa nyuma kabisa. Mzee Mohamed alikuwa mbele, Bibi Fatuma katikati ya Prospa nyuma. Vivuli vilikuwa nyuma yake. Mwanga wa jua ulivichukua, kimoja kimoja, kila walipoviacha nyuma.Mr. Mohamed coughed. He walked quickly as if in a rush. Madame Fatuma wore her black veil well. She said not a word, nor did she cough like Mr. Mohamed. She walked as if staring at the ground. Sometimes she whispered. Prospa didn't hear her; he was far behind. Mr. Mohamed was in the lead and Madame Fatuma in the middle, with Prospa following last. The shadows were behind him. The sunlight grabbed hold of them, one by one, as they left them behind.
Prospa alitazama juu mitini, hakuviona tena. Alitazama vichaka vya migomba, hakuona vivuli tena.Prospa glanced at the tree tops, and at the bunches of bananas. He didn't see the shadows any longer.

Sura ya kumi na saba

Chapter Seventeen

Sara na Prospa waliishi na Bibi Fatuma na Mzee Mohamed kwa siku tano. Sara alijifunza kuweka ukili rangi. Bibi Fatuma alimweleza kwamba hana fedha za kununua rangi za ukili kutoka mjini, kwa hiyo hujitengeneza rangi yeye mwenyewe. Walitembea shambani na Bibi Fatuma, akamwonesha mti wa mdaa, akamfundisha jinsi ya kutoa vipande vya gamba lake. Alimwonesha pia mmea unaoitwa manjano, jamii ya tangawizi na binzari, akamwonesha jinsi ya kupata mizizi yake.Sara and Prospa stayed with Madame Fatuma and Mr. Mohamed for five days. Sara learned how to color palm leaves. Madame Fatuma explained to her that she hadn't enough money to buy palm tree coloring from town, so she made it herself. They walked around Madame Fatuma's land, where Madame Fatuma showed her a suitable tree, then showed her how to take a piece of its bark. She then showed her a plant called turmeric, similar to ginger and curry powder, and showed her how to obtain its roots.
Magamba ya mdaa hutwangwa kwanza, halafu hutiwa kwenye sufuria la maji, pamoja na majivu. Mchanganyiko huchemshwa na ukili kwenye moto mdogo kwa siku nzima. Mdaa hutoa rangi ya chungwa bivu au zafarani. Mizizi ya manjano hutoa rangi ya manjano. Bibi Fatuma alimwonesha jinsi ya kuchemsha ukili hadi ukolee rangi. Halafu alijifunza kusuka mkeka wa kuchanganya rangi tofauti. Bibi Fatuma alikuwa mahili katika shughuli za ususi.First the tree bark is ground up, then put into a pot of water along with some ashes. This mixture is boiled over a small fire for an entire day. The tree bark gives the mixture a color like that of ripe oranges or saffron. The turmeric roots add yellow. Madame Fatuma showed her how to boil the mixture until it turned the proper color. Then Sara learned how to weave a multi-colored rug. Madame Fatuma was an expert at weaving.
Prospa alijifunza kukwea miti mirefu. Alifahamu jinsi ya kuangua mafenesi manene, jinsi ya kuyapasua, jinsi ya kuyala, mafenesi yenye utamu wa sukari.Prospa learned how to climb tall trees. He knew how to knock down big jackfruits, and how to cut them open and eat them. They tasted sweet like sugar.
Kabla ya kuondoka, Bibi Fatuma alimwita Prospa kwenye nyumba yake. Alimketisha pamoja na Sara, akawaambia, "Wanangu, sasa mnajua mambo yalivyo. Mtoto wetu yupo. Mungu kamweka mahali penye usalama. Yupo, Prospa mwanangu. Ulisikia alivyosema Mzee Ali.Before they departed, Madame Fatuma called on Prospa in the house he was staying in. She sat him down alongside Sara, and told them, "My children, you know the nature of the matter before us. Our child is somewhere. God has put him in a safe place. He's here, Prospa. You heard what Mr. Ali said.
Sasa, ni hivi: twahitaji nguo yake, unywele wake na ukucha. Lazima tupate kimoja au viwili."Now, we need some of his clothes, hair, and toenail. We must get one or two pieces."
Bibi Fatuma alijifunga kanga mbili. Moja juu ya matiti, na nyingine kiunoni. Hakuvaa viatu, bali visigino vya miguu yake vilichorwa urembo mzuri kwa hina. Aliwatazama Prospa na Sara kwa furaha iliyochanganyika na huzuni. Alisema, "Allah atawafikisha salama. Alla atawarudisha hapahapa. Msihofu. Mtoto wetu tutampata tu."Madame Fatuma was wrapped in two kangas: one around her breasts, the other around her waist. She wasn't wearing shoes; the heels of her feet had been decorated with beautifully designed henna. She looked at Prospa and Sara with a mix of happiness and sadness. She said, "God will grant you safe passage, and he will see that you come right back. Don't be afraid. We will get our child back."
Bibi Fatuma alitoa pesa kwenye titi lake, chini ya kanga, na kuwapa Sara na Prospa. Aliwafungia kifurushi cha maandazi yaliyotiwa iliki yakawa na ladha na harufu nzuri. Walishukuru. Walifungasha vifurushi vyao vidogo, wakasindikizwa hadi barabarani. Wakaondoka kurudi Darisalam.Madame Fatuma reached inside her kanga and between her breasts, pulling out money to give to Sara and Prospa. She had wrapped for them a small bundle of tasty cardamon maandazi that smelled delicious. They thanked her. They packed up what little belongings they had and were accompanied to the side of the road. Then they were on their way back to Dar es Salaam.
Wakati huu walipanda magari yanayotoka shamba kuelekea mjini. Walikuwa na pesa. Lakini Prospa hakuwa na furaha, alimwambia Sara, "Kazi ya bure tumefanya."This time they climbed aboard a vehicle leaving the farmland and heading towards town. They had money. But Prospa was unhappy. He said to Sara, "What we just did was pointless."
Sara alimtazama Prospa, akataka kusema kitu lakini akaacha.Sara looked at Prospa; she wanted to say something but stopped herself.
Prospa alisema, "Kama Merisho hayupo Darisalam na hayupo Zanzibar, sasa yuko wapi?"Prospa said, "If Merisho isn't in Dar and isn't in Zanzibar, where is he?"
Sara alisema, "Yuko Moshi, au yuko Darithalam."Sara said, "He'th in Mothhi, or in Dar."
Prospa alisema, "Wewe Sara, kila kitu ni utani tu. Hivi una habari kwamba wewe umepungukiwa? Una habari hiyo? Wewe unafikiri kwamba mimi nacheza. Unafikiri kwamba hakuna mtoto aliyepotea."Prospa said, "Everything is a joke to you Sara. Do you now have the information you've been missing this whole time? Do you finally have it? You think I'm playing around. You forget that there's a child who's gone missing."
"Prothpa, mimi najua wewe ni muoga thana. Lakini nakuambia hivi, najua Merisho alipo. Yuko Dar.""Prothpa, I know you're worried. But I'm telling you, I know where Merisho is. He's in Dar."
"Ehe, sasa utasema umeambiwa na nani? Mungu au mganga?" Prospa alisema kwa kebehi."Ehe, now say, who told you that? God or a witch doctor?" Prospa said derisively.
Watu katika gari waliwatazama. Prospa na Sara wakanyamaza, wakakaa bila kuongea mpaka walipofika sokoni.People in the car were looking at them. Prospa and Sara became quiet and didn't speak to each other again until they reached the market.

Sura ya kumi na nane

Chapter Eighteen

Safari ya kutoka Zanzibar kurudi Darisalam haikuwa na upya tena. Tabia za bahari zilikuwa zilezile walizoziona walipokuwa wanakwenda Zanzibar.Their trip from Zanzibar back to Dar wasn't an exciting new experience for them this time. The conditions at sea were the same as they had been when they had travelled to Zanzibar.
Ndani ya boti, watu walikunywa soda, walikula maandazi, chapati, samaki, matunda aina kwa aina. Prospa na Sara walitoa maandazi ya iliki waliyotengenezwa na Bibi Fatuma, wakala. Watu waliongea kwa nguvu, walipiga kelele. Watoto walitembea ndani ya boti huku na kule. Akina mama wawili wa Kihindi waliokuwa wamekaa karibu na dirisha walitazama bahari kwa wasiwasi mkubwa. Wakati wote waliongea kwa Kihindi kwa sauti ya chini. Mara moja moja, alikuja kijana wa Kihindi ambaye aliongea nao kama kuwatia moyo, halafu aliondoka. Boti ilipofika katikati ya bahari palipokuwa na mawimbi makubwa, mama hao walitoa mifuko ya karatasi kama wanayowekea sukari dukani, wakaanza kutapikia humo.Inside the boat, people drank soda and ate maandazi, chapati, fish, and all kinds of fruit. Prospa and Sara took out the cardamon maandazi that had been prepared by Madame Fatuma, and ate it. Many people were talking energetically and making noise. People wandered around the inside of the boat. Sitting next to a window were two Hindi women, looking out at the ocean anxiously. The whole time they spoke to each other quietly in Hindi. At one point a Hindi youth went over to speak with them, apparently to comfort them, then left. When the boat was halfway through the passage, in the middle of the ocean where the waves were big, the women took out paper bags like those in which sugar is bought from the store. They began to throw up inside them.
Sara alisema kwa sauti ya chini, "Waone hao wathungu, wanatapika!"Sara said in a low voice, "Look at thothe foreignerth, they're throwing up!"
"Sara!" Prospa alimkemea."Sara!" Prospa said disapprovingly.
"Thatha. Waone washamba hao, hawajathafiri baharini," Sara alisema."Now. Look at thothe foolth, they mutht never have travelled by thea before," Sara said.
Akina mama wa Kihindi waliwatazama Prospa na Sara, lakini hawakuweza kujizuia kutapika.The Hindi women looked at Prospa and Sara, but couldn't bring themselves to stop vomiting.
Prospa alisema, "Mshamba ni wewe. Kwanza hao siyo wazungu. Hao ni wahindi."Prospa said, "You're the fool. First of all, those aren't foreigners. They're Indians."
Sara aliuliza, "Unajuaje?""How do you know?" Sara asked.
"Najua," Prospa alisema."I just know," Prospa said.
"Hujui," Sara alisema."No you don't," Sara said.
"Najua. Najua," Prospa alisema. "Mimi nawajua Wahindi, wana maduka kule Moshi mjini. Halafu kuna wengine tena wako TPC, kule tunakoishi. Wewe hujui, mimi najua," Prospa alisisitiza."I know, I know," Prospa said. "I know some Hindi people in Moshi who have stores in town. And there are some at TPC, where we live. You don't know, I do," Prospa insisted.
Sara alinyamaza. Akawatazama wale akina mama kwa makini zaidi.Sara said nothing. She stared at the women, watching them intently.
Baada ya muda, bahari ilitulia, boti ikawa haiyumbi sana.After some time the sea grew calm, as did the swaying of the boat.
Walianza kuona visiwa vidogovidogo katikati ya bahari, mbali na njia yao.They began to spot tiny islands in the middle of the ocean, far from the boat's path.
Baada ya muda waliona nchi kavu. Walifahamu kwamba wamefika Darisalam. Boti ilitia nanga palepale ilipoanzia. Watu wa daraja la kwanza walianza kutoka, halafu wakafuatia watu wa daraja la kawaida. Watu waligombania mlangoni wakitaka kutoka wote mara moja kama vile walikuwa wanakimbizwa. Prospa na Sara walingoja mpaka watu wakabaki wachache ndani ya boti, halafu wakatoka kwa taratibu. Walifuata watu hadi barabarani. Hapo wakajikuta wako tena wenyewe, hawana la kufanya, wala hawajui waende wapi.Eventually dry land came into view, and they realized that they had arrived in Dar. The boat weighed anchor at the same place it had departed from. The people in first class began to disembark; they were followed by the people in coach. People fought their way through the door in order to leave first, as if they were being chased. Prospa and Sara waited until only a few people remained inside the boat, then left slowly. They followed the crowd to the road, where they once again found themselves alone, with nothing to do and no idea where they should go.
Prospa alibeba mkoba wake aliotoka nao Moshi. Ndani ya mkoba kulikuwa na kaptula moja, shati pamoja na kitenge cha Sara. Sara alibeba kapu dogo la ukili wa rangi nyeupe na buluu alilopewa na Bibi Fatuma. Ndani ya kapu kulikuwa na maandazi matano na maembe mawili mabichi.Prospa was carrying the bag that he'd brought with him from Moshi. Inside was a pair of shorts, a shirt, and Sara's dress. Sara carried a small basket made from white and blue colored palm leaves that Madame Fatuma had given her. Inside the basket were five pieces of maandazi and two fresh mangoes.
Sara alimuuliza Prospa, "Thatha? Tunakwenda Manthethe?"Sara asked Prospa, "Now what? Are we going to Manzethe?"
Prospa hakumjibu, aliendelea kuangalia magari yanavyopita barabarani.Prospa didn't respond as he watched the cars passing by on the road.
Sara alichepuka walipokuwa wamesimama, akavuka barabara akikimbia. Upande wa pili ulikuwa na watu wachache wamesimama. Sara alikaa kwenye kibaraza chembamba cha jengo refu. Prospa alimtazama kutoka upande wa pili wa barabara. Aliogopa kuvuka barabara lakini akajikausha ili asionekana mwoga.Sara dashed away from where they were standing and crossed the road at a run. There were few people on the other side. She sat down on the narrow veranda of a tall building. Prospa looked at her from the other side of the road. He was afraid to cross, but he kept a straight face so he wouldn't look like a coward.
"Prothpa. Vuka," Sara alimhimiza kutoka upande wa pili wa barabara. Prospa alimtazama Sara, halafu akamwendea kijana aliyekuwa akiuza machungwa na miembe mabichi yaliyonyunyuziwa pilipili, akamuuliza, "Kaka, Manzese ni wapi?""Prothpa. Cross," Sara encouraged him from the other side of the road. Prospa looked at Sara, then approached a youth selling ripe oranges and mangoes along with chili peppers. He asked him, "Brother, where's Manzese?"
Kijana alikuwa akimenya chungwa kwa ustadi. Aliendelea kumenya chungwa bila hata kuinua macho, kama vile hakusikia swali la Prospa.The youth was expertly peeling an orange. He continued to do without raising his eyes, as if he hadn't heard Prospa's question.
"Kaka, naomba nikuulize. Manzese ni upande gani?" Prospa alirudia kuuliza."Brother, I'd like to ask you a question. Which direction is Manzese?" Prospa tried again.
"Sijui mimi," kijana alijibu huku akimenya chungwa. Prospa alinyamaza, alingoja amalize kazi hiyo halafu alirudia swali tena. "Kaka...""I don't know," the youth replied as he peeled the orange. Prospa said nothing, waiting for him to finish before asking his question once more. "Brother..."
"Agh. Vipi wewe? Manzese, Manzese. Nenda huko kachukue basi linalokwenda Manzese. Utafika.""Agh. What's wrong with you? Manzese, Manzese. Take a bus that's going to Manzese. You'll get there eventually."
Prospa aligeuka, alitaka kumuuliza kijana mahali pa kuchukulia basi la kwenda Manzese, lakini alisita. Alihisi kwamba kijana hataki kumsaidia. Aliangalia magari yanavyopita bila kupungua. Alipopata mwanya naye alivuka akikimbia, akiwa ameshikilia mkoba wake mbele kwenye kifua. Alimpita Sara, akaendelea kutembea kuelekea jumba lililokuwa na kelele za watoto.Prospa turned to leave; he wanted to ask him where he could find a bus going to Manzese, but decided against it. He sensed that the boy didn't want to help him. He watched the vehicles passing by without slowing down. When he spotted a break in the traffic he ran across the road, clutching his bag to his chest. He walked past Sara and headed towards a building from which the clamor of children emanated.
Sara aliinuka akamfuata, kisha akamuuliza, "Prospa, yule mtu amekuambia nini?"Sara stood up and followed after him, then asked, "Prospa, what did that perthon thay to you?"
"Nani?" Prospa aliuliza."Who?" Prospa asked.
"Yule mtu uliyeongea naye," Sara alisema."That perthon you were thpeaking with," Sara said.
Prospa alisimama na kumuuliza Sara, "Wewe unajua tutafikaje Manzese kwa Kaka Petro?"Prospa stopped and asked Sara, "Do you know how to get to Brother Petro's place in Manzese?"
"Thijui. Yule mtu amekwambia? Ee, amekwambia?" Sara aliuliza kwa hamu."I don't know. What'd that perthon thay to you? Ee, what'd he thay?" Sara asked eagerly.
"Amesema tupande basi linalokwenda Manzese," Prospa alisema."He said we should get on a bus going to Manzese," Prospa said.
"Wapi Prothpa? Ulimuuliza kwamba tutapandia bathi wapi?" Sara aliuiliza."Where Prothpa? Did you athk him where we can get a buth?" Sara asked.
"Sijui. Hakutaka kuongea na mimi," Prospa alisema."I don't know. He doesn't want to speak with me," Prospa said.
Walitembea hadi wakaacha jengo lenye kelele za watoto, wakapinda kushoto kwenye barabara moja. Baada ya kutembea kwa muda, wakiwa wanaingia na kutoka kwenye maduka, bila kuuliza bei za bidhaa wala kushika chochote, walijikuta wamefika sehemu yenye mnara wa saa. Waligundua bustani moja iliyokuwa karibu na mnara wa saa ambapo kulikwa na benchi ndefu zilizojengwa kwa saruji.They walked, leaving the building full of noisy children behind, and turned left down another road. After walking for a while, having entered and left various shops without asking for the price of anything or making a purchase, they found themselves at a clock tower. Nearby they discovered a garden with long concrete benches.
Labda walikuwa wamechoka au walikata tamaa ya kuweza kufika Manzese siku hiyo. Labda wote walihisi kwamba hawatampata tena Kaka Petro. Walikuwa hawaongei. Bila hata kujadili au kukubaliana cha kufanya, kila mmoja alijilaza kwenye benchi yake, wakatumia mizigo yao kama mito, wakalala usingizi.Maybe they were tired and had lost hope of getting to Manzese that day. Or maybe they felt they wouldn't see Brother Petro again. Without speaking to each other, without discussion or agreement, both of them laid out on a bench and went to sleep, using their bags as pillows.

Sura ya kumi na tisa

Chapter Nineteen

Prospa na Sara walipoamka usingizini, mji ulikwishapoa. Jua lilikwishatuliza ukali wake. Watu walikwishaondoka kwenda makwao na maduka yote yalikwishafungwa.When Prospa and Sara awoke, the town was quieter and the sun's heat had relented. People had gone back to their homes, and all the stores had closed.
Sara aliamka kwanza, halafu akamwasha Prospa. Prospa alishtuka na kuuliza, "Kaka Petro amesharudi?" Alikuwa akiota kwamba walikuwa wamefika kwa Petro wakamkuta mke wake. Petro alikuwa ameondoka kwenda kumchukua Merisho.Sara awoke first, then awakened Prospa. Prospa turned and asked, "Has Brother Petro come back?" He had been dreaming that they'd returned to Petro's and found his wife at home. Petro had stepped out to retrieve Merisho.
Sara alisema, "Petro hayupo hapa. Niko mimi Thara."Sara said, "Petro ithn't here now. It'th me, Thara."
Prospa aliamka, akajifuta macho. Akili ilikuwa bado katika usingizi kule alipokuwa akimgojea Merisho.Prospa awoke and rubbed his eyes. He was still half-asleep, waiting for Merisho.
"Kwa nini umeniamsha?" Prospa aliuliza kwa hasira."Why did you wake me up?" Prospa asked angrily.
"Kwa nini nithikuamshe?" Sara aliuliza."Why shouldn't I?" Sara asked.
"Kaka Petro alikuwa amekwenda kumchukua Merisho. Usingeniamsha ningemowna," Prospa alilalamika."Brother Petro was going to get Merisho. If you hadn't awoken me I would have seen him," Prospa complained.
Sara alisimama, kama vile anataka kuondoka. Alimwambia Prospa, "Lala bathi ili umwone."Sara stood as if to leave. She said to Prospa, "Go back to sleep then so you can see him."
Sara alimwacha Prospa, akaondoka bila kufahamu anataka kufanya nini. Alizungukazunguka katika bustani. Aliona maganda ya matunda, mabaki ya vyakula vilivyotupwa ovyo. Aliona karatasi, mifuko ya nailoni iliyoraruka na makopo ya bia. Alikuwa hafikirii chochote, alikuwa hajui afikirie nini kama mpaka wakati huo walikuwa hawana mahali pa kwenda kuishi. Alipofikia bembea, alikaa na kuanza kubembea taratibu. Uso wake ulionekana kama vile anawaza, kama vile hana furaha. Alitamani Prospa amfuate, watembea wote. Alijisikia mpweke na mchovu. Prospa aliendelea kujilaza kwenye benchi ndefu. Hakuwa na usingizi. Alikuwa anawaza: Manzese, Merisho hayupo, wala Kaka Petro hajui alipo. Zanzibar tumekwenda, Merisho hayupo. Sasa twende wapi? Labda turudi Manzese, tuulizie njia mpaka tufike kwa Kaka Petro, lakini tukafanye nini? Tutamkuta Kaka Petro? Halafu siku tuliyoondoka aliniambia nisirudi kwake. Alinieleza kwamba ameshatumia pesa yake nyingi kwa chakula na nauli, kwa hiyo tukitoka Zanzibar, tuende moja kwa moja Moshi. Najua tukienda Manzese, hatutamkuta Petro.Sara left Prospa, without knowing what to do next. She wanted around the gardens. She saw fruit peels and rinds, the carelessly littered remains of eaten food. She saw paper, torn plastic bags, and beer cans. Her mind was blank; she didn't know what to think, seeing as they now had no place to go and stay. When she reached the swings, she sat in one and started to slowly swing back and forth. She appeared deep in restless, unhappy thought. She wanted Prospa to follow her so they could walk together. She felt lonely and exhausted. Prospa continued to lie on the long bench, but he wasn't sleeping. He was thinking: Manzese, Merisho isn't here, and Brother Petro doesn't know where he is. We've gone to Zanzibar, and Merisho isn't there either. Now where should we go? Maybe back to Manzese, so we can ask for the way to Brother Petro's, but then what should we do? Will we actually meet him? On the day we left, he told me not to return. He explained to me that he'd already spent a lot of money on food and travel fares, and that when we left Zanzibar, we should go straight back to Moshi. I'm sure that if we arrive in Manzese, we won't see him again.
Moshi siwezi kurudi bila Merisho. Nikaseme nini? Nikamwambie nini Dada Josefina? Na watu wengine TPC nitawaambiaje kwamba nilishindwa kumpata mtoto? Na polisi niliowaona kwamba hawawezi kazi hiyo, kwamba kazi yao ni maswali tu, nitawaambia nini? Mustafa atanidharau, ataniona bwege tu, bwege niliyeshindwa kutafuta mtoto, niliyeshindwa kutumia ujanja wote hadi mtoto apatikane! Na hela yake aliyonipa itakuwa haikufanya kazi yoyote. Halafu kuna rafiki zake Merisho, ambao wanategemea kwamba nitarudi TPC naye. Watanionaje? Watafikiri kwamba Merisho amefariki, halafu watasema ni mimi niliyesababisha kifo chake? Niende wapi sasa nimpate Merisho? Nani anisaidie?I can't go back to Moshi without Merisho. What will I say? What will I tell Sister Josefina? And the others at TPC, how will I tell them that I failed to get the child back? And the police, who I saw as being unable to do this work, that their job just involves asking questions: what will I say to them? Mustafa will insult me, think I'm just a fool, a fool who failed to search for a child, who failed to use any trick possible until he'd been found! And the money he gave me will have been wasted. Then there's Merisho's friends, who are expecting me to return to TPC with him. How will they see me? Will they think that Merisho has died, then say that I'm responsible for his death? Where should I go to get Merisho? Who can help me?
Prospa aliwaza kwa muda mrefu, lakini mawazo yake yalizunguka mahali pamoja tu: "Niende wapi? Niende wapi? Niende wapi?"Prospa thought for a long time, but his thoughts just ran together: "Where should I go? Where should I go? Where should I go?"
Alisikia kitu kinamkaba kooni. Alisikia uchungu mkubwa. Alisikia joto kila mahali mwilini mwake, akahisi kifua chake kimevimba. Kwikwi za kilio zilimtoka kwa nguvu, zikasababisha maumivu makali kooni na kifuani mwake. Prospa alilia, akapiga kelele kwa uchungu.He felt something gripping his throat, along with a heavy sadness. Everywhere his body felt hot, and his chest began to swell. Sobs racked his body, causing sharp pains in his throat and chest. Prospa cried loudly, in utter anguish.
Kwikwi zilimkaba akawa kama anakosa pumzi. Sara alikuja akikimbia aliposikia kelele za Prospa. Alipofika alimtazama Prospa kwa mshangao. Alimtazama Prospa alivyokuwa amejikunja kwenye benchi, magoti yake yamegusana na kidevu, mikono imeshikilia tumbo kama vile kulikuwapo kitu alichojaribu kuzuia kisitoke. Kwikwi zilimshika asiweze hata kutoa neno.He could barely breathe, so strong were his sobs. Sara came running when she heard Prospa's cries. When she arrived she was shocked to see Prospa in such a state. She saw how Prospa was doubled over on the bench, his knees tucked under his chin, his hands gripping his stomach as if he was trying to prevent it from escaping. His crying prevented him from saying anything.
"Vipi Pro," Sara aliuliza. Alimwendea polepole kama vile alimwogopa. Alimfikia na kumwekea mkono akisema, "Kwa nini unalia Pro? Kwa nini unalia? Pro! Pro!""What'th wrong Pro," Sara asked. She approached him slowly as if she was afraid of him. When she reached him, she put her hand on him and said, "Why are you crying Pro? Why are you crying? Pro! Pro!"
Sara alimtingishatingisha. Alijaribu kumwinua, lakini alikuwa mzito. Moyo alimwenda mbio, ukapiga kwa nguvu kifuani mwake. Sara alijaribu kumfariji Prospa kwa muda mrefu. Prospa aliendelea kulia kubanwa na kwikwi.Sara gently rocked him back and forth. She tried to lift him but he was heavy. Her heart was beating fast and hard in her chest. Sara tried to comfort Prospa for awhile as he continued to cry.
Mwishowe Sara alimwacha Prospa peke yake, akasogea kando, akakaa akiwa amejishika tama. Machozi yalimtiririka kimyakimya.Eventually Sara left Prospa alone and moved over to sit and ponder by herself. Tears streamed quietly down her face.

Sura ya ishirini

Chapter Twenty

Msukumo wa kulia ulipotulia, Prospa alijisikia amechoka. Akili ilichoka kabisa hata alishindwa kuwaza chochote. Mwili ulichoka, alitamani kuamka lakini akakosa nguvu.When the force of his crying subsided, Prospa felt tired. His mind was so fatigued he couldn't even think. His whole body was tired; he wanted to get up but hadn't the strength.
Muda si muda, alipitiwa tena na usingizi mzito, akalala. Sara naye alilala baada ya kukosa mtu wa kuongea naye.Soon enough, he was fast asleep once more. With no one to talk with, Sara also fell asleep alongside him.
Walipoamka, mji ulikuwa kimya kabisa. Hapa na pale taa za barabarani ziliwaka na mwanga wake ulipenyeza katika bustani.When they awoke, the town was completely silent. Here and there streetlights shone, their light reaching into the garden.
Prospa alifungua macho, halafu akayafunga tena polepole.Prospa opened his eyes, then slowly closed them again.
Kwa muda wa dakika chache, alichanganyikiwa. Yuko wapi? Mbona hapatambui hapa? Hapa siyo Moshi kijijini, kwa sababu haoni migomba wala ule mti wa pinigesi ulio karibu na nyumba ya kupikia. Prospa aliupenda sana mti huo, alipokuwa mdogo alikuwa akiupanda na kukaa kwenye matawi yake kama ndege au nyani mdogo. Alipenda kula matunda ya pinigesi, hata kama yangekuwa mabichi na machungu kabisa.For a few moments, he was confused. Where was he? Why didn't he recognize this place? This wasn't the village of Moshi, because he didn't see banana plants nor that peach tree that was near the house they used for cooking. Prospa loved that tree; when he was younger he would climb it and sit in its branches like a bird or a small baboon. He liked eating peaches, whether they were ripe or not.
Yuko wapi?Where was he?
Alimwona Sara, mbali kidogo na alipokuwa amelala, mwisho wa benchi. Sara alikuwa ameketi. Aaah. Fahamu zilimrudia. Yuko Darisalam katika bustani iliyopo karibu na mnara wa saa!He saw Sara, a little ways away from where he had been sleeping, at the end of the bench. Sara was sitting upright. Aaah. Now he remembered. He was in Dar es Salaam in a garden near the clock tower!
Prospa alitafuta mkoba aliokuwa amelazia kichwa, hakuoona. Alishtuka. Aliacha mkoba wake wapi?Prospa looked around for his bag which he had been laying his head upon, but didn't see it. He sprung up, startled. Where did he leave his bag?
Alimwita Sara na kumuuliza, "Umeona mkoba wangu? Umechukua mkoba wangu?"He called Sara's name and asked her, "Have you seen my bag? Have you taken my bag?"
"Thijachukua," Sara alijibu."I didn't take it," Sara replied.
"Upo wapi sasa?" Prospa aliuliza akiwa ameingiwa na wasiwasi."Where is it then?" Prospa asked, overcome with worry.
Alianza kutafuta mkoba huku na kule. Sara alimsogelea, wakatafuta wote. Ghafla wote wawili kwa pamoja waliona yale maembe mawili mabichi yaliyokuwa kwenye kapu la Sara pamoja na karatasi waliyokuwa wamefungia maandazi vimetupwa kwenye majani.He started to look around for his bag. Sara went over to him and they searched together. Suddenly both of them saw that the two ripe mangos that had been in Sara's basket, along with the paper that the maandazi had been wrapped in, had been discarded in the grass.
"Ha! Kapu," Sara alihamaki. Wote walitambua kuwa wameibwa. Mkoba wa Prospa umechukuliwa pamoja na kapu la Sara, maandazi, shati, kaptula, kitenge na raba."Ha! The bathket," Sara exclaimed angrily. The two of them realized they had been robbed. Prospa's bag had been taken along with Sara's basket, and with it their maandazi, shirt, catapult, dress, and sneakers.
"Raba zangu nzuri," Prospa alilalamika. "Sasa sina nguo nyingine isipokuwa hizi nilizovaa.""Those were good shoes," Prospa complained. "Now I have no other clothes except the ones I'm wearing."
Sara alisema, "Nauli. Nilikuwa nimefunga petha kwenye kitenge changu. Thatha thithi tumekuwa mathkini."Sara said, "The fare money. I had it wrapped up in my drethth. Now we're broke."
Walipokuwa wanasema hili na lile wakitafuta wafanye nini, waliona kundi la wavulana watatu likitokea upande wa Kitumbini. Wavulana hao waliingia bustanini wakaja moja kwa moja mahali Prospa na Sara walipokuwa wamesimama. Wote walihisi hali ya hatari, wakashikana mikono bila kupanga. Walisimama kidete, kama vile wanawangoja hao wavulana wafike ili wapambane nao. Vijana walitembea bila wasiwasi, walikuwa hawaongei. Kila mmoja alishika chupa tupu ya kokakola mkononi. Walipofika mbele ya Prospa na Sara, wavulana walisimama. Mvulana aliyesimama katikati na ambaye alikuwa mrefu na mwenye nguvu kuliko wengine alisema, "Ni marufuku kulala ovyo ovyo kama vitoto, mnaweza makuawa."As they said this, and as they considered what to do next, they spotted a group of three boys coming from the direction of Kitumbini. They entered the garden and walked straight towards Prospa and Sara. Sensing danger, the two of them instinctively grabbed each other's hand. They stood straight and tall, as if prepared to fight the boys when they arrived. The youth walked casually, without speaking to one another. Each had an empty Coke bottle in one hand. Upon reaching Sara and Prospa, they stopped in front of them. The boy in the middle, the tallest and strongest of the group, said, "You aren't allowed to sleep wherever you want like babies, you could be killed."
"Mnasikia," mvulana mwingine alisema kwa ukali."Are you listening?" another said fiercely.
Prospa na Sara walinyamaza. Kundi moja likatazama kundi lingine. Bila kutarajia, na bila kuona ilivyotokea, mvulana wa katikati alivunja chupa yake juu ya benchi walipokuwa wamelala. Prospa na Sara walishtuka. Sara alitaka kukimbia lakini Prospa alikaza mkono uliokuwa umeshika mkono wake na kumvuta asikimbie. Prospa alimtazama huyo mvulana bila kuangalia kando. Mvulana mwenye nguvu sasa alishika kipande cha chupa kilichokuwa kimechongoka. Aliuliza tena, "Mnasikia?"Prospa and Sara said nothing. Both groups just stared at each other. Unexpectedly, and without taking his eyes off Prospa and Sara, the boy in the middle shattered his bottle against the bench on which they had been sleeping. Prospa and Sara were startled. Sara wanted to run but Prospa tightened his grip on her hand and pulled on it to prevent her from doing so. Prospa stared at the boy with the sharp broken bottle, without looking away. The boy asked them once more, "Are you listening?"
Prospa alisema, "Huyu ni Sara. Huyu Sara ni dada yangu, ni mdogo wangu. Sara ni bubu, hawezi kuongea."Prospa said, "This is Sara. Sara's my sister, my younger sister. She's a mute, she can't speak."
"Mlifika lini mjini hapa?" mvulana mwingine aliuliza."When did you two come to this town?" another youth asked.
"Jana. Leo," Prospa alijibu. "Tunamtafuta Merisho. Merisho ni mpwa wangu, alipotea kule TPC. Unafahamu mahali panapoitwa TPC? Kile kiwanda cha sukari? Sasa Merisho hayuko Moshi, wala Manzese, wala hayuko Zanzibar, tumeshatoka huko." Prospa aliongea kwa haraka. Kitu kilimsukuma kuwaeleza wavulana hawa hadithi ya safari yao. Alitaka wamwonee huruma, wasiwaumize."Yesterday. Today," Prospa replied. "We're searching for Merisho. Merisho's my nephew, he's gone missing from TPC. Do you know the place called TPC? The sugar factory there? Now Merisho's not in Moshi, or in Manzese, or in Zanzibar, we've already been there." Prospa spoke quickly. Something inspired him to explain the story of their journey to these boys. He wanted them to feel sorry for him, so that they wouldn't hurt him and Sara.
"Thithi tumeibiwa vitu vyetu vyote. Hatuna petha. Thithi ni mathkini," Sara alisema."We've been robbed of all our belongingth. We have no money, we're broke," Sara said.
Wavulana wote watatu waliangua kicheko. Walicheka sana. Msemaji wao alisema kwa sauti ya kike iliyomuigiza Sara huku akicheka, "Tumeibiwa mali thetu thote. Thithi tulikuwa matajiri wakubwa, tulikuwa tukiishi Mathaki!"All three boys doubled over in uproarious laughter. Their leader affected a girl's voice like Sara's as he said while laughing, "We've been robbed of all our belongings. We used to be so rich, we were living in Masaki!"
Wavulana waliangua vicheko. Walikuwa wanafurahia wasiwasi na hofu yao. Prospa na Sara walicheka pia, ingawa kwa wasiwasi.The boys were bent over laughing, enjoying the worry and fear they had inspired. Prospa and Sara laughed as well, but nervously.
Mvulana mwingine alisema huku akimpiga mwenzake begani, "Huyu ni dada yangu, dada yangu ni bubu anayeweza kuongea! Tumetoka ulaya leo asubuhi."Another said as he slapped his friend on the shoulder, "This here is my sister, my mute sister who can talk! We've just come from Europe this morning!"
Sara na Prospa waliungana kucheka na wale wavulana.Sara and Prospa once again joined in the boys' laughter.
Woga ulipungua. Ghafla mvulana msemaji mkuu alikatisha kicheko kwa kusema, "Sisi ni changudoo, watoto wa mjini, watoto wa barabarani. Tunalala barabarani, tunaamkia hapohapo. Sisi ndio baba na mama, tunajilea wenyewe. Mambo ya kulialia na kulala ovyo hakuna tena. Mama ulishamwacha ukaja mjini, sasa huu mji utakulea. Mnasikia?"Their worries were just starting to abate when suddenly they boy in charge stopped laughing and said, "We are gangsters, children of the city, children of the streets. We sleep on the street, we wake up on the street. We're our own fathers and mothers; we raised ourselves. There will be no more crying and sleeping wherever you please. You left your mother at home when you came here to this city, now this city will raise you. Are you listening?"
Prospa na Sara walikaa kimya.Prospa and Sara were silent.
Aliendelea, "Na ukishaingia kwenye kundi hutoki. Kundi lako ndilo litakulinda. Ukitoka tu, ukakaa peke yako, unakufa, utashikwa wizi upigwe ufe, au utashikwa na polisi uende ndani.He continued, "And once you enter a gang, you don't leave. Your gang will protect you. If you just leave, then you're on your own; you'll die, or you'll be robbed and beaten to death, or the police will take you to jail.
Sasa we Tofa, mchukue huyu Sara, bubu anayeweza kuongea, mpeleke kwa dada yao. Yeye atajua la kumfanya.Now you Tofa, take Sara here, the mute who can talk, and deliver her to her sister. She will know what to do with her.
We Mansa, huyu wako. Mpe jina kama hana lake," mkubwa wao aliamuru.You Mansa, this one is yours. Give him a name if he doesn't have one," their leader commanded.
Prospa alijaribu kukataa. Alijaribu kumtoa Sara mikononi mwa Tofa. Msemaji wao alimwonesha kipande cha chupa kilichochongeka na kusema, "Ninyi hamjui jiji hili. Jiji halina huruma hili, na tukiwaacha mnaweza kuumizwa vibaya. Tumeshaamua, nyie ni changudoo kuanzia sasa. Wasichana wana shughuli zao na sisi tuna zetu. Ukileta fujo tutakuumiza."Prospa tried to argue. He attempted to pull Sara out of Tofa's grip. The boys' leader waved the piece of broken glass at Prospa and said, "You two don't know this city. This city has no sympathy; if we leave you here, you could be seriously hurt. We have already decided, you two are gangsters starting now. Girls have their business and we have our own. If you make a scene, we will hurt you."
Bila maneno zaidi, wala ubishi kutoka kwa yeyote, yule mvulana kiongozi alianza kuondoka na kundi zima likafuata. Prospa na Sara walitembea katikati yao kama mateka. Walitembea wakiwa wamebeba chupa tupu, na kiongozi ameshika kipande cha chupa iliyopasuka.Without saying anything more, and without argument from anyone, the boys' leader began to leave, and the whole group followed him. Prospa and Sara walked between them like captives. Two of the boys continued to carry their empty Coke bottles as they walked, while the leader still gripped the remnants of his shattered one.
Walipitia barabara ya Samora kuelekea mnara wa askari. Mara walipiga kelele mara walinyamaza. Kulikuwa hakuna watu barabarani isipokuwa wachache waliokuwa wanatoka au kwenda kwenye starehe wakiwa wawiliwawili au katika kundi dogo. Changudoo walikuwa watawala wa mji usiku. Haya yalikuwa mazingira yao waliyoyatawala bila wasiwasi wa kuvamiwa na kufukuzwa.They walked along Samora Road towards the guard tower. Sometimes they were noisy, other times they were silent. There was no one else on the road, except for those few people returning or going home to sleep, walking along in pairs or in small groups. The gangsters were rulers of the city at night. This was their domain, which they oversaw without worry of it being invaded, or of them being chased away from it.
Baada ya kutembea kwa muda, kiongozi wao alisema, "Imekaribia kufika saa sita usiku. Tofa ampeleke Sara, halafu tutakwenda kulala."After walking for awhile, the boys' leader said, "It's almost midnight. Tofa you take Sara, then we'll go to sleep."

Sura ya ishirini na moja

Chapter Twenty One

Prospa na wenzake walilala palipo na uwazi upande wa pili wa jumba la kuuzia magari la Ridoch. Walikuta wenzao watano wamekwisha lala. Wote walikuwa wavulana. Wote walilala hivyohivyo walivyokuwa wamevaa. Walilalia makaratasi magumu ya maboksi ya sigara, maboksi makubwa ambamo vitu vikubwa hufungashwa vinapoletwa madukani kuuzwa. Vitanda hivyo vya maboksi vilipatikana kwa njia nyingi. Kiongozi wao alimwambia Prospa, "Tumia maarifa ya kupata kitanda."Prospa and his companions slept in an open area on the other side of a building named Ridoch selling vehicles. There they found five others who were already sleeping. All of them were boys, and all of them had gone to sleep fully dressed in their day clothes. They laid atop cardboard from cigarette boxes, the kind of big boxes in which large quantities of items are packed for shipment to the shops where they're sold. This kind of cardboard bed could be obtained in many different ways. The boys' leader said to Prospa, "Use your street smarts to get yourself a bed."
Siku hiyo Prospa alilala chini kwenye vumbi.That night Prospa slept on the ground, in the dust.
Waliamka saa kumi na moja asubuhi. Wote waliamka wakati mmoja, kama vile waliwekewa saa inayolia katika akili zao. Walihifadhi vitanda vyao kwenye kijumba cha bati alimolala mlinzi wa duka la Mhindi. Walinawa uso na miguu katika bomba la kituo cha petroli cha Caltex kilichokuwa karibu.They awoke at 5am the next morning. All of them rose at the same time, as if the same alarm clock had gone off in all of their heads at once. They saved their cardboard beds in a tin hut, in which the guard for an Indian-owned store was sleeping. They washed their faces and feet in a faucet at a Caltex gas station nearby.
Kiongozi aliwauliza Tofa na Mansa, "Huyu mmempa jina gani?"The boys' leader asked Tofa and Mansa, "What name have you given this one?"
"Tajiri," Mansa alijibu mara moja."Mogul," Mansa answered immediately.
Kiongozi alisema, "Waa," halafu aliendelea, "Haya, mwonesheni Tajiri sehemu na kazi, halafu mwachieni mji. Mimi nitaondoka kama nilivyowaambia. Nitarudi baada ya miezi michache. Msiachane."The leader said, "Waa," then continued, "Alright, you two show Mogul the work area, then let him go in the city. I'm leaving as I told you I would. I'll be back in a few months. Don't separate from each other."
Wote walimtazama bila kujibu. Halafu kiongozi aliondoka zake bila maneno zaidi.They looked at him without replying. Then their leader went on his way without another word.
Prospa aliwaambia, "Sitaki kuitwa Tajiri. Jina langu ni Prospa."Prospa said to them, "I don't want to be called Mogul. My name is Prospa."
"Twende zetu," Mansa alisema kama vile hakusikia lalamiko la Prospa, bila kuonesha hisia yoyote kuhusu Prospa."Let's go," Mansa said as if he hadn't heard Prospa's complaint. He paid no mind to Prospa at all.
Mansa na Tofa walifuatana na Prospa wakazunguka mji. Magari yalikuwa bado hayajaingia mjini, kwa hiyo mji ulikuwa shwari. Hapa na pale, walinzi wa usiku walianza kuanua virago vyao.Prospa walked with Mansa and Tofa as they wandered around the city. The morning traffic hadn't yet begun, so the city was calm. Here and there, the night guards were starting to put away their sleeping pads.
Tofa alimwambia Prospa, "Saa hizi mji haujashtuka, kazi inaanza kuanzia saa tatu na kuendlea."Tofa said to Prospa, "At this hour the city hasn't yet woken up, work begins at 9am and continues from then."
Ubabe na ukali wao wa jana ulishakwisha, ulichukuliwa na usingizi wa usiku. Jana yake walionekana kama ni wakubwa na wakali, walioashiria ukatili na ujambazi. Walionekana kuwa vijana wasiojali kitu wala mtu. Lakini asubuhi walikuwa vijana wa kawaida tu, wanaoweza kudhuriwa na hali ngumu ya maisha. Ngozi ya miwili yao ilikuwa imebabuka, imekauka kabisa. Mansa alikuwa na vidonda vingi vidogovidogo miguuni na mikononi. Tofa alikohoa kila mara. Mbavu za kifua chake zilihesabika kwa sababu ya wamebamba. Hawakutisha tena.The superiority and fierceness displayed by Tofa and Mansa yesterday was gone, as if it had disappeared overnight. Yesterday they had seemed important and fierce, trying to present themselves as cruel criminals. They had seemed like youth who didn't care about anything or anyone. But this morning they were normal youth, just as susceptible to the difficulties of life as anyone else. The skin of their bodies was rough, and completely dry. Mansa had many small cuts and sores on his feet and hands. Tofa coughed all the time. They were so thin that you could count each breath they took by watching the rise and fall of their chests. Noticing this, it was impossible to be afraid of them again.
Prospa alijisikia ana nguvu kidogo miongoni mwao. Aliuliza, "Sasa tunakwenda wapi?"Prospa even realized himself to be slightly stronger than them. He asked, "Now where are we going?"
Tofa alisema, "We twende."Tofa said, "You, let's go."
Prospa alisema, "Nataka kwenda Manzese kwa Kaka Petro."Prospa said, "I want to go to Manzese for Brother Petro."
"Manzese?" Mansa aliuliza."Manzese?" Mansa asked.
"Ndiyo," Prospa alijibu."Yes," Prospa replied.
"Kufanya nini?" Mansa aliuliza."To do what?" Mansa asked.
Tofa alisema, "Manzese hakufai kule. Kuna watu wengi kule, tena maskini tu. Ogopa maskini, wakikupiga wanaua."Tofa said, "Manzese isn't suitable for you. There are many people there, poor people at that. Be afraid of them, they will beat you to death."
Prospa alisema, "Namtafuta Merisho. Sasa Kaka Petro wa Manzese atanisaidia. Labda atanipeleka kwa Mjomba Feliksi." Prospa aliona afadhali kukaa na Petro kuliko hii kundi. Afadhali Petro ana chumba na kitanda, hata kama hakina shuka, na analeta chakula. Kazi yake haijulikani, lakini afadhali.Prospa said, "I'm looking for Merisho. My brother Petro in Manzese will help me. Maybe he'll send me to my uncle Feliksi." Prospa saw that it was better to stay with Petro than with this group of boys. Petro had a room and bed, an actual bed, and he could bring food home. Prospa didn't know what kind of work he was doing to have these things, but being with Petro was still the better option.
"Kazi hiyo zinafanywa na polisi. Sasa nani kati yenu ni polisi, wewe au huyo Petro?" Mansa aliuliza."That's work for the police. Who among you is a policeman, you or this Petro?"
"Achana na Merisho huyo. Mwache akae aliko," Tofa alisema."Enough about this Merisho. Just let him be," Tofa said.
Prospa alisimama wima. Alisema, "Merisho ni mtoto wa dada, ni lazima nimpate."Prospa stopped abruptly. He said, "Merisho is my sister's child, I must get him back."
"Twende bwana," Mansa alisema. "Twende uone mitaa, halafu tutapanga jinsi ya kumtafuta Merisho. Kazi ndogo tu hiyo.""Let's go man," Mansa said. "Let's show you the streets, then afterward we'll figure out how to find Merisho. It'll be easy."
Walivuka barabara inayotokea mnara wa askari wakaingia barabara inayokwenda hoteli ya Embassy. Mansa alisema "Hapa tunapata chakula mara kwa mara, lakini usiende peke yako."They left the road leading to the guard station and entered the one leading towards the Embassy hotel. Mansa said, "We get food here alot, but you shouldn't go by yourself."
Waliendelea na matembezi. Mbele kidogo walipinda kulia. Mansa alisema, "Jumba la Mavuno. Hapa kuna magari mengi. Hii ni sehemu nzuri ya kazi."They continued walking. A little farther ahead they turned right. Mansa said, "This is Harvest House. Many cars and trucks here. This is a good place to work."
Prospa alikuwa haelewi mambo waliyokuwa wanasema. Alikuwa anaanza kukosa subira, aliona kama wanzurura tu bila shabaha yoyote. Aliuliza, "Sasa tutafanya kazi gani?"Prospa didn't understand what they were talking about. He was starting to lose patience; they were just wandering around aimlessly. "What kind of work are we going to do?" he asked.
"Kila kitu," Tofa alijibu. Waliendelea hadi kwenye barabara nyingine inayoelekea mnara wa askari. Walivuka barabara wakafika kwenye jengo la Bima."Everything," Tofa replied. They continued towards another road leading to the guard station, then crossed it to arrive at a store selling insurance.
"Kituo kingine hiki. Kuna magari na watu wengi.""This is another place; many cars and people here."
"Sasa twende Kitega Uchumi," Mansa alisema. "Halafu tutazunguka kule mpaka hoteli ya Kilimanjaro.""Now let's go to the Investment House," Mansa said. "Then we'll wander around until we reach the Kilimanjaro Hotel."
Waliendelea na safari kuelekea Kitega Uchumi, kutoka hapo wakaenda hoteli ya Kilimanjaro. Walipofika kwenye hoteli hiyo kubwa ya watalii, Mansa alisema, "Wakati mwingine tunafukuzwa hapa, kwa hiyo lazima tuwe waangalifu zaidi. Tena basi, teksi ni nyingi hapa, na penye teksi nyingi siyo pazuri kwa kazi."They continued towards the Investment House, and from there went to the Kilimanjaro Hotel. When they arrived at this big tourist hotel, Mansa said, "Sometimes we are chased away from here, so we need to be more cautious. And also, there are many taxis here; any place with a lot of taxis isn't good for working."
Baada ya hapo walirudi tena mnara wa askari kwa kupitia barabara ya baharini. Waliingia mtaa wa Samora. Mansa alisema, "Mtaa mzuri, lakini polisi ni wengi huku. Wakati mwingine inabidi kugawanyika, wengine wakae hapa na wengine Kitega Uchumi au Bima."After the hotel, they returned once more to the guard tower, passing by the road leading to the ocean. They turned down Samora Road. Mansa said, "This road is good, but there are many police here. Sometimes we have to split up: some of us stay here, the rest go to the Investment House or insurance building."
Walifuata mtaa wa Samora hadi wakafika kwenye bustani iliyo karibu na mnara wa saa. Prospa alishangaa kwamba ni jana yake tu alilala bustanini akiwa pamoja na Sara baada ya kutoka Zanzibar. Ilikuwa kama ni miezi imepita.They followed Samora Road until they reached the garden by the clock tower. Prospa was surprised that it had been only yesterday that he and Sara had slept in that garden after coming back from Zanzibar. It felt like months had passed.
Walipofika mnara wa saa walipinda kulia wakafuata mtaa wa India. Walitembea moja kwa moja hadi barabara ya Umoja wa Wanawake, wakavuka, wakaingia bustani ya Mnzai Mmoja wakaendelea hadi Kariakoo.When they reached the clock tower they turned right down India Road. They walked straight until they reached Women's Unity Road, which they crossed before entering A Coconut garden, then continued on towards Kariakoo.
"Hizi ndizo sehemu za kupatia chakula. Chai asubuhi na chakula cha jioni. Huku watakupa kazi za kufagia hoteli au kuosha vyombo halafu unapata chakula," Mansa alieleza."These parts are especially good places for getting food. Tea in the morning, food in the evening. And here they'll put you to work sweeping the hotel or washing dishes; afterward you'll get some food," Mansa explained.
"Huku ukiomba hupati kitu," Tofa aliongeza."If you beg here, you won't get anything," Tofa added.
"Ukiomba nini?" Prospa aliuliza."If you beg for what?" Prospa asked.
"Pesa. Kama hivi: Saidi mama, naomba hela ya chakula mama. Nasikia njaa mama, sijala kitu tangu jana... Hivyo," Tofa aliigiza ili Prospa aelewe vizuri."Money. Like this: Help me mama, please give me some money for food mama. I'm hungry mama, I've had nothing to eat since yesterday... Like that," Tofa demonstrated so that Prospa understood clearly.
Waliingia kwenye hoteli ndogo ya Mwarabu wakamkuta mwanamume mmoja anamwaga maji sakafuni ili apige deki. Harufu ya maandazi yanayokaangwa iliwajaa puani ikawapa hamu ya chakula. Walitamani hayo maandazi, wakachungulia ndani kutazama kama wataona wapishi. Kelele za mazungumzo zilizotokea uani ziliashiria chakula. Mansa alimwamkia yule mwanamume aliyekuwa anapiga deki, halafu akasema, "Tunaomba kazi tupate chai."They entered inside a small hotel run by an Arab, and found a man pouring water out on the floor in order to mop it. The scent of maandazi being fried filled their noses and made them hungry. They wanted that maandazi, peering inside to see if they could get a glimpse of the people cooking it. The food seemed to be in the courtyard, from where the sounds of noisy conversations were emanating. Mansa greeted the man who was mopping the floor, then said, "Please give us some work so we can get some tea."
Yule mwanamume alisema bila kusimamisha kazi yake, "Rudini nje huko, Mwarabu hajafika." Alitumia tambara chafu kudekia. Alikuwa hakuvaa viatu. Suruali yake, iliyokuwa chafu kama tambara la deki, aliikunja kwenye magoti.The man said without pausing his own work, "Go back outside, the owner isn't here yet." He was using a dirty rag to mop the floor. He wasn't wearing any shoes, and his pants, which were as dirty as the rag he was using to mop, had been folded up to his knees.
"Tafadhali Mzee. Hatujala chakula siku tatu Mzee," Mansa alisema. Yeye alikuwa fundi katika shughuli hili, kwa hiyo wenzake walikaa kimya."Please sir. We've had nothing to eat for three days sir," Mansa said. He was the expert at this, so his companions just kept quiet.
"Waongo nyie," yule Mzee alisema, halafu alisimama akijishika mgongo halafu akaita, "Rajabu, Rajabu wee. We Rajabu.""You all are liars," the man said, then straightened up, holding his back for support. He called out, "Rajabu, Rajabu. Hey, Rajabu."
"Nini?" Sauti kali iliuliza kutokea uani."What?" a sharp voice asked from the courtyard.
"Wape hawa changudoo ndoo wajaze maji kwenye mapipa, halafu uwape chai na maandazi yale yaliyobaki jana," aliagiza kwa sauti kubwa."Make these gangsters fill some barrels up with water, then give them chai and yesterday's leftover maandazi," he ordered loudly.
"Waambie waje," sauti iliagiza."Tell them to come here," came the reply.
Walichota maji kwenye bomba hapohapo uani na kujaza kwenye mapipa sita yaliyokuwa jikoni. Jiko lilikuwa ni chumba kikubwa chenye majiko makubwa manne ya mkaa. Maganda ya viazi, ungaunga, bakuli, sufuria ndogo na kubwa, sahani, masinia yenye vitunguu maji na vitunguu swaumu, nyanya na ghasia nyingine nyingi vilsambaa sakafuni. Joto lilizingira chumba kizima cha jiko kikawa kama oveni.They fetched water from the faucet right there in the courtyard, filling up six barrels from the kitchen. The kitchen was a big room with four big charcoal stoves. Potato peelings, flour, bowls, pots small and large, plates, trays of garlic water and chopped garlic, tomatoes, and lots of other garbage were spread out on various plates. Heat surrounded everything in the kitchen, like the inside of an oven.
Wapishi hawakuvaa mashati wala viatu. Walikunja suruali zao hadi kwenye magoti kama mwenzao aliyekuwa anapiga deki. Vifua vyao viling'aa kwa jasho jingi. Kwa vile kila mara walichota maji kwenye mapipa, sakafu ilikuwa na matope ya udongo mweusi uliotokana na mkaa uliochanganyika na unga wa aina kadhaa. Alama za miguu yao zilichoreka kwenye sakafu kama ramani isiyokuwa na dhana maalum.The cooks weren't wearing shirts or shoes. They had folded their pants up to their knees, just like their coworker mopping the floor. Their chests glistened with sweat. Each time they filled a barrel with water, the black dirt floor became a muddy mess of charcoal mixed with several powdery substances. Their footprints criss-crossed the floor, looking like a map with no sense of direction.
Baada ya kujaza maji kwenye mapipa, walipewa chai katika vikombe vikubwa vya bati, wakawekewa maandazi kwenye sinia. Walikaa nje uani palipozungukuwa na nyumba pande zote. Walikula bila kuongea. Baadaye Prospa alisema, "Sijui kama Sara amepata chai."After filling the barrels with water, they were given tea in big metal cups and maandazi on a tray. They sat outside in a place surrounded by homes in all directions. They ate without speaking to each other. Eventually Prospa said, "I don't know if Sara's had tea."
Mansa alisema, "Achana naye.""Forget her," Mansa said.
Prospa aliweka maandazi kwenye kila mfuko wa kaptula yake halafu aliendelea kula.Prospa put two pieces of maandazi in each pocket of his shorts, then continued to eat.
Walipomaliza kula waliondoka kwa kupitia barabara ya Lumumba.When they finished eating, they left and walked down Lumumba Road.
Mansa alisema, "Usizoee kupitia njia moja. Wakati mwingine unaweza ukapata majanga, jifunze njia nyingi."Mansa said, "Don't get used to using any one road. Sometimes you can get into trouble, so learn many."
Walifika barabara ya Morogoro, wakaingia barabara ya Umoja wa Wanawake, wakavuka barabara na kuingia stesheni ya mabasi ya Kisutu, wakaenda hadi soko dogo la Wahindi, wakafuata barabara ya Jamhuri hadi jumba la kuuzia magari la Ridoch.They reached Morogoro Road, then turned down Women's Unity Road, crossed to enter the Kisutu bus station, past the small Indian market, then down Republic Road until arriving at the Ridoch store selling vehicles.
Prospa alimwambia Tofa, "Tumpelekee Sara maandazi."Prospa said to Tofa, "We should send some maandazi to Sara."
Tofa alisema, "Achana na huyo msichana bwana. Wana kazi zao hao. Wanapata chakula hukohuko."Tofa said, "Let this girl go man. They have their own work, they get food there."
"Sara ni dada yangu. Alinisindikiza kuja huku Darisalam kumtafuta Merisho. Nimeenda naye mpaka Zanzibar, siwezi kumsahau," Prospa alisema huku akilalamika."Sara is my sister. She accompanied me here to Dar to look for Merisho. I've gone with her to Zanzibar, I can't just forget her," Prospa complained.
Tofa na Mansa waliondoka na kumwacha Prospa akilalamika.Tofa and Mansa left, leaving Prospa alone as he complained.
"Shauri yake bwana," alimsikia Mansa akisema huku wakiwa wanatembea haraka. Moyo wa Prospa ulimsukuma kumtafuta Sara. Alitaka kufahamu alipo hata kama atakuwa amepata chakula kama walivyosema Mansa na Tofa."That's her problem man," he heard Mansa say as they walked quickly away. Prospa's heart prodded him to look for Sara. He wanted to know where she was, and whether she really would get food as Mansa and Tofa said.
Alijaribu kumtafuta Sara. Alikwenda kila mahali palipokuwa na dalili yenye kuonesha kwamba palilala watu usiku. Alizurura mjini kwa muda mrefu akiingia barabara hii na kutokea ile. Hakuelewa mitaa ya Darisalam, hakujua alikokuwa anakwenda. Alitembea tu, akiamini kwamba atakutana na Sara mahali mjini.He tried to look for Sara. He went everywhere that looked like a place where homeless people slept at night. He hung around the city for a long time, turning down this road and leaving that one. He was unfamiliar with the streets of Dar, he had no idea where she could have gone. He just walked, believing that he'd encounter Sara somewhere in the city.
Hakuona dalili ya Sara. Sasa amekwenda wapi na yeye? Kwa nini nilikubali tutenganishwe? Sasa ona, naye pia amepotea? Prospa alijilaumu. Moyo ulimsuta. Kila alipoona msichana kama Sara akitembea, alimkimbilia na halafu kukuta kuwa siyo Sara. Alikwenda huku na kule.He saw no sign of Sara. Now where could she have gone, and with whom? Why did I agree for us to be separated. Now look, I've lost her too? Prospa chastised himself, his heart sank in disappointment. Every time he saw a girl walking along who looked like Sara, he ran up to her only to find it wasn't Sara. He went this way and that.
Baada ya kuona hata afanyeje hatampata Sara bila msaada wa wenzake, alianza kuwatafuta. Prospa alirudi kwanza pale walipoanzia matembezi asubuhi, halafu akapita sehemu zile alizooneshwa kwambi ni sehemu za kazi. Ilishafika saa sita mchana alipowaona wenzake wakiosha gari pale hoteli ya Agip karibu na jengo la bima.After seeing that even if he did all this he still wouldn't find Sara without his companions' help, he started to look for them instead. Prospa first returned to the place they had started from that morning, then passed through the areas he had been shown that were good for working. It was already noon when he saw them washing a vehicle there at the Agip hotel near the insurance building.
"Ehe, umempata?" Mansa aliuliza."Ehe, did you find her?" Mansa asked.
Prospa alinyamaza. Tofa aliendelea kuosha gari bila kusita.Prospa was silent. Tofa continued to wash the vehicle without stopping.
Prospa alisimama akiwaangalia jinsi wanavyoosha gari. Walipomaliza, alitoa maandazi mawili mfukoni akawapa wenzake moja moja. Yeye akala moja na la nne akalibakiza mfukoni mpaka atakaposikia njaa tena.Prospa stood watching the way they washed the car. When they finished, he took out two pieces of maandazi from his pockets and gave one to each of his companions. He ate one himself, then kept the last one in his pocket for when he became hungry later.
Siku hiyo, Prospa alijifunza kuongoza magari yanayoegeshwa, aliosha magari mawili, alibebea watu mizigo, na ingawa mwanzo ulikuwa mgumu, vilevile alijifunza kuomba.On this day, Prospa learned how to direct cars parking in the city, he washed two cars, he carried people's baggage, and although it was hard at first, he also learned how to beg.

Sura ya ishirini na mbili

Chapter Twenty Two

Tofa na Mansa walikubali kukaa chini na kupanga jinsi ya kumtafuta Merisho baada ya siku tano tangu wanonane na Prospa. Prospa alikuwa akilalamika kila siku, lakini aligundua kwamba changudoo wana msimamo, kwamba kabla hawajaamua kufanya kitu, hawatafanya.Tofa and Mansa agreed to sit down and plan a way to find Merisho five days after first meeting Prospa. Prospa had been complaining every day, but he had discovered that gangsters were stubborn, that if they hadn't yet decided to do something, they wouldn't do it.
Siku hiyo, Tofa alilalamika kwamba anaumwa kifua kwa sababu ya kukohoa sana. Hivyo, Prospa na Mansa walifanya kazi ya kusafisha magari wakamwambia yeye akae aombe pesa kwa matajiri wakati wanapopita. Prospa alikuwa amegundua kitu kingine kuhusu watoto hawa wa barabarani: walikuwa na upendo kwa wenzao katika kundi. Walishikamana katika shida zao katika maisha yao yasiyokuwa na uhakika. Prospa alianza kujisikia na amani na salama alipokuwa nao. Alikosa raha walipomuacha mahali na kwenda sehemu nyingine ya kazi.That day, Tofa was complaining that his chest hurt because of all his coughing. So Prospa and Mansa cleaned cars and told him to sit and beg for money from the rich people passing by. Prospa was discovering another thing about these street kids: they had love for the fellow members of their group. They stuck together through the problems of their uncertain lives. Prospa started to feel peaceful and safe when he was with them. He became unhappy when they left him some place to go work elsewhere.
Kufika saa kumi, ombaomba ya Tofa na kazi yao ya kuosha magari ilikuwa imewapatia shilingi mia nane. Walijipumzisha kwenye kivuli barazani mwa duka la dawa. Siku hiyo wasingelala njaa hata kama wasingepewa chakula kwenye hoteli.By 4pm, Tofa's begging and their work washing vehicles had gotten them 800 shillings. They rested in the shade of a pharmacy's front porch. Today they wouldn't go to bed hungry even if they weren't given any food at the hotel.
Walianza mazungumzo.They struck up a conversation.
"Sasa tueleze Merisho alichukuliwa na nani?" Mansa alianza."Now explain to us, Merisho was taken by whom?" Mansa began.
"Na mwanamke," Prospa alisema."By a woman," Prospa said.
"Mlijuaje?" Tofa aliuliza."How did you all know that?" Tofa asked.
"Rafiki yangu Mustafa aliniambia. Yeye alimwona mwanamke aliyevaa vitenge akimfuata Merisho alipokuwa akicheza na watoto wenzake, halafu akaondoka naye," Prospa alisema."My friend Mustafa told me. He saw a woman who was wearing a dress following Merisho when he was out playing with his friends, then she left with him," Prospa said.
"Mustafa alimtambua huyu mwanamke?" Mansa aliuliza."Did Mustafa recognize this woman?" Mansa asked.
"Yeye Mustafa alisema kwamba hakumtazama vizuri huyo mwanamke, kwa hiyo hakuweza kumtambua," Prospa aliwaeleza."Mustafa said that he didn't get a good glimpse of the woman, so he wasn't able to recognize her," Prospa explained to his companions.
"Basi, huyo alikuwa mgeni," Mansa alisema."Alright, so she was a visitor," Mansa said.
"Lakini...," Prospa alianza kufafanua, lakini kabla hajaendelea Tofa aliingilia akisema, "Ah, mimi naweza kumtambua mama yangu akiwa mbali, hata nisipomtazama vizuri.""But...," Prospa began to explain, but before he could continue Tofa interrupted to say, "Ah, I can recognize my mother from far away, even when I can't see her well."
"Tofa ana macho kweli. Kabla mama yake hajafika karibu, tayari yeye ameshamwona. Halafu anamkacha," Mansa alieleza."Tofa has good eyes. Before his mama has even come close, he's already seen here. Then it's tough for her," Mansa explained.
"Ehe, ndiyo," naye alisema. "Hawanipati.""Ehe, yes," he agreed. "They never get hold of me."
"We mama yako anakuja kukutafuta unakimbia!?" Prospa alisema kwa mshangao."Your mama comes to look for you and you run away!?" Prospa said, shocked.
"Ee, mamake Tofa naye ni ombaomba. Mara nyingine hapati kitu, au anapata kidogo sana hakimtoshi yeye na mtoto mwingine mdogo wake Tofa, kwa hiyo anamtafuta Tofa ili ampe pesa," Mansa alieleza."Ee, Tofa's mama is also a beggar. Sometimes she doesn't get anything, or she doesn't get enough for her and her other child, Tofa's younger sibling, so she comes looking for Tofa so he'll give her some money," Mansa explained.
Wote walinyamaza. Tofa alianza kukohoa tena. Tofa alikohoa kila siku kwa sababu alikuwa haendi hospitali. Alisema, "Hebu sema bwana, tueleze kisa."Everyone was silent. Tofa started to cough again. Tofa was coughing every day because he hadn't gone to the hospital. He said, "Hey tell us man, explain to us the story."
Prospa alisema, "Mustafa aliniambia kwamba mwanamke alikuwa mzee mzee. Alikuja akauliza kwa dada yangu ni wapi. Akaelekezwa Merisho alipokuwa akicheza."Prospa said, "Mustafa told me that the woman was elderly. She came and asked where my sister was. Then she gave directions of some sort to Merisho while he was out playing."
"Basi huyo alikuwa mgeni," Tofa alirudia maneno ya Mansa. "Nina hakika kabisa," aliongeza."Alright so she was a visitor," Tofa repeated Mansa's words. "I'm completely sure of it," he added.
"Hii ina maana huyo mwanamke hakutoka hapo kwenu mlipokuwa mnaishi, sababu Mustafa angemtambua tu," Mansa aliongeza."Meaning this woman couldn't have come from you all's place, otherwise Mustafa would have recognized her easily," Mansa added.
Prospa alisita. Alisema, "Tulifikiri labda ni mama mmoja rafiki ya dada. Alikuwa anampenda sana Merisho na halafu alikuwa hana mtoto. Halafu siku hiyo hakuwa nyumbani. Alisema ati alikwenda mjini Moshi kununua kitambaa cha nguo."Prospa hesitated. He said, "I thought maybe it was a friend of my sister, someone who loved Merisho a lot and didn't have a child of her own. That day she wasn't home. She said she was in Moshi town buying cloth for making clothes."
Tofa alisema, "Sasa angemchukua Merisho ampeleke wapi na yeye aliishi palepale."Tofa said, "So she would have taken Merisho and sent him where, and to live with whom?"
"Mume wake, bwana Mohamed, alitoka Zanzibar. Kwa hiyo angeweza kumpeleka huko," Prospa alieleza."Her husband, Mohamed, is from Zanzibar. So she could have sent him there," Prospa explained.
"Ina maana walipanga kumuiba mtoto, yeye huko rafiki wa dada yako na mume wake?" Tofa aliuliza."Meaning they planned to steal the child, this friend of your sister's and her husband?" Tofa asked.
"Si rahisi," Mansa alisema. Alinyamaza kidogo, halafu akasema, "Mie babangu alimwacha mama kulee Mwanza, akaenda kufanya kazi Arusha. Sasa akakaa huko sana. Aliporudi Mwanza akakuta mamangu ameshanizaa. Baba akanikataa, akasema sifanani naye. Kila siku alikuwa akinipiga mpaka nikatoroka.""That's unlikely," Mansa said. He was silent for some time, then said, "My own father abandoned my mother in Mwanza, then went to work in Arusha. Now he lives there permanently. When he returned to Mwanza he found my mother had already given birth to me. My father rejected me, saying I didn't resemble him. He beat me every day until I escaped."
"Haiwezekani mwanamume kuiba mtoto wa mwanamume mwingine. Mzee Mohamed angezaa na dada yako kama angempenda mtoto wake kiasi hicho," Tofa alisema."It's impossible that one man would steal another man's child. Mr. Mohamed would've had his own child with your sister if he liked her's so much," Tofa said.
"Ndiyo. Angeweza kufanya hivyo. Huko Zanzibar wangeona kabisa kwamba Merisho hamfanani Mzee Mohamed, halafu, wangemuuliza Merisho baba yake anaitwa nani, halafu Merisho angesema jina jingine," Tofa alieleza."Indeed. This is what would've happened. In Zanzibar they'd have noticed that Merisho didn't resemble Mr. Mohamed, then they would've asked Merisho for his father's name, and then Merisho would've said a different name," Tofa explained.
"Merisho hafahamu jina la baba yake," Prospa alisema."Merisho doesn't know his father's name," Prospa said.
"Kwa nini?" Mansa aliuliza."Why?" Mansa asked.
"Kwa sababu alipobatizwa aliitwa Merisho Tadeo Ringo ambalo ni jina letu sisi. Kulikuwa hakuna baba wa mtoto." Prospa alifafanua."Because when he was baptized he was called Merisho Tadeo Ringo, which is our family's name. The child's father wasn't there." Prospa explained.
Tofa na Mansa walicheka. Wote kwa pamoja walisema, "Haiwezekani!"Tofa and Mansa laughed. "Impossible," they exclaimed at once.
Mansa alisema, akiwa bado anacheka, "Merisho alichukuliwa na baba yake."Mansa said, still laughing, "So Merisho was taken by his own father."
"Au mke wa huyo bwana au mama au dada yake," Tofa aliongezea."Or this man's wife, mama, or sister," Tofa added for him.
"Ndugu zake hawajui kwetu TPC," Prospa alieleza. "Hata mimi siwafahamu ndugu zake huyo baba.""His relatives don't know we live at TPC," Prospa explained. "I don't even know the man's relatives myself."
"Prospa we bwege kweli," Mansa alisema. Wote wakacheka."Prospa you are really a fool," Mansa said. The pair laughed.
"Twendelee. Unafahamu jina la huyo mtu, huyo ambaye ni baba yake Merisho?" Mansa aliuliza."Let's continue. Do you know this person's name, the one who is Merisho's father?" Mansa asked.
Prospa alisita. "Sijui...simfahamu," alisema.Prospa paused. "I don't...I don't know him," he said.
"Haiwezekani. Lazima ameshawahi kufika kumwona mtoto. Ingawa mama alimdanganya baba, lakini mimi nilimfahamu baba yangu wa kweli. Alipofika nyumbani, kabla baba hajarudi kutoka Arusha, alikuwa analeta chakula halafu anampa mama hela, halafu wanaongea vitu vyao vya siri ambavyo walikuwa hawataki mimi nisikie. Mara moja aliniletea nguo, nikajua tu, lazima huyu ni baba yangu. Nilijua tu.""Impossible. He must have come once before to see the child. Even though my mother was deceiving my father, I still actually know him. Whenever he visited home, this was before when he still hadn't moved back from Arusha, he brought food and gave my mom money, then they spoke secretly about things they didn't want me to hear. One time he brought me clothes, and I just knew, this man is my father. I just knew."
"Kweli. Yule mtoto mdogo, yule wa mama yangu ni mdogo wangu lakini baba zetu tofauti. Najua tu," Tofa alisema."True. My younger brother, he's my mother's child and he's my brother even though we have different fathers. That's just the way it is," Tofa said.
"Sasa bwana sema, kati ya wanaume waliokwisha fika kwa dada yako, nani ndugu na nani baba wa Merisho," Mansa alimhoji Prospa."Alright now tell me, among the men who've come to visit your sister, which of them are relatives and which is Merisho's father," Mansa prodded.
Prospa aliwaza. Aliwaona tena wageni wa Dada Josefina, mmoja mmoja, aliwachambua kichwani mwake. Nani anaweza kuwa baba wa Merisho?Prospa thought. He recalled again Sister Josefina's visitors, one by one, reviewing them in his mind. Who could be Merisho's father?
Mwishowe alisema, kwa wasiwasi, "Yawezekana labda ni yule baba ambaye alimletea Merisho nguo nzuri na viatu. Dada alimpikia chakula kizuri, halafu alituacha na Merisho, wao wakaenda kwenye kantini kunywa. Siku hiyo nilimwonea Merisho wivu kwa sababu mimi sikupata zawadi yoyote... Labda ni yeye?"Finally he said worriedly, "Maybe that man who brought Merisho good clothes and shoes. Sister cooked good food for him, then he left my sister and I at home and took Merisho to the canteen for a drink. That day I was jealous of Merisho because I didn't get any presents... Maybe it's him?"
"Huyo huyo. Dada yako alimtaja jina?" Tofa aliuliza."Definitely him. Did your sister ever mention his name?" Tofa asked.
"Alipofika pale nyumbani, dada alikuwa anafua, akamwambia, 'Matayo! Karibu. Siki nyingi jamani.' Halafu aliacha kufua wakaingia ndani", Prospa alieleza."When he arrived at home my sister was out washing clothes, and she said to him, "Matayo! Welcome. It's been many days friend." Then she stopped washing clothes and they came inside," Prospa explained.
"Matayo nani? Unajua?" Tofa aliuliza."Matayo who? Do you know?" Tofa asked.
"Sijui," Prospa alisema."I don't," Prospa said.
"Anafanya kazi gani?" Mansa aliuliza."What does he do for work?" Mansa asked.
"Sijui," Prospa alijibu."I don't know," Prospa replied.
"Ana mke na watoto?" Tofa aliuliza."Does he have a wife or children?" Tofa asked.
"Labda. Sijawahi kuwaona," Prospa alisema."Maybe. I've never met them," Prospa said.
"Anaishi wapi huyo Matayo?" Tofa aliuliza tena."Where does this Matayo live?" Tofa asked.
"Siku hiyo dada alimuuliza habari za Darisalam.""That day my sister asked him about the latest in Dar es Salaam."
"Darisalam kubwa hii," Mansa alisema. Alijiviringisha chini kwenye sakafu, virrrp, halafu tena, virrrp. Halafu akaamka, akaketi. "Unaniweza kweli wewe. Hivi unajua nini?" Mansa alilalamika."Dar is huge," Mansa said. He spun himself around on the floor, virrrp, then again, virrrp. Then he jumped up and sat back down again. "You're really trying me. So what do you know?" Mansa complained.
"Unamfahamu sura? Tumfanyie kazi huku mjini," Tofa aliuliza."Would you recognize his face? We should find some way to work for him here in town," Tofa asked.
"Sikumbuki anafananaje," Prospa alisema."I don't remember what he looks like," Prospa said.
"Agh, sasa wewe vipi? Hufai kuwa polisi wewe," Mansa alisema kwa ghadhabu. "Halafu unajitia kufanya kazi ya polisi. We ovyo kweli.""Agh, what is wrong with you? You aren't cut out for being a policeman," Mansa said furiously, "but you're pretending to do a policeman's work. You're incompetent, really."
"Hebu, una ndugu yako hapo mjini siyo? Achana na huyo aliye Manzese. Hatufai huyo." Tofa alisema."Hey, you have a relative here in town don't you? Forget this guy in Manzese, he won't do for us," Tofa said.
"Ndiyo. Kaka Petro yuko Manzese, halafu kuna mjomba anaitwa Feliksi. Nasikia ni tajiri na anaishi uzunguni," Prospa alisema."Yes. Brother Petro is in Manzese, then there's my uncle named Feliksi. I hear he's rich and lives in different places," Prospa said.
"Aha, huyo ndiyo wetu," Mansa alisema kwa furaha. "Bila shaka ana gari na ana nyumba kubwa, labda Msasani, au ni kigogo amepanga nyumba huko.""Aha, this is the one for us," Mansa said happily. "He definitely has a car and a big house, probably in Msasani, or he's a VIP who has rented a house there."
"Sijui," Prospa alisema kwa wasiwasi."I don't know," Prospa said nervously.
"Uuwi," Mansa alipiga yowe. "Hizo sijui zako zinaniua," alisema, akiwa kama anataka kulia, akiwa amekunja uso. Lakini mara alichangamka tena, akakunjua uso, akasema, "Haya basi, haya, we kaa kando, tuachie sisi.""Uuwi," Mansa shouted. "These things I don't know are killing me," he said, frowning and looking as if he wanted to cry. But then his mood lightened again, he smiled, and said, "Alright then, alright, you step aside, leave this to us."
Mansa alionesha kuwa na furaha. Aliuliza, "Hebu sasa, huyu mjomba anafanana je? Ni mrefu, mwembamba au ana kitambi? Ni mfupi, ana kipara, ni mweusi, ni mweupe? Hasa anafananaje?"Mansa looked happy. He asked, "Hey now, this uncle, what does he look like? Is he tall, thin or fat? Is he short, is he bald, is he black, is he white? What exactly does he look like?"
"Ana gari?" Tofa alidakia."Does he have a car?" Tofa interjected.
"Ngoja kwanza," Mansa alisema. "Ngoja kwanza tumfahamu.""Wait first," Mansa said. "Just wait, first we need to recognize him."
Prospa aliwaza kwa muda, halafu akasema, "Ana kilema kidogo kidogo kwenye mguu mmoja. Akitembea anavuta mguu kidogo, siyo sana lakini unaweza kuona."Prospa thought for some time, then said, "He has a small problem with one of his feet. When he walks he drags his foot a little. Not a lot, but you can see it."
"Ana gari?" Tofa aliuliza tena."Does he have a car?" Tofa asked again.
"We nini? We ni gari tu unaloweza kufikiria," Mansa alimfokea Tofa."What's with you? All you can think about is his car," Mansa exploded at Tofa.
"Ee. Mwaka ulee alikuja nalo nyumbani krismasi. Ni refu sana halafu ni pana hivi," Prospa alieleza, huku akionesha upana wa gari. Mansa alikunja uso kwa ghadhabu. Hakutaka kuingiliwa katika mtiririko wake wa maswali. Hata hivyo alimruhusu Tofa kuendelea."Ee. One year he came with it to our house for Christmas. It's very long and wide like this," Prospa explained as he demonstrated the width of the car. Mansa looked furious. He didn't want his flood of questions to be interrupted. Nevertheless, he let Tofa continue.
"Ni refu kwenda juu?" Tofa aliuliza kwa shauku."Is it tall?" Tofa asked eagerly.
"Hapana. Ni refu kwenda hivi," Prospa alionesha kwa mikono."No. It's long like this," Prospa showed with his hands.
"Ni benzi au nini?" Mansa aliwaza kisha akasema kwa sauti. "Bila shaka ni benzi," alijisemea. "Rangi yake?" aliuliza."Is it a Mercedes or what?" Mansa thought, then said out loud. "It's got to be a Mercedes," he said to himself. "What color is it?" he asked.
"Nyekundu," Prospa alisema. Alikumbuka lile gari vema. Wakati mjomba wake alipokuja nalo nyumbani, Prospa aliliosha lile gari, akilipapasa kama vile lingemsikia limshukuru. Alilikumbuka lilivyokuwa ndani. Viti vyake vilivishwa vitambaa vyeupe, laini. Laini na visafi mno hata aliogopa kuvishika asije akavichafua."Red," Prospa said. He remembered that car well. When his uncle had come with it to their house, Prospa had washed it, doing so gently as if it would feel him doing so and thank him. He remembered what it was like inside. Its seats were covered in soft, white cloth. Soft and clean, so much so that he was afraid to touch them lest he dirty them.
"Nyekundu vipi?" Tofa aliuliza. Tofa alipenda magari. Aliota magari. Alitamani kupata gari. Alitamani sana kuendesha gari mjini ili awe akipiga honi, akiendesha kwa spidi na kukata kona haraka na kushika breki mpaka zilie kwa uchungu. Alitamani kufanya hivyo kama waigizaji walivyofanya katika sinema."What shade of red?" Tofa asked. Tofa loved cars. He dreamed of cars. He wanted to get one badly. He wanted to drive around town so that he could honk the horn, speed around, cut around corners fast and hit the breaks so hard they squealed. He wanted to drive the way actors did in movies.
Prospa alifikiria. Wekundu wa lile gari zuri ulikuwaje?Prospa pondered. What shade of red was that car?
Tofa alisaidia, "Kama nyanya iliyoiva sana au kama maua ya mti wa krismasi.""Like a very ripe tomato or like the flowers on a Christmas tree?" Tofa suggested.
Prospa hakuwa na hakika. "Nakumbuka ni nyekundu kabisa, nadhani kama nyanya iliyoiva sana," alisema.Prospa wasn't sure. "I remember it was completely red, and I believe it was like a very ripe tomato," he said.
Tofa na Mansa walirudia, "Kama nyanya iliyoiva sana.""Like a very ripe tomato," Tofa and Mansa repeated.
Tofa alisema, "Kwanza tujue, ziko benzi ngapi mjini zenye rangi ya nyanya iliyoiva sana."Tofa said, "First we need to find out how many Mercedes there are in town that're colored red like a ripe tomato."
Wiki nzima walizunguka. Sasa hawakutembea na kufanya kazi sehemu moja. Kila mmoja alikwenda upande wake. Prospa alipata matumaini. Hofu ya kuwa peke yake ikaisha kwani matembezi yake yalikuwa na lengo maalum. Wote watatu walikuwa na nia moja. Kutafuta benzi ya rangi nyekundu kama nyanya iliyoiva.They wandered around the whole week. This time they didn't walk and work all together in the same place. Each of them went to a separate area. Prospa was hopeful. The fear of being by himself was gone now that his wandering had a purpose. The three of them had one goal: Find the Mercedes colored red like a ripe tomato.
Kila siku asubuhi baada ya kupata chai waliagana. Waliambizana: benzi ya rangi nyekundu, na mtu mwenye 'kaguru' kidogo, mrefu, mnene kiasi lakini hana kitambi. Mweupe kiasi.Each morning after taking tea, they said their goodbyes. They reminded each other: a red Mercedes, and a man with a slight limp, tall, thick but not fat. Light brown skin.
Walitembea sehemu zote watu wanapoegesha magari Darisalaam mjini. Walitembea. Walitembea sana. Walikuwa hawachoki. Hamu kubwa ya kuona benzi nyekundu yenye rangi ya nyanya iliyoiva sana iliwapa kichocheo. Walikubaliana kwamba watoe habari baada ya kufanikiwa.They walked around every area where people parked their cars in Dar. They walked, and they walked some more. They weren't tired. Their desire to find a bright tomato red Mercedes spurred them on. Everyone agreed to let the others know once they'd found it.
Baada ya siku saba, Mansa na Tofa walileta habari. Wote wawili waliona benzi nyekundu zikiwa sehemu tofauti. Mansa alilionea Tazara na Tofa aliliona Feri. Waliokuwa wanaendesha hawakuwa na kaguru, wala hawakuwa warefu na weupe.After seven days, Mansa and Tofa had some news. The two of them had seen a red Mercedes in two different places. Mansa in Tazara, Tofa in Feri. The drivers didn't seem to have a limp, nor were they tall or light-skinned.
Sasa?Now what?
Tofa alisema, "Inawezekana kuwa Mjomba Feliksi hana benzi nyekundu. Inawezekana kwamba aliazima gari la rafiki yake akaja nalo nyumbani. Gari lake ni rangi nyingine."Tofa said, "Maybe Uncle Feliksi doesn't have a red Mercedes. Maybe he borrowed the car from a friend before coming to your place. Or his car is a different color."
Mansa alisema, "Inawezekana tumeona benzi mbili, au benzi moja tu. Inawezekana kwamba wanaoendesha ni madereva, wenye gari hatujawaona."Mansa said, "Maybe we saw two different Mercedes, or it was the same one. Maybe the people driving were hired drivers and we haven't yet seen the car's actual owners."
"Si rahisi," Tofa alisema. "Gari langu simwachii dereva aliendeshe kama mimi sipo. Si rahisi.""It's not that simple," Tofa alisema. "I wouldn't leave my car for my driver to drive when I'm not around. It's not that simple."
Mansa alisema, "Tupumzike kwa wiki moja. Tusilitafute gari kabisa, lakini tuwe macho. Tukimuona kaguru, tumfuate, hata kama hana gari."Mansa said, "Let's rest for a week. We won't look for the car at all, but we'll keep an eye out for it. If we see a man limping we should follow him, even if he doesn't have a car."
"Viguru wasiokuwa na magari ni wengi," Tofa alisema."Most disabled people don't have cars," Tofa said.
"Tupumzike wiki moja. Halafu tuanze tena," Mansa alisisitiza."We should relax for a week. Then we'll start again," Mansa insisted.
Prospa alisikitika, lakini alishafahamu kwamba wenzake ni werevu kuliko yeye. Alishaanza kuheshimu uamuzi wao.Prospa was disheartened to hear this, but he already knew that his companions were shrewder than him. He had begun to respect their judgement.
Wiki hiyo ya mapumziko walianza tena kutembea pamoja.During their week of rest they resumed walking together.
Hamu ya kupata Merisho ilikuwa kubwa kwao wote. Kumpata Merisho lilikuwa lengo lao la siri. Ilikuwa kiu ambayo sharti waitosheleze. Wote walikubali kwamba ni lazima wampate Mjomba Feliksi. Mjomba Feliksi atakuwa anamfahamu baba yake Merisho. Na wakishampata baba yake Merisho, watajua la kufanya. Wote waliamini hivyo.All of them were intent on getting Merisho back. To get him back was their secret goal. It was a thirst they needed to quench. Everyone agreed that they needed to get ahold of Uncle Feliksi. Uncle Feliksi would know about Merisho's father. And once they had gotten ahold of Merisho's father, they'd know what to do. All of them believed this.
Sasa wote walimwita Feliksi mjomba. Wote walimpenda. Walizungumza naye, walimtania na kaguru kake, walimtungia hadithi, walimwimbia nyimbo. Kila wakati Mjomba Feliksi alikuwa akilini na midomoni mwao.Now all of them called Feliksi uncle. They all loved him. They talked about him, made jokes about his lame foot, made up stories about him, sang songs about him. They talked and thought about Uncle Feliksi all the time.
Siku moja wakaliona benzi jekundu kwenye sehemu ya kuegesha magari, hoteli ya Kilimanjaro. Wote watatu walikaa pale wakingoja dereva atoke. Baada ya saa zaidi ya mbili alitokea mtu mmoja mrefu mwenye afya nzuri, ana ndevu na masharubu mengi. Nywele zake zilishaanza kuwa nyeupe kidogo. Alikuwa akiongea na mtu mwingine, akijaribu kumshawishi kitu fulani. Polepole, walitembea kuelekea kwenye gari nyekundu. Hatua chache tu, yule mtu mwingine alimuaga, akaingia kwenye gari lake jeupe.Then one day they saw a red Mercedes in a parking lot of the Kilimanjaro Hotel. The three of them sat there and waited for the driver to come out. After more than two hours, a tall man in good health, with a big beard and mustache, appeared. His hair had already started to turn a little white. He was talking with another person, apparently trying to persuade him of something. Gradually they approached the red car. A few more steps, then the other person said goodbye and got into his white car.
Mansa alisema, "Ni yeye, mimi nimeona anavyovuta mguu."Mansa said, "It's him, I saw the way he dragged his foot."
"Siyo yeye, mjomba hana masharubu," Prospa alisema."It's not him, my uncle doesn't have a mustache," Prospa said.
Walinyamaza, wakamkodolea macho mpaka alipofika kwenye gari na kutoa funguo mfukoni.They said nothing as they stared at him. Then the man reached his car and took the keys out of his pocket.
"Nenda sasa Prospa. Usijali, hata kama siyo yeye. We nenda umcheki kwa karibu zaidi, sisi tutakufuata," Mansa alimhimiza."Go now Prospa. Don't worry, even if it's not actually him. Go and check up close, we'll follow you," Mansa encouraged him.
Prospa alichepuka pale akamwendea mtu mwenye masharubu na kumwamkia, "Skikamoo Mjomba."Prospa darted over to the mustachioed man and greeted him, "Shikamoo Uncle."
Mustafa na Tofa walisimama wakaanza kumsogelea.Mustafa and Tofa stood and began to approach them.
Mwanamume alimtazama Prospa, uso ukageuka ukawa mkali, akamuuliza, "Ni nani wewe?"The man looked at Prospa, his face darkening with suspicion, and asked him, "Who are you?"
"Mimi naitwa Prospa Ringo, mtoto wa Mzee Tadeo. Umenisahau? Ulikuja nyumbani krismasi nikakuoshea gari lako hilihili," Prospa alisema. Alifikiri: sauti ya huyu mtu ilifanana ya mjomba wake, macho yake pia, kitu fulani katika uso wake kilifanana sana na Mjomba Feliksi."I'm Prospa Ringo; Mr. Tadeo's son. Have you forgotten me? You came to our house for Christmas and I washed your car, this one right here," Prospa said. He thought: this man's voice sounds like his uncle, his eyes are familiar too, and something about his face bears a striking resemblance to Uncle Feliksi.
Mwanamume alimtazama Prospa kwa makini zaidi, halafu alisema, "Yaani nyie watoto wa mjini mumekuwa wajanja hivi? Hebu toka hapa."The man stared at Prospa, then said, "So you street kids think you're being clever, don't you? Get out of here."
Prospa alimtazama kwa unyonge akasema, "Kweli kabisa."Prospa looked at him in despair and said, "I'm telling the truth."
Wazo lilimjia yule mwanamume, akaacha kwanza kufungua gari, akazunguka akiwa kama anakagua kitu. Prospa alimwona anavyovuta mguu wake. Akawa na hakika kuwa huyu ni Mjomba Feliksi. Alikuwa amezeeka zaidi na ameota masharabu.The man began to think; instead of opening the car door, he paced around as if inspecting something. Once Prospa saw how he dragged one of his feet, he was certain that this was his Uncle Feliksi. He had become older and had grown a mustache.
Prospa aliendelea kusema, "Mimi nakaa na Dada Josefina kule TPC. Unamfahamu Dada Josefina ambaye ni mwalimu kule TPC? Siku ile ulipokuja ulimchukua kwenye gari lako mkaenda kanisani."Prospa continued to say, "I'm staying with Sister Josefina at TPC. You know Sister Josefina, a teacher at TPC? That day when you came, you took her to church in your car."
Mwanamume alimkazia macho zaidi. Halafu alisema, "Aa, ni wewe yule kijana mdogo aliyelilia gari mpaka nikampa hela ndipo akaacha kulia! Umetoka wapi huku?"The man stared at Prospa some more. Then he said, "Aa, it's you, the little boy who cried over my car, then I gave him some money and he stopped! Where have you come from?"
"Ndiyo, ndiyo ni mimi," Prospa alisema kwa furaha. Aliwaita wenzake waje halafu akamwambia mjomba wake, "Hawa ni rafiki zangu. Huyu ni Tofa na huyu ni Mansa. Tulikuwa tunakutafuta wote, siku nyingi sasa.""Yes, yes it's me," Prospa said happily. He called his companions to come over, then said to his uncle, "These are my friends. This is Tofa and this is Mansa. We've all been looking for you, for many days now."
Mjomba Feliksi aliuliza, "Mnanitafuta? Mnanitafutia nini? Na hawa ni rafiki zako? We kwanza ulikuja lini hapa mjini?"Uncle Feliksi asked, "You're looking for me? What for? And these are your friends? When did you arrive here in the city?"
Mjomba Feliksi aliuliza maswali mfululizo, kwani baada ya kumtambua Prospa, wasiwasi ulimwingia. Huyu ndugu yake anahusiana vipi na changudoo?Uncle Feliksi was asking questions one after the other, for after recognizing Prospa, he was overcome with worry. How had one of his relatives gotten mixed up with street kids?
"Mtoto wa Dada Josefina alipotea, sasa nikaja huku kumtafuta.""Sister Josefina's child has gone missing, so now I've come to look for him."
"Bado sijampata," Prospa alieleza."We haven't gotten him back yet," Prospa explained.
"Mtoto alipotea? Lini? Mambo ya ajabu haya. Hebu twende nyumbani ukaoge kwanza halafu unieleze vizuri," Mjomba Feliksi alisema. Alifungua mlango wa gari akasema, "Haya ingia wewe tu. Hawa wengine wasiingie.""The child's gone missing? When? This is a surprise to me. Let's go home so you can bathe first and then explain this to me well," Uncle Feliksi said. He opened the door and said, "Alright get in, just you. Not these others."
Lakini bila kusema neno lolote, Tofa na Mansa waliingia kwenye gari baada ya Prospa.But without saying anything, Tofa and Mansa climbed into the car after Prospa.
"Nimesema nini?" Mjomba Feliksi alifoka, lakini vijana hawakutoka. Walinyamaza kimya."What did I just say?" Uncle Feliksi exploded, but the youth didn't budge and said nothing.
"Ni rafiki zangu Mjomba," Prospa alieleza akiwatetea. "Naishi nao.""They're my friends Uncle," Prospa explained in their defense. "I'm living with them."
"Unaishi nao? Wapi?""You're living with them? Where?"
Walinyamaza kwa muda, halafu Prospa alisema, "Hapahapa mjini."Everyone was silent for some time, then Prospa said, "Right here in town."
Mjomba Feliksi alisema kitu kwa kiingereza, halafu akawasha gari, akaondoka.Uncle Feliksi said something in English, then started the car and began to drive.
Walipita barabara amabazo hawajawahi kupita. Baada ya kupita taa za daraja la Salanda na kufika kwenye taa za barabara iendayo Kinondoni, walichepuka kulia wakafuata bahari. Waliipita hoteli ya Oystebay, wakaendelea mbele, wakapita Mesi ya Polisi, wakaendelea mpaka wakapita hoteli nyingine inayoitwa Casanova. Waliendelea mpaka wakafika barabara isiyokuwa na lami, wakapinda kushoto. Mbele kidogo, Mjomba Feliksi aliendesha gari mpaka kwenye lango lenye rangi nyekundu iliyofifia, akapiga honi.They drove down roads they hadn't gone down before. After passing the lights of Salanda Bridge and reaching the lights of the road going to Kinondoni, they turned right to drive along the ocean. They passed the Oystebay Hotel, then continued straight past the police station, and kept going until they passed another hotel called Casanova. They continued until they reached an unpaved road, then turned left. Uncle Feliksi drove a little ways until he reached a faded red driveway gate, then honked his horn.
Mara moja, lango lilifunguliwa, akaliingiza gari ndani ya ua mzuri wenye miti na maua mengi.Immediately the door opened for them, and Uncle Feliksi drove in to a pretty courtyard filled with trees and flowers.
Mara mzee aliyekuwa anashughulikia bustani akawa anakimbia na kupokea kifurushi kidogo alichobeba Mjomba Feliksi na kumwamkia kwa heshima.Then a man who was busy tending to the garden came running up to take a small package Uncle Feliksi was carrying, greeting him respectfully.
Ndani ya nyumba, mlango ulisikika unafunguliwa. Prospa, Mansa na Tofa walitoka nje ya gari wakawa wanaduwaa.The sound of the front door opening could be heard. Prospa, Mansa, and Tofa got out of the car, in awe of their surroundings.
Msichana aliyefungua mlango wa nyumba alisema, "Shikamoo Mzee Ringo. Je, ni nani hawa?"The girl who had opened the front door said, "Shikamoo Mr. Ringo. Who are these people?"
"Mmojawao ni mtoto wa dada yangu, wengine ni rafiki zake. Hakikisha wameoga na kula vizuri." Baada ya kusema hivyo, aliingia ndani, akapanda ngazi akaenda juu ghorofani.One of them is my sister's son, the others are his friends. Make sure they bathe and eat well." After saying this, he went inside, climbing up the stairs to the first floor.
Msichana aliwatazama tangu miguuni hadi kichwani, halafu aliuliza, "Ndugu ya Mzee Ringo ni yupi?"The girl looked them up and down, then asked, "Which one of you is Mr. Ringo's relative?"
Mansa alimgusa Prospa akasema, "Ni huyu."Mansa tapped Prospa and said, "Him."
Msichana aliwatazama tena kama vile anapata shida ya kufanya uamuzi wa kuwapokea au kuwafukuza. Alipoona wanavyomkazia macho, alisema, "Sasa mnanitazama vibaya hivyo ni mimi niliyewalaza kwenye vumbi?" Alivuta mdomo. "Sasa mkioga mtavaa nini?" alilalamika. "Haya njooni," mwishowe alisema. Msichana aliwaonesha mahali pa kuoga, halafu aliondoka.The girl looked at them again as if she couldn't decide whether to let them in or chase them away. She notice how they were staring at her, then said, "You're looking at me evilly as if I'm the one who made you sleep in the dirt?" She took a deep breath. "If you all bathe, what will you wear?" she complained. "Alright come in," she said finally. The girl showed them where to bathe, then left.
Mansa aliita, "Dada..."Mansa called out, "Sister..."
"Usiniite dada. Mimi siyo dada yako. Jina langu ni Uzuri," Uzuri alifoka."Don't call me sister. I'm not your sister. My name is Uzuri," Uzuri said sharply.
"Ndiyo Dada Uzuri," Mansa alisema."Yes Sister Uzuri," Mansa said.
"Kaeni hapo niwaletee nguo na sabuni," Uzuri alisema."Stay here while I bring you clothes and soap," Uzuri said.
Aliondoka, na baada ya nusu saa alirudi na sabuni pamoja na nguo za kubadilisha, kila mmoja, suruali na fulana. Hizi zilikuwa nguo zilizoachwa na watoto wa ndugu zake Feliksi, watoto ambao huja kwake kukaa kwa muda na baadaye kuondoka.She left, and after half an hour returned with soap along with clothes for them to change into: pants and a shirt for each of them. These were clothes that had been left by the children of one of Feliksi's relatives, who would occasionally come to stay with him for some time and then leave.
Suruali zilikuwa fupi, lakini fulana ziliwakaa. Hata hivyo, hawakujali mambo kama hayo. Walipomaliza kuoga na kuvaa, walikaa sebuleni, wakaanza kutalii nyumba kwa macho. Vigae chini, sakafu iliyong'aa kuliko sahani ya chakula, seti ya muziki, redio kubwa, friji kubwa.The pants were short, but the shirts fit. Even so, they didn't care. When the finished bathing and dressing, they sat in the guest room and began to tour the house with their eyes: tiles on the ground so that the floor shone brighter than a dinner plate, a stereo, a big radio, a large fridge.
Mansa alisema kwa kunong'ona, "Prospa, nilisema mimi, mjomba wako ni kigogo."Mansa said in a whisper, "Prospa, I told you, your uncle is a big deal."
Tofa alisema, "Nasikia njaa kweli kweli." Wote walicheka kichinichini.Tofa said, "I'm really hungry." All of them laughed quietly.
Chakula kililetwa, kikawekwa mezani. Sahani, vijiko, nyuma na visu. Wakajitazama.The food was brought out, then placed on the table. Plates, spoons, then knives. They looked at each other.
"Leo!" Tofa alisema kwa furaha. Walikaribishwa mezani kula, halafu Uzuri aliwaacha."Today!" Tofa said happily. They were welcomed to the table to eat, then Uzuri left them alone.
Walishambulia chakula bila kujali ustaarabu wa visu na vijiko, na katika muda wa dakika tano wakawa wamemaliza na kutoka nje.They attacked the food without caring to use knives or spoons; within five minutes they had finished and gone outside.
"Lo! Nyie watoto, tayari mumeshakula?" Uzuri aliwauliza alipowaona nje kutoka kwenye dirisha la chumba chake. Hawakumjibu."Lo! You children, have you already eaten?" Uzuri asked when she saw them outside from the window of her room. They didn't reply.
Walianza kuongea na Mateo, mzee anayetunza bustani. Mzee Mateo alikuwa mtu mpole na mwenye bidii ya kazi. Alichukua nguo walizokuwa wamevaa, akazifua akiwa anawaeleza kuhusu familia yake, watoto wake wakubwa wanaoishi na mama yao, mke wake wa kwanza, huko Mbinga.They struck up a conversation with Mateo, an elderly man who tended to the garden. Mr. Mateo was a kind, hard-working man. He took from them the clothes they had been wearing earlier and washed them as he told them about his family: his adolescent children living with their mother, his first wife, here in Mbinga.
Mansa alimuuliza Mzee Mateo, "Je, unamfahamu mtu mmoja anayeitwa Matayo? Labda huwa anakuja kumsalimia Mjomba Feliksi."Mansa asked Mr. Mateo, "Do you know anyone named Matayo? Maybe he's come to greet Uncle Feliski at some point."
"Matayo? Jina lake la pili ni lipi?" Mzee Mateo aliuliza."Matayo? What's his last name?" Mr. Mateo asked.
Mansa alitingisha mabega kuonesha kwamba hajui.Mansa shrugged.
"Labda muulizeni Uzuri. Mimi sishughuliki na wageni," Mzee Mateo aliwasharui."You should probably ask Uzuri. I don't have much to do with guests," Mr. Mateo advised them.
Waliingia ndani na kumtafuta Uzuri. Walimkuta jikoni akiosha vyombo.They went inside to look for Uzuri. They found her in the kitchen washing dishes.
"Tukusaidie Dada Uzuri?" Prospa aliuliza."Should we help you Sister Uzuri?" Prospa asked.
"Hata. Nyie kaeni tu, msijali," Uzuri aliwaambia.No need. You all just sit, don't worry," Uzuri said to them.
"Aise dada, Dada Uzuri, unamfahamu mzee mmoja hivi, anayeitwa Matayo?" Mansa aliuliza kwa sauti laini."I say sister, Sister Uzuri, do you know a man by the name of Matayo?" Mansa asked gently.
"Ndiyo. Namfahamu Mzee anayeitwa kwa jina hilo. Kwani jina lake la pili nani? Huyu ninayemsema ni jirani yetu na mfanyakazi wao ni rafiki yangu mpenzi," Uzuri alieleza."Yes. I know a man by this name. What's his last name? The one I'm referring to is our neighbor; one of his workers is my boyfriend," Uzuri explained.
"Utatonesha kwao kesho, leo giza limeshaanza kuingia, labda hatutapafahamu vizuri," Mansa alisema."You'll show us their place tomorrow; now it's already dark now, we probably won't recognize the place well," Mansa said.
"Nina barua zao kutoka Moshi," Prospa aliongeza haraka."I have a letter for them from Moshi," Prospa added quickly.
"Unajuaje kwamba ndiye Matayo mwenyewe mnayemtafuta?""How do you know that this is the Matayo you're looking for?"
"Ni huyohuyo. Dada Josefina aliniambia kwamba ni majirani na Mjomba Feliksi," Prospa aliongeza haraka."He's the one. Sister Josefina told me that he's a neighor of Uncle Feliksi's," Prospa added quickly.
"Lete hiyo barua niwapelekee," Uzuri aliwaambia."Bring me the letter, I'll give it to them," Uzuri said.
"Hapana. Nilipewa ujumbe mrefu wa mdomo unaohusu nyumbani kwao," Prospa alisema."No. I was also given a long speech to say, concerning their household," Prospa said.
Uzuri aliwaambia, "Bure nyie. Nani mwenye heshima zake atawapa ujumbe wa mdomo kumpelekea mtu kama huyu Mzee. Nendeni zenu!""You all are ridiculous," Uzuri said. "What respectable person would send someone to deliver a lecture to this man. Get out of here!"
Uzuri alimalizia kuosha vyombo, akasafisha jikoni, halafu akaondoka. Aliwaambia, "Nafika mahali mara moja. Nitarudi sasa hivi kutayarisha chakula cha jioni. Mzee Ringo amesema ataongea na nyie kesho asubuhi."Uzuri finished washing the dishes, then tidied up the kitchen and left. She told them, "I'm going somewhere right now, I'll be right back to prepare dinner. Mr. Ringo told me he'll speak with you all tomorrow morning."
Walikaa wakapanga mipango yao ya kesho. Halafu walikwenda kuongea na Mzee Mateo kwenye nyumba ya mfanyakazi ambako aliishi na mke wake na mtoto mchanga wa mwaka mmoja hivi.They sat down and discussed their plans for the next day. Then they went out and talked with Mr. Mateo in the worker's quarters, where he and his wife lived with their infant child.
Kabla hawajalala walikubaliana kwamba hata kama Uzuri akionesha kiburi namna gani, kumpata Merisho ni kazi yao. Wengine watasaidia tu.Before they went to bed, they agreed with each other that even if Uzuri was above helping them, getting Merisho back was their business. Others would surely assist them.

Sura ya ishi na tatu

Chapter Twenty Three

Mjomba Feliksi alikuwa tayari kuongea nao asubuhi saa tatu. Wao waliamka saa kumi na moja kama kawaida yao. Walijiona wamepwaya, kwani hawakuzoea maisha ambayo yana uhakika, maisha ambayo kila kitu kipo: kitanda cha kulalia chenye shuka, maji na sabuni ya kunawia asubuhi, chai... Kwa hiyo, walikaa chumbani wakarudia tena kuweka vizuri mipango yao ya siku ile. Saa moja walikunywa chai na mkate, walipewa pia siagi na jamu tamu sana wakamaliza yote iliyowekwa mezani.Uncle Feliksi was ready to speak with them at 9am. They rose at their usual time of 5am. They felt out of place, for they were not used to a life of certainty, a life in which everything is available: a bed with sheets to sleep in, water and soap for washing in the morning, tea... So, they stayed in their rooms and reviewed once more their plans for the day. At 7am they drank tea and ate bread, along with delicious butter and jam; they finished everything that was placed on the table.
Prospa alimueleza mjomba wake jinsi Merisho alivyopotea, na jinsi alivyoondoka nyumbani kumtafuta, safari yake ya Zanzibar kurudi Darisalam mpaka sasa. Hakuzungumza jinsi wanavyoishi mitaani. Hakutaja chochote kuhusu Mzee Matayo.Prospa explained to his uncle how Merisho became lost, how he'd left home to look for him, and about his trip to Zanzibar and back to Dar. He didn't talk about how he came to be living on the streets. And he mentioned nothing about Mr. Matayo.
Mjomba Feliksi alisikiliza kwa makini, halafu alisema, "Wewe ni shupavu sana. Lakini hii siyo kazi ya mtoto mdogo. Hili ni jambo zito la kufanywa na watu wazima."Uncle Feliksi listened intently, then said, "You are very tough. But this isn't work for a young child. This is a serious matter to be dealt with by adults."
Prospa alisema, "Ndiyo Mjomba."Prospa said, "Yes Uncle."
"Na huyu Sara unayemsema yuko wapi?" Mjomba Feliksi aliuliza."And this Sara you've mentioned, where is she?" Uncle Feliksi asked.
Mansa alijibu haraka, "Yuko mjini. Tutamleta leo mchana umwone."Mansa replied quickly, "She's in town. We'll bring her this afternoon so you can meet her."
"Wazazi wake wanafahamu alipo?" Mjomba Feliksi aliuliza."Do her parents know where she is?" Uncle Feliski asked.
"Ndiyo." Prospa alidanganya. Mjomba Feliksi alimtazama machoni. Prospa alisema, "Kweli kabisa Mjomba. Wazazi wake wanafahamu kwamba yuko Darisalam.""Yes," Prospa lied. Uncle Feliksi looked straight into his eyes. Prospa said, "It's completely true Uncle. Her parents know that she's in Dar."
"Lo! Huko Zanzibar umewaacha wazee wakiamini kwamba wana mjukuu. Nani aliyekufundisha uhuni huu?" Mjomba Feliksi alisema kwa masikitiko. "Nyie watoto hamwelewi hata kidogo madhara ya vitu mnavyofanya.""Lo! In Zanzibar you left those elders believing they have a grandson. Who has taught you this indecency?" Uncle Feliksi said woefully. "You children don't understand, not even a little, how much hurt you're causing."
Prospa alinyamaza.Prospa was silent.
"Hii ni kazi ya polisi. Wao ndio wenye utaalamu wa kufanya uchunguzi kama huu. Wewe unaongeza taabu juu ya nyingine. Kwanza si ajabu mtoto alikwisha patikana zamani, na wewe uko huku unazurura tu na kuharibu maisha ya watu wasiokuwa na wajibu nawe," Mjomba Feliksi alisema."This is work for the police. They are the ones skilled in doing investigations like this. You're just adding more problems. The child has been missing for awhile, and you're here just roaming around, destroying the lives of people who have no answers for you," Uncle Feliksi said.
Prospa alitazama chini, akakaa kimya.Prospa looked at the ground and said nothing.
"Kwanza dada yako sijui yu hali gani sasa. Mtoto apotee na mdogo wake apotee! Hajapata kichaa kweli?" Mjomba Feliksi aliendelea kusema kwa uchungu."Your sister knows nothing about your condition now. Her child is missing and now her younger brother is missing! She must be crazy by now, right?" Uncle Feliksi continued mournfully.
Prospa alisema, "Dada anafahamu kwamba niko Darisalam. Nilimwambia rafiki yangu Mustafa amweleze."Prospa said, "My sister knows I'm in Dar. I told my friend Mustafa to explain to her."
"Anafahamu? Anafahamu kwamba unazurura mitaani? Anafahamu kwamba unafanana na kitoto kihuni, jangiri asiyechana nywele wala kuoga kufua nguo alizovaa? Dada yako anafahamu hayo?" Mjomba Feliksi alisema kwa hasira."She knows? Does she know you're wandering the streets? Does she know you're behaving like a disgraceful child, a useless dog who doesn't comb his hair nor bathe nor wash the clothes he wears? Does your sister know this?" Uncle Feliksi said angrily.
Wote wakawa kimya.All of them remained silent.
Mjomba Feliksi alishusha pumzi na kusema, "Katika muda wa siku mbili au tatu, tutakwenda Moshi. Mimi na wewe. Nataka kufahamu haya mambo vizuri kabla sijayapeleka polisi."Uncle Feliksi sighed heavily and said, "In two or three days' time, we're going to Moshi. Me and you. I want to understand this matter well before I take it to the police."

Sura ya ishi na nne

Chapter Twenty Four

Baada ya mazungumzo ya Prospa na Mjomba Feliksi, wote waliona haja ya kurekebisha mipango yao mara moja. Waliingia kwenye chumba walimokuwa wamelala na kufunga mlango.After the conversation between Prospa and Uncle Feliksi, they all realized the need to adjust their plans immediately. They went back to the room in which they had slept and closed the door.
Mansa alisema, "Kwanza kabisa mtu yeyote asijue tunachotaka kufanya! Mjomba Feliksi asijue, wala Uzuri wala Mzee Mateo."Mansa said, "First of all no one should know what we want to do! Uncle Feliksi shouldn't know, nor Uzuri or Mr. Mateo."
Prospa alisema, "Lakini ni lazima tufahamu anakoishi Mzee Matayo. Uzuri akitupeleka nikionekana pale tu, mambo yataharibika. Mmoja wao anaweza akanitambua."Prospa said, "But we need to know where Mr. Matayo lives. If Uzuri brings us and I'm seen there, everything will go up in flames. Someone there could recognize me."
Tofa alisema, "Ndiyo. Kuna haja ya kufahamu kwa Mzee Matayo bila kupelekwa na Uzuri. Maanake Uzuri na kidomodomo chake ataanza kusema maneno yasiyofaa."Tofa said, "Yes. We need to know who Mr. Matayo is without being sent by Uzuri. With Uzuri's complaining she may say something that gives us away."
Mansa alisema, "Tunamhitaji Sara aje aongee na Uzuri mpaka amwoneshe kwa Mzee Matayo."Mansa said, "We need Sara to come and talk with Uzuri so that she'll bring her to Mr. Matayo's."
"Ndiyo. Sara anaweza sana," Prospa alisema. Alifurahi kujua kwamba inawezekana akaonana tena na Sara."Yes. Sara can do it," Prospa said. He was elated to know that it'd be possible to see Sara again.
Tofa alisema, "Muda tulionao ni mdogo. Prospa na mjomba wake watakwenda Moshi kesho kutwa kabla hatujahakikisha mambo yetu."Tofa said, "We don't have much time. Prospa and his uncle will go to Moshi the day after tomorrow if we haven't figured this out ourselves."
Mansa alisema, "Lazima tumpate Merisho, kwa bidii yetu wenyewe. Sasa majadiliano yaishe. Tofa we nenda ukamlete Sara. Ondoka na Prospa. Mweleze dada yao kwamba tunamhitaji Sara leo hii. Mwambie kwamba ni lazima aje Sara na siyo msichana mwingine. Mimi nitabaki hapa niongee na Mzee Mateo."Mansa said, "We must get Merisho, by our own efforts. Now no more discussion. Tofa you go and bring Sara. Go with Prospa. Explain to those girls that we need Sara today. Say that Sara herself must come, not some other girl. I'll stay here and talk with Mr. Mateo."
"Hatuna nauli," Prospa alisema."We don't have fare money," Prospa said.
"Huku ni mbali hatuwezi kutembea mpaka mjini," Tofa alianza kulalamika. Alikuwa amekohoa sana usiku na alionekana kama hana nguvu, lakini hali hiyo walishaizoea."It's too far to walk to town from here," Tofa began to complain. He had been coughing a lot the previous night; he looked weak, but they had grown accustomed to seeing him like this.
Mansa alisema, "Tofa, nenda kwa Uzuri, na Prospa nenda kwa Mateo. Tumieni maarifa mpate nauli. Mimi nitaangalia humu ndani kama kuna chochote."Mansa said, "Tofa, you go for Uzuri, and Prospa you go for Mateo. We should use our street skills to get fare money. I'll look around inside for some."
Maelekezo ya Mansa yalikuwa ni sheria waliyoifuata bila ubishi mwingi. Yeye ndiye aliyeachiwa uongozi wa kundi, yeye ndiye aliyechukua wajibu wa usalama na ustawi wa maisha ya wana kikundi. Waliondoka chumbani, kila mmoja akafanya alivyotakiwa. Tofa alianza kukohoa mfululizo, akamwomba Uzuri pesa ya kununulia dawa. Tofa alikuwa stadi wa kuomba. Udhoofu wa mwili wake ulifanya watu wamuonee huruma. Alijua hilo na alilitumia vizuri. Prospa alimwendea Mateo na kumweleza jinsi walivyo na uhusiano wa karibu na mwajiri wake na jinsi mjomba wake anavyompenda. Alianza kumweleza hadithi ya maagizo mjomba aliyoacha asubuhi kuhusu vitu vya kununua vya kupeleka nyumbani Moshi. Bali yeye alisahau kumwomba fedha za kufika mjini na kupata hivyo vitu. Sasa itabidi anunue vitu vichache tu. Mateo alihakikishiwa kwamba pesa yake ingerudi bila wasiwasi.Mansa's instructions were final, and they followed them without much argument. He was the one who had been left with leadership of the group, who had taken responsibility for the safety and prosperity of the group members' lives. They left the room, each of them doing as he had instructed. Tofa began coughing violently, then asked Uzuri for money to purchase medicine. He was skilled at begging. His body's weak condition made people feel sorry for him; he knew this, and he used it to his advantage. Prospa went to Mateo and explained to him the close relationship he had with Mateo's boss, and how much he loved him. Then he started in on a story about the instructions his uncle had left him regarding things to buy for their trip to Moshi. But he had forgotten to ask him for money to get to town and obtain these things. Now he could buy just a few of them. Mateo was assured that his money would be returned, without a doubt.
"Sina fedha, mwisho wa mwezi bado," Mzee Mateo alisema kwa unyonge. Alitaka kumsaidia huyu ndugu wa mwajiri wake, lakini pesa aliyokuwa na ilikuwa kwa chakula tu mpaka mwisho wa mwezi."I've no money until the end of the month," Mr. Mateo said sadly. He wanted to help his boss' relative, but all the money he had left was needed for food until the end of the month.
Prospa alisema, "Hata nauli mzee? Nisaidie basi niweze kufika mjini nimfuate mjomba ofisini."Prospa said, "Even for bus fare sir? Just help me so I can get to town and reach my uncle in his office."
Walipokutana tena chumbani baada ya nusu saa, wote kwa pamoja walikuwa na shilingi elfu moja mia tatu.When they gathered in the room once more after half an hour, all of them together had 1,300 shillings.
Mansa alitoa shilingi mia tatu kwa Tofa na Prospa. Alisema, "Hizi elfu moja naziweka, zitatufaa baadaye."Mansa gave 300 shillings to Tofa and Prospa. He said, "These 1,000 shillings I'm setting aside for us to use later."
Prospa na Tofa waliondoka kuelekea mjini.Prospa and Tofa left and headed for town.
Walipita katikati ya majumba makubwa ya Masaki, wakatokeza karibu na shule ya Kimataifa. Kutoka hapo walitembea chapuchapu kupitia barabara ya Chole hadi Kanisa la St. Peters. Pale walipanda basi hadi mjini.They passed among the big buildings of Masaki, eventually arriving at the international school. From here they walked quickly down Chole Street until they reached St. Peters Church. There they boarded a bus into town.
Walimkuta Sara katika kundi la wasichana wanne nyuma ya mtaa wa Makunganya katika hoteli moja ndogo. Kila siku walifanya kazi katika hoteli hiyo; kumenya viazi, vitunguu, ndizi, kukanda unga wa maandazi na chapati. Mshahara wao ulikuwa na kupata chakula; cha asubuhi, mchana na jioni, halafu baada ya hapo waliingia mitaani.They found Sara in a group of four girls behind Makunganya Street in a small hotel. They were working in this hotel every day; peeling potatoes, garlic, bananas, grinding up flour for bread and chapati. They were paid in food: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Then they would go out into the streets.
Tofa na Prospa walieleza shida yao kwa kiongozi wao, wakaondoka papo hapo pamoja na Sara.Tofa and Prospa explained their problem to the girls' leader, then left immediately with Sara.
Ilishakuwa saa kumi jioni walipofika Masaki. Mjomba Feliksi alikuwa hajarudi kutoka kazini. Walikwenda moja kwa moja chumbani, wakamkwepa Uzuri ambaye alikuwa chumbani kwake amepumzika.It was already 4pm when they arrived in Masaki. Uncle Feliksi hadn't yet returned from work. They went straight to their room, quietly passing by Uzuri who was in her own room resting.
Bila kupoteza muda, Mansa alimweleza Sara hali iliyowakabili, na kumwambia, "Sikiliza Sara, wewe utaongea na Uzuri mpaka ufahamu kwa huyo rafiki yake mpenzi anayefanya kazi kwa Mzee Matayo. Sisi tunafikiri kwamba huyo mzee ndiye baba yake Merisho na kwamba Merisho atakuwa huko. Usiulize maswali mengi, utafahamu mengine baadaye."Without wasting anytime, Mansa explained to Sara the situation that confronted them, saying, "Listen Sara, you'll speak with Uzuri until you know about this boyfriend of hers that's working for Mr. Matayo. We think Matayo is in fact Merisho's father and that Merisho is there. You shouldn't ask many questions, you will understand more later."
"Angalia usitaje jina la Merisho wala wasijue tunachotaka," Prospa alifafanua.See that you don't mention Merisho's name, and that they don't know about anything we want," Prospa added.
"Fanya kila njia ufike huko kwa huyo rafiki yake Uzuri. Cheki kwa makini mazingira ya nje na ya ndani, hasa watu walio huko ndani. Zungumza na watu wazima, lakini kwa uangalifu. Angalia watoto waliopo, ufahamu kila mmoja kwa jina. Sikiliza mambo wanayoongea na ukumbuke yote yaliyo muhimu. Hiyo ndiyo kazi yako. Ni kazi kubwa na nyeti. Kesho kutwa Prospa anakwenda Moshi. Lazima tuwe tumshampata Merisho," Mansa alisema."Use any means necessary to get to Uzuri's boyfriend's place. Carefully inspect outside and inside, and note especially the people who're inside. Talk with the adults, but do so carefully. Look around for the children that're there, and learn the names of each of them. Listen to everything they discuss and remember anything that's important. This is indeed a job for you: it's a big one, and care must be taken. The day after tomorrow Prospa leaves for Moshi. We must have Merisho back by then," Mansa said.
Sara alikubali kufanya kazi hiyo. Walikariri tena maagizo, halafu walitoka chumbani, wakaenda kumtafuta Uzuri.Sara agreed to take on this job. They recited the instructions once more, then left the room and went to find Uzuri.
Uzuri alihamaki alipoona kundi limeongezeka, "Ha! nani huyu tena! Jamani, nyumba ya Mzee Ringo mmeifanya kuwa bweni la changudoo?!"Uzuri was not happy to see that the group had grown in size. "Ha! who is this one! You all are using Mr. Ringo's house as a dormitory for street kids?!"
Prospa alisema, "Huyu anaitwa Sara. Mjomba alitaka kumwona, kwa hiyo tumekwenda kumchukua mjini."Prospa said, "Her name is Sara. Uncle wanted to see her, so we went to get her from town."
"Ha! Haya. Naye Mzee Ringo sijui kwa nini. Lakini hayo siyo yangu," Uzuri alisema, akiwa hana raha ingawa hakukasirika."Ha! Alright. I have no idea what Mr. Ringo would want with her. But this isn't my business," Uzuri said, disgruntled but not angry.
Waliondoka, wakamuacha Sara na Uzuri.They left, leaving Sara with Uzuri.
Sara na Uzuri walikaa kimya. Sara alikuwa akifikiria jinsi ya kumwingia Uzuri bila kumkasirisha. Uzuri alikuwa anachambua mchicha. Alishaamua kwamba hatapika chakula zaidi ya kile alichokuwa amepanga. Hakutaka msichana huyu akae naye jikoni, kwani angechelewesha kazi yake tu. Mwishowe alimuuliza Sara, "Sasa wewe unafanya nini hapa? Nenda ukakae na hao wazururaji wenzako."Sara and Uzuri said nothing to each other. Sara was contemplating a way to approach Uzuri without angering her. Uzuri was preparing spinach. She had already decided that she wasn't going to cook more food than she had planned. She didn't want this girl to stay in the kitchen with her; she'd only get in her way and delay her work. Finally she asked Sara, "What are you still doing here? Go and stay with your street friends."
Sara alitabasamu. Mlango wa mazungumzo umefunguka, alijiambia kimoyomoyo. Sara akicheka uso wake hung'aa na kuonesha uzuri wake kamili. Meno yake yalikuwa meupe mithili ya mahindi mapya.Sara smiled. The possibility for conversation had been opened, she told herself silently. She smiled, her whole face shining brightly. Her teeth were white like unripe corn.
Uzuri alimtazama, alivutiwa na tabasamu, na hapohapo kabla Uzuri hajasema lolote, Sara alisema, "Wewe ni mthuri kama udi."Uzuri looked at her, intrigued by her smile; before Uzuri could say a word, Sara said, "You're pretty like a lute."
Uzuri aliuliza, "Unasemaje?"Uzuri asked, "What are you saying?"
"We ni mthuri kama udi," Sara alirudia."You're pretty like a lute," Sara repeated.
Uzuri alicheka. Alirudia tena kuchambua mchicha, lakini kicheko kilimbana akaanza kucheka tena. "Mtoto we, una mambo," alisema.Uzuri laughed. She went back to preparing spinach, but still amused, she began to laugh again. "Child, you have a problem," she said.
"Unacheka hekaheka," Sara alimwahi, akiwa naye anacheka."You're laughing like crazy," Sara managed to get out, as she laughed along with her.
"He! Hivi kuzurura mjini kwenye jua kunalainisha ubongo." Uzuri alisema. Hali ya raha ilimrudia. Alianza kuvutiwa na huyu msichana. Alimtania Sara kwa kumwambia, "Hm, ndugu, hilo jicho nalo linatisha. Hebu nenda huko ukakae na hao ndugu zako.""He! This roaming around in the sun is turning your brains to mush," Uzuri said. She was upbeat once again, caught up in this girl's spirit. She joked with Sara, "Hm, sister, that eye of yours is scary. Get out of here, go hang out with your brothers."
"Aa, dada Uthuri, mthuriAa, sister Uzuri, how pretty
Ndugu hao ni vuruguThose brothers are a mess
Ukicheka 'da UthuriIf you laugh sister Uzuri
Jicho langu litapona."My eye will be healed."
Sara aliimba kwa sauti nyororo.Sara sang in a soft voice.
"Hm, wimbo gani huo? Wanitapeli tu. Mungu, sijui wamekutoa wapi," alisema Uzuri akiwa kama analalamika. Hata hivyo, alicheka na kusema, "Kuna vichaa duniani jamani. Kweli.""Hm, what kind of song is this? God, I have no idea where they got you from," Uzuri said in a complaining tone. Even so, she laughed and said, "There are crazies all over the world, truly."
Sasa wote wawili walicheka. Uzuri alimwambia Sara, "Nisaidie basi kuchambua mchicha."Now both of them laughed. Uzuri said to Sara, "You can help me prepare the spinach."
Sara alikubali mara moja. Halafu alimwambia Uzuri, "Halafu nitakuthuka hitho nywele thako."Sara agreed at once. Then she said to Uzuri, "Afterwardth I'll braid your hair."
Uzuri aliuliza, "Unafahamu kusuka?""Uzuri asked, "You know how to braid hair?"
"Ndiyo. Nilikuwa namthuka dada yangu thiku thote," Sara alisema. Uzuri alifurahi. Alimueleza Sara kwamba alikuwa amepanga kwenda kusuka kwa hela. Alikuwa amekwenda kwa rafiki yake amsuke lakini akakuta ana kazi. Nyuzi za kusukia aliziacha hukohuko."Yes. I braid my sister's hair all the time," Sara said. Uzuri was excited to hear this. She told Sara that she had been planning to pay to get her hair braided; she had gone to a friend's so she could do it, but she was busy working. The weave had been left there.
Sara alisema, "Tutakwenda kuthichukua. Nitakthindikitha."Sara said, "We'll go and get it. I'll come with you."
Uzuri alisema, "Lo, afadhali ndugu yangu. Sijui ni bahati gani imekuleta. Hao ndugu zako wavulana hawana lolote."Uzuri said, "Lo, that's even better my sister. I don't what kind of luck has brought you here. Those friends of yours certainly don't have any."
Sara aliuliza, "Rafiki yako anakaa mbali?"Sara asked, "Is your friend living far away?"
Uzuri alijibu, "Hata. Ni hapa karibu tu. Anafanya kazi kwa Mama Mchau. Nyumba ina watu wengi kama nini hiyo. Saa zote anapika au anafua. N'singeyaweza mie."Uzuri replied, "Not at all; she's just nearby. She works for Mama Mchau. There's a lot of people at her home like there is here. She's cooking or washing at all hours. I couldn't manage it myself."
Sara aliuliza, "Mama Mchau ana watoto wengi?"Sara asked, "Does Mama Mchau have many children?"
Uzuri hakujibu. Alikuwa anapima mchele na kuuweka kwenye ungo.Uzuri didn't answer. She was busy measuring out rice and placing it in a strainer.
Kabla hajapata jibu Sara alisema, "Eti hana mume, amethaa watoto hivi hivi?"Before she could answer Sara said, "I mean if she doesn't have a husband, how does she have so many children?"
"Nani tena mwenye umbea huo? Vivulana vya ovyo kweli hivyo. Ndugu zako hao wakoje? Waongo kama nini!" Uzuri alisema. Aliendelea, "Mama ana mume, tena mume hasa. Matayo Mchau, mzee wa watu ni mume mzuri tu.""Who's spreading this lie? What childishness. Is it those brothers of yours? What a bunch of liars!" Uzuri said. She continued, "Mama has a husband, actually. Matayo Mchau is the elder of the house and a good husband."
Sara aliuliza, "Eti, umethema hiyo nyumba ina watu wengi?"Sara asked, "So, you said there's a lot of people in this house?"
Uzuri alisema, "Wala. Ni ndugu tu, na watoto wa kuletwa. Mama mwenyewe ana watoto wanne. Wote wa kike."Uzuri said, "Both relatives and children that have been taken in. Mama herself has four children. All of them girls."
"Hana mtoto wa kiume hata mmoja? Mathikini," Sara alisema kwa huruma."She doesn't have even one boy? Poor woman," Sara said sympathetically.
"He! masikini? Masikini nini?" Uzuri alifoka."He! poor woman? Poor for what?" Uzuri burst out in anger.
Sara alinyamaza. Hakutaka kumkasirisha Uzuri.Sara said nothing. She didn't want to anger Uzuri.
"Basi, yuko dada yake Mzee Mchau, anaitwa Awaichi Mchau, ana mawazo kama wewe hapo," Uzuri alimweleza Sara. Aliacha kuosha mchele, akaweka mikoni kiunoni, akamwangalia Sara kwa macho yenye hasira, akasema, "Huyo Awaichi, mzee mzima, kaiba mtoto wa watu huko Moshi. Eti ni mtoto wa kaka yake. Ni mtoto wa kiume pekee. Akamletea kaka yake huyo mtoto wa kiume eti amchukue kwa sababu mke wake hana mtoto wa kiume.""Well, Mr. Mchau's sister, her name is Awaichi Mchau, she thinks the same as you," Uzuri explained to Sara. She stopped washing the rice, put her hands on her hips, and looked at Sara angrily, then said, "This Awaichi, an elderly woman, abducted a child from some people in Moshi: her brother's child. He's an only son. Then she brought him here to her brother for him to have, because his wife has no son of her own."
"Kweli?" Sara aliuliza, akiwa anajidai kushangaa. "Kwa nini alifanya hivyo?" Sara aliuliza tena."Really?" Sara asked, pretending to be surprised. "Why did she do this?" Sara asked.
"Eti ukoo usipotee!" Uzuri alijibu kwa kebehi."Pay attention!" Uzuri admonished her.
Sara alitabasamu.Sara smiled.
Uzuri alirudia tena kuosha mchele akisema, "Shauri yao. Sasa mtoto anatafutwa na polisi. Habari zilitangazwa kwenye magazeti mengi tu. Wanaogopa kweli. Mtoto amefichwa kwenye nyumba ya uani huko, haonekani mpaka saa nne usiku wanapokwenda mezani kula."Uzuri went back to washing the rice as she said, "That's their business. Now the police are looking for the child. News of it has been announced in many newspapers. They're really scared. The child has been hidden away behind the fences of their home; he's not seen until ten at night, when they all sit down at the table to eat."
Sara alisema, "Watu wengine wanatafute thida. Twende thetu tukachukue nyuthi thetu. Twende haraka kabla githa halijaingia."Sara said, "Some people are just looking for trouble. Let's go and get our thread, and quickly, before it gets dark."
Uzuri alisema, "Sawa, lakini utanisuka usiku. Tutalala wote chumbani kwangu."Uzuri said, "Alright, but you'll braid my hair later tonight. The two of us will sleep in my room."

Sura ya ishirini na tano

Chapter Twenty Five

Saa kumi na moja asubuhi, Sara alitoka kitandani kimyakimya akaenda nje. Kila mahali palikuwa kimya. Alizunguka nyumba akafika kwenye dirisha la chumba cha wageni walimokuwa wamelala wavulana, akagonga polepole. Sauti ya chini ikaita, "Sara?"At five in the morning, Sara got out of bed quietly and went outside. It was completely silent. She circled the house until she got to a window of the guest room where the boys were sleeping, then tapped it slowly. A small voice asked, "Sara?"
"Fungua mlango," Sara alisema kwa sauti ndogo. Alirudi ndani kwa kupitia mlango wa jikoni alioufungua alipotoka nje. Aliingia chumba cha wavulana, akafunga mlango polepole."Open the door," Sara said softly. She went back inside through the kitchen door, which she had left open on her way out. She entered the boys' room, then slowly closed the door.
Wote walikuwa wamekwisha amka na kuvaa.All of them had already risen and gotten dressed.
"Sema Sara. Ulimsikia Mjomba jana usiku. Prospa anaondoka kesho asubuhi na ndege kwenda Moshi. Tukishindwa leo, basi," Mansa alisema."Tell us Sara. You heard Uncle last night. Prospa's taking a flight to Moshi tomorrow morning. If we fail today, that's it," Mansa said.
"Wewe, jana mbona hukuja tulivyopatana?" Prospa aliuliza."Why didn't you come yesterday like we agreed?" Prospa asked.
"Tulikungoja mpaka saa tano usiku," Mansa aliongeza."We waited for you until 11pm," Mansa added.
"Ilibidi nimthuke Uthuri, halafu aliongea thana kabla hajalala," Sara alieleza. Aliendelea, "Lakini kila kitu ni thawathawa. Nyumba naifahamu, ndani na nje. Ni nyumba ya ghorofa, imepakwa rangi nyeupe. Chini kuna thebule, jiko, thehemu ya kulia chakula na chumba cha wageni. Kuna milango miwili inayotoka nje, mlango wa mbele na mlango wa uani. Tutatumia mlango wa uani. Ukiingia mlangoni, mtu aliye jikoni atakuona.""I had to braid Uthuri's hair, and afterwards she talked a lot before she went to sleep," Sara explained. She continued, "But everything is fine. I'm familiar with the house, both inside and outside. It's a two-story house, painted white. On the first floor there's a front room, a kitchen, an area for praying, and a guest room. There are two doors leading outside, the front door and the courtyard door. We'll use the courtyard door. If you enter through the front, someone in the kitchen will see you."
"Aha, kwa hiyo Prospa asionekane," Mansa alisema haraka."Aha, this way Prospa won't be seen," Mansa said quickly.
"Kuna miti nje katikati ya nyumba kubwa na nyumba ndogo. Kuna githa kiathi ingawa kuna taa," Sara alieleza."There's trees outside between the main house and the small house. There's some darkness for cover, but there's also lights," Sara explained.
"Ulimwona Merisho," Prospa aliuliza. "Ulimfahamu?""Did you see Merisho," Prospa asked. "Did you recognize him?"
"Thikumwona," Sara alijibu. Aliendelea kusema, "Haonekani kabitha. Yeye anakaa na huyo bibi yake kwenye nyumba ya uani.""I didn't see him," Sara replied. She continued to say, "He's not visible at all. He's staying with his grandmother in the courtyard house.
Thatha, mlango wa mbele wa nyumba ya uani unaangaliana na mlango wa uani wa nyumba kubwa. Kwa hiyo, mtu akijia mlango wa uani anaonekana kote."Now, the front door of the courtyard house looks out on the courtyard door of the main house. So, someone who comes to the courtyard door is visible everywhere."
"Kwa hiyo tutakwenda huko uani?" Tofa aliuliza."So we'll go to the courtyard then?" Tofa asked.
"Ngojeni basi Sara amalize," Mansa aligomba. "Hebu Sara endelea." Lakini hapohapo aliuliza, "Je, wakiwahi kula?""Wait for Sara to finish," Mansa scolded. "Hey Sara continue." But then he asked, "When do they eat?"
"Rafiki yake Uthuri alithema kwamba wao wanakula thaa nne uthiku kwa thababu hamna wageni thaa hiyo. Hawawethi kuwahi, wanaogopa," Sara aliwahakikishia."My friend Uzuri said that they eat at 10pm, because no guests are around then. They don't eat any earlier than that, they're afraid," Sara assured them.
"Umefanya vizuri," Mansa alimwambia Sara. "Sasa ni hivi jamani, saa mbili na nusu, sote tumekwisha lala, yaani tumekwishaingia chumbani.""You've done well," Mansa said to Sara. "Here's the plan friends: at 8:30, all of us will be in bed; that is, we'll already be here in the room."
"Chakula kikichelewa je?" Tofa aliuliza."What if dinner is late?" Tofa asked.
"Utalala bila kula basi," Mansa alisema, halafu aliendelea, "Saa tatu Sara atamtoroka Uzuri. Tutaondoka naye, mimi na Prospa.""Then you'll sleep without eating," Mansa said, then continued, "At 9 Sara will shake off Uzuri, and Prospa and I will leave with her."
Sara aliuliza, "Thaa tatu? Nitatokaje bila Uthuri kujua?"Sara asked, "At 9? How will I leave without Uzuri knowing?"
Tofa aliuliza, "Mimi nitakuwa wapi?"Tofa asked, "Where will I be?"
Prospa alimwambia Sara, "Nitakuita. Nitakuuliza kitu, halafu wewe utatoka."Prospa said to Sara, "I'll call you. I'll ask you something, you'll leave then."
Mansa alikubaliana na Prospa juu ya kumwita Sara, halafu alimwambia Tofa, "Wewe utabaki hapa. Saa nne na robo ikifika utamwamsha Mjomba Feliksi, umwambie kwamba kumetokea janga kwa Mzee Mchau na kwamba yeye anaitwa haraka."Mansa signaled his agreement with Prospa's plan about calling Sara, then said to Tofa, "You'll stay here. At 10:15 you'll wake Uncle Feliksi up. Tell him that there's trouble at Mr. Mchau's place and that he's needed there quickly."
"Mimi sipajui kwa huyo mzee," Tofa alilalamika."I don't know this man's place," Tofa protested.
"Atakuongoza yeye mwenyewe Mjomba. Anapafahamu, utafuata nyuma yake tu," Mansa alimweleza Tofa."Uncle himself will lead you there. He knows the place, you'll just follow behind him," Mansa explained to Tofa.
Walinyamaza kidogo. Walisikia kelele za vyombo jikoni wakajua kwamba Uzuri amekwisha amka. Waliongea kwa sauti za chini zaidi.They were quiet for a bit. When they heard the clattering of dishes in the kitchen, they knew Uzurui had risen. They lowered their voices even more.
"Kwa hiyo mimi nitakwenda kupiga hodi kama vile nimetumwa.""So I'll ask to enter as if I've been sent. Then what?" Sara asked.
"Wakikufungulia mlango tu, Prospa nae ataingia. Atamtambua Merisho mara mjoja. Kelele zitatokea. Wakati huohuo Tofa atamleta Mjomba Feliksi," Mansa said."When they open the door for you, Prospa will enter. He'll recognize Merisho at once, and there'll be pandemonium. During all this, Tofa will come with Uncle Feliksi," Mansa explained.
"Kama hajarudi je?" Tofa aliuliza."What if he isn't back in time?" Tofa asked.
"Lazima umpate mtu mzima. Tafuta jirani, au Mzee Mateo," Mansa said."You need to get some other adult. Look around for neighbors, or Mr. Mateo," Mansa said.
Wote walicheka isipokuwa Tofa.Everyone except Tofa laughed.
"Wewe utafanya nini?" Tofa alimuuliza Mansa."What will you do?" Tofa asked Mansa.
Mansa alijibu, "Nitalinda nyumba ya uani. Nitakuwa macho wasije wakashtuka wakamtorosha tena Merisho."Mansa replied, "I'll guard the courtyard house. I'll make sure they don't run back out with Merisho in a panic."
Walikaa kimya, wakiwaza. Mansa alisema, "Sasa Sara, we nenda. Sijui utasema ulikuwa wapi."They were silent as they thought. Mansa said, "You should go now Sara. I don't know where you'll say you've been if Uzuri asks."
Sara alifungua mlango polepole, akaondoka.Sara opened the door slowly and left.

Sura ya ishirini na sita

Chapter Twenty Six

Siku ya siku. Kila kitu kilikuwa tofauti. Chai iliyopikwa na Uzuri wakisaidiana na Sara ilikuwa tofauti. Mkate waliokula na chai ulikuwa na ladha tofauti. Uzuri aliwatazama kwa macho tofauti. Kila mmoja aliona vyake na kuwaza vyake. Woga wa kushindwa ulikuwa chachu ya tuhuma. Mbona huyu hafanyi hivi? Mbona huyu anafanya sana hivi?The big day. Everything was different. The tea Uzuri had prepared with Sara's help was different. The bread they ate along with it tasted different. Each of them had their own observations and thoughts. Their fear of failing made them suspicious. Why did she do this? Why did he do that?
Walikuwa na wasiwasi mwingi. Walitiliana shaka. Hawakuaminiana, ingawa hakuna aliyemwambia mwenzake kwamba anamshuku, kuwa anaweza akatoa siri yao. Kwa hiyo, kila mmoja alimlinda mwenzake bila kujua kwamba wote wanalindana. Mansa, Tofa na Prospa walilindana. Mmoja akiondoka, wenzake wanamfuata, mmoja akiamua kutembeatembea, wenzake wanamfuata. Mmoja akinyamaza wenzake wanauliza, "Vipi, unawaza nini? Mbona huongei?" Wote walilindana isipokuwa Sara aliyekuwa na Uzuri. Wote walikuwa na wasiwasi mkubwa juu ya Sara. Kila mara, mmoja wao alimwita Sara na kumuuliza swali: "Je, vipi, mnafanya nini huko ndani?" au, "Je, Sara chakula tayari?" au, "Sara, mbona mnacheka sana wewe na Uzuri? Mnaongea nini?"They were deeply worried and gripped by doubt. They didn't trust each other, but they didn't say this to each other; they couldn't bring themselves to talk about this secret. So, each of them kept an eye out on another without knowing that they were all doing this. Mansa, Tofa, and Prospa all did this. When one of them left, his friends followed him; when one walked away, the others weren't far behind. If one of them fell silent the others would ask, "What's up, what are you thinking about? Why aren't you talking?" They all looked after one another except for Sara, who was with Uzuri. All of them harbored deep suspicions about Sara. Frequently they would call Sara over and interrogate her: "What's up, what are you doing inside?" or, "Sara is the food ready?" or, "Sara, why are you laughing so much with Uzuri? What are you two talking about?"
Ilipofika saa tano, Sara alichoka kuulizwa maswali. Aliwaambia, "Nyie thatha mtanipa taabu. Nendeni mjini mrudi thaa kumi."By 11am, Sara was tired of all the questions. She said to them, "You all are stressing me out. Go to town, come back at 4pm."
Wote walifurahia wazo la kwenda mjini. Walipata jambo la kufanya. Mara moja, waliondoka bila ubishi. Waliamua kutembea. Walipokuwa njiani, Mansa alisema, "Simwamini Sara, yule anaweza kumwambia Uzuri kila kitu, halafu kazi yetu itakuwa bure."All of them were elated at the thought of going to town. They now had something to do. They left at once without argument, and decided to walk. When they reached the road, Mansa said, "I don't trust Sara. She could tell Uzuri everything, and then our efforts will be wasted."
Prospa alisema, "Sara hasemi. Sara ni mjanja sana yule, hawezi kusema kitu."Prospa said, "Sara's not talking. She's very clever, she's not going to reveal anything."
Tofa alisema, "Huwezi kumwamini msichana kabisa. Anaweza akajisahau. Sijui wakoje hao."Tofa said, "You can't trust the girl completely. She could slip up. I don't know about those two."
Prospa alisema, "Sara ndiye aliyetusaidia kutafuta nyumba ya Mzee Matayo. Mbona mpaka sasa hajasema chochote kwa Uzuri? Sara ana akili kweli yule. Nilitoka naye tangu Same huko, nimekwenda naye Zanzibar, mpaka sasa ninaye."Prospa said, "Sara's the one who helped us find Mr. Matayo's house. Why hasn't she said anything to Uzuri yet? Sara's very smart. I left Same with her, we went to Zanzibar together - she's been with me this whole time."
Wote walinyamaza. Wote walisimama kama vile wanafikiria: Je Sara atatusaliti? Je Sara...They were silent. They stood around contemplating: Would Sara betray us? Sara...
Tofa alisema, "Twendeni bwana. Sara akipayuka shauri yake. Sisi tutajua la kumfanya."Tofa said, "Let's go man. If Sara goes rogue that's her decision. We already know what we need to do."
Prospa alisema, "Sara hatapayuka. Nyie mtaona tu. Hawezi kupayuka yule."Prospa said, "Sara won't go rogue. You two will see. She just won't do it."
Walianza tena kutembea bila haraka, bila lengo. Hapa na pale walisimama wakiangalia kitu hiki na kile. Walikuta watu wanajenga ghorofa wakakaa kwa muda mrefu wakiangalia vibarua wanavyojenga ngazi za chuma, wanavyozijaribu wakihakikisha kwamba hazitanepa. Waliona jinsi walivyopeana makarai ya rojo ya mchanga, sementi na kokoto. Kutoka chini hadi juu kwenye ghorofa. Hawakuongea hadi Tofa aliposema "Tukaombe hela ya kula."They started to walk again, unhurriedly and without a destination in mind. Here and there they stopped to look at this and that. They came upon some people constructing a building and stopped for awhile, watching the laborers install iron stairs and test them to be certain that they wouldn't give out. They looked on as other workers passed basins of mixed sand, cement, and gravel from the ground up to the floor being constructed. No one spoke until Tofa said, "Let's beg for some money for food."
Mansa alisema, "Hawana kitu hao."Mansa alisema, "These guys have nothing to give us."
Prospa alinyamaza.Prospa said nothing.
Tofa alisema, "Nakwenda."Tofa said, "I'm going anyway."
Aliondoka. Wenzake walikaa walipokuwa, wakimtazama Tofa anavyokwenda kuomba vibarua wa zege hela ya kununulia chakula. Tofa alipowafikia karibu alisita kidogo, kwani hakuna mtu hata mmoja aliyetazama. Wote walifanya kazi bila kutazama kando.He left. His friends stayed where they were, watching Tofa as he went off to beg the workers pouring concrete for some money to buy food. When Tofa was near he hesitated a little, for there wasn't a single person looking at him. All of them continued to work without even glancing aside at him.
Tofa aliwakaribia na kusema kwa sauti isiyokuwa na nguvu kabisa, "Namoba hela ya chakula. Naomba hela kidogo ya chakula. Sijala baba, naomba hela kidogo nikale chakula." Alirudia mara nyingi, mwishowe mmoja wa vibarua akachukua beleshi na kuzoa rojo ya zege na kumpa Tofa akimwambia, "Haya chukua ule."Tofa approached them and said in a weak voice, "Please give me money for food. I need just a little money for food. I haven't eaten sir, please give me a little money so I can have some food." He repeated this several times, until finally one of the workers used a spade to scoop up some concrete mix, which he then gave to Tofa as he said, "Here take that."
Kibarua mwingine alisema, "Zege zina mambo hizi."Another worker said, "This concrete will provide for you."
Mwingine alisema huku akicheka kwa sauti kubwa, "Zege zina watoto hizi."Another said as he laughed loudly, "This concrete will provide for your children."
Kibarua mwingine alimyang'anya beleshi, akazoa zege na kuweka kwenye makarai akisema, "Mpeleke basi kwa mama ntilie, kulee. Ama una madeni huko?"The first worker retrieved his spade and scooped up some concrete mix before throwing it back in the tub as he said, "Go beg from those mamas selling food by the road over there. Or are you owed something here?"
Kibarua aliyekuwa amezoa zege na kumpa Tofa hakuwa na la kusema. Aliinua karai akaendelea na kazi. Tofa aliondoka kimyakimya na kurudi kwa wenzake. Hawakusema lolote.The firster worker who had given a spade full of concrete to Tofa said nothing. He picked up his tub and went back to work. Tofa left quietly and returned to his companions. They said nothing.
Walianza tena kutembea, bila kuongea. Kila mmoja aliogopa kuongelea alichokuwa akifikiria.They resumed walking, without speaking to one another. Each one was afraid to say what was on his mind.
Prospa aliwaza, "Kama Merisho hayupo kwa Mzee Matayo, je? Nitarudi nyumbani kesho bila mtoto? Nitafanya nini?"Prospa thought, "If Merisho isn't at Mr. Matayo's, then what? Do I go home without him? What'll I do?"
Mansa aliwaza, "Lo! Merisho akipatikana tutakuwa tumeshinda. Labda huyo kizito atatoa chochote. Labda, lakini itabidi atoe chochote tu. Lo, utakuwa ushindi kwelikweli."Mansa thought, "Lo! If Merisho is found tomorrow we'll be victorious. Maybe this rich uncle will give some kind of reward. Maybe. But he'll have to give us something. Lo, it will really be a big accomplishment."
Tofa aliwaza, "Mimi wamenipa kazi ngumu, wao wamejipa kazi rahisi. Sasa, Mzee Feliksi akikataa kuamka, je? Akikataa nitafanyaje? Mateo mwenyewe mnyonge, hawezi kusema kitu yule. Agh, mimi nitawaambia kwamba sitaki kufanya kazi waliyonipa. Ngoja tu, nitamwambia Mansa. Hapana, nitamwambia Prospa halafu yeye amweleze Mansa."Tofa thought, "They've given me a difficult task, then given themselves easy work. What if Mr. Feliksi refuses to get up? If he refuses what do I do? Mateo is old and weak, he won't be able to say anything if I bring him. Agh, I'll just tell them I don't want to do the task they've given me. But I'll wait and just tell Mansa. No, I'll tell Prospa, then he'll explain to Mansa."
Walitembea bila kuongea hadi walipofika mjini. Walifika pale jengo la Bima, wakakaa barazani wakajiegemeza kwenye ukuta wa nyumba. Watu wengi walipita barazani, wengi waliegesha magari pale. Hamu ya kazi ilipungua, kwa hiyo, hawakuinuka kufanya lolote.They walked without speaking until they reached the city. They arrived at the Insurance building, then sat down in a square and leaned themselves against the wall of a house. Many people passed through the square; many others parked their cars there. Their desire to work had lessened, so they didn't stand up to do anything.
Prospa alimuuliza Mansa, "Tupange tena?"Prospa asked Mansa, "Should we discuss the plan again?"
Mansa alisema, "Twende Ujenzi tukapate chakula." Halafu aliamka. Wote waliamka, wakamfuata Mansa. Walikuta watu wengi wamekwishakula na chakula kilikuwa kimebaki. Walipitia mlango wa nyuma. Mansa aliomba chakula. Walipewa ugali, ukoko wa wali na ndizi. Juu ya huo mchanganyiko, waliwekewa mchuzi wa maharage.Mansa said, "Let's go to Ujenzi for food," then stood up. The others stood and followed after him. When they got there they found many people had already finished eating and abandoned their leftover food. They went in the back door, and Mansa begged for some food. They were given ugali, burnt rice, and bananas. On top of this mix, they were given sauce with beans.
Walikula haraka. Walipomaliza kula chakula walizurura kidogo. Walikwenda baharini, wakatembea kufuata ufuko wa bahari kuelekea feri. Hawakuongea. Kila mmoja alikuwa na wasiwasi wa kusema alichokuwa akifikiria. Walipofika Feri walikaa wakitazama pantoni iliyokuwa ikitokea upande wa kivukoni, ikiwa imebeba watu na magari.They ate quickly. When they had finished they wandered around a little. They headed for the coast, then walked along the beach towards the ferry. No one spoke. Each of them was afraid to say what was on their minds. When they reached Feri they sat and watched the ferryboats as they left the loading dock, with people and vehicles lining their decks.
Tofa alisema, "Twende Kivukoni."Tofa said, "Let's go to the loading dock."
Mansa alihamaki na kusema, "Nini wewe? Kwa nini unataka kwenda Kivukoni na wewe unajua kwamba tuna misheni?"Mansa said angrily, "What's with you? Why do you want to go to the loading dock, don't you know we have a mission?"
"Si nimesema tu," Tofa alijitetea."I was just suggesting it," Tofa said defensively.
"Si nimesema tu," Mansa aliigiza, akimbeza."I was just suggesting it," Mansa mimicked him derisively.
Prospa alisema, "Tupange tena, tujikumbushe."Prospa said, "We should go over the plan again, so we can remind ourselves."
Tofa alisema, "Mimi sitaki kubaki nyumbani, mimi nitakwenda na nyie."Tofa said, "I don't want to stay at home, I want to go with you all."
"Halafu nani atabaki kumleta Mzee Feliksi?" Mansa aliuliza. "Nani sasa, sema," Mansa alikuwa na hasira. Alimsimamia Tofa na kusema kwa nguvu, "Sema sasa, kwa sababu nimeshakuona wewe utatusaliti. Sema!""Then who will stay back to bring Mr. Feliksi?" Mansa asked. "Now who, tell me," Mansa said angrily. Mansa stood over Tofa and said forcefully, "Tell me now, because I'm beginning to suspect you're going to betray us. Tell me!"
Tofa alisema akijitetea na kulalamika, "Mzee Feliksi asipokuwepo je? Au akikataa kuamka, nitafanya nini na nyie mtakuwa mumeshaondoka."Tofa protested in his defense, "What if Mr. Feliksi doesn't come home? Or if he refuses to get up, what will I do; you all will have already left."
Mansa alisema akifoka, "Sasa sikiliza, hakuna ukorofi wala woga. Unasikia? Merisho tunampata, lazima tumpate. Sasa sikiliza: Tofa utabaki nyumbani. Utakaa chumbani. Masikio yakae chonjo. Umfuate kila mtu kule ndani kwa masikio yako, hasa Mzee Feliksi na kizabina Uzuri. Usiwaache, hata dakika moja! Usiku saa nne na robo kamili utaanza kupiga kelele wewe mwenyewe. Utakimbia ovyo ili mradi kuwe na sokomoko, utamwamsha mzee umwambie, huku unahema na kukohoa, kwamba kwa Mzee Matayo kuna mambo. Ajali imetokea, au mwambie nyumba imeungua. Chukua saa iliyo ukutani jikoni ukae nayo chumbani. Unasikia?"Mansa chastised Tofa, "Now listen, we can't have any self-doubt or fear. You hear? We are getting Merisho back, we must. Now listen: Tofa you will stay home. You will remain in your room. Your ears should be on alert. Follow everyone at home with your ears, especially Mr. Feliksi and that liar Uzuri. Don't lose track of them, not even for a minute! At 10:15 exactly, start making a lot of noise. Run around crazily so as to stir up a commotion, wake up Uncle Feliksi and tell him, out of breath and coughing, that there's a problem at Mr. Matayo's. An accident has happened, or tell him the house caught fire. Take the clock that's on the kitchen wall and keep it with you in your room. You hear?"
Tofa alitingisha kichwa kukubali, hakutamka neno.Tofa nodded his head in agreement, saying nothing.
Mansa alikuwa akihema alipoendelea kusema, "We Prospa na mimi tutaondoka nyumbani pamoja na Sara saa tatu."Mansa was out of breath as he continued, "Prospa, you and me will leave the house together with Sara at 9pm."
"Saa tatu ni mapema sana," Prospa alidakia. "Kama wanakula saa nne, tutakuwa tunafanya nini hapo mpaka saa hizo?""9pm is really early," Prospa objected. "If they eat at 10pm, what will we be doing until then?"
"Tutaangalia sehemu yenyewe. Tutabana mahali nje," Mansa alisema."We'll check out the area. We'll encircle the area around the house," Mansa said.
"Mimi naona wasiwasi. Tukiharibu tu basi, hatumpati Merisho," Prospa alisema."I'm worried. If we mess this up, we're done, we're not getting Merisho back," Prospa said.
"Hakuna wasiwasi, hakuna woga. Tujue hilo. Twendeni," Mansa alisema."There's no worry or fear. Let's remember that. Now come on, let's go," Mansa said.
Waliondoka haraka kurudi Masaki.They left quickly to return to Masaki.

Sura ya ishi na saba

Chapter Twenty Seven

Mzee Feliksi alichelewa kurudi nyumbani. Saa mbili na nusu Sara alianza kuwa na wasiwasi.Mr. Feliksi was late coming home. At 8:30pm Sara started to worry.
"Tupakue chakula Dada Uthuri?" Sara aliuliza."Should we serve the food now Sister Uzuri?" Sara asked.
"Vipi leo? Saa mbili hizi unahaha kula? Sipakui chakula kabla mzee hajafika," Uzuri alisema."What's with you today? These past two hours you've been starving? I don't serve dinner before Mr. Feliksi has arrived," Uzuri said.
Saa tatu kasoro robo. Sara alikwenda chumbani kwa akina Prospa. Alijiketisha kitandani kama vile ameanguka.8:45pm. Sara went to the room to find Prospa. He had spread himself out on the bed as if he had fallen there.
"Thatha? Mnanitathama mimi! Thaa tatu hitho," alisema."Now what? Are you all looking at me! It's 9pm now," Sara said.
Wote walinyamaza. Walimtazama Mansa. Kabla Mansa hajajua la kusema, kulisikika gari ya Mjomba Feliksi inaingia.None of them said anything. They looked at Mansa. Before Mansa knew what to say, they heard the sound of Uncle Feliksi's car arriving.
Mansa aliruka kama vile ameshtushwa kwa nguvu za umeme. Alisema kwa sauti ya chini, "Msiwe na wasiwasi. Sasa sikilizeni. Tuna saa moja ya kufanya kazi." Alihangaika akitafuta mawazo ya harakaharaka. Mipango yao ilishaanza kwa mguu mbaya.Mansa flew up as if he'd been shocked with electricity. He said quietly, "No need to worry. Now listen. We have one hour to work." He nervously racked his brain in a hurry. Their plans had started off on the wrong foot.
"Sasa, sasa...," Mansa aliendelea."Now, now..." Mansa continued.
Walisikia sauti ya mjomba ikiuliza, "Hawa vijana, wako wapi?" Sauti ya Uzuri iliyojibu swali haikusikika vizuri.They heard the voice of Uncle Feliksi asking, "Those kids, where are they?" Uzuri's voice replied, but they couldn't make out what she said.
"Shhh, ni hivi: Mimi na Prospa hatutakula. Tulikula mchana, kwa hiyo tutaondoka tufuatilie mambo huko," Mansa alisema."Shhh, here's the plan: Prospa and I won't eat. We ate this afternoon, so we'll leave to follow the plan," Mansa said.
"Mthee ataulitha, lathima Prospa akae ale," Sara alisema."Uncle will ask questions; Prospa needs to stay with him," Sara said.
"Kweli," Tofa alisema."True," Tofa said.
Mjomba aliuliza tena, mara hii kwa sauti ya ukali, "Wako wapi hawa? Prospaa," aliita.Uncle Feliksi asked again, this time loudly and sharply, "Where are they? Prospaa," he called out.
Wote walishtuka. Sara alisema, "Twendeni tukamwamkie Mjomba. Nyie mrudi mara moja. Mimi nitakuwa jikoni na Uthuri."This startled them. Sara said, "Let's go and greet Uncle. You all return immediately; I'll be in the kitchen with Uzuri."
Waliondoka haraka kama vile walikuwa wakikimbizwa na kitu hatari.They ran out quickly, as if being chased by a dangerous animal.
Wote kwa pamoja, isipokuwa Sara aliyekwenda moja kwa moja jikoni, walimwamkia Mzee Feliksi.All of them together, except for Sara who had gone straight to the kitchen, greeted Uncle Feliksi.
"Kuna nini huko chumbani?" Mzee Feliksi aliuliza bila kujibu salamu zao. Alionesha kutokuwa na furaha."What's so interesting up there in your room?" Uncle Feliksi asked without replying to their greeting. He seemed unhappy.
Wote walinyamaza na kutazama chini.All of them said nothing and looked at the floor.
Alichukua kifurushi alichokuwa ameweka chini kando ya kochi, akampa Prospa akisema, "Chukua nguo hizi za kuvaa kesho na nyingine uende nazo. Hizo ulizovaa sasa uache hapa."He picked up a package that he'd placed on the floor next to the couch, gave it to Prospa and said, "Wear some of these clothes tomorrow and take the rest with you. Leave what you're wearing now here."
Prospa alishukuru.Prospa thanked him.
"Tiketi yako hii ya ndege nitakaa nayo mimi," Mzee Feliksi alisema. "Tutaondoka mapema. Ndege itaondoka saa kumi na mbili asubuhi, kwa hiyo uwahi kuamka.""I'll hold on to your airline ticket," Mr. Feliksi said. "We'll leave early tomorrow. The flight leaves at 6am, so you need to be up in time."
"Ndiyo Mjomba," Prospa alikubali."Yes Uncle," Prospa agreed.
Baada ya muda mfupi chakula kilikuwa tayari.After a short time, dinner was ready.
Wakati wanakaa mezani kula chakula cha jioni, saa ya ukutani iliyokuwa jikoni ilionesha saa nne kasoro dakika ishirini.When they finally sat down to eat dinner, the clock on the kitchen wall said 9:40pm.

Sura ya ishi na nane

Chapter Twenty Eight

Prospa alikula chakula kidogo tu, halafu alisema, "Afadhali nikalale mapema nisije nikachelewa kuamka. Mjomba naomba kuondoka mezani."Prospa ate a little food, then said, "I should go to bed early, I don't want to wake up late tomorrow. May I please leave the table Uncle?"
"Umeshiba?" Mjomba aliuliza."Are you full?" his uncle asked.
"Nilikula sana mchana," Prospa alijibu akiwa anaanza kusimama."I ate a lot this afternoon," Prospa answered as he started to stand.
"Uzuri atakuamsha saa kumi na moja asubuhi. Haya nenda," Mjomba alikubali."Uzuri will wake you at 5am tomorrow. Go on," Uncle Feliksi nodded.
Prospa aliingia chumbani, akakaa kwenye kitanda. "Lazima nimpate Merisho, bila hivyo siendi nyumbani," alijisemea mwenyewe. "Kama huyo mtoto aliye kwa Mzee Matayo siyo Merisho, basi nitatoroka usiku huuhuu." Alijiinamia akashika kichwa chake kwa mikono yote miwili.Prospa entered his room and sat down on the bed. "I must get Merisho back, without doing this I can't go home," he said to himself. "If this child who's at Mr. Matayo's isn't Merisho, I'll run away tonight." He leaned over and held his head in his hands.
"Mbona Mansa haji? Agh!" Prospa aliendelea kuzungumza peke yake chumbani."Why isn't Mansa coming? Agh!" Prospa continued to say to himself.
Prospa alisimama kutoka kitandani kwenda kuchungulia na kusikiliza yanayoendelea. Mara Mansa alitokea akifuatana na Sara.Prospa stood up from the bed and went to go look around and listen to what was going on. Then Mansa appeared with Sara right behind him.
"Vipi sasa?" Prospa aliuliza."What's going on now?" Prospa asked.
"Sara amesema kwamba anakuja kuaga kwa sababu hamtaonana asubuhi," Mansa alieleza kwa sauti kubwa ili kila mtu asikie. Halafu akasema kwa sauti ndogo, "Tofa anaongea na Mjomba.""Sara said she's come to say goodbye because you two won't see each other tomorrow morning," Mansa explained loudly for everyone in the house to hear. Then he said quietly, "Tofa's talking with Uncle."
"Thiwethi kuondoka, thaa thimekwenda," Sara alinong'ona. "Hatufahamu njia ya kwenda kwa Matayo," Prospa alisema. Alianza kuhangaika, akitembeatembea chumbani."I can't leave, it's too late," Sara whispered. "But we don't know the way to Matayo's house," Prospa said. He was becoming nervous, pacing around the room.
"Lazima tupate njia ya kuondoka," Mansa alisema."We need a plan for leaving," Mansa said.
Sara alisema, "Ngoja." Aliondoka, akasimama nje ya mlango wa chumba na kuita kwa sauti, "Tofa, Tofa e, tafadhali mthaidie Dada Uthuri kuosha vyombo. Mimi naandika barua Prothpa aende nayo.""Wait," Sara said. She left to stand outside the door to the room and called out loudly, "Tofa, Tofa e, please help Sister Uzuri wash the dishes. I'm writing a letter for Prospa to take with him."
Tofa alijibu, "Haya.""Alright," Tofa replied.
Uzuri alisema, "Wala, siyo kitu, we andika barua yako tu.""It's not a problem, just go on and write the letter," Uzuri said.
Kabla Uzuri hajarudi jikoni, wote watatu, Sara, Prospa na Mansa walitoroka upesi upesi kwa kupitia jikoni.Before Uzuri could return to the kitchen, Sara, Prospa, and Mansa sprinted through the kitchen to escape.
Walipofika nje, Mansa alizunguka nyumba akamwenda Mateo na kumwambia, "Ni sisi tunafungua geti mzee, usiwe na wasiwasi, tunakwenda dukani mara moja."When they got outside, Mansa went around the house, found Mateo and told him, "It's just us opening the gate sir, don't worry, we're going straight to the store."
Walikimbia bila kutoa kelele hata kidogo hadi walipofika nje ya geti. Sara alisema, "Mimi nitarudi mara moja nimthaidie Tofa, mtee athithtuke."They ran without making any sound, not even a little, until they were outside the gate. Sara said, "Afterwards I'll go straight back to help Tofa, we shouldn't give Uncle a reason to worry."
"Haya twende," Prospa alisema."Alright let's go," Prospa said.
Sara aliongoza njia hadi kwa Mzee Matayo. Ilishakuwa kawaida yao kutembea usiku, kwa hiyo hawakuogopa. Walifika kwa Mzee Matayo wakafungua geti polepole, haikuwa imefungwa. Walizunguka nyumba chapuchapu, wakiwa kimya kama bubu.Sara led the way to Mr. Matayo's. They were used to walking at night, and so were not afraid. They arrived at Mr. Matayo's and opened the gate slowly; it hadn't been locked up yet. They circled the house quickly, each of them quiet as a mute.
Walijiegemeza kwenye ukuta wa nyumba. Walimwambia Sara, "Nenda ukatazame."They leaned against a wall of the house. They said to Sara, "Go and look around."
Sara aliondoka akinyata. Upepo wa nguvu ulipita, ukatikisa majani na matawi ya miti iliyokuwa karibu na nyumba.Sara left to creep around. A strong wind was blowing, waving the grass and the branches of the trees near the home.
Jikoni hakukuwa na mtu ingawa taa ilikuwa inawaka. Bila shaka wanakula, Sara aliwaza. Alinyata tena, akazunguka nyumba hadi sehemu ya sebule. Walee wanakula, lakini hakuna mtoto.There was no one in the kitchen, but the lights were on. They have to be eating now, Sara thought. She crept forward again, circling the house until they reached the front room. The people there were eating dinner, but no children were among them.
Sara alirudi mara moja kutoa habari. Alinong'ona, "Wako methani, lakini wanamalithia tu kula. Thikuona mtoto."Sara returned straight away to deliver the news. She whispered, "They're at the table, but they're just finishing dinner. And I didn't see a child."
Moyo wa Prospa ulimruka.Prospa's heart skipped a beat.
"Merisho hayupo?" Prospa aliuliza kwa kiwewe."Merisho's not there?" Prospa asked anxiously.
Mansa alisema, "Shhh. Tulia. Hebu Sara, umemwona nani?"Mansa said, "Shhh. Calm down. Hey Sara, who did you see?"
Sara alisema, "Kuna yule bibi, halafu kuna mke wa Mthee Matayo na mfanayakathi na mtoto mmoja wa kike."Sara said, "The grandmother's there, then there's Mr. Matayo's wife, a house employee, and one of their daughters."
"Basi?" Prospa aliuliza."That's it?" Prospa asked.
"Bathi," Sara alijibu."That's it," Sara replied.
Prospa alisema, "Ngoja nikaone mwenyewe." Akaondoka.Prospa said, "Wait, I'm going to see for myself," and left.
Mansa alimshika, akajaribu kumkataza asije akaharibu mambo.Mansa grabbed him, preventing him from leaving and possibly ruining their plans.
"Niache," Prospa alisema. Alijitoa mikononi mwa Mansa kwa nguvu."Let go of me," Prospa said, yanking his hands away from Mansa forcefully.
Mansa alimshika tena, sasa kwa nguvu zaidi na kumwambia, "Usiharibu mambo saa hizi we Prospa. We kaa hapa kwanza, mimi niende. Wakiniona kwa bahati mbaya, hawatanitambua. Ngoja nikaone."Mansa grabbed him again, harder this time and said, "Don't ruin this now Prospa. You stay here, I should go instead. If I'm unlucky enough to be seen, they won't recognize me. Wait and I'll go look."
Mansa aliondoka, Prospa akamfuata. Sara alianza kuchunguza nyumba ya uani. Alichungulia kila mahali. Kwa sababu ya joto, mapazia yalikuwa hayakufungwa.Mansa left, with Prospa tailing him. Sara began to inspect the courtyard house, taking in every nook and cranny. Because of the heat, all of the curtains were closed.
Katika chumba kimoja kilichokuwa kinawaka taa, Sara aliona watoto wawili wamelala kitandani. Hakuweza kutambua kama ni watoto wa kike au wa kiume.In one of the rooms a light was on, and she could see two children lying asleep in bed. She couldn't make out whether the children were girls or boys.
Sara alikimbia akinyata akawafuata Mansa na Prospa. "Nyie, nyie, nimewaona watoto wawili kwenye nyumba ya uani," Sara alisema kwa sauti ya chini.Sara crept quickly back towards Mansa and Prospa. "Hey you two, I saw two children in the courtyard house," Sara said softly.
"Wapi?" Mansa na Prospa waliuliza kwa pamoja."Where?" Mansa and Prospa asked in unison.
Waliondoka bila maneno zaidi.They left without saying another word.
Msichana aliyekuwa anosha vyombo jikoni alichungulia dirishani halafu akauliza watu waliokuwa sebuleni, "Nani amewafungulia mbwa?"The girl washing dishes in the kitchen peered through the window and asked the people in the front room, "Who let the dogs in?"
Mtu mmoja aliyekuwa sebuleni alijibu, "Mbwa hawajafunguliwa bado. Kwani nini?"Someone in the front room replied, "The dogs haven't been let in yet. Why do you ask?"
Msichana alijibu, "Nilisikia kitu kama mbwa wanapita.""I thought I heard the dogs roaming around," she answered.
"Chakula chao tayari?" mtu yuleyule aliuliza. "Naye mlinzi huyu ni bure tu, leo tena hakuja," mtu huyo alilalamika."Is their food ready?" the same person asked. "That security guard is useless, he hasn't come for work yet again today," she complained.
Msichana aliyekuwa jikoni hakujibu. Aliendelea kuosha vyombo. Wakati wa mazungumzo hayo, Prospa, Mansa, na Sara walisimama kimya. Kimya kabisa. Upepo ulipita tena. Watu wakawa hawaongei tena juu ya mbwa. Walipeana ishara ya kuondoka. Walipofika mlangoni kwenye nyumba ya uani, walisimama. Sasa kila mmoja alikuwa na wasiwasi na woga. Kila mmoja wao alimwomba Mungu wake amsaidie.The girl in the kitchen didn't reply, but continued to wash the dishes. During their conversation, Prospa, Mansa and Sara had been standing stock still and silent. Completely silent. Another gust of wind blew by. The residents didn't speak of the dogs again, so they gave each other the signal to keep going. When they got to the door of the courtyard house, they stopped. Each of them was overcome with worry. Each of them prayed to God for assistance.
Mansa alishika kitasa cha mlango, kimya kimya. Mikono yake ilikuwa inatetemeka. Polepole, alijaribu kufungua mlango. Polepole. Mlango ulikuwa mgumu, ikabidi atumie nguvu kidogo. Mlango ulifunguka, wakaingia ndani, wakarudishia mlango. Wakasimama, wakatazamana.Mansa took hold of the doorknob and turned it quietly. His hands were trembling. Slowly, he tried to open the door. Slowly. The door was stuck, and he had to use more force. Then it opened, and they went inside and closed it behind them. They stood there, looking at each other.
Sara aliwaonesha chumba alichoona watoto wamelala. Alitumia ishara ya mkono. Hakuongea. Hapohapo, kabla hawajainua miguu kuelekea upande Sara alioonesha, walisikia mtu anatoka nyumba kubwa kuja nyumba ya uani. Mansa alikimbia kwa kasi mithili ya radi kufunga mlango kwa ndani. Prospa alikuwa kama amepata kichaa. Alitapatapa huku na kule, kama vile haoni njia. Ghafla alianza kupiga kelele, kulia si kulia, yowe si yowe.Sara showed them the room where the children were sleeping. She waved her hand towards it instead of speaking. Just then, before they had taken a step in the direction Sara had indicated, they heard someone leave the big house and approach the courtyard house. Mansa ran like a bolt of lightning to lock the door from the inside. Prospa thought he must have gone crazy. The person began fiddling with the door, as if they couldn't see how to get in. Then suddenly they began to stir up a commotion, crying and shouting like nothing else.
Hakuna aliyejua ni nani kati yao aliyefungua mlango wa chumba. Kelele za "Merisho, Merisho, Mungu wangu...," zilisikika wakati huohuo zilipotokea kelele nje za, "wezi, wezi wamejifungia..., wezi..."None of them knew who among them opened the door to the room. Shouts of "Merisho, Merisho, my God..." could be heard amidst the screams coming from outside, "You can't, you can't, they've locked me out..., you can't..."

Sura ya ishi na tisa

Chapter Twenty Nine

Saa tano usiku zilisikika kelele nyingi zikitokea kwa Bwana Mchau. Jirani hawakuelewa ni kelele za nini, kwani zilikuwa za watu kadhaa, kila mtu akiwa anasema jambo tofauti.At 11pm, there was a loud commotion at Mr. Mchau's. The neighbors didn't understand what was going on, for several people were involved, and each of them was saying something different.
Jirani wa karibu aliondoka nyumbani kwake ili akaone mkasa uliotokea kwa mwenzake. Alikuta maajabu. Kelele zote zile zilikuwa za watu wawili tu. Bibi mzee ambaye ni dada yake Matayo na kijana wa kiume aliyekuwa anamng'ang'ania mtoto mwingine mdogo mwenye umri wa miaka minne hivi.One neighbor living close by left his house to see what was going on at his friend's. What he found shocked him. All the noise was coming from just two people. The grandmother, that is Mr. Matayo's sister, and a young girl were fighting over a small child just four years of age.
Bwana Matayo alikuwa bado hajarudi nyumbani, lakini muda si muda alifika. Bwana mwingine, ndugu yao, Bwana Feliksi Ringo, alikuwa anahamaki na kuuliza, "Kuna nini jamani? Kuna nini?"Mr. Matayo hadn't yet returned home, but he would arrive soon. Another man, a relative of his, Mr. Feliksi Ringo, was furiously asking, "What is this brother? What is this?"
Alikuta kundi la watoto wa Mchau na mama yao wamesimama wima sebuleni, wamepigwa na bumbuwazi. Msichana wao wa kazi alisimama akiwa kajiegemeza kwenye mlango wa jikoni. Feliksi Ringo, baada ya kuona hakuna majeruhi, alitupa macho, akamwona Prospa amemshika mtoto. Prospa alikuwa analia na mtoto analia. Akauliza, "We Prospa, umetoka wapi huku? Mbona niliambiwa kwamba mmekwenda dukani kununua dawa? Na wewe Sara?"He found a group of children belonging to Mr. Mchau and his wife standing in the front room, struck with confusion. Their house girl was leaning against the kitchen door. Feliksi Ringo, after seeing that no one was injured, glanced down and saw Prospa clutching the child. Both Prospa and the child were crying. He asked, "You Prospa, where did you come from? Why was I told that you all had gone to the store to buy medicine? And you Sara?"
Hakuna aliyemjibu.No one answered him.
Bibi Awaichi alikuwa ameweka mikono kichwani akilia kama amefiwa. Alikuwa akisema, "Nitajiua kweli, Uuwi.Grandma Awaichi had her hands on her head, crying with grief. "I'm going to kill myself, really, Uuwi.
Watoto hawawezi kunifanyia hivi. Mtoto ni wangu huyu. Mtoto wangu huyu, siyo wenu. Mkimchukua nitajiua kweli, uuwi.You children can't do this to me. This child is mine. My child, not yours. If you take him from me, I'll really kill myself, uuwi.
Alitoka nje akiwa analia ovyo ovyo. Kabla Mjomba Feliksi hajamfuata amrudishe ndani, alisikia mtu anamwambia, "Rudi ndani upesi. Rudi." Bibi Awaichi alirudi ndani akilia zaidi. Alisema, "Polisi wako huko nje. Watoto wamenilitea polisi jamani. Acheni nife tu."She left to go outside, crying uncontrollably. Before Uncle Feliksi could follow her and bring her back, he heard someone tell her, "Go back inside quickly. Go back." Grandma Awaichi went back inside sobbing even harder. She said, "The police are outside. These children have called the police on me brother. Drop this or I'll die."
Mjomba Feliksi alimtuliza, akamketisha chini, akamsihi anyamaze asije akaamsha majirani wengine zaidi.Uncle Feliksi went over to calm her down, told her to sit, and urged her to be quieter so as not to wake any more neighbors.
Jirani aliyekuwa alikuwa anauliza, "Ni mambo gani haya? Nini kimetokea, mbona sielewi?"The neighbor who was already there asked, "What's the matter here? What's happened, why don't I understand?"
Lakini hakuna aliyempa jibu.But there was no one who gave him an answer.
Baadaye Mzee Matayo Mchau alirudi nyumbani. Alikuta nyumba imejaa watu. Mansa na Tofa walishaingia ndani pamoja na Uzuri ambaye alifuata kelele baadaye. Mjomba Feliksi alipokezana na mke wa Matayo walimweleza yaliyotokea.A little while later, Mr. Matayo Mchau returned home. He found his home filled with people. Mansa and Tofa were already inside, along with Uzuri who had gone to see what all the noise was about later. Uncle Feliksi had exchanged words with Mr. Matayo's wife and explained to her what had happened.
"Balaa gani hii?" Mchau alisema. "Dada yangu umeniletea balaa gani nyumbani kwangu," alilalamika."What is this mess?" Mchau said. "What a disaster my sister has brought to my household," he complained.
Waliongea kwa kirefu kuhusu watoto wa kike na wa kiume.They talked for awhile on the topic of girls and boys.
Mjomba Feliksi alisema, "Mimi nina mtoto mmoja tu, na ni wa kike. Anaishi na mama yake. Lakini nasema wazi kwamba kama wazazi hawaishi pamoja, mtoto ni wa mzazi aliyemlea. Na mtoto wa kike hana tofauti yoyote na mtoto wa kiume."Uncle Feliksi said, "I myself only have one child, a girl. She lives with her mother. But I believe completely that if the parents don't live together, a child belongs to the parent who raises him or her. Also, there is no difference between a boy and a girl."
Bwana na Bibi Mchau walikubaliana naye.Mr. and Mrs. Mchau agreed with him.
Bibi Awaichi alisema, "Msiniambie mambo hayo ya kichaa. Kweli msiniambie. Na wewe kaka, umekuwaje? Umelogwa? Kweli kabisa umelogwa."Grandma Awaichi said, "Don't you all try to tell me this craziness. Really, don't . And you brother, what's wrong with you? Have you been bewitched? You really must have been bewitched."
Baada ya mazungumzo marefu, na baada ya kuona hakuna aliyemtetea, Bibi Awaichi alijaribu kuwalaani wote waliokuwa pale. "Mtapotea, wote mliofanya mambo haya. Mtapotea kabisa bila kuonekana. Kweli nawaambia, mtafia huko mbugani, mpotee kabisa. Mtaona." Machozi yalimtoka, lakini baadaye alinyamaza akawa hasemi hata kama akisemeshwa.After a long conversation, and after seeing that no one was on her side, Grandma Awaichi tried to curse everyone who was there. "You all will disappear, everyone who's responsible for doing this. You all will disappear completely without being seen. Really I tell you, you all will die somewhere out there in the bush, never to be seen again. You'll see." She was crying, but later she was silent, refusing to say anything even if questioned.
Kabla hawajaondoka, Mjomba Feliksi alisema kwamba atakwenda Moshi kuwaleta wazee waongee kesi hii pamoja na kufanya matambiko.Before everyone left, Uncle Feliksi said he'd go to Moshi and return with the family elders so everyone could discuss what had happened and make peace offerings.
Prospa alikataa kabisa kuachanishwa na Merisho. Kwa hivyo, ilikubalika kwamba yeye abaki palepale kwa Mchau mpaka wazee watakapofika kutoka Moshi, wamkabithi Dada Josefina mtoto wake.Prospa adamantly refused to be separated from Merisho. So, it was agreed that he'd stay back with the Mchaus until the elders arrived from Moshi to reunite Dada Josefina with her child.
Sara, Mansa na Tofa waliagana na Prospa. Walioneshana ishara ya ushindi. Macho ya Sara yaling'aa. Waliondoka na Mjomba Feliksi na Uzuri.Sara, Mansa, and Tofa said goodbye to Prospa. They exchanged signs of victory. Sara's eyes glistened. Then they left with Uncle Feliksi and Uzuri.
"Hadi kesho," walimwambia Prospa."Until tomorrow," they said to Prospa.
Merisho alikuwa amelala, kidole gumba mdomoni. Prospa alikuwa amemkumbatia kama anavyoshikwa mtoto mchanga.Merisho was soon fast asleep, his thumb in his mouth, as Prospa held him like a newborn child.

Sura ya thelathini

Chapter Thirty

Kesi ilizungumzwa. Mbuzi alichinjwa na wazee, na damu kidogo ilimwagwa chini huku maneno fulani ya kutambika yakisemwa. Nyama ya mbuzi ilichemshwa, kila mtu aliyehusika na kesi hii akapewa sehemu yake.The case of what happened was discussed. A goat was slaughtered by the elders, and a little blood was let out onto the ground as special peace offering words were recited. The goat meat was boiled, and everyone involved was given a portion.
Ilipofika wakati wa kutoa hukumu, Awaichi Mchau alionekana kwamba alikuwa na kosa kubwa la kumchukua mtoto Merisho bila ruhusa ya mama yake Josefina. Alishauriwa kwamba ni vizuri kutatua matatizo kwa kushirikiana na siyo kwa kuchukua sheria mikononi mwake. Alielezwa kwamba mawazo yake hayana tena msingi madhubuti katika maisha ya leo ambamo wanawake na wanaume wanatoa michango yao katika maendeleo ya jamii. Bibi Awaichi hakusema neno.When it was time to issue a judgement, Awaichi Mchau was deemed to have made a grave mistake by taking Merisho without the permission of his mother Josefina. She was advised that it was better to solve problems together, rather than taking matters into her own hands. And it was explained that she must change her primitive way of thinking about today's life, that women and men both contribute to the progress of family and society. Bibi Awaichi said nothing in response.
Mzee Mchau alionekana ana kosa la kumweka mtoto Merisho ndani ya nyumba yake bila kutoa taarifa kwa ndugu au polisi. Alitozwa faini kubwa kwa kufanya hivyo. Aliambiwa atoe shilingi laki moja, halafu aende polisi kutoa ripoti kwamba mtoto alikuwa kwake na kwamba mama yake ameshampata. Iliamuliwa kwamba ile laki moja itumike kama kianzio cha mradi wa akina Mansa, Tofa, na Sara.Mr. Mchau was found to have erred in keeping Merisho at his home without notifying his relatives or the police. He was fined heavily for doing so. He was told to hand over 100,000 shillings, then go to the police to report that the child was back with his family and that his mother had gotten him back. It was decided that these 100,000 shillings would be set aside for Mansa, Tofa, and Sara when they got older.
Mjomba aliwaambia wafikirie mradi watakaoweza kuendesha, halafu yeye na Mzee Mchau watakuwa wanawapa ushauri wa mara kwa mara. Juu ya hayo, Mjomba aliongeza, "Mimi nitawaongeza pesa nyingine, lakini nitawapa baada ya kuona bidii yenu ilivyo."Uncle told them they would consider giving them this money when they were old enough to drive, and that he and Mr. Mchau would often give them advice that they should follow. Additionally, Uncle added, "I will add more money, but I will only give it to you all after seeing that you've become hard workers."
"Thithi tunaitwa bidii," Sara alisema. Wote walicheka."We're hard workers now," Sara said. Everyone laughed.
Mama wa mtoto, Mwalimu Josefina alishauriwa afunge safari, yeye na rafiki yake Sofia na mtoto Merisho, waende Zanzibar wakaonane na Bibi Fatuma. Wazee waliona kwamba bibi huyo aliumia sana kusikia kwamba mtoto kaibwa na kwa hivyo anastahili maelezo.The child's mother, Teacher Josefina, was advised that before returning home, she and her friend Sofia and Merisho should all go to Zanzibar to meet with Grandma Fatuma. The elders felt that the way she was told of the abducted child was hurtful, and that she deserved an explanation.
Mzee Matayo alikubali kuendelea kumtunza mtoto, lakini alishawishiwa afanye hivyo kwa moyo zaidi kuliko alivyokuwa akifanya hadi sasa.Mr. Matayo agreed to continue providing for the child, but he was admonished to do so more conscientiously than the way he'd done so up to now.
Josefina alirudishwa mtoto wake. Alipewa pole kwa mateso na maumivu mengi aliyopata katika kipindi hicho kigumu. Awaichi alitozwa ng'ombe wawili na maziwa na dume mmoja. Josephina alizawadiwa ng'ombe hao.Josefina's child was finally returned to her. People expressed their sympathies for the suffering and pain she had had to endure during this difficult period. Awaichi was fined two milk-bearing heifers and a bull, which were awarded to Josephina.
Prospa alilaumiwa kwa kuweka maisha yake hatarini wakati wa safari, lakini hapohapo yeye na wenzake walipewa sifa na heshima nyingi kwa ushupavu wao usio kifani. "Vijana, kama mkiendelea na ushupavu wa namna hii, mtaokoa jamii yetu kutokana na majanga mengi," wazee waliwaambia.Prospa was criticized for putting his life in danger during his journey away from home, but in the next breath he and his friends were given much praise and respect for their unequaled bravery. "Children, if you continue to display this kind of courage, you will rescue our family from many troubles," the elders told them.
Sara alisema, "Ndiyo, ni kweli wathee." Watu wote walicheka tena.Sara said, "Yes, that's the truth elders." Everyone laughed again.
Prospa alipoulizwa kuwa anataka zawadi gani, alifikiria kwa muda mrefu. Alifikiri sana, halafu alisema, "Mimi nataka baisikeli ili inisaidie wakati wa kwenda shule, au wakati nikitumwa mjini." Lakini Prospa alikuwa akimfikiria Mustafa. Aliwaza: Merisho amepatikana, sasa nikipata baisikeli juu ya huo ushindi, Mustafa ataniheshimu zaidi. Ataniona kwamba mimi ni mbabe kwelikweli. Bila shaka Mustafa atakuwa ananiomba baisikeli aiendeshe mara mojamoja. Mie nitampa kwa sababu yeye ni rafiki yangu na alinisaidia wakati nilipoanza hii safari ya kumtafuta Merisho.When Prospa was asked what he'd like as a reward, he pondered for a long time. He thought hard, then said, "I want a bicycle to get me to school, and for when I'm sent to town." But Prospa was actually thinking about Mustafa. He thought: Merisho has been found, and now if I get a bicycle for succeeding, Mustafa will respect me more. He'll see me as a big deal for sure. No doubt Mustafa will ask to ride it immediately. And I'll let him, because he's my friend and he helped me when I first set out on this journey to find Merisho.
Mzee Mchau alikubali kumnunulia Prospa baisikeli. Prospa alifurahi sana. Alisema, "Mimi sasa nitarudi TPC kuendelea na shule."Mr. Mchau agreed to buy a bicycle for Prospa. Prospa was elated. He said, "Now I'll go back to TPC and continue with school."
Mjomba Feliksi alisema, "Najitolea kuwasomesha vijana Mansa, Sara na Tofa, kama wanapenda." Wao walikataa. Walisema kwamba walikwisha acha shule zamani, hawataweza tena kurudi kusoma na kufanya mitihani. Walisema watafikiria mradi wa kufanya, waanze mara moja.Uncle Feliksi said, "I'm volunteering to provide for Mansa, Sara, and Tofa's education, if they are willing." They refused. They said they had quit school a long time ago, and that they wouldn't be able to go back to study or sit for the exams. But they said they'd think about a goal to work towards, starting right away.
Mansa alisema, "Biashara ikishika, tukapata pesa ya kutosha kununua chakula na mahitaji mengine, tutahama barabarani."Mansa said, "If we can get a business up and running, we'll get enough money to buy food and other needs, and we'll be able to move out of the street."
Tofa alisema, "Tutajenga nyumba yetu. Mama yangu atakuja kuishi na sisi."Tofa said, "We'll build ourselves a house. My mother will come and live with us."
Prospa alimshawishi Sara warudi Moshi wote, alimwomba aje wakaishi kwa Dada Josefina. Lakini Sara alikataa, alisema, "Nitakaa hapahapa na Mantha na Tofa. Thiku moja nitakwenda Thanthibar kumthalimia Bibi Fatuma na Mthee Thinja."Prospa tried to persuade Sara to return to Moshi with everyone, pleading with her to come live with them at Sister Josefina's. But Sara refused, saying, "I'll stay right here with Mansa and Tofa. One day I'll go to Zanzibar to greet Grandma Fatuma and Mr. Zinja."
Prospa aliagana na rafiki zake kwa majonzi makubwa.Prospa said goodbye to his friends, sad to see them go.


The Swahili text of Safari ya Prospa is copyrighted 1995, 1997, 2001, and 2004 by Elieshi Lema. All rights reserved.