IN A CHANG’AA DRINKING SPREE
(ONE ACT PLAY)
ALEXANDER K OPICHO
Advocate; self-styled advocate, his real job is insurance agent
Teacher-brother to Sampaza, also a changaa taker
Austeen-a lad, son to Monica
Rono-friend to watchman
Njeri-friend to Monica, single mother
Atieno-friend to Monica, single mother
Driver- changaa taker and a smoker
Barasa-changaa taker and electrician
Ndhiwa- changaa taker, brother to barasa
Yator-changaa taker brother to barasa
Mavachi-changaa taker, with a fallen out wife
Mandila-relative to mavachi
Agnesi-wife to teacher
*chang’aa is homemade alcoholic spirit consumed by the peasants in east and central Africa.
In a slum area of Eldoret town, very many ramshackle muddy walled houses are seen; the setting takes place in the house of Monica the Changaa seller. There is low tone music humming from the DVD, playing Vincent Ongidi’s ‘mother is better than father.’
Music; Bakeni Nebekhale, bukula indika,
Bukula indika samwana, Udimake kungeni
Khusoko busia, bukula indika omusumba,
Bakhwee nebechile, bukula indika
Udimake khusoko yaya, bukula indika….
Driver; (dancing with a tumbler of chang’aa in his hand) let me dance! This is my best Sunday, let me dance, I am son of a woman. Sing! Sing! Sing! For us Vincent, you son of Ongidi, (pointing at the DVD).
Advocate; the problem you are only dancing with your class a half empty, moreover, you are not following the rhythm , I thought you dance to this song by shaking your shoulders, but instead you are gyrating your waistline.
Driver; (still dancing) let me dance because when I will go to the grave I will not get another chance to dance.
Advocate; (gulps from his tumbler) will you buy me chang’aa of ten shillings?
Driver; let me finish dancing first, I will see what to do about it.
(Enters Sampaza and teacher, as music goes off)
Sampaza; why are you dudes stopping the music on my entering?
Driver; it is not us who have stopped the music; you go and ask Vincent Ongidi why he did not sing a long song.
Sampaza; (sits at the old couch) where is Monica?
Driver; you burn us a cigarette before you ask for Monica, were you not with Monica upto the mid of last night?
Sampaza; why were you spying on me upto the mid of the night?
Advocate; (to Driver) give Sampaza time to introduce his friend to us
Sampaza; (to teacher) sit on this stool, forget about this drunkards.
Teacher; will this stool not break and sent me down like humpty dumpty? (Shakes the stool and sits on it)
Sampaza; It cannot even Monica herself sits on it and she is more huge than you do
Advocate; (to Sampaza) this is your brother?
Sampaza; now listen all off you
All; Sampaza we are listening to you all of us
Sampaza; had I killed our mother, he could not have born, (pointing to teacher).
Driver; if someone had not told me, there is no way I could know that this man is your brother. You are totally different from one another. Look, he is fat, strong, clean, well shaven and groomed brown and is like he took a bathe in the morning before he came here to chang’aa place, but you Sampaza tell us when you last washed your clothes? Even forget of washing your body.
Sampaza; (to driver) if you want to beg chang’aa from teacher just beg without using your desperate tricks of false praises.
Advocate; but me, I could easily know that teacher is a brother to Sampaza by simply comparing the shape of their heads, they look alike.
Teacher; who is serving chang’aa today? I want to buy some for you guys.
Driver; it is Austeen, let me call him for you (goes at the door shouting) Austeen! Austeen! Aha! This boy is as earless as a female monitor lizard, (comes back) I have called him for you.
Teacher; thanks, let me believe he won’t take time, I am really thirsty.
Advocate; you can mitigate your thirst with this one of mine (gives teacher a tumbler).
Teacher; (sips) it was not a bad stuff (passes the tumbler to Sampaza)
Sampaza; (takes a full swig) uhm! The stuff is really the tears of the lion.
Austeen; My God, Sampaza is here again! Sampaza, why did you run away with my money last time? You take the beer and run away, even you made my mother to quarrel me yester night.
Driver; (to Austeen) you boy manage your mouths, don’t you see Sampaza is the age of your mother?
Austeen; wait! Sampaza must give me the money, give me the money you Sampaza!
Teacher; let me pay for him, how much was it?
Austeen; imagine Sampaza took off running into the darkness of the night after taking chang’aa of fifty shillings. Imagine a whole tumbler of fifty shillings.
Teacher; that was bad, Sampaza you did something very bad. You know Monica is a single parent and you run away with her money. This chang’aa is like Monica’s husband, so please let us be honest and pay our bills;
Austeen ;( to teacher) are you paying for Sampaza?
Teacher; yes, but before that; pour a tumbler of chang’aa worthy fifty shillings for each of these elders, including Sampaza. I am going to pay that one myself. But serve me with a tumbler of chang’aa that goes for a hundred shillings. May be it can quench my thirst.
Driver; brother you are a man (shakes teacher’s hand).
Austeen; (to Advocate) stand up for some minutes; I want to remove a grenade from your chair.
Advocate; you mean I was just sitting on the tears of the lion?
Austeen; yes (he fishes out a yellow plastic container, feels each tumbler as required).
Sampaza; you boy! What are you doing? Fill my tumbler to the brim, why are you now conning me off my chang’aa?
Austeen; (politely) Sampaza listen, you know my hands always shake when I am holding something. I didn’t want to spill chang’aa by struggling to fill your tumbler to the brim.
Teacher; (sipping, closing his eyes) Austeen now play for us another music.
Driver; yaah! The music, play for us Marashi ya karafu.
Austeen; my mother has not yet bought the DVD for Marashi ya karafu, let me play for you this one (shows him the DVD), it will thrill you to your bone marrow, (inserts the DVD in to the player).
Music ;( playing) ukiwa wa enda nyubani kwangu heee,
Umwambie stella mimi sitakucha,
Umwambie stella mimi nimefungwa jela,
Anisalie mtoto mama nitaleaaaa!
Driver; ndio hiyo! (Stands up to gyrate his waist swiftly) that is my best song from Tanzania. How I wish I was still in prison on Christmas day of last year.
Sampaza; (sipping at his tumbler) if you want to be in prison go and make love to your goat and call people to help you.
Driver; look at you, with all this women, why should I go for a goat?
Sampaza; (standing up to dance, shaking his shoulders) because you want to be in
Austeen; (giggling and shouting) look! Look! Look at Sampaza, he does not know how to dance, he is waving his hands like wings of a chicken.
Sampaza; you dance and I see (daring Austeen)
Austeen ;( dancing) look! Look! Fire! Fire! Fire! (He goes to sit)
All; (laughing loudly and clapping) Austeen! Austeen!
Advocate; this boy Austeen, became old while in his mother’s womb
(Enters Monica, Rono and watchman)
Driver; here comes Monica, (provokes Monica for a dance, they both dance).
Advocate; (joins Monica and driver to dance) Monica! Monica! Daughter of Zinjathropus, Waa!
Monica; I am an early woman, yaani! Womanopithecus africanus (dancing).
Driver ;( pushing away advocate), dance away from here, why are you bringing here this evil smelling sweater of yours?
Advocate; I am sorry.
Driver; that is empty jealousy, you only saw Monica’s pelvis touching mine and you jumped here to disrupt my gusto.
(Music stops and they all get sited)
Monica; (to Austeen) give watchman and his friend chang’aa of twenty bob, I will pay myself.
Austeen; yes mama (serves watchman and Rono chang’aa)
Rono; Kongoi, I mean thank you Monica, you are such a generous woman? (Takes a full swig).
Monica; Karibu, don’t mind I am always and I will be always an early woman.
Sampaza; (to watchman) when you came in I thought you were the crow.
Watchman; (sipping) who? Me, I was a policeman ten years ago but I was ******.
Driver; (to Sampaza) this man is not a muriakole, he is not a cop. This is a D.D.O.
Driver; daily drinking officer, hmmm! The DDO.
All; laughing loudly.
Monica; (to advocate) how is your brother and his witchdoctor of a wife?
Advocate; Monica, just keep quiet, my brother is in problems.
Monica; which problems? I told him to marry me and he refused because I did not have book education. I am now making more money from chang’aa in a day than even he does from his education. Let that man, that brother of yours, chew the full scale of his misfortune. Now tell me which problem has he?
Advocate; today very early in the morning I heard my brother screaming, of course from his house. Out of anxiety I rushed there to find out what was happening. Jesus! What I so…..
Driver; what was it? Just say.
Monica; a man has nothing to fear just say.
Teacher; where is Austeen?
Austeen; I am here
Teacher; serve each of us chang’aa of fifty shillings, start with him (pointing at the advocate) give Monica, your mother a tumbler, that one of a hundred shillings.
Austeen ;( serving as he sings) how long will they ****,
Our brothers, while we stand watching them,
Redemption songs, Bob Marley! Sons of ghetto!
Sampaza; Austeen you are always not measuring my chang’aa to the money given, now look, does this grasshoppers spittle qualify to be chang’aa of fifty shillings?
Austeen; Sampaza, I told you my hands are not steady, they always shake whenever I am holding something.
Sampaza; (to Monica) I will bring a medicine man to give some manyasi to this son of yours, so that he stops shaking his hands like an epileptic.
Monica; Sampaza, you drink your chang’aa and to hell with your medicine-man. Let us listen to what happened to the brother of advocate.
Advocate; now, as I was saying I found my brother’s wife had swollen my brothers ***** to its base, the ***** was full deep in her mouth, my brother was screaming but the was dead silent ******* the *****, her teeth tightly gripping it at the same time.
All; laughing loudly
Teacher; Maybe it was oral ***, but not domestic violence
Monica; oral ***!?
Teacher; yes, it is possible
Advocate; but why was he crying?
Monica; because his wife was ******* his *****
Teacher; that is the case
Advocate; if at all it was pleasurable then why was my brother screaming?
Teacher; maybe he was on ******* ecstasy, the same way a woman can be when you suckle or even ****** her *****.
Monica; but I can’t allow a man to suckle the eye of my breast.
Driver; even me, I can’t suckle my wife
Driver; even also, in my culture, one is not allowed to suckle a woman’s ****
Teacher; is that sexuology or culture?
Watchman ;( to driver) yes, answer that! Answer that question from teacher.
Monica; but it is only a foolish woman who can allow a man to suckle her *****, or if she can then she is not serious with that man.
Teacher; (to Monica) then which man do you like? Sampaza?
Monica; Me do love Sampaza?
Teacher; yes, Sampaza
Monica; this Sampaza, is always as miserable as a corpse in the grave without a coffin.
Advocate; you are as miserable as a corpse in the grave without a coffin.
Sampaza; I am not, I know am great
Teacher; yes, and capable to love the early woman like Monica.
Sampaza; (to Austeen) play for us some better music.
Austeen; which one mama? Which music can I play?
Monica; play for them Pamela Nkutha (sings) Nakula ebusi,
Nakula ewunwa, lalalaa! Lalalaa! Laaaa!
Austeen; Mama, that one we don’t have. Let me play for them Brenda *****.
Music; (playing) Songea nikubambe, songea nikubusu,
Nakupenda, nakubusu ehee monica eheee!
Austeen; Kula Ngoma; he who does not have chic let him embrace a stone (exits)
All; (dancing violently) Monica! Monica waaaaaaa!
Watchman; (dancing) Sampaza can you suckle the ***** of a woman?
Sampaza; ask driver that question.
Driver; I cannot suckle the ***** of my wife.
Teacher; I depend with nature of a woman you are in the bed with.
Watchman; correct , some women has fallen ******* like chapattis, but if a chic has ***** and pointed breast, I can ****** and suckle her like nothing else in this world. I can even suckle her *******.
Teacher; by the way, ******* are the fountain of pleasure to a woman, when you suckle her she will just moan; Sampaza! Sampaza! Sampazaaaaa!
All; laugh raucously
Monica; these men are drunk.
Driver; no, they are now happy, pick one of them for yourself.
Monica; the man that I can love now must be having a death certificate.
Teacher; what does it mean? Me I thought you need a dark skinned man like Sampaza, you know the dark the skin of a man the greater the ****** pleasure ehee…
(Enters Njeri and Atieno)
Njeri; Monica, are you not aware that were are late for Chama? Look you are still *****, you have not even combed you hair.
Monica; Njeri come in why are rioting at the door, look at Atieno she is as miserable as usual.
Njeri; she was flogged by the husband.
Atieno; (to Njeri) you! Watch your mouths, I don’t have a husband.
All; laugh, (Njeri and Atieno sits).
Sampaza; look at this one (pointing to Njeri) can I give you some money so that you do me a favour.
Njeri; which favour?
Sampaza; of this…(Makes a sign of *** with his fist).
Njeri; I don’t sleep with chang’aa drunkards
Atieno; even me
Sampaza; (staggering, and then falling on Njeri’s laps) I want! Truly I want!
Advocate; Sampaza is drunk, let me take him home (pulls Sampaza).
Sampaza; (resisting, avoiding to be pulled out by advocate) leave me alone! You thief! You are an insurance thief! Who told you that you are an advocate? You are not! You want to steal my money. No, all these people are thieves, Monica is a big thief, and they want to steal my brother’s money! Teacher! Come out of here! This is a den of pickpockets! They will still your wallet, come we go! Thieves! Thieves!
(Advocate pulls Sampaza out, as they both exit)
Driver; Sampaza does not have manners.
Njeri; Imagine he fell on my laps, what if my husband found him?
Monica; He would have now divorced you for eating rats.
Njeri; When I have not eaten any rat, it was only a drunkard supporting himself on my legs.
Atieno; he has spoken a lot of words.
Driver; and all the words were total lies.
Monica; no, whatever is in the inner heart of a sober man is always on the tongue of the drunkard man.
Teacher; to mean what? Anyway, forget about Sampaza.
Watchman; by the way
Rono; I am also off my senses, I am seeing each of you having seven heads, and the heads are a