By Akut Francis
I saw the village tailor last Saturday and chuckled. I remembered, that year of school, (1999) when mother sent me to give the tailor half a metre of brown khaki fabric material for my school shorts. The tailor took my measurements and said the thing would be ready the next day (No need for receipts. Villagers operated and still operate on trust). The next evening I went to collect my ‘brad’ new pair of brown shorts. But they were not ready, a story that continued for three weeks.
Note that the hole on my old pair of shorts was spreading alarmingly by the hour and boxers had not been invented then. There was this widening hole that would collect stares my potentials (girls) and critic eyes as I play or walk pass. That Saturday, I totally lost it, pulled myself to my two-and-a-half feet ego and gave him my most central part of the mind and a teary tongue lashing. Passerby stopped to listen and told the bugger he was being unfair. But I upped the game when I warned that if that uniform wasn’t ready the next day, I was coming with Gatluak’s father, who was not only our Latin-speaking lawyer-like OCPD but a good neighbour as well, a man whose enthusiasm for devolving violence was widespread (he once charged into a school brandishing a spear and singing SPLA war songs when the headmaster punched my friend, his son Gatluak).
Next day, the uniform was ready. Problem is, the material had mysteriously shrunk in size. The shorts were too small. Worse, you see that meridional line caressing the seats of your trousers that separates the cheeks of those things you sit on? The tailor had slapped a triangular patch there. That ‘gi’thaa’ was obviously pinched from another boy’s khaki because it had a different colour from the cloth I had given him. It suddenly became clear why his kids’ uniforms used to look like the map of Africa, Arabian Gulf and the Caribbean combined.
That tailor is still alive today because I had the sense not to run crying to our OCPD ‘jonorol’😂✋