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‘’ A man should stay alive even out of curiosity’’ – Yiddish proverb
Life as a nomad is not really an easy way of life in this hard competitive world. If you have ever lived in the bush all your life then you will definitely know what I am talking about.
Our life is fill with adventure and unadventurous as well; an existence that defined and confirmed our daily life in the jungle. Though, we daily move in groups and sometimes we found ourselves splitting up and then it becomes all man to himself, as you suddenly find yourself matching boldly through the dangers of the jungle alone.
I am a Bushman and very proud to be one. Yes, I am a herdsman and a farmer with care for humanity and live a daily life of tendering to my beautiful animals.
I practically enjoy the natural world of the jungle, away from the city rush hours and crazy chase for materialism. The tranquility and isolation in the bush always gave us an opportunity and enough time to study and admire some of the mysteries of plants, trees and animals in this remote world and it equally bestowed on us some rich knowledge about these God made creations.
To be honest, most of us living in the bush are contented with our lives and importantly our safety, this not minding the daily challenges and confrontations from some of the dangerous animals that inhabit this vast and thick hinterland with us. But thank God, we have always been able to tame and killed some of them and also have power and charms over them as humans and as ordained by the creator of the universe. It is not actually an exaggeration that the Bushman has various charms and secrets of the bush and forest.
This in fact, is actually a reality. We have hidden secrets of the jungle. We have the secrets on most snakes and how to charm and control them. We have secrets on some wild beasts of the jungle and how to tame and overpower them as well no matter how big and wild they look. This should not be something difficult to understand as our lives over the years in the most fearful jungle in the country have trained our minds and body to face the challenges and dangers we daily encounters on our ways.
In reality, we are more fearful of other humans like us who could think intelligently and plan various traps to entrap us. We are more scared of Man and his many modern tricks, especially those from the city. We are always suspicious and wary of their modern way of life and their dangerous minds. We are actually more comfortable living our lives in the bush and gladly appreciating the natural wealth our creator has wisely bestowed on us. We feel more safer in our bushy surroundings, daily breathing in fresh unpolluted air, feeding our eyes to greenish plants, grass and trees around us and enticing our ears to various songs from those captivating birds and other vocal animals sharing this vast jungle with us. Believe me, we feel more at home than in and around those tall city buildings, noisy machines and air polluted environment prevalent across the towns and cities. We feel more secured in our secluded hamlets from those city robbers, kidnappers and assassins daily roaming the streets and unleashing their dangerous acts across the cities and urban towns all in their desperate search for man-made toys , load of unearned money and other frivolous materialism they were always ready to kill for.
The urban cities to most of us were not reasonable place to stay and its flashy people were equally inhuman people we believe we should be wary of. I have personally on my own long promised myself that the jumble city was a no go area for me to live no matter its enticement and glitters.
It was actually based on this self decision and conclusion of never living in the city that made me hurried back home to our hamlet somewhere in the thickest of the jungle one evening after a trip to the city market where necessity had prompted me to the weekly market to buy our needed provisions. This trip was a regular weekly journey I dreadfully embarked on at the end of every week to get some essentials for my family, including my extended ones.
I left home early as usual that day and trekked the more than 10 kilometers that brought me to the major highway where I then boarded one of the various dilapidated buses that ferried most of us to the city on market days. You might have noticed us, always crammed inside some of these outdated buses like sandiness or sheep into space that dehumanized our thin frames. But we are Bushmen and most of these drivers don’t give a damn on why or how we are crammed into their rickety buses as long as they get their money. In fact, the stuffier a bus, the more money they make.
I endowed the long journey to the city and headed straight to the rowdy market with a suspicious eyes and curious mind at the various city people and other human beings I met along the way and around the market. I made sure my money inside my pant was well secured where I cancelled it and hurriedly made my purchase and then hurried back to the garage to bode another rickety bus back to the highway leading to our quite world; away from the noisy and criminal minded city people whom I noticed were now in the habit of glorifying materialism with their various man- made goods many of them tried to enticed me with. But my curious mind was quickly cautioned by my instinct and I had wisely ran away from their enticement and headed back home, after retrieving the half charged phone batteries I had given for the normal weekly charging in one of the kiosks around the market.
I was lucky the next bus was almost full as I landed the unkempt garage with various motor park thugs having a field day, extorting and harassing any sucker that fell to their traps. One of them stared curiously at my sack with its contents and wanted to trick me into parting with some extra charge which I bluntly refused with a frown. He noted that I was not ready to play ball, and then finally crammed me into the remaining space as the bus driver who was ready to leave ordered him to do. I jumped in and smiled at some of my fellow Bushmen who were already crammed into the filled bus and waiting eagerly to get home.
Our Journey back home actually started on a good note as the elderly looking driver made his way smartly on the long expressway. I was happy with my purchases and was also eager to get home and impress my wife, my daughters and my other family members. It was always a pleasure when I see the surprises and shock on their faces whenever I gave them the little presents I bought for them. It was not actually all the time, but once in a while that I sacrifice the little in my hand to make them happy. I relaxed back on the uncomfortable seat and closed my eyes to enjoy the long journey.
Then the unexpected happened. Our rickety bus suddenly lost control and then veered out of the road and headed towards the thick bush with speed. We were later to know that the old brakes in the car were long out of use, but yet still being manage by the greedy driver, and as expected the brakes on this day failed the old bus and plummeted us into the bush.
Most of us inside the bus screamed out loud, afraid that death was about to steal us way. But some of us still with sanity of mind continuously prayed to God to safe us and recited various verses and prayers as the old bus plunged us towards a big tree. Then like a miracle, the bus finally came to a stop just few inches before the trunk of the big tree. We later realized that some thick bush and other trunk of trees around had safely wielded us against the heavy collision that could have happened.
We all scrambled out of the bus with fear and joy and ran as fast away from the bus as our tiny legs could ferried us, afraid that the old bus might burst into flame any moment. After what we expected did not happened, we all stared at the bus and at each other, and then the blames reeled out. Many of us cursed and blamed the driver and his conductor for ferrying us in the old bus after being aware of the old brakes and demanded for the return of their fares. Others just picked their loads and stormed away from the scene angrily. While others stared up into the sky and thanked their creator for saving them from the impended calamity.
We finally left the driver and his conductor to fix their problem and made our way to the main road in search of another bus to ferry us home, as we were all now more eager to get to our isolated world and families in our faraway hamlets in the thickness of the jungle, far away from the city madness and danger. Four of us around failed to get another bus to ferry us home as we waited restlessly in the scorching sun for hours in hope that another rickety bus might come our way. The few that were lucky had loaded themselves among sheep and goats with no more space to accommodate the rest of us.
We were still waiting, praying for any other moving machine to come our way when three among us made up their minds to take the bush path and trek back home. They were tired of waiting and wanted to get home before the sun set. I wanted to go with them, but reasoned that my own hamlet was very far from theirs, and trekking home was not going to be easy with my load at this hour. My wife and children I know were anxious to see me and the things I bought from the market. So I wisely declined to follow them, instead made up my mind to be a little bit patient for a lucky bus to come around The three other Bushmen wished me luck and then disappeared into the thick bush, and left me and my load alone by the road side. I was still standing by the road when the sun went down and the sign of night crept in. None of the private cars I flagged down took a second glance at my thin frame and the few buses that came my way were all loaded and filled up to the maximum with humans and animals competing for space at the booths.
I finally made up my mind and decided to follow the path of the other Bushmen who had thought it wise to take our old way of mobility- trekking. I suddenly realized that the bush paths would be safer than the dangerous road I was standing. I became afraid of those notorious highway robbers and heartless kidnappers that patrol this highway at night and right now the day was getting darker and very soon I would be at their mercy. I decided to take the risk and dashed into the bush and made my way slowly across the familiar environment with my load on my head and my trademark stick as the only weapon with me. I suddenly wished I could communicate with my family and explained my situation to them. But owing a phone was much of a luxury to most of us and moreover our phone batteries usually last for few hours because we had no means of always charging them to full capacity. They always lasted few hours and it was back to recharging again in the city when anyone among us go there on market days.
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