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ISSN: 1570-0178

Volume 3, Issue 6 (9 July 2001)

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Le pouvoir se mange entier
Power is eaten whole
A play by the "Troupe Théâtrale Mufwankolo" of Lubumbashi
(Scene 5 - The case of adultery)



Members of the Troupe Théâtrale Mufwankolo

Cast of Le pouvoir se mange entier

Scene 1 - The law of the land

Scene 2 - Trouble brewing

Scene 3 - The case of the thief

Scene 4 - The hunter's visit

Scene 5 - The case of adultery


Scene 6 - Revolt in the fields

Scene 7 - The chief takes control - Order reestablished



Scene 5 - The case of adultery

In Scene Five a second culprit is brought before the chief. Earlier I suggested some of the reasons why another court case was introduced into the play. Already during rehearsal it was clear that this one would be an especially entertaining and successful scene. Other than the trial of the thief which relied for effects mainly on Manyeke's clowning, this one has a spicy topic -- debauchery and fornication in the fields. Apart from the young man who is treated as the principal culprit, it involves three more persons: the woman and her husband and the adulterer's father. The recording of the rehearsal version shows that the work is still in a phase which admits discussion and suggestions for improvement (most of which will only be summarized in English). But some of the dialog already resembles that of the performance version: Exchanges are brief, delivery is rapid, verbal gestures are prominent.


The Case of Adultery. Rehearsal Version.

[Two guards bring the accused man, the woman, and her husband before the chief]

[Two guards, played by Shebele and Shambui, bring the accused man, the woman and her husband before the chief]

1. First Guard: vidye kalombo/
Mufwankolo: vidye vidye/
First Guard: mambo: tunabamba: huyu baba huyu Katolushi: na huyu mama Kamwanya: bibi yake ya: Foloko/
Second Guard: [claping hands] vidye kalombo tatu1/
First Guard: tunababamba kule ku ngambo ya kule ku kinani: kyetu kile tunawekeaka ma: mapamba kule...
Second Guard: ...mutoto ya kisukulu
First Guard: kule chini ya bisukulu/
Second Guard: balikuwa bawili/
First Guard: chemise yake yo hii/ bilatu biko hapa/
Villager: bupuluzi ya huyu mutoto/ mutoto tunakomeshamo mu mukini..
Second Guard: dis
First Guard: njo mambo ile chef/
Second Guard: wee ukafunge kinywa/
1. First Guard: I greet you, chief.
Mufwankolo: Greetings, greetings.
First Guard: Chief, we arrested this man Katolushi and this woman Kanwanya, the wife of Foloko.
Second Guard: [clapping hands] Greetings, father.
First Guard: We picked them up over there where we store the cotton...
Second Guard: that small termite hill...
First Guard:...there below the termite hills.
Second Guard: It was the two of them.
First Guard: Here is his shirt, and here his shoes.
Villager: [Imagine] the foolish behavior of this young man, we grew up together with him in the village...
Second Guard: [to a villager who has been talking] Listen, you!
First Guard: This is what happened, chief.
Second Guard: [to the villagers] You shut up!
2. Mufwankolo: Shebele/
First Guard: sultani/
Mufwankolo: ita Bwana Cheko: Masimango: na Tala Ngai/
First Guard: sasa sultani/
Mufwankolo: mama/
Kamwanya: abé2 baba/
Mufwankolo: bwana yake iko wapi?
First Guard: yee ule chef/
Foloko: ndiyo chef/
First Guard: dis uikale chini/
2. Mufwankolo: Shebele.
First Guard: Chief.
Mufwankolo: Call Bwana Cheko, Masimango, and Tala Ngai.
First Guard: Right away, chief.
Mufwankolo: [to Kamwanya] Mama.
Kamwanya: Yes, baba.
Mufwankolo: [to the guards] Where is her husband?
First Guard: That's him over there, chief.
Foloko: Yes, chief [I am here].
First Guard: [to Foloko] You sit down.

[Notables arrive]

3. Bwana Cheko: vidye kalombo/
Mufwankolo: eyo/
Bwana Cheko: vidye kalombo/
Mufwankolo: eyo/
Notables [clapping hands]: vidyeee kalombo/
Mufwankolo: eyo vidye/
Notable: vidye kalombo/
Mufwankolo: wafwako/ [pause]
3. Bwana Cheko: Greetings chief.
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Bwana Cheko: Greetings chief.
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Notables: [clapping hands] Greetings chief.
Mufwankolo: Yes, thank you.
Notable: Greetings chief.
Mufwankolo: Thank you. [pause]

4. mm/ eh: baba/
Foloko: chef/
Mufwankolo: njo bibi yako?
Foloko: wangu Kamwanya huyu/
Mufwankolo: muko naye miaka ngapi?
Foloko: hii miaka njo inakuwa kumi mbili na tano/
Mufwankolo: miaka kumi mbili na tano?
Foloko: makumi mbili na tano/
Mufwankolo: batoto ngapi?
Foloko: batoto tano/
Mufwankolo: hamulishake?
Foloko: chef: tuko tunakulya tu/ muzuri sana/
Mufwankolo: munalima sana?
Foloko: kulima sana/ sawa mwee mwenyewe mulisemaka/ kulima tu/
Mufwankolo: kumuvwika hamuvwikake?
Foloko: kuvwika kabisa/

4. [to Foloko] Mm, eh baba.
Foloko: Chief.
Mufwankolo: Is this your wife?
Foloko: It's her, my Kamwanya.
Mufwankolo: How many years have you been together?
Foloko: It's been twenty five years.
Mufwankolo: Twenty five years?
Foloko: Twenty five.
Mufwankolo: How many children?
Foloko: Five children.
Mufwankolo: [pauses] Don't you feed her?
Foloko: Chief, we eat, very well.
Mufwankolo: Do you work hard in the fields?
Foloko: We work hard, as you said yourself [we should do]. We just work the fields.
Mufwankolo: Don't you give her clothes?
Foloko: I clothe her very well.
5. Masimango: wee: hapana muzuri/ tosha ule muti kule/ uko nasema na sultani na uko na ule muti humu?
Mufwankolo: wee uko na bibi?
Katolushi: ndiyo chef/
Mufwankolo: uko na bibi?
Katolushi: ndiyo/
Mufwankolo: na batoto ngapi?
Katolushi: batoto mbili/
Mufwankolo: uko naye miaka ngapi?
Katolushi: tuko naye miaka: sasa njo mwaka ya kumi/
Mufwankolo: mwaka ya kumi?

5. Masimango: [?to Katolushi] You there, that's no good. Put away that stick of your's. Are you going to speak to the chief with that stick?
Mufwankolo: [to Katolushi] Do you have a wife?
Katolushi: Yes, Chief.
Mufwankolo: You have a wife?
Katolushi: Yes.
Mufwankolo: And how many children?
Katolushi: Two children.
Mufwankolo: How many years have you been with her?
Katolushi: We have been together for years, now its the tenth year.
Mufwankolo: The tenth year?

6. [pause, then to Kamwanya] mama/
Kamwanya: abé baba/
Mufwankolo: bile binasema ule bwana yako ni kweli? muko naye miaka makumi mbili na batoto tano?
Kamwanya: ni bya kweli baba/
Mufwankolo: bya kweli?
Kamwanya: ndiyo baba/
Mufwankolo: sasa: huyu: haunamufahamu huyu? huyu haunamufahamu?
Kamwanya: minamuonaka tu/
Katolushi: chef: niko na sauti ya kusema/
Guard: dis/
Mufwankolo: muna: muna: munaonanaka tu eh?
Kamwanya: mi minamuonaka tu...
Foloko: njo wake abala3 chef/
Guard: eh dis/
Kamwanya: namuonaka tu/
Mufwankolo: munaonanaka tu ku macho: ao munaonanaka tu?
Kamwanya: minamuonaka tu pa kushota mayi iko anapita/
6. [pauses, then to Kamwanya] Mama.
Yes, baba.
Mufwankolo: The things your husband says, are they true? You have been together with him for twenty years [Mufwankolo makes mistake] and you have five children?
Kamwanya: It's true, baba.
Mufwankolo: Is it true?
Kamwanya: Yes, baba.
Mufwankolo: Now, this one [the accused], don't you know him? Don't you know this person?
Kamwanya: I see him around, that's all.
Katolushi: Chief, I have something to say.
Guard: [to Katolushi] Listen, you.
Mufwankolo: So you just see each other, eh?
Kamwanya: I just see him...
Villager: She is his lover, chief.
Guard: Hey, you!
Kamwanya: I just see him.
Mufwankolo: You just see each other with your eyes, or do you 'see each other?'
Kamwanya: I just see him when I fetch water and he passes by.
Mufwankolo: With your eyes. With your eyes.

7. Mufwankolo: ku macho/ ku macho/
Masimango: mulopwe/
Mufwankolo: bon/
Masimango: mutoto ya nani?
Mufwankolo: eh?
Masimango: mulopwe umuulize mbele ni mutoto ya nani?
Mufwankolo: wee mwenyewe baba yako ni nani?
[There is a short interruption for directions]
Mufwankolo: baba yako ni nani?
Katolushi: Bwana Cheko/
Mufwankolo: Bwana Cheko?
Bwana Cheko: sultani/

7. Masimango: Chief.
Mufwankolo: Alright.
Masimango: Whose child?
Mufwankolo: What?
Masimango: Chief, ask him first whose child he is.
Mufwankolo: You, who is your father?
[There is a short interruption for directions]
Mufwankolo: Who is your father?
Katolushi: Bwana Cheko.
Mufwankolo: Bwana Cheko?
Bwana Cheko: [intervenes] Chief.

8. Mufwankolo: Bwana Cheko/ ni mutoto yako? njo wa ngapi?
Bwana Cheko: ni mutoto yangu: huyu njo wa tatu/
Mufwankolo: njo wa tatu/
Bwana Cheko: lakini minazania mutoto hapa: pa hii fasi hapa: hana na kosa/ huyu mama njo anaoa wabwana mbili/
[laughter from the others]
Tala Ngai: aaah: Bwana Cheko sema muzuri/ nani anaharibishia nyumba?
Mufwankolo: Tala Ngai?
[more laughter from the audience]
Bana Cheko: mutoto yangu hana na kosa/
Mufwankolo: Masimango?
Masimango: [clapping his hands] wafwako/

8. Mufwankolo: Bwana Cheko. He is your child? Which one?
Bwana Cheko: He is my child, this one is the third.
Mufwankolo: He is the third one.
Bwana Cheko: However, I think this child is in this case without fault. This mama is the one who is married to two husbands.
[The others laugh]
Tala Ngai: Aah, Bwana Cheko, speak so that you make sense. Who is the one who breaks up the household?
Mufwankolo: Tala Ngai?
[more laughter from the audience, covering his response]
Bwana Cheko: My child is not guilty.
Mufwankolo: Masimango?
Masimango: [clapping his hands] Yes, chief.

9. Mufwankolo: mutoto wa Bwana Cheko/ njo wa tatu: anaoa: bibi: wa: Foloko/ yee na yeye: eko na babibi: na batoto mbili/
Masimango: bibi yako iko mu congé?
Katolushi: hapana chef/
Tala Ngai: eko paka humu?
Katolushi: nidyo/
Mufwankolo: saa ulikwenda kwa yee: bibi yako ulimuacha ku nyumba eh?
Katolushi: chef niko na sauti moya ya kusema/
Mufwankolo: aah: iko na neno moya ya kusema/
Katolushi: ndiyo/
Mufwankolo: banakulongofea? semaka/

9. Mufwankolo: Bwana Cheko's third child married Foloko's wife. He himself has a wife10 and two children.
Masimango: [to Katolushi] Is your wife away on vacation?
Katolushi: No, sir.
Tala Ngai: So she is here?
Katolushi: Yes.
Mufwankolo: When you went to her [Kamwanya] you left your wife at home?
Katolushi: Chief, I want to say something.
Mufwankolo: Ah, he has something to say.
Katolushi: Yes.
Mufwankolo: Did they accuse you falsely? Speak.
10. Katolushi: chef ilikuwa ni hivi/ mama anapikiaka lutuku kule ku mashamba/
Mufwankolo: anapikiaka lutuku?
Katolushi: ndiyo/ minafika minauza chupa hii: moya/ nakunywa ver/ nakunywa: nakunwya: nakunywa/ nasikia: bulevi inanikamata/
Mufwankolo: eh/
Katolushi: njo mina: minalamuka pa mituta4/ mama nayo si njo kutosha kikwembe yake kunitandikia: mi kulala pale/ bwana yake kuya kunikutana kupita pale asema: ah: minabamba makozi/
Kamwanya: njo vile sultani/
10. Katolushi: Chief, this is how it happened. Mama [Kamwanya] was making moonshine11 there in the fields.
Mufwankolo: So she was making moonshine?
Katolushi: Yes. So when I got there I bought one bottle. I had a glass, then another one, and another one, and another one. I felt that I was getting drunk.
Mufwankolo: Eh.
Katolushi: I woke up lying in the furrows. Mama had taken off her wrap and spread it; so I went to sleep [on it] there. Then her husband came by and saw me there and said: I caught an adulterer.
Kamwanya: That is how it was, chief.
11. Masimango: sultani/ sultani/
Mufwankolo: mm/
Masimango: hii mambo: iko nguvu/ hii mambo ni bukari bwa nyama5: bunakabulaka mwenye bukari/
Mufwankolo: semaka/
Masimango: njo kusema: mambo hii: mwenyewe wa...
Mufwankolo: wa mutoto...
Masimango: mwenyewe wa mutoto: akabule mboga ya: ya mwenyewe ya bukari/
11. Masimango: Chief. Chief.
Mufwankolo: Yes?
Masimango: This is a difficult affair. This case is bukari and meat; it is dealt out by the one who has it.
Mufwankolo: Explain.
Masimango: As far as this case is concerned, the one to whom the...
Mufwankolo: ...the child...
Masimango: whom the child belongs [i. e. the husband of this young woman] may distribute the food.
12. Bwana Cheko: sultani/ nawaza kama mulisikia sauti inatoka mu kusema: mutoto huyu/ anasema huyu mama huyu: anafansiaka pombe yake kila siku/ ku mashamba/ mama: hapana vile?
Kamwanya: njo vile/
Bwana Cheko: mutoto alikwenda kule: kwenda kufwata pombe ya: ya kunywa/ bulevi bunamukamata: anaangukia pa mututa/ lakini mama huyu alisikia buruma...
Kamwanya: minasikia buluma eeh/
Bwana Cheko: juu ya: client wake/ na vile kwiko baridi: na vile...

12 Bwana Cheko: Chief, I think you heard what this young man has had to say. He said that this mama is brewing beer in the fields everyday. Mama, isn't that right?
Kamwanya: Yes, it is.
Bwana Cheko: The young man went there to get beer and drink. Drunkenness took hold of him, and he fell into a furrow. But this mama had pity with ...
Kamwanya: Yes I felt sorry for him.
Bwana Cheko: ...pity with her customer. And because it was cold there...

[The others find this hilarious and cannot refrain from laughing. Tala Ngai calls for order: the actors are responding too much, intervening with the scene. He also makes and important dramatic point: Kamwanya should not defend Katolushi; she should keep in the background, 'just make a noise like a car that is running.' The play needs a culprit, so Katolushi must be guilty. If you get him acquitted, she is told, the scene is finished and there is no way to link it to the chief's speech where he announced that adulterers would be punished. Others join the discussion; then Bwana Cheko resumes the scene.]

13. Bwana Cheko: minawaza: sultani: ulifwata sauti inatoka mu kusema mutoto/ huyu ni client wake wa siku yote/ na anaisha kuzobelea kupikakaka pombe kule: ku mashamba/ mutoto anasema: alikunywa: anaisha kunywa analewa: anashinda nguvu ya kwenda/ anaanguka: anaangukia pa mututa/ bon/ huyu mama: alikuwa na kikwembe yake: anaangaria asema client atakuwa kufa na baridi ya: ya hii wakati hii/
Mufwankolo: yee muntu anakunywa lutuku anasikia baridi?
Bwana Cheko: tena: amufunike/ kuko baridi/ njo sawa ile banakaukaka ba kunywa lutuku/
13. Bwana Cheko: I think, chief, you followed what the young man had to say. He is a regular customer of her's. And she always is brewing beer there in the fields. The young man declared that he drank and finally got drunk and that he did not have the strength to leave. He fell down into the furrow. Alright, this mama was wearing her wrap. She looked [at him and told herself] that her customer was going to die of the the cold we have in this season.
Mufwankolo: Does a person who drinks alcohol feel the cold?
Bwana Cheko: [ignoring the chief's question] Then she [thought] she ought to cover him because it was cold. This is how drinkers of moonshine usually die.12
14. Masimamgo: mukubwa Bwana Cheko/
Bwana Cheko: vidyee/
Masimango: muu: tuangarie mu kanuni yetu kabisa ya ba: ya bankambo/ kama muntu anakunywa lutuku: anakunywa pombe: lawa ya: ya kuisha pombe ni nini?
Actor: baridi/
Masimango: hapana mayi na baridi?
Bwana Cheko: mayi na baridi? nawaza/
Masimango: [to Tala Ngai] ongeze/

14. Masimango: Mukubwa Bwana Cheko.
Bwana Cheko: Yes.
Masimango: Let us look carefully at our laws that came from the ancestors. When a person has been drinking moonshine, or beer, what is the medicine against beer?
Actor: The cold.
Masimango: Isn't it cold water?
Bwana Cheko: Cold water? I think so.
Masimango: [to Tala Ngai] Add [your opinion].

15. Tala Ngai: [claps] kalombo/ minazania: mukubwa Bwana Cheko eko anaenda mbali kabisa/ sultani wee ulisema mambo hapa/ banauliza mutoto mwanamuke: anasema/ pake vile bwana yake: halibakutanisha?
Others: eyoo/
Tala Ngai: bwana utaelezea mbele? wee: ulibakutanisha yee iko anamularika pa kikwembe ao ulimukutanisha vile tu ndani?
Mufwankolo: beko banakombana? [general laughter] unamukutanisha anaisha kulala pa kikwembe ao munamukutanisha paka banakombana?
15.Tala Ngai: [clapping hands] Chief. I think, mukubwa Bwana Cheko is really going too far. Chief, you got to the point. The young man was questioned and he responded. Nevertheless, did her husband catch them?
Others: Of course he did.
Tala Ngai: Let the husband explain first. [Turning to Foloko] When you caught them, was it that she had made him lie down on the wrap or did you catch him inside her wrap?
Mufwankolo: Were they fighting? [General laughter] Did you catch him when he was already asleep on the wrap or did you catch him when they were 'wrestling?'

[Interruption: general mirth]

16. Foloko: sultani wangu/ sultani wangu/ minafika tu mu mashamba: minaona paka machupa mwa lutuku/ iko kwiko/ namukutanisha.../ beko nakombana ile ya.../ wee mwenyewe unayua...
Katolushi: hapana/
Foloko: mi: bongo/ kuniona paka hivi: analamuka pale/
16. Foloko: My chief. My chief. I came to the fields and I just saw bottles of lutuku. And I caught him...They were wrestling in... You know it yourself...
Katolushi: No.
Foloko: I -- that's a lie. When he saw me there he got up.

[Interruption for directions: This is a difficult point. We have to justify why he was arrested--not for just lying there. At this point a back-and-forth between rehearsal and discussion]
[Scene resumes]

17. Mufwankolo: pale unabakutana: ulibakutanisha: beko banakombana: ao: unabakutanisha: analala: beko namularisha? ao unamukutanisha: beko nakombana? mbo mbili?
Foloko: nafika mule mu mashamba mule: kufika tu paka hivi: kuniona: kulamukapo tu: na mbio: kwanza kurugaruga: na mi paka pale: kukimbia njo kabisa pale: kumubamba/ njo kumukamata kumutosha chemise hii/
17. Mufwankolo: When you found and caught them, were they embracing, or did you find him asleep because she had made him lie down? Or did you catch them embracing, the two of them?
Foloko: I arrived in the fields. When I got there he saw me and quickly got up and he began jumping up and down. [He saw that] I was there and then wanted to run away. This is when I stopped him. I grabbed him and pulled off his shirt here.
18. Feza: [intervening here because she still does not like the way the scene goes] hapana: hautamutosha/ asema anaisha banakimbia: minafika pale balikuya: nakutanisha chemise inabakia pale: na bilatu: na kikwembe/ njo vile nabibeba/ njo unaanza kubafukuza sawa mbio/ 18. Feza: [intervening here because she still does not like the way the scene goes] No, you are not going to pull it off. They had ran away, and when I got there [you say] I found that the shirt was left there, together with the shoes and the wrap. This is [how you can say] I carry them with me. Then you begin to go after them, running.
19. Mufwankolo: [making another start] ulibakutanisha: beko nakombana: ao: ulibakutanisha: beko namularisha?
Foloko: ndiyo chef/ ile wakati minatoka mu mashamba: nabaona pale: mi kufika tu karibu: huyu kuchamoka mbio: huyu kuchamoka mbio/ nafwata bwana kule ku kashamba yangu ya mihoko ya kule chini kule/ namubambia mule mu ma: mandizi mule/
Mufwankolo: ku lutuku kule/
Foloko: kule ku lutuku/ njo minarudia naye nakuwa kulokota bilatu na shimisi hii/
Mufwankolo: paka pale?
Foloko: pake pale ile fasi balikuwa na kikwembe ya bibi yangu ilibakia paka pale/
19. Mufwankolo: [making another start] Did you find them embracing each other or did you see that he had been made to lie down?
Foloko: Yes, chief. When I left for the fields I saw them there. When I got close, each got up and ran away quickly. I followed the man there to my little manioc field, down there and I caught him among the bananas.
Mufwankolo: Where they make the moonshine.
Foloko: Where they make the moonshine. Then I went back [where I had surprised them] and picked up his shoes and the shirt.
Mufwankolo: So it was there?
Foloko: Right there, where they found my wife's wrap that had been left behind.
20. Tala Ngai: sultani/ nataka kusemako kintu moya/ banasema hivi/ kama tunda: yenye kuivia: iko ku muti: wee unafika unaiangaria/ ile tunda ile: kama ni ya kula: si utaichuma naye kula? haiko vile? sasa kama tunda: we unaona inaanguka chini/ kunapita masiku/ muntu yee hapana kupita pale/ ile tunda kama ni ya kuoza: minazania: itaoza/ alafu juu ya nini: huyu kiyana: mwenye kuyua asema hii tunda: ni ya benyewe iko yulu ya muti/ ya lelo kefwatene nakaikule6?
Bwana Cheko: mm/
Tala Ngai: yee njo alipanda ili muti/ minazania mambo iko: iko..
Others: wazi/
Tala Ngai: iko wazi/
Masimango: iko wazi kabisa/
Tala Nagai: na kanuni: wee mwenyewe unajua: ni kintu gani tunaweza kufanya na huyu kiyana/
20. Tala Ngai: Chief, I want to say one thing. There is a saying: There is a fruit, it is ripe and on a tree. You come by and look at it. If this fruit is edible, are not going to pick and eat it? Isn't that so? Now, [let's assume that] that you saw that the fruit has fallen to the ground. Days go by and no one passes the place. If this fruit is perishable, then, I think, it will rot. What is this about? This young man here knew that the fruit on the tree belonged to someone else -- why would he not go after it and eat it?
Bwana Cheko: Mm.
Tala Ngai: He climbed that tree. I think the case is...
Tala Ngai: It is clear.
Masimango: It is quite clear.
Tala Ngai: And as to the law, you yourself know what we can do with this young man.

21. Masimango: sultani: naongeza pa mambo ya Tala Ngai/ bakubwa walisema: mwanamuke: ni kangozi ya kabundi/
[laughter from the others]
Feza: alafu unaona huyu...
Masimango: kanakalaka muntu huyu...moya/
Masimango and others: habikalake wawili/

21. Masimango: Chief, I want to add something to what Tala Ngai said. The old people used to say: A woman is like the skin of kabundi13.
[Laughter from the others]
Feza: [laughing] Look at this one!
Masimango: [continuing with the saying] There is room in it for...
All: person.
Masimango and others: Never for two.

22. Bwana Cheko: sultani/ mufwate sauti ya mutoto/ mutoto alisema alikwenda kunywa pombe/ analewa: anaangukia pa mututa/
Katolushi: ndiyo baba/
Bwana Cheko: bon/ munaweza kuyua namna gani nako hakukuwa temoin/ kulikuwa paka bwana na bibi/ pa kuona mutoto yangu: anaisha kulewa: banamumvula mu semishi/ pengine alikuwa yee bado kulipa/
Katolushi: voilà baba: njo vile bilikuwa mambo/

22. Bwana Cheko: Chief, follow what the child said. He said that he went to drink beer. He got drunk and fell into the furrow.
Katolushi: Right, father.
Bwana Cheko: Alright then, how can you know [how it really happened], there was no witness. Only the man and the woman were there. When they saw that my son was drunk they took off his shirt. Maybe he had not paid yet.
Katolushi: That's it, father. This is how things happened.

23. Mufwankolo: Bwana Cheko/ minasikia mambo yako/ njo kusema pale anaanguka pa mututa: si kwa mututa si njo yee ule? [points to Kamwanya] si njo mututa?
Feza: njo yoo idée/ [the others laugh]
Bwana Cheko: ni vile/
Katolushi: hapana chef/
Mufwankolo: si njo mutoto ule haiangukia pale?
Foloko: kabisa chef/ kabisa chef/
Guard: [to Foloko] wee/ tss/
23. Mufwankolo: Bwana Cheko. I hear your view of the matter. [But] when he fell into the furrow -- 'in the furrow', isn't that her [pointing to Kamwanya], wasn't she the furrow?
Feza: That's an idea. [the others laugh]
Bwana Cheko: Right...
Katolushi: No, chief.
Mufwankolo: Isn't that where this young man fell into?
Foloko: Of course chief, of course chief.
Guard: [to Foloko] You, be silent.

24. Masimango: pale: sultani iko nakuuliza mambo kiloko/ pale huyu bwana alifika mu mashamba/ alikukutanisha fasi gani? na alikubambia fasi gani?
Katolushi: alinikutanisha mwenye kulala/

24. Masimango: [to Katolushi] Now the chief is asking you just one small thing. When this man, her husband, came to the fields where did he see you and where did he catch you?
Katolushi: He found me asleep.

25. Guard: chefu/ naweza kusema kidogo?
Mufwankolo: semaka/
Guard: sababu huyu mutoto: anataka kuleta bongo hapa/ ile wakati tunamubamba na baba pale: alisema hivi/ tunamuuliza mbele yee: hii mambo bwana huyu eko nasema ni ya kweli ao ni ya bongo? unasikia? yee akasema hivi/ asema mi nilikuwa sawa mi natelemuka huku/ sema nipite: asema nishuke: sawa nipande hivi: namukuta huyu mama aliisha kuikala chini/ asema niko natokea ku mutoni: nilienda kuilobeka mihogo mayi/ njo swahili huyu bwana alileta/ [to Katolushi] na wee unataka kuleta bongo hapa?
Masimango: swahili mbili ile si sultani?
Guard: sasa pale: akasema: namukuta huyu mama/ eko natoka mu kulobeka mihogo mu mayi/ na muchoko nilikuwa nayo: nikamuomba muhogo mubiti: ile muhogo: sababu nilianguka mule mu matope mule hatukuwa ngisi ya kuingia mule hapana/ alikuwa na muhogo kipande eko mufuku: eh: ya kula hivi/ ile wakati sasa huyu mama anasema: tunamuuliza: anasema: non: nilikuwa nilikala niko namuuliza habari ya mashamba sababu minatafuta kamatia mashamba kule ngambo/ mais balikuwa chini/ sauti yake/ nikisema bongo: nduku yangu iko pale/
Second Guard: mm/ okay...[others laugh]

25. Guard: Chief, can I say something?
Mufwankolo: Speak.
Guard: Because this young man now wants to tell a lie. When we caught him together with this baba there [Foloko], this is what he said. We first asked him: What this man accuses you of, is it true or is it a lie? You understand? This is how he spoke: I was just getting down here. I told myself, shall I just go by, shall I go down, shall I go up? I found this mama sitting on the ground and she said, I came from the river where I went to soak manioc. This is the version14 this man gave us.[to Katolushi] And you want to give [us] a lie here?
Masimango: Aren't those two versions, chief?
Guard: So then he said, I met this mama. She came from soaking manioc. And because I was tired I asked her to give me a piece of fresh manioc because I had fallen into a morass and there was no way to get to into [the field]. She had a piece of manioc in her bag, the one that is edible. At that time, when we asked her, this mama said: No, I was sitting there and asked him about the fields because I wanted to take some field over there. But they were on the ground. This is what she said. If I am lying my brother [fellow guard] is there [to correct me].
Second Guard: [clearing his throat] Mm, okay...[preparing to speak; the others laugh]

26. Mufwankolo: mambo ya mwisho: ni: Bwana Cheko/
Bwana Cheko: sultani/
Mufwankolo: Masimango/
Masimango: sultani/
Mufwankolo: Tala Ngai/
Tala Ngai: kalombo/
Mufwankolo: kama uko nakwenda kya mbele: utarudia kya mukongo?
All: hapana/ hata/
Masimango: sultani anatoka ni kuitokelele/
Mufwankolo: kunaisha/ mikulu iko pa mayi: wee uko nalia haumu ya mayi?
All: hapana/
Mufwankolo: njala mu tumbo: uko sawa inaniingia pa mufupa?
Actor: mm mm/ mm mm/.
Mufwankolo: wee uko unalia njala mu tumbo/ ile mambo tulisemaka: tulisemaka ni humu mu mukini yetu...
Tala Ngai: kama muntu anafanya mambo ya hivi: yee longolongo...kelule yooo/

26. Mufwankolo: To bring this matter to an end -- Bwana Cheko!
Bwana Cheko: Chief.
Mufwankolo: Masimango!
Masimango: Chief.
Mufwankolo: Tala Ngai!
Tala Ngai: Chief.
Mufwankolo: When you go forward, are you going to go back?
All: No, no way.
Masimango: The chief will now come up with a decision.15
Mufwankolo: That's the end of it. When you have a foot in the water, are you going to complain for want of water?
All: No.
Mufwankolo: The hunger you feel in your stomach, are you going to say it is in the bone[s]?
Actor: No no. No no.
Mufwankolo: You are going to complain about the hunger in your stomach. About this case we have said here in our village...
Tala Ngai: When a person does a thing like this, he be damned.
All: He be damned.

27. Bwana Cheko: sultani/ sultani/ nawaza: ya kama: sauti: ulisemaka: ulisemaka bintu bya mingi sana/ turudie: tuangarie mambo ya ule muntu mwengine/ eko namna moya na mwizi: na mulozi: na musharati/ beko namna moya/ namna gani habakumufanya longolongo: wooooo?
Mufwankolo: angaria: mambo: ya kiashiri ni kiashiri7/ kanuni ni kanuni/ kanuni: minaisha kusemea/ kila makosa ya watu: iko na malipizi yake/ mwizi wa kuiba makuta: kupomona manyumba: kufanya kintu gani: ule: eko pamoya na ule muntu musharati ma muntu mulozi/
Masimango: muaji/
Mufwankolo: mwizi: ndiyo: kama anakwenda ku mashamba: anakulyako kachakula nayee banamukamata kule: eko na malipizi yake/ atarudishiako tena lingine na yeye lungulungu: kelulele/
Others: ahah/

27. Bwana Cheko: Chief. Chief. I think, you have talked about a lot of things. [But] let us go back and look at the case of this other person. The thief, the sorcerer and the fornicator are just the same. Why didn't they condemn him?
Mufwankolo: Look here. What has been valid of old, must remain valid. The law is the law. I have talked about the law. Every offense a person commits has its fine. A thief who steals money and breaks into houses, or whatever he does, he is just that same as this fornicator or a sorcerer.
Masimango: [He is] a killer.
Mufwankolo: A thief, alright, if he goes to the fields and eats a little and they catch him there he gets his fine. If he does it again then he too will have his verdict.
Others: Aha.

28. Mufwankolo: sawa hivi/ mwizi munene ni yee/ anaangukia pa mututa ya muntu/
Masimango: anaua nyumba/
Mufwankolo: na anapomona nyumba/
Masimango: ni kuvunja kule/
Katolushi: ni mututa ya muhogo/
Mufwanakolo: yeye hapa iko na batoto tano: miaka makumi mbili na tano/
Masimango: na bibi yake/
Mufwankolo: sasa kichongwakazi8 huyu: munsongwalume huyu/ akatoka tu kwake lokutalokuta: tiketiketik: kufika tu pa mututa ya benyewe: mama anaisha kulima: angukiepo: na kwanza kufurumafuruma? uliona wapi? tena mu pori/ kama yee alikatala: si anamualiua?9
Masimango: sultani/
Mufwankolo: kama wee alikatala: wee kufwataka kumuua/
Masimango: sultani/
Mufwankolo: semaka/

28. Mufwankolo: [But] in this case, he is a big thief. He fell into the furrow that belongs to someone else.
Masimango: He killed a household.
Mufwankolo: And he broke into a house.
Masimango: This is breaking in.
Katolushi: It was a furrow in a manioc field.
Mufwankolo: [about Foloko] This one has five children, twenty five years...
Masimango:... with his wife.
Mufwankolo: [now very angry] Now this young woman, or rather this young man. He leaves his home walking big and then running fast.16 Then he comes to someone else's furrow, the woman who has finished working in the field, he falls down her and starts pumping away. Where did you see a thing like this? And all this outside the village. If she had refused would he not have killed her?
Masimango: Chief.
Mufwankolo: If she had refused you would have tried to kill her.
Masimango: Chief.
Mufwankolo: Speak.

29. Masimango: naongeza sauti yako/ kama huyu baba alikuwa na lawa yake: ya kusema: bibi yake...

29. Masimango: I am going to add something to what you said. If this baba had had his magic protection, that is to say, his wife...

[At this point something went wrong with the recording; probably the microphone was switched off accidentally when the tape had to be turned. About ten minutes were lost. During this time the scene was interrupted. It was getting toward the end of the rehearsal and concentration was slacking. There was some back and forth, including small changes, finally the chief ends the litigation, the culprits are sentenced to work in the fields. Bwana Cheko still protests, but the chief insists:]

30. Mufwankolo: mutoto yako: hakuwatunza kanuni/ maneno yee: kanuni: haina mi peke nilileta: hana we ulileta: hana nani alileta: ni kanuni ya tangu zamani: ya wankambo/ na kila muntu mu kazi yote wa mugini: anafaa kusikia ile kanuni: na kusikia kanuni vema/ alors: mutoto yako: juu alikosa kanuni: anapashwa kupita ku wankambo na kupata maliphishi yake/ kunaisha/
Bwana Cheko: vidye kalombo/
[End of scene, directions for the following]
Actor: ...jugement haina butamu/
Tala Ngai: no/ haiyakuwa butamu/ ni ya kutengeneza/

30. Mufwankolo: [to Bwana Cheko] Your child did not respect the law. Because I did not put down the law by myself, nor you, nor anyone else. It has been the law from times of old and it came from the ancestors. And every person, whatever he does in the village, must obey the law and obey it well. Therefore, your child, because he broke the law, must go to the ancestors and get his fine. That is the end.
Bwana Cheko: Thank you chief.

End of this scene. Tala Ngai begins with directions for the next one. Someone tells Tala Ngai: The part with the judgment is not right. He answers: No, it isn't right yet, it has to be improved.


The Case of the Adultery. Final Version.

In this version there has been a change of casting. Not Foloko but Kalwasha plays the husband of the accused woman. Two guards bring the culprits before the chief. They are made to sit down and one of the guards removes the shoes of the accused young man. Kalwasha stands.

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The male culprit is brought before the chief
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The female culprit is brought before the chief
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1. Mufwankolo: Baba Kalwasha/
Kalwasha: présent chef/17
Mufwankolo: ni mambo gani tena?
Kalwasha: hehe/ hii mambo hii: huyu mutoto huyu: eh: eh: nalimukutana na bibi yangu/
Mufwankolo: Shebele/
Shebele: kalombo mufumwami/
Mufwankolo: ita banotables/

1. Mufwankolo: Baba Kalwasha.
Kalwasha: Here I am, chief.
Mufwankolo: Now, what's the matter?
Kalwasha: Well, this is what it is about: This young man here, how shall I say, I caught him with my wife.
Mufwankolo: [calling a guard] Shebele!
Shebele: Greetings, my chief.
Mufwankolo: Call the notables.

[While this is being done, the chief begins the interrogation.]

2. Mufwankolo: ni mambo ingine/ mu nyumba?
Kalwasha: eh?
Mufwankolo: mu nyumba?
Kalwasha: eeeeh: he: si nalibakutana tu paka pa mututa? ya bilazi/
Audience: laughter...18

2. Mufwankolo: So this is another case. [Did you catch them] in the house?
Kalwasha: What?
Mufwankolo: In the house?
Kalwasha: Well, don't you know I caught them in a furrow, in [a field] of sweet potatoes.26
Audience: [Laughter]

[Now the notables arrive and the evidence, the woman's wrap, is placed before the culprits]

3. Bwana Cheko: vidyee kalombo/
Mufwankolo: nakwimuna/
Bwana Cheko: vidyee kalombo/
Mufwankolo: nakwimuna/
Bwana Cheko: vidyee kalombo/
Mufwankolo: nakwimuna/
Masimango: vidyee mfumwami/
Mufwankolo: wafwako/
Masimango: vidyee mfumwami/
Mufwankolo: wafwako/
Masimango and Tala Ngai: vidyee mfumwami/
Mufwankolo: wafwako/

3. Bwana Cheko: Greetings, chief.
Mufwankolo: I greet you.
Bwana Cheko: Greetings, chief.
Mufwankolo: I greet you.
Bwana Cheko: Greetings, chief.
Mufwankolo: I greet you.
Masimango: Greetings, my chief.
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Masimango: Greetings, my chief.
Mufwankolo: Thank you.
Masimango and Tala Ngai: Greetings, my chief.
Mufwankolo: Thank you.27

4. Mufwankolo: mambo yoo hii/ huyu mutoto mwanamuke: ni mama huyu ya baba Kalwasha: na huyu nsongwalume huyu/ huyu nsongwalume nayee iko anatafuta kuoa/
Kalwasha: aoe bibi wa benyewe?
Mufwankolo: njo bale beko naye/ eh: mama/
Kamwanya: abé baba/
Mufwankolo: ni bwana yako huyu?
Kamwanya: ndiyo: bwana yangu/
Mufwankolo: uko naye miaka ngapi?
Kamwanya: makumi mbili na tano/
Mufwankolo: makumi na mbili na tano miaka?
Kamwanya: eeh/
Bwana Cheko: wee mwenyewe hausemake nguvu?
Guard: makumi mbili na tano: sema nguvu/
Mufwankolo: batoto ngapi?
Guard: sema nguvu/
Kamwanya: niko na batoto kumi/

4. Mufwankolo: So [these are the facts] of this case: This young woman is the wife of baba Kalwasha. And this young man, he wants to get married.
Kalwasha: Should he take a wife that belongs to someone else?
Mufwankolo: [But] now she is with him.28 [Addressing the woman] Mama.
Kamwanya: Yes, baba.
Mufwankolo: Is this [i.e. Kalwasha] your husband?
Kamwanya: Yes, he is my husband.
Mufwankolo: How many years have you been with him?
Kamwanya: Twenty five years.29
Mufwankolo: Twenty five years?
Kamwanya: Yes.
Bwana Cheko: Can't you speak up?30
Mufwankolo: How many children?
Guard: Speak up.
Kamwanya: I have ten children.

5. Mufwankolo: [now turning to Katolushi] eeh/
Katolushi: ndiyo chef/
Mufwankolo: wee uko na watoto ngapi?
Katolushi: mutoto moya: bibi sasa na mimba/
Mufwankolo: iko na mimba?
Katolushi: ndiyo chef/
Mufwankolo: bon/ sasa unakamata bibi wa mwneyewe namna gani? baba yako na wee ni nani?
Katolushi: baba ni Bwana Cheko/
Actor: Bwana Cheko njo baba yako?
5. Mufwankolo: [now turning to Katolushi] Hey, you.
Katolushi: Yes, chief.
Mufwankolo: How many children do you have?
Katolushi: One, and my wife is now expecting.
Mufwankolo: She is expecting?
Katolushi: Yes, chief.
Mufwankolo: Alright then. How come you now take the wife of someone else? Who is your father?
Katolushi: [My] father is Bwana Cheko.
Actor: Bwana Cheko is your father?

[The audience acknowledges this turn with laughter]

6. Masimango: sultani/ vidyee mfumwami/ vidyee mfumwami/ vidyee mfumwami19/ mambo hii sultani minaona ni bukari wa nyama/ bukari bwa nyama bunakabulaka paka mwenyewe ya bukari/

6. Masimango: Chief! Greetings, my chief [clapping his hands] Greetings, my chief. Greetings, my chief. As I see it, this case is bukari with meat. It is the owner alone who [has the right] to distribute this food.

7. Mufwankolo: baba ulibakutana nabo namna gani kwanza mbele?
Kalwasha: sultani wangu: bibi yangu anafanyaka pombe ku pori/
Mufwankolo: eeh/
Kalwasha: mi niko nakuya tu polepole/
Mufwankolo: polepole/
Kalwasha: kiyana ananisikia na pale niko nakuya/
Mufwankolo: eh/
Kalwasha: maneno niliacha muketo: kama nalimutekula20/
Mufwankolo: kama ulimutentekayo/
Kalwasha: alinisikia pale iko nakuya/ si tshikwembe hiki?

iko nake mu shingo/ si njo tshinyewe balimutandikila pa mututa?
Mufwankolo: pa mututa wa bilazi? [general laughter]
Kalwasha: ni hii kikwembe hii/
Mufwankolo: eeh/

7. Mufwankolo: Baba, how did you catch them in the first place?
Kalwasha: My chief, my wife was making alcohol in the bush [outside the village].
Mufwankolo: So that is it.
Kalwasha: I just walked up slowly.
Mufwankolo: Slowly?
Kalwasha: The young man heard me coming.
Mufwankolo: I see.
Kalwasha: I had left my [bow and] arrow [at home]. If not, I would have shot him.
Mufwankolo: You would have shot him.
Kalwasha: He heard me coming. This here is the wrap which he had around his neck. Isn't that the same which she spread for him in the furrow?
Mufwankolo: In the furrow of a [field of] sweet potatoes? [general laughter]
Kalwasha: It is this very wrap.
Mufwankolo: I see.

8. Kalwasha: anaanza mbio/ mwizi munikamatile munikamatile/ bantu muzuri asema ni: ni ule/ banamulintama na kumulintama21/
Tala Ngai: hii manguo ni yake hii?
Kalwasha: yake ilibakia paka pa tshikwembe.
Tala Ngai: hii ni yako?
Kalwasha: na bilatu byote/
Mufwankolo: kwake ilikuwa ni bushiku anaanza kuvwula binani?
Kalwasha: eh/ sawa anaisha ku: kuona na mpombe: na bibi yangu
vile anasangila ku moya/

8. Kalwasha: He began [to run away] fast. A thief! [I cry] catch him for me, catch him for me. [There were some] decent people there who said: He is the one. So they jumped him and overpowered him.
Tala Ngai: The clothes here are they his?
Kalwasha: His [clothes] were left there with the wrap...
Tala Ngai: [to Katolushi] Are they yours?
Kalwasha: ...and his shoes and all.
Mufwankolo: So he thought it was night and he began to take off his whatever.
Kalwasha: Yes, because he had seen strong drink and my wife and made a mixture of both.

9. Mufwankolo: [to Katolushi, partly incomprehensible] ...?... sema mbele/
[Here follows a passage impossible to transcribe, several persons talk at once]
Katolushi: Kamwanya ni client22 wangu wa zamani nilimukutanisha ku pori/ minafika pale: natula kifulusi nilikuwa naye/ namuomba unipatie chupa moya nikunywe/ anatosha chupa ya lutuku moya: ananipatia/ minakunywa polepole: kunywa polepole/ hapa na hapa: sasa ile chupa mi: minaisha/ pale minaisha ile chupa: c'est fini/
Mufwankolo: unalewa?
Katolushi: minalewa/ asema nilamuke hivi: minaanguka/
Mufwankolo: pa mututa?
Katolushi: naunguka/ asema nilamuke hivi: naunguka paka na mututa/
Mufwankolo: wa bilazi?
Katolushi: tena mama Kamwanya pale anaangaria asema ahah/ baba sawa vile unalewa: kumbe uache nikutandikie ulale/
Mufwanakolo: akutandikie?
Katolushi: ndiyo/
Mufwankolo: eeh/
Katolushi: njo kutosha kikwembe yake anatandika/
Mufwankolo, Notables: pa mututa?
Katolushi: pa mututa pale/ napinduka nao/
Mufwankolo: sasa yee anasimama?
Katolushi: yee anafanya kazi yake/
Mufwankolo: wee unakuwa nalala?
Katolushi: ndiyo/

9. Mufwankolo: [to Katolushi, partly incomprehensible] ...?... speak first.
[Here follows a brief passage impossible to transcribe; several persons talk at once]
Katolushi: I have been Kamwanya's customer for a long time and I met her there outside the village.31 When I got there I put the bundle I was carrying down. I asked her to give me a bottle so I could have a drink. She brought a bottle of moonshine and gave it to me. I kept drinking slowly. Suddenly I had finished that bottle. When I had finished that bottle, that was it.
Mufwankolo: Were you drunk?
Katolushi: I was drunk. I told myself I must get up but I fell down.
Mufwankolo: In the furrow?
Katolushi: I fell down. I told myself I am going to get up, but I just fell into the furrow.
Mufwankolo: Among the sweet potatoes?
Katolushi: And then, when mama Kamwanya saw this she said: This is no good. Baba, since you are so drunk let me spread something out for you to sleep [on].
Mufwankolo: She was going to spread [something]?
Katolushi: Yes.
Mufwankolo: I see.
Katolushi: Then she took off her wrap and spread it.
Mufwankolo, Notables: In the furrow?
Katolushi: Right there in the furrow. I wrapped myself with it.
Mufwankolo: Now, was she standing?
Katolushi: She did her work.
Mufwankolo: You were asleep?
Katolushi: Yes.

10. Katolushi: minasikia paka: baba [hesitates] Sondashi? yee anafika paka hivi/
Masimango: yee anakuwa Sondashi: hana tena Kalwasha hapana?
Mufwankolo: munaona mwee batoto wa sasa vile munaikalaka mukululu23 mubaya/
Katolushi: basi...
Tala Ngai: ubape heshima: ukote24 heshima/
Kalwasha: maneno ya baba yake: njo ile mi: ana: anataka kufanya/

10. Katolushi: I hear this baba [hesitates] Sondashi? He was just then coming.
Masimango: So now it is Sondashi and no longer Kalwasha?32
Mufwankolo: You see, you young people nowadays, you are up to nothing good.
Katolushi: Well...
Tala Ngai: Be polite to the people here; behave politely like a grown-up.
Kalwasha: It is because of his father that he tries to make [up excuses].

11. Bwana Cheko: minatafuta kwanza kujua: ile makozi yenyewe/ balimukamata saa gani? ule mama: eko anapigaka pombe: ile pombe banakatazakayo: ni pombe moya ya mubaya/ lutuku/ ya kuua muntu/ ...?... anakunywa chupa moya: kipimo yako hii: kumupa chupa moya: ya cinq cent: atakuwa namna gani?
Mufwankolo: sasa ile mambo yee anasema: wee unakatalayo/
Bwana Cheko: ile minazania: ni kumulongofea kwa sababu alikuwa kwa yee peke/
Masimango: vidyee mfumwami/
Bwana Cheko: analewa: banakuwa kumuvika kikwembe: kiisha banayua asema baba yake ni muntu mukubwa: tutapata kwa kwenda kuwinia/
Mufwankolo: unasema: ya: ya: ya bongo ile unasema/....
Masimango: kalombo vidye/
Mufwankolo: ... unasema mambo ya bongo/

11. Bwana Cheko: First I want to know [the facts] about this case of adultery. When did they catch him? This mama has been making alcohol; this is prohibited, it is a very bad sort of alcohol, moonshine. It can kill a man. ...?... he drank one bottle; you gave him one bottle measure of the grade called 'five hundred proof,'33 what do you expect he will be?
Mufwankolo: Then you deny what he [Kalwasha] says.
Bwana Cheko: I believe he is being falsely accused because he was alone.
Masimango: [trying to get the floor] Greetings, my chief.
Bwana Cheko: [ignoring Masimango] He got drunk, they put the wrap around him and then, because they knew that his father is a person of importance, they said we are going to profit from this.
Mufwankolo: You are talking -- what you are saying is a lie...
Masimango: [trying again] Greetings, chief.
Mufwankolo: ... you are telling things that are false.

12. Masimango: kalombo mufumwami/ bon/ mama uniambie: ile kiswahili nasema bwana yako:: ni ya bongo: ni ya kweli: ao nasema huyu abala yako: njo ya kweli?
Kamwanya: ile anasema bwana yangu njo ya kweli/
Mufwankolo: ya kweli ya mututa?
Kamwanya: eeh/
Kalwasha: alimukutanisha pa mututa/
Mufwankolo: pa mututa: banatandika na kikwembe pa mututa/

12. Masimango: Greetings, my chief. Alright mama [to Kamwanya]. Is the version which your husband tells [us] false or true; or is what your lover tells [us] true?
Kamwanya: What my husband says is true.
Mufwankolo: About the furrow, is that true?
Kamwanya: Yes.
Kalwasha: They got together in the furrow.
Mufwankolo: [mocking] In the furrow, they spread the wrap in the furrow.

[General noise from the audience, the following partly incomprehensible]

13. Bwana Cheko: bwana na bibi/ na bwana na bibi wanaunga kanuni/
Tala Ngai: sultani/ minazania hapa ulileta mipango bantu bote balisikiliza/ huyu mutoto: wee mwenyewe kamataka mipango/
Mufwankolo: njo kusema: hapa sasa: weye unaletesha haya mu mukini yangu humu/ unaleta haya/ nililetaka mipango: njo kusema: weye unatafuta kuvunja mipango? tokea hapa sasa wee/ lwako lwunaena/ bampolushi/
Guard: chef/
Mufwankolo: mutamubeba: wende mukamuache lungulungu... kelulule/

13. Bwana Cheko: ...husband and wife; husband and wife had an agreement.34
Tala Ngai: Chief, I think you put down the rules and all the people heard them. As far as this young man is concerned, you yourself ought to apply the rules.
Mufwankolo: That is to say, you have brought shame on this village of mine. You bring shame. I set the rules, and now you seek to break the rules? From now on I have had enough of you. Guards!
Guard: Chief!
Mufwankolo: Take him away, go and leave him to be...
All: ...damned.

14. Katolushi: chef: munihurumieko/
Guards: telema25/ telema/ telema...
Katolushi: acha mbele niseme: acha mbele niseme/
Guard: telema/
[general confusion; the accused keeps pleading]
Katolushi: muniache: niko na batoto...
[the accused man is dragged off by the guards]

14. Katolushi: Chief, have pity with me.
Guards: Get up, get up, get up...
Katolushi: Let me speak first, let me speak first.
Guard: Get up.
[general confusion; the accused keeps pleading]
Katolushi: Let me go, I have children...
[the accused man is dragged off by the guards]

15. Mufwankolo: Kalwasha/
Kalwasha: present/
Mufwankolo: bibi yako/
Kalwasha: mfumumwami/
Mufwankolo: namufunga miezi mbili/ atakwenda kulima mashamba ya mi sultani kule/
Kalwasha: ahe/
Mufwankolo: mama: pita kule/
Kalwasha: mupeleke yee/
Mufwankolo: tosha na manani yake ile/ unaleta haya mu mukini wangu/
Guard: allez twende mama: kujiheshimia/ si unasikia we moya/ twende mama/ twende/
Mufwankolo: makozi/ kya makozi/
[short passage incomprehensible]
Mufwankolo: bibi yako namufunga miezi mbili/
Kalwasha: eyoo/
[short passage incomprehensible]
Kalwasha: kalombo mfumwami/ wafwako/ wafwako mfumwami/ eyoo/ hehe/ alafu huyu bibi alinikalisha matako pembeni/

15. Mufwankolo: Kalwasha.
Kalwasha: Here I am.
Mufwankolo: As far as your wife is concerned...
Kalwasha: My chief.
Mufwankolo: I am going to lock her up for two months. She is going to work in the fields over there that belong to me, the chief.
Kalwasha: So be it.
Mufwankolo: Mama, get over there.
Kalwasha: Take her away.
Mufwankolo: Take away her things. You bring shame on my village.
Guard: Come one, let's go mama, have some respect for yourself, you heard it yourself. Let's go, mama, let's go.
Mufwankolo: Adulteress, adulteress.
[short passage incomprehensible]
Mufwankolo: I am going to lock up your wife for two months.
Kalwasha: So be it.
[short passage incomprehensible]
Kalwasha: [leaving] Greetings, my chief. Thank you. Thank you, chief. Yes, indeed. This wife of mine really gave me trouble.35

16. Tala Ngai: sultani: mambo iko paka ndani ya mukini/ hivi wiko unaimaliza kiloko kiloko: na bale benyewe beko naangaria: beko banasikia boga/ banasema hapana/ sultani sasa anawaka moto/ nawaza hii mugini itakwenda paka muzuri kabisa/ hivi tunamaliza mambo/
Bwana Cheko: ita: itaendea muzuri paka pa mutoto yangu/
Masimango: Bwana Cheko mi nilikuambia ni bukari wa: wa: wa nyama/ bunakabulaka mwenyewe ya bukari/
16. Tala Ngai: Chief, this case [has to do with problems we have] in the village. The way you deal with them, little by little, you will be watched by the villagers and they will experience fear. They will say no [we can't go on] the chief has put fire [in his orders/rules]. This village is going to do alright. So we have finished the case.
Bwana Cheko: [The village] will do alright at the expense of my son.
Masimango: Bwana Cheko, I told you this is bukari and meat. Only its owner has the right to give it away.

[Notables begin to leave]

17. Mufwankolo: eeh/ minaona bapolisi beko fasi gani? tangu balikwenda habayarudia hapana/
Masimango: bado sultuni/
Mufwankolo: natafuta kwanza mbele kubatuma/

17. Mufwankolo: Eeh, where are the guards. Since they went away [to take away the accused] they haven't come back yet.
Masimango: Not yet, chief.
Mufwankolo: I want to send them out.    

18. Bwana Cheko: [his voice breaking] sultani/ tunakwenda/
Mufwankolo: eyoo/
Bwana Cheko: sina ya kusema: mutoto basi: anaisha kufwa/ ...?... anaisha kufwa/
Masimango: [clapping his hands] vidyee mufumwami/ vidyee mfumwami/ widyee mfumwami/ [to Bwana Cheko as they go away] acha kushirika/

18.Bwana Cheko: [his voice breaking] Chief, we are leaving.
Mufwankolo: Yes.
Bwana Cheko: I have nothing to say anymore. My child, he is already dead. He is already dead.36
Masimango: [clapping his hands] Greetings my chief, greetings my chief, greetings my chief. [To Bwana Cheko as they go away] Stop being angry.

[The notables leave, then the chief and the guards]

The ceremonious departure of the notables, Bwana Cheko's bickering and the amused reactions of the public all help to extend this scene so as to give the other actors and the TV crew time to get to the setting for the next one. On the soundtrack of the video recording the change of scene is bridged by playing an old popular record in Bemba.


1 The Luba term tata or tatu, corresponds to Shaba Swahili baba," father", here used as a polite term of address.
2 This is how women acknowledge a call; men often use the French term présent (as in a roll call at school or in the army). The latter, however, is considered foreign and not really polite. The preferred answer is a term of address for the caller (e.g. baba, mukubwa). As to the derivation of abé (stress on the second syllable) see Lenselaer 1983: 253, where it is related to ECS labeka.
3 Abala is the Shaba Swahili form; in ECS it is hawara, "mistress, lover".
4 The ECS form is tuta, a term with a complex meaning that can only be rendered by a paraphrase: "a raised bed for planting, a long ridge of earth with deep furrows on either side" (Standard Dictionary). As we shall see, that very complexity will be exploited in this scene. Because it would be awkward to repeat the paraphrase I opted for the one element that seems to be salient in this case: furrow (with groove or ditch as possible alternatives).
5 Although the two terms are connected by bwa, the translation must be bukari and meat (not: bukari made of meat, a contradictory expression because bukari, ECS ugali, is the staple food made form corn or manioc, or a mixture of both). The term boga which occurs a little later is often translated as vegetables. This corresponds to European categories whereby vegetables is what 'goes with' meat and potatoes. Here boga is everything that goes with bukari, hence also meat or fish.
6 This phrase is partly in Luba and the transcription and translation are approximative. Van Avermaet and Mbuya list dya lelo as an interjection, "alllez donc, voyez" (1954: 346). Why does the speaker switch to Luba at this point? He started out to give his opinion on the case by quoting a 'saying,' if not a proverb then some sort of sententious wisdom. He does this as a way of appealing to traditional authority. The code-switch to Luba could then be understood as an additional linguistic signal marking this episode as 'quoting behavior' (see Chapter Two of Power and performance).
7 Kiashiri is derived from asili, "origin".
8 This looks as if Mufwankolo had started out to use the Shaba Swahili term kijana, "youngster" (which is not marked for gender) and then switched to Luba nsongwakazi, "nubile girl, young woman" (see Van Avermaet and Mbuya 1954: 632).
9 In this passage Mufwankolo is at his best (and the translator at his worst). Lokutalokuta and tiketiketik are phonations describing, respectively, the gait of a person who takes himself important and the way someone runs who is in a hurry. Furumufuruma (see ECS vuruma under vuru) describes in Shaba Shwahili the gasping and snorting noises of sexual exertion, to put this delicately
10 The original has babibi, technically a plural form. Translation as a singular (one wife) is justified by context and by the fact that the plural prefix ba- is often used to mark polite address or reference. I have heard baFabian banafika, meaning Fabian arrives.
11 The term used here is lutuku, Shaba Swahili for alcohol distilled (in Shaba) from corn. Making alcohol is illegal and therefore often done somewhere in the fields.
12 In the original it says literally 'this is how drinkers of moonshine usually dry up. The term kukauka, to dry, is also used to designate rigor mortis.
13 Here we have an expression of conventional wisdom in the form of riddle, even though the saying is not quoted as a question. But the way it is completed and 'solved' by the speaker and the audience is characteristic of this genre.-- The translation of kabundi poses some difficulty. It is a small tree-dwelling animal, something like a squirrel (see Van Avermaet and Mbuya 1954: 96) and a major figure in traditional animal stories.- As to the meaning of the riddle/proverb, its point seems to be the tight fit between this animal and its skin.
14 The term 'version' is here a translation of kiswahili used in the original. In the original it says literally: "That is the Swahili this man gave me." In Shaba Swahili kiswahili covers a complex semantic domain in a manner that is at first surprising and even improbable to the outsider. Kiswahili can be the name of a language; it can also designate a variety, dialect, or register of that language (regional, social); and finally, it can refer to the content of that which is said. In the last two cases the term can occur in a plural form (biswahili). What seems to make such polysemy possible is the fact that (in this culture) a (terminological) distinction is made neither between language as form and speech as its realization nor between how one speaks and what one says. There is much food for thought -- philosophically and sociolinguistically -- in this peculiar use of kiswahili.
15 This is but an attempt to render the meaning of the idiomatic expression used in the original (which plays with nuances of the verb kutoka).
16 Meaning: First openly, then surreptitiously.
17 Actually he says something like pélésent. About forms of acknowledging a call or being addressed, see note 2 above.
18 It was at this point when, upon being told be the technicians to be quiet, one of the Kawama youths said: kama minasikia butamu minacheka, literally "when I feel the sweetness I laugh."
19 The greeting formula is repeated by Masimango alone three times in this transcription because this is what the sound recording retained. In reality it was an exchange whereby Mufwankolo acknowledged the greeting non-verbally.
20 Muketo is Luba for "arrow" (Van Avermaet and Mbuya 1954: 249). Tekula corresponds to ECS tegua, "to trigger a trap, to let off an arrow".
21 The form used here suggests a verb lintama which does not seem to exist in Shaba Swahili. A native speaker, however, understands the sentence, hearing the verb tantama, "to jump on someone, to overpower someone". It is possible that Kalwasha simply got carried away in his effort to produce quaint and old fashioned speech (the munikamatile in the preceding sentence is an example of plausible 'accent,' which situates the utterance more closely to Luba than to Swahili; the same goes for anasangila a few exchanges further, which should be anachangia).
22 When the French loanword client was incorporated into Shaba Swahili it underwent an interesting change. It now designates a mutual, reciprocal relation and can mean customer/buyer as well as purveyor/seller.
23 Mufwankolo may be mispronouncing m[u]kulukulu, see Lenselaer 1983: 310.
24 I am told that kukota is a Bemba verb synonymous with Shaba Swahili kukomea, "to grow up, to age".
25 Telema is a (military) command in Lingala, corresponding to Shaba Swahili simama, "get up, stand up".
26 Compared to the rehearsal version, Kalwasha here adds detail that fits the image. Other than corn, sweet potatoes require planting in such a way that there is space for the vines to spread. Mututa is not so much a straight furrow (plows are not used) but a depression between mounds. That makes plausible the idea that one can hide in a mututa; it also favors the double entendre which contributed greatly to the success of this scene. 
27 This translation does not convey the fact that the entire exchange of greetings is in what one might call 'generalized' Luba. Some elements clearly belong to a Shaba variety (such as vidyee kalombo) others, I am told, sound more like Tshiluba or Songye (mufumwami). This could of course be determined more exactly but the point here is that this passage illustrates a kind of emblematic use of language. The whole passage is marked as 'traditional' (or 'folkloric') without being linked to a specific context. Notice that it is not in Bemba/Lamba, a choice that would seem to have been indicated by the setting in Kawama village.
28 Literally, the original says "they are the ones that are with him." But it is clear from the context that the reference is to the one woman that was brought before the chief.
29 This response would seem to contradict the designation of Kamwanya as a 'young woman.' Kamwanya, the actress, is a young woman and what appears as a contradiction illustrates the 'processual' nature of this performance. The transformation from a real person into a character in a play is in this case still incomplete. The 'twenty five years' are required to show that this is a particularly serious case of adultery; that the role is being played by a young woman is acknowledged but not permitted to interfere with the requirements of the plot.
30 Kamwanya's response was barely audible. She had a bad cold on this particular day. Bwana Cheko makes part of the dialog what is in fact an instance of directing the actress. This sort of extemporizing occurred several times during rehearsal as well as in the final performance.
31 The original has "in the bush" (ku pori). Pori, however, is a term whose meaning depends on the context. As "bush" it is in opposition to the cultivated land (shamba). Here it contrasts with the village (and therefore includes the fields).
32 What happened is that Katolushi forgot for a moment which stage name (Kalwasha or Sondashi) the actor was using. Masimango corrects him, but in such a way that this becomes part of the dialog.
33 This is the translation of a term used in Shaba Swahili, cinq cent, to designate a twice distilled alcohol.
34 This statement is incomplete (because partly inaudible) as well as elliptic. Bwana Cheko tries a sort of last defense, maintaining that Kalwasha and Kamwanya had an agreement regarding her relation with Katolushi.
35 This is a pale rendition of a colorful idiom: kukalisha matako mpembeni, "to make someone sit down on one buttock"; meaning: to make someone uncomfortable.
36 In a manner of speaking. The verb kufa, "to die", lends itself easily to this sort of exaggeration. One 'dies' whenever he feels pain, disappointment, or being treated unjustly; a car 'dies' when it breaks down. Because its meaning is so inflated, reference to actual death must often be ascertained by specifying kufa lote, to die completely.


Lenselaer, Alphonse. (1983). Dictionnaire swahili-français. Paris: Editions Karthala.

A Standard Swahili dictionary. (1939). Under the direction of Frederick Johnson. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Van Avermaet, E. and B. Mbuya. (1954). Dictionnaire kiluba - français. Tervuren: Musée Royale de l'Afrique Centrale.


[Scene 1 -The law of the land]

[Scene 2 - Trouble brewing]

[Scene 3 - The case of the thief]

[Scene 4 - The hunter's visit]

[Scene 6 - Revolt in the fields]

[Scene 7 - The chief takes control - Order reestablished]

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Copyright notice:
These texts from Power and performance were made available online courtesy of The University of Wisconsin Press
1990, renewed 2001 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
Deposited at APS: 9 July 2001
Revisions: 24 August 2001 (APS Volume number added), 2 October 2001 (photos added), 31 October 2001 (ISSN added)