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.
[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]
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/
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: ...at 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!
First Guard: sultani/
Mufwankolo: ita Bwana Cheko: Masimango: na Tala Ngai/
First Guard: sasa sultani/
Kamwanya: abé2 baba/
Mufwankolo: bwana yake iko wapi?
First Guard: yee ule chef/
Foloko: ndiyo chef/
First Guard: dis uikale chini/
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.
Cheko: vidye kalombo/
Bwana Cheko: vidye kalombo/
Notables [clapping hands]: vidyeee kalombo/
Mufwankolo: eyo vidye/
Notable: vidye kalombo/
Mufwankolo: wafwako/ [pause]
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] Mm, eh baba.
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.
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?
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?
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/
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/
then to Kamwanya] Mama.
Kamwanya: 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/
7. Masimango: Chief.
8. Mufwankolo: Bwana Cheko/
ni mutoto yako? njo wa ngapi?
8. Mufwankolo: Bwana Cheko.
He is your child? Which one?
9. Mufwankolo: mutoto
wa Bwana Cheko/ njo wa tatu: anaoa: bibi: wa: Foloko/ yee na yeye: eko
na babibi: na batoto mbili/
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?
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.
Mufwankolo: Did they accuse you falsely? Speak.
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/
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/
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.
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.
Masimango: hii mambo: iko nguvu/ hii mambo ni bukari bwa nyama5: bunakabulaka mwenye bukari/
Masimango: njo kusema: mambo hii: mwenyewe wa...
Mufwankolo: wa mutoto...
Masimango: mwenyewe wa mutoto: akabule mboga ya: ya mwenyewe ya bukari/
Masimango: This is a difficult affair. This case is bukari and meat; it is dealt out by the one who has it.
Masimango: As far as this case is concerned, the one to whom the...
Mufwankolo: ...the child...
Masimango: ...to whom the child belongs [i. e. the husband of this young woman] may distribute the food.
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?
[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.]
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/
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
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?
Masimango: hapana mayi na baridi?
Bwana Cheko: mayi na baridi? nawaza/
Masimango: [to Tala Ngai] ongeze/
14. Masimango: Mukubwa
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?
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?
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]
sultani wangu/ sultani wangu/ minafika tu mu mashamba: minaona paka machupa
mwa lutuku/ iko kwiko/ namukutanisha.../ beko nakombana ile ya.../ wee mwenyewe
Foloko: mi: bongo/ kuniona paka hivi: analamuka pale/
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...
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
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/
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.|
[making another start] ulibakutanisha: beko nakombana: ao: ulibakutanisha:
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/
[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.
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
Bwana Cheko: mm/
Tala Ngai: yee njo alipanda ili muti/ minazania mambo iko: iko..
Tala Ngai: iko wazi/
Masimango: iko wazi kabisa/
Tala Nagai: na kanuni: wee mwenyewe unajua: ni kintu gani tunaweza kufanya na huyu kiyana/
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
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.
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.
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/
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?
[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?
25. Guard: Chief, can
I say something?
26. Mufwankolo: mambo
ya mwisho: ni: Bwana Cheko/
26. Mufwankolo: To bring
this matter to an end -- Bwana Cheko!
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
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?
28. Mufwankolo: sawa hivi/
mwizi munene ni yee/ anaangukia pa mututa ya muntu/
28. Mufwankolo: [But]
in this case, he is a big thief. He fell into the furrow that belongs
to someone else.
|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/
[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.
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.
The male culprit is brought before the chief
(click thumb nail to view full-size image in separate window - 57KB)
The female culprit is brought before the chief
(click thumb nail to view full-size image in separate window - 53KB)
Kalwasha: présent chef/17
Mufwankolo: ni mambo gani tena?
Kalwasha: hehe/ hii mambo hii: huyu mutoto huyu: eh: eh: nalimukutana na bibi yangu/
Shebele: kalombo mufumwami/
Mufwankolo: ita banotables/
1. Mufwankolo: Baba Kalwasha.
[While this is being done, the chief begins the interrogation.]
ni mambo ingine/ mu nyumba?
Mufwankolo: mu nyumba?
Kalwasha: eeeeh: he: si nalibakutana tu paka pa mututa? ya bilazi/
2. Mufwankolo: So this
is another case. [Did you catch them] in the house?
[Now the notables arrive and the evidence, the woman's wrap, is placed before the culprits]
Cheko: vidyee kalombo/
Bwana Cheko: vidyee kalombo/
Bwana Cheko: vidyee kalombo/
Masimango: vidyee mfumwami/
Masimango: vidyee mfumwami/
Masimango and Tala Ngai: vidyee mfumwami/
3. Bwana Cheko: Greetings,
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?
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.
[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?
[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?
iko nake mu shingo/ si njo tshinyewe
balimutandikila pa mututa?
7. Mufwankolo: Baba, how
did you catch them in the first place?
8. Kalwasha: anaanza mbio/
mwizi munikamatile munikamatile/ bantu muzuri asema ni: ni ule/ banamulintama
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.
9. Mufwankolo: [to Katolushi,
partly incomprehensible] ...?... sema mbele/
9. Mufwankolo: [to Katolushi,
partly incomprehensible] ...?... speak first.
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/
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.
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?
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?
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?
[General noise from the audience, the following partly incomprehensible]
13. Bwana Cheko: ...na
bwana na bibi/ na bwana na bibi wanaunga kanuni/
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!
Mufwankolo: Take him away, go and leave him to be...
14. Katolushi: chef:
14. Katolushi: Chief,
have pity with me.
15. Mufwankolo: Kalwasha/
15. Mufwankolo: Kalwasha.
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/
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/
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/
18.Bwana Cheko: [his voice
breaking] Chief, we are leaving.
[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.
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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