During the June 27 rehearsal, Scene Six was brought to an end when the chief, together with his wife and guards, appeared in the fields. He scolds them right there and this could have been the end of the play. Instead, it was decided that the final scene should be at the chief's court. The fields are the place for rebellion; the village is the place of order. But more about that later (in Chapter Fourteen). In the village Mufwankolo is to pronounce his morale, the admonition that usually closes a play by the troupe. Kachelewa himself gives directions:
1. Kachelewa: [to Mufwankolo]
donc unafanya morale ya mwisho ile/
1. Kachelewa: [to Mufwankolo]
So, then you do your final admonition.
The rehearsal continues; it has now been decided that the chief's final speech will not be in the fields but in his court back in the village. Mufwankolo tells the villagers to follow him, they start moving while a song in Luba is intoned by Tala Ngai. The singing is subdued, there is no drumming. After some last discussion Mufwankolo addresses the villagers.
wandugu wapenzi/ wababa na nye wamama/ twiko na mukini yetu hii moya/ kweli
kweli: mu mukini: kama hamuna masikilizano: hakuna namna ya kuendelea/ mu
mukini kama muko njala: hakuna namna ya kutumika kazi/
2. lakini mi sultani: navumulia mingi sana/ namiweka kitumaini/ hasa zaidi/ niliwaweka kitumaini wale wa kuniunga ku mukono/ na ninyi: wenyewe munabafahamu sasa/ ni mambo ya kushangaa: kwa siku ya leo: wale watu minatumaini: lakini leo: wananizarau neno moya munene sana/ wananikata mikulu na kichwa/ sababu: ya kuvumilia kwangu sababu ya ile kitumaini nilitumaini asema: nabawekea kitumaini: ni watu wanaweza kunisaidia/
3. munayua asema: kilole moja: hakikutake chawa/ mi siwezi kuituka kazi yangu miye peke yangu hapana/ kwa mufano vile nitaweza kuwa asema nakuwa egoiste/ na vile nilibachagula bale/ baanze kumiletea mamessages mweye/ ile inasemwa na miye/ baanze kumionyesha namna gani: hii tunafanya yetu: organisation/ lakini: kwa siku ya leo: nilibaambia kama mwee mupitepite: mu mikini mu mikini mu mikini: miaka huu: bantu bote banapashwa kuwa na mashamba ya kila namna/ mashamba tatu ya chakula: mashamba inne ya chakula: wa nguvu analima hata sita/ twiko na bulongo moya muzuri sana ya chakula/ hii bulongo: bantu bote beko naikumbwa5/ sasa mweye: munaikala paka munakwenda: munanifichika: munaikwenda mu mashamba: munaikalia paka kunywa/ ile pombe muko nakunywa ile: inatoka wapi? inatoka ni ku chakula/ kama hamulime mutapata pombe?
4. kwa mufano sawa ule Tala Ngai/ eh: simama/ unaona/ njo kazi ile/ namutuma kwenda kufanya kazi yote: yee lakini: mu pale munamuona na mwee bote munarekea/ sababu ni nini? sababu yee njo tulitumikakaka naye: njo anaikalalaka kwangu/ na mwee bote munarekea/ munamufwata/ angaria sawa Masimango/ simama Masimango/ angaria/ ni kazi ile? Masimango ni mutu nilitumaini sana sana na zaidi/ kama kweli kazi yetu tutaweza kuongoka/ Bwana Cheko: ah: unaona: anafichama: simama kule/ mutazame kwanza/ na bale bote nilituma baende kule si bangu bote namna moya?
5. lakini: hapa sasa niko namiambia/ mweye bote: bakaji ya mukini: byote binabadirika/ sasa hakuna huruma/ maneno nahurumia weeee: minachoka/ haba wabwana haba bote haba: beko naharibisha mioyo ya watu: namikuwa kwa kuchonga: bya bongo: na kuleta mambo ya bongo/ paka hapa sasa kazi yabo yote i-na-isha6/ shiwezi tena kutumika nabo hata kiloko/
Actor: ndiyo chef/
6. Mufwankolo: na: mutoke mu lupango yangu bende hata fasi gani banakwenda/ sipende/ nitachagula bantu: bale nitatumika nabo/ bale nitaona bantu ba kweli/ bale banapenda kazi kutumika/ tosha batoshe hapa/ nitatumika nabo/ sasa: pouvoir yote/ ukumu7 wote/ yote yote inabakia yangu: mikono yangu/ nataanza kusema paka kile minasema: mwee bote munafwata/ na tangu hapa sasa: hakuna ule mwengine/ atajaribu tena/ kupima ama kujaribu: kuharibisha mioyo ya watu: kwenda kulongofya bongo: na kuharibu kazi/ kama namupata: naweka ndani/ munayua ndani ni nini? kuweka na kofiri munene/
Mufwankolo: na kusahabu/ ekoya: heya/ ekoya: heya/ paka vile/ Women: [ululate]
[end of recording]
Dear relatives. Fathers, and you, mothers. Our village is one. Truly,
if there is no mutual understanding in a village there is no way of making
progress. If you go hungry in a village there is no way of doing the work.
2. But I, the chief, have put up with a lot. I put hope in you, too much [hope]. And I put hope in those who should have joined hands with me. You know them very well. To my great surprise I find today that those people in whom I put hope have let me down in a very important matter. They really did everything to work against me.8 I put up [with them] because I had this hope, saying I will put hope in them, they are people who can help me.
3. You know the saying: A single finger does not catch a louse.9 I cannot do my work all by myself. If I were to do that I could be called an egotist. Therefore I chose those people so they may pass on to you messages that come from me; that they may show you how we organize ourselves. So today I told them go really everywhere in the village [and to tell you:] This year, everyone must have fields of all sorts. Three, four fields to produce food; a strong person can even have six under cultivation. The soil we have is very good for growing food. Everyone would love to have a soil like that. And now you go and hide from me, you go to the fields and just sit around drinking. The beer you are drinking, where does it come from. It comes from the food. If you don't work the fields are you going to get beer?
4. For example, take this Tala Ngai. Get up, you! You see, this is how he does his work. I sent him out to do all the work but when you saw him you all became weak. Why? He was supposed to work for me because he has been living with me.10 And you all got weak and follow his example. Look at Masimango. Stand up Masimango! Look [at him], is this the way to do the work? Masimango is someone in whom I really put all my hope so that we might truly get our work together. Bwana Cheko -- ah, you see, he is hiding -- stand up there! Look [at him] first. And all my people whom I sent there [to the fields] aren't they all my people?
5. But right now I am telling you, for all of you in the village everything is going to change. Now there is no mercy. Because I have had mercy for a long, long time. Now I am tired of it. All those gentlemen here who corrupt the hearts of the people, who distort things and tell you lies, from this moment on all their work is finished. There is no way I can go on working with them, no way.
Actor: Yes, chief.
6. Mufwankolo: Get out of my court. Let them go wherever they go. I have had enough. I am going to choose people with whom I am going to work, people whom I will find to be persons of value, people who love work -- get those people out of here! -- and I will work with them. As of now, all the power, all the authority, everything will be in my hands. And when I am going to speak all of you will obey my orders. And from now on, there will be no one to try and seduce [you] or to corrupt the hearts of the people, or to spread lies and spoil the work. If I catch such a person, I put him inside. You know the meaning of 'inside'. Put him behind I big lock.
Actor: [in a low voice] In prison.
Mufwankolo: And forget about him. What ever happens, let it happen. Whatever happens, let it happen11. Just like that.
Mufwankolo: [Now] go away.
The Chief's Final Speech. Final
[In the chief's court. There is singing and drumming. Mufwankolo, in full chiefly attire, with his fly whisk, hatchet, and headdress dances by himself. Then he calls his guard]:
1. Mufwankolo: Shebele/
Mufwankolo: Call the notables, they should come here.
The guard does this, the notables arrive; there is some shouting and ordering around until they are settled. Then the chief begins his final admonition.
2. Come on, sit down. Where are the [other] guards? ...?... Are you listening? You, the guards, and you, the notables.
You locked hands with me. [You were supposed to be] my eyes and my feet. I used to put hope in you saying, I am going to work with you so the work may go well. I sent you out to tell the people what I wanted [to have done]. You went to spoil [things]. You went to tell lies to the people, to all those who live in the village.
3. Because you told them that I, the chief, am bad the people are scoffing at me, saying the chief is bad. I sent you to talk to the people, you went and when you got there you kept hiding [my orders] from them. You told them something else. Because you have a bad spirit, the three of you. [You want] to corrupt this entire village.
4. But, but from now on --come on, put your head dresses down here! Take off your head dresses, take them off! Put them here! From today on your office of notable no longer exists. Go ahead, leave! I don't want to see you. An you guards, get out of here. [Laughter and comments from the audience as the notables get up and leave]. Get away now, quick!
5. You, the population, all the people of the village, you see how evil those three men are, as well as the two guards. They seek to corrupt the village, to corrupt your hearts. Because [they told you] lies. What [they told you was] to turn you around. I am speaking the truth. They tricked you with lies. Because [now] you say, ah, the chief is bad, the chief is bad. I am not bad. The bad ones are those that you see here. Don't you see them? Today I put them before you, before your eyes. Don't you see?
Audience: Yes we do.
Mufwankolo: Don't' you see?
Audience: Yes we do.
6. Mufwankolo: Voilà, there are the lies and there the people who are truly bad. I fire them from their work. Right now, my chiefhood, my power, are mine alone. They are mine alone, and that's it.
Mufwankolo: Other notables are going to be elected, people with whom I will work, people who have a good heart, who know their work, who are intelligent, and [who know] how to make the work progress. I am going to select other notables and I will work with them, not like these liars who just play around.
7. Alright, and the same goes for the guards. I am going to appoint new guards with whom I will be able to work well. The way those people see it, the chief is bad. I am not bad. I am good, I am here for you, for you14. Do you understand me well?
Actor: Yes, chief.
Mufwankolo: [addressing the women] Thank you, mothers.
The speech is greeted by exclamations of joy from the audience, a final song is intoned. There is dancing before the chief, the dancers pay their respect to the chief.15
This is not clear without some context. The dramaturgical problem is the continuity
of action. From scolding his notables (to whom he has spoken enough)
the chief should go on to a confrontation with the villagers and he should make
the connection by insisting that the notables had all the necessary instructions.
2 Kachelewa quotes a sentence, possibly a proverb. Literally it says: "To make something, you cannot make [it] it by yourself." Applied to the chief it means that he must rely on the advice and help of others when taking his decision.
3 Kachelewa reverts to quoting the President. His speeches are interspersed with exclamations of oyee, "hail, hurrah"; eyaa, from the verb ya, is the Lingala equivalent of the itakuya which precedes it in our text: "may it come, may it happen".
4 Regarding apprehensions about a possible 'wrong' (political) interpretation of the play see the discussion reported on in Chapter Four of Power and performance, notes on the meeting of Friday, June 20.
5 Kukumbwa is a verb of uncertain origin, synonymous with kutamani, "to desire".
6 In order to put emphasis on it Mufwankolo pronounces the verb morpheme by morpheme.
7 The Shaba Swahili form of ECS hukumu, "authority, power, jurisdiction".
8 This is a translation of an idiomatic expression which says literally: "They cut off my feet and my head."
9 Mufwankolo quotes a popular proverb. Lenselaer gives a slightly different version of it under chawa: Kidole kimoja hakivunji chawa, "one finger does not squash a louse" (see 1983: 61).
10 Meaning: "He was supposed to carry out my order because he depends on my, he is my subordinate."
11 Mufwankolo here takes up Kachelewa's suggestion (see above Text 26, 3) and quotes the President in Lingala.
12 What Mufwankolo pronounces here sounds like tumoto or tuboto.
So far I have been unable to identify the word but the reference is clear from the video recording (see translation). This is one of the few cases were recourse to recorded visual information has been necessary to ascertain the meaning of an utterance. I say recorded because there have of course been many instances in these transcriptions and translations in which I, often unconsciously, supplemented accoustic signals with the visual memory I have as a participant in the events.
13 Mufwankolo pronounces kuwashirika, which poses a problem. Kushirika, "to be angry" is an intransitive verb and cannot have a pronominal affix marking an object (-wa-). It is likely that there has been a mistake and that most speakers of Shaba Swahili would hear kuwashinika, a verb (origin so far not identified) meaning "to confront someone with a witness", e.g. in a case of litigation.
14 The original phrase juu yenu could also be translated as "because of you, because you put me here".
15 Meanwhile on the screen there appears once more the title:
C'était 'Le Pouvoir se mange entier. Credits for images and sound are added. Director and producers are acknowledged once again.
Lenselaer, Alphonse. (1983). Dictionnaire swahili-français. Paris: Editions Karthala.
[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]
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