23 March 2008

Mr. Bean

[The late Saul Nyemba (in the suit) was a teacher at the Baptist Theological Seminary of Zimbabwe when I taught there. He taught me much about Shona culture and life in Zimbabwe when it was Rhodesia. This is one of my favorite stories. I miss him.]

One day Baba Nyemba went to town to get some meat. At the butcher shop he saw a nice piece of steak in the window that was just what he wanted. However, as a black citizen of Rhodesia, he could not go in and purchase the meat. He had to go to the back door where blacks were served. The nice meat wasn't available there. He could only purchase low grade cuts called "ration meat." That wasn't what he wanted, so he didn't buy any.

As Baba Nyemba was leaving, he saw a black man enter the front door of the store, give a note to the butcher and receive a nice cut of meat. This domestic worker had brought a note from his boss and was permitted to buy meat for him. Baba Nyemba thought to himself, "I can write. Nyemba means 'bean.' I'll write a note from Mr. Bean asking for the steak I want. That's my name, so it won't be a lie."

Baba Nyemba wrote his note and went into the butchery and presented it to the butcher. The butcher read the note, sold Baba Nyemba the meat and said, "Tell Boss Bean we have plenty of good meat whenever he wants it." Baba Nyemba left with his meat and his note.

Boss Bean ate well that night.

1 comment:

Szavanna said...

Hi there - hope you are well! Thanks so much for the story and the continuous support - this post is now included here : http://belleafrique.blogspot.com/2008/08/beautiful-africa-9th-edition.html

Please let me know anytime if you have new bloggers, new ideas :)

SA greetings,