Diary of a village idiot abroad – giving thanks

[Satire] In another humorous excerpt from his Diaries of a Village Idiot, Vokal Da Poet reflects on the importance of giving thanks.

Clapping - giving thanks
Clapping – giving thanks

Mother was very strict about saying thank you.
If she was giving you something, you did not just take. You had to clap your hands and say thank you. And if you did not do that, mother would beat you with anything close to her.
She said, “If you did not make it, thank the person who is giving it to you. And even if you are the one who made it, thank God for giving you the power to make it.”

Even when she sent you to ask for something from the neighbours, when they give the thing to you, you had to say thank you.
Mother could never understand those people who pray asking for things all the time. She said they sounded like spoilt children of rich people who do not know that no one gives you anything, not even God. And she said that God loves people who work, and that is why God helps those who help themselves. Not people like Tete Mariana.

Tete Mariana

When Tete Mariana came to the village, everyone knew that sleeping was going to be difficult, because Tete Mariana waited until it was at 12:00 midnight and that is when she started praying. Tete Mariana did not pray in her heart. No. She prayed loud, and she will be shouting and crying and beating the floor and the wall. When mother asked her why, Tete said she prayed at midnight because that is the time when a lot of people were asleep and were not bothering God with their prayers, so her prayers were received and processed fast. No one knew why she cried and beat the floor and walls.
Maybe the crying, and beating the wall and floors helped God know which house she was praying from.

I was embarrassed to go to church with her, because every time the pastor said something she would make a sound and mumble something. And because no one in our church was doing it, people would turn and look at her. Maybe that is the way the people in town prayed, but us we did not pray like that.

God’s blessings

Tete said God will never bless us if we kept cooking beer for our ancestors, and doing other things for our ancestors. She said God will never bless us with money and success. I think mother was waiting for God to bless Tete first before she stopped the things we did. Because Tete prayed for money and success every time…and always complained that she was born in sin. I listened to her pray, and all she did was remind God of the things he did for his children in the Bible, and she wanted God to do that for her. But did God need to be reminded? Mother said God knew everything. Anyway, Tete never thanked God for anything.

Thank you, Zim government

But me, I am not like Tete Mariana. I thank everyone for doing something to me, and today I want to thank the Zimbabwe government and the ministers and all the high people.
Because of them, now parents make their children grow up, they send them to school to get degrees so that they can look after children with degrees.
You know, in the old Zimbabwe, people like me would not have found a job and we will be herding cattle for people with jobs.

But not in the new Zimbabwe. In the new Zimbabwe, the people with degrees are sitting at home waiting for the economy to wake up, but in the meantime we look after them with rands. And you know what? They don’t have anything, not even electricity everyday, for them electricity is like a birthday, it comes once a year.

Who needs a degree?

While us the ones with no degree or even Form 4, we are here in Jozi working with white people who don’t care if you have a degree or not as long as you can do your job. Thank you Zimbabwe government.
Look at Zuma. Do you think he has a degree? But his economy is working, and his country is working. Now look at the Zimbabwe government and ministers… even the wife of president has degrees. But all they have is too much learning and talking.


Vokal da Poet is a Zimbabwean poet. The spoken word artist has interacted, shared 4 minute memoirs, performed and created material with audiences at house shows, universities, conferences, schools, festivals, art shows… “I have performed to an audience of three, performed on a train ride, done bars and impromptu street shows.” And it is his ability to be honest that has him connecting with audiences well. Vokal DaPoet seamlessly weaves autobiography, first hand eye witness account and fiction in his spoken word presentations.


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