Once upon a time, there lived two youngsters in the land of Mambotele. The teens’ parents passed on thirteen years after their birth due to the Great War of Fujo. The war that took place during the year of locusts. At that time, the neighbouring king Miraba Minne, of Usiniletee Kingdom, directed his soldiers to flood the Mambotele Kingdom like the Great River Mafuriko. Miraba Minne took command of all the territories of Mambotele, decimated countless inhabitants and carried others, including king Kisirani, as chattels.
Before this war, the kingdom of Mambotele had flourished throughout Kisirani’s father –Tulivu – reign. Nonetheless, Tulivu’s peace and order were punctuated by occasional intimidations and attacks from the king of Usinilatee.
Matters got out of hand during the rule of his son Kisirani.
The ever-present rains vanished like the morning dew.
The dark clouds, which used to form at the end of each day, folded away.
Drought sneaked in like a cutthroat.
Famine came in like falcons.
Poverty sat pretty like a guest of honour.
Locusts moved in from the North and the East and devoured every green plant.
People believed that it was a punishment from the gods for Kisirani’s disdain towards the divination given by the Cassandra, Mjuaji.
As the days went on, people were famished and then faithless. They elected to seek the counsel of a seeress. The seeress was a distant cousin to Kisirani. Because the predicaments of Mambotele were now profuse and pronounced, Mjuaji pronounced that there must be a noble sacrifice to pacify the gods. It was followed by an augury declaring that the gods, specifically the god of productivity, Mzae, was furious and needed human sacrifice. The only satisfactory sacrifice was to come from the loins of a fierce enemy of Mambotele. At this revelation, Kisirani was horrified. He was a man of tan complexion, but his face now waxed faint.
Souls were getting apprehensive. They were bothered and boggled by his arrogance and puny leadership style. Kisirani was now supposed to act swiftly and bring relief to the suffering Mamboteleans. How would he perform against the ruthless enemy of Usiniletee kingdom?
The teens hatch a plan
The two children, Moja One and Mbili Pili, heard about this troubling prediction from Mzae. They conceived ways of circumventing this difficulty without significantly creating another problem.
Moja One said to Mbili Pili, “Mbili Pili, I think we can help the King and our people. We can do it behind the scenes. I have an idea.”
“What idea Sister?” Asked Mbili Pili. “Perhaps gods have revealed to you a more excellent idea than sacrificing our biggest enemy; the king of Usiniletee.”
The two engaged in a discussion exploring various ways of solving this riddle posed by the prescience.
Finally Moja One stated, “I am going to lock myself in the house for three days. I will make a large bow and impressive arrows. I will sharpen those arrows and make them as lethal as the teeth of the great serpent of River Nyoka.” She continued, “Then I will let you know the next step.”
“That is fantastic, Moja One! I will be waiting to see where this fantasy will fly you,” said Mbili Pili.
“Mbili Pili! We are remaining with two kilograms of sorghum only,” Moja One went on, “I will not be eating for the three days. But you will have to eat, for the next assignment will be yours. The grand assignment will be carried out by you!”
The showdown looms
Meanwhile, spies of King Usiniletee crossed the Mambotele border and overheard what the Oracle had demanded. They rode fast to Usiniletee and informed their king, Miraba Minne, of the Kisirani’s dilemma.
“Long live King Miraba Minne!” They greeted him. “In the land of famine, fumbling and fantasy, the country of Mambotele, an oracle has been given: That you will be a sacrifice to their productivity god, Mzae.”
“What!” retorted king Miraba Minne. “Summon for me all the nobles and governors of all the territories of my kingdom. Make sure all the commanders are here by tomorrow.” He proceeded, “Let them travel at night. Let them move faster than the evil spirits of the underworld.”
The nobles, lords, commanders and all rulers of provinces gathered at the King Miraba Minne’s palace. Bulls and rams were slaughtered in abundance at the order of the king. Then at noon, the King motioned to address them,
“Great men and rulers of Usiniletee! I have summoned you here for one purpose. I want you to get ready for a devastating war. We are going to do battle with that low-life king of Mambotele…..”
The king of Usiniletee continued to address his subjects and lay bare an attack plan. He gave marching orders to the commanders of liverymen and cavalries.
Mambotele kingdom was to be struck the following day. It was supposed to be an ambuscade. Kisirani was to be seized alive and brought to the capital city of Usinilatee – Usinijaribu.
But the pain and confusion persists
As this was happening famine continued to ravage and disgrace the people of Mambotele. Kisirani had called all the wise people in his kingdom to offer their advice. They all told him to respect the oracle. The king thought of making an enemy of one of his people, peradventure he could escape a confrontation with the legitimate enemy – Miraba Minne. But his advisors were against the idea. The king was toying with the thought of making an enemy out of his servant Mwerevu, who used to beat him in the game of chess. Mwerevu was one of the quickest servants. His wits had gotten into his head and could not control the urge of humiliating his king by beating him in in-house games. This behaviour irked the king though he kept it to himself.
One courageous Wiseman, by the name Olisikia Wapi, who had journeyed from the farthest part of the kingdom – Mashariki, stood up and addressed the king, “Long live King Kisirani, Son of the Great King of our Land, Tulivu!”
“I wish to say this to My King, You are the enemy of yourself. You are the greatest enemy to yourself. How about sacrificing yourself to pacify the gods and stop Miraba Minne from attacking us? Because we know that Miraba Minne will not lay his finger on this great kingdom once he learn that the gods have drunk your blood and you are a prince in the underworld.”
The king was infuriated. He ordered that Olisikia Wapi be placed in a dungeon awaiting his fate. Olisikia Wapi was to be tied feet and arms and then thrown into a pit full of safari ants.
Moja One dares fate
On the other hand, Moja One had locked herself in the house and was diligently making his giant bow and arrows. Her brother Mbili Pili was in the field every day, gathering locusts. Locusts formed a substitute culinary as most animals belonging to the inhabitants of the land had perished. Only King Kisirani had a few cattle and pigeons left.
Miraba Minne invades Mambotele
In this land, every minute counted. Minutes dissolved into hours and hours turned into days. King Miraba Minne did not slow down on his plans. He put his warriors in an array and ordered them to match to Mambotele. He gave new orders, that non-combatants be spared. It seems that King Miraba Minne’s aim was not just to hit at his enemy King Kisirani but also to conquer the whole land of Mambotele and bring it under his subjugation.
There were two great rivers to be crossed before one could reach Mambotele. There were also three great ridges separating the two kingdoms. This meant that Miraba Minne’s warriors had a pretty hard row to hoe. Any mishap would have triggered Kisirani’s antennae and make it hard for Miraba Minne to win.
Sit back and ask hard questions
The above story purely works of fiction. It is incomplete, the same way our life stories are unfinished. Sometimes our lives are like this story: Convoluted and dismal. We are presented with moments to get it better but most of the time we flounder. Our minds and hearts cannot agree. Our hearts are dim and complete with din. Our minds are taken with fetid trash. The social environment is unhelpful. The spiritual surrounding can only accord miscellaneous options.
Where can we find direction in our lives and not derision?
Where can we find our compass and composure?
Where is our radar, lads and leaders?
Have we lost our spiritual and moral compass as a society?
Is our social fabric tattered and dirty?
Are we socially naked and netted for sale! Are we politically vulnerable and vulgarised?
Are we economically exposed and disposed of?
These are hard questions. And a rapidly changing world keeps changing the questions before we even figure out the answers.
We can always find our way out of any political, social, spiritual and economic conundrum. Are we seeking this in the right places?
There are no easy answers to hard questions. There are no simple solutions to perplexing puzzles.
It starts with you and me. The kingdoms within must cease cessation and submit to His Kingdom. Hostilities should submit to holiness. Strife should crumble before Stillness. Anxiety should be met with God’s anthem. Confusion must capitulate to conviction.
This story has been discontinued because The Kingdoms Within must cease to exist in favour of His Kingdom.