CEM 18/01/2018, DSM
This is a story of that guy that we all adore and despise at the same time. A story ya yule msee who is so good that whatever he touches turns into gold. A guy that will make you wanna kill yourself, for you ain’t doing none with your life.
From a really young age, you could tell that Habib was special. Some called him weird, some a genius; but in all sense, Habib found it so hard to find friends – be it at school or in the neighbourhood at home. He spent most of his childhood locked up in his room playing with his toys and his imaginary friends. To his mother, this was a perfect situation as she never wanted him to play and hang around with the future convicts in the area. This neighbourhood in Msasani was and still is notorious for producing the best crooks in the whole bay area and the city at large.
Standing at around four feet tall, Habib looked like your average eight years old boy. Having a very fashionable and stylish young mother meant this skinny lad was always looking sharp, and since he never played outside his tan wasn’t as noticeable as most kids around.
Habib had these razor sharp eyes that did not match his always cheerful and happy demeanour. If you looked closely, you could literally tell that he was longing for the day when he would be able to take care of his loving mother. His mother was all he had, and she meant the world to him. He would literally die for her, for all he knows Sandra would do the same.
At school, Habib was a really smart kid. From the very first day, he enrolled at Oysterbay primary school, he became every teacher’s pet. Everything came so effortlessly to him that every kid his age was jealous of him. His skinny looks meant he was always a target to the young bullies from his neighbourhood who claimed that Habib thought he was better than everyone for not going to play with them. Poor child! Little did they know that the kid had an old soul in young flesh.
Although he really excelled academically, Habib never really liked the prospects of him working for some corporate company in the future; and seeing his single mother’s daily informal hustles did not help the cause. You really can’t blame him though. Having never seen his father nor had any relatives in the city, the boy did not really have too much to aspire to on the typical professional careers front of things, but that did not stop him from dreaming about other ways of making it in life.
From around the age of ten, Habib started developing a passion for singing. I guess listening to all those Bibi Kidude, Lucky Dube and Remmy Ongala’s hits that his mother always played on her very rusty and dusty vinyl player left an impression on the kid. He had now found these three idols to look up to – he literally got himself two fathers and a nana he never had.
When his mother was at work, Habib would sneak into her room, carry the vinyl to the common room, and played one of his three favourite records in a never-ending loop until he would fall asleep. Most times than not, after coming back, Sandra would let Habib take his nap while she prepares dinner. And when Habib would wake up, Sandra always made the same comment.
‘One of these days I will use your pocket money for the whole month to buy LUKU [power]. Unadhani TANESCO baba yako? Mxieew!’
Habib would always bust into singing whenever he was doing his chores. At first, his mother really liked the idea of his son venturing into a hobby that will keep him away from the streets, but it got old real quick since the kid did not have the sound to match it and did not hit the notes well enough. Sandra took it upon herself to send Habib to after-school music program with the little she could afford. As long as Habib was out of the streets, her soul was at peace – even if that meant doing it at the expense of them having to eat ugali maharagwe every single day.
THE TALENT SHOW
It was Habib’s last chance to prove to the judges that he had what it takes.
Kudos to him for reaching the semi-finals on his very first talent show competition. I guess the pouring of his heart on stage and Mr Mbuko’s unorthodox pitch training at the music program really set him apart. One judge was heard saying, ‘I really don’t like his voice, but his singing really moves my spirit’.
It was true in fact. The kid could really sing his heart out. The emotions present in his voice was as if he had been doing it for centuries, and he was just getting started. Being at the tender age of fourteen meant that he was only going to improve and he was going to take the world by storm when no one was ready for this boy’s talent. Who knew that in as early as 2020 the whole world was gonna turn their eyes to the East African music industry that Habib single-handedly paved the way for it.
Early that morning, Sandra went all out. I guess she was a lot more nervous than Habib himself. She served him chapati, two Samosas and scrambled eggs; and boy did he go all nuts on the plate. Habib even offered to wash the plates after, something you would never see him do. Not in a million years! You can’t really blame him though. For someone who is used to drinking tea with yesterday’s leftovers, that was one hell of a meal.
Before taking off to Coco Beach for the talent show, Habib promised himself that he was going to win that damn competition for her mother’s sake. She was all he had and cared for. Sandra was literally an angel in Habib’s eyes. Even at his tender age, he understood that his music lessons were straining their piggy bank at home, and their financial situation was not looking good; so the least he could do was to win that one thousand US Dollar prize at the competition.
Although Sandra could never afford to take a sick day, she came through for her prince that day. Even her manager at Mbuni soap factory was shook to hear her take a day off on a weekday. A freaking weekday! Everyone at the factory knows that Sandra never takes sick days let alone off days. She is your twelve times employer of the month before the year even begins. So her manager really had to ask twice.
‘Sandra mamaa! You know you can ask for raise if you wanted to?’…’How much did the Omo guys offer you? We will match it!’
‘I will see you tomorrow Mr Mligo! I just have some errands to run today.’
TO BE CONTINUED!