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A Letter to My Dear Brother

Family structure and relations; parents, children and sibling relations. He has used his writings to deal with the losses of his loved ones.

A Letter to My Dear Brother

Dear brother OS

Hello my brother, the comedian! How have you been lately? We’re all fine this side! How is it over there? It’s been fifteen long years since our last chat. The family has missed you! The brotherhood has missed you! I have missed you bro! Today is the first of October and it’s your birthday. You thought I had forgotten about it, didn’t you? I’m sorry to disappoint you, because I haven’t! I remember it very well! It’s your thirty-ninth. I deliberately chose to chat you up on your birthday. How is that for the brotherhood reconnection? I wish I could say happy birthday my brother but I can’t so I’ll skip that. Greetings from Benji, your junior school best friend. You remember him, don’t you? I bumped into him a few months ago at the train station.

The Struggle and Regret

I wish I could ask when you are coming back but that’s not why I’m writing to you bro. I’m penning this piece to regularise and restore our communication to where it was before you left. I have so many why’s though! Like why did you leave without our traditional farewell fist bump? Why did you have to sneak away in the dead of the night? Why didn’t you at least give a hint that you’d be leaving? Why didn’t you leave me your comedy scripts, art or songs, or at the very least, share a few with me? Why did you have to leave in the first place? Did you see how it killed us? I can go on and on bro but, again, that’s not why I’m writing to you so I’ll leave most of those why’s for the next communication piece. Who would want to be inundated with questions in the first reconnection communication piece? I know for certain I wouldn’t like that so I stop here. You should know, though, that you took away one of the legs of our quadrupod. Oh my God! How we struggled to keep it in position with that missing leg let alone move it forward! For years we couldn’t even recognize it. It was never the same again. We had no choice but to convert it to a tripod in order to have some semblance of balance and control. Even with the tripod compromise, we still have some serious transitional issues to this day. It was one hell of a transition I can tell you that! One that, given the choice, I wouldn’t make ever! I’d just keep things the way they were, no adjustments. I can only imagine how things would have turned out had you not left. Your stand-up comedy career. I imagine we would be filling Harare Theatre to the brim every Friday night for the weekly show. You would be performing your popular slow motion intro walk onto the stage. I can hear the noise from the audience, the applause, the ululating, the screams and cries for more. Then the show itself! The slow talk, the effortless gesturing and eye movement! That “whisper” to the guy sitting in the front row, the supposed slap and loud cry, oh my god! Boy you’re a great artist! You must be entertaining them over there! And the signature dance at the end that sends the crowd into a frenzy. I can’t even hear my voice man. The noise is just something else. I can only here your name bro, and the words: one more, one more, sung repeatedly. The world on your feet! You take a bow! Boy oh boy, aren’t you just talented? I can’t see you anymore from my seat here. So many cameras and media personnel around you, not that I’m complaining. You deserve the attention man! But you know I can dance better than you! My MC Hammer moves, the ones you always criticized. “Come on, not that again!” You would say with a frown just as I’m warming up. You and I know what would follow. The slow dancing music tutorial for me. “This is the real stuff!” You would say amidst the soulful lyrics. That performance, the kind that should be reserved for a childhood sweethearts’ wedding.

Mum and Dad

I was looking at our family pictures from thirty-two years back. Mum, Dad, thirteen year old big sister Oly, eleven year old big brother Kel, nine year old me and, of course, seven year old you! Little brother Cul wasn’t born yet, remember? Looking back that’s a long time ago yet it feels just like yesterday. Do you remember Manjoro Photo Studios at Machipisa Shopping Centre? That’s where the picture was taken sometime in August 1987? Do you remember the drive to the place in a Peugeot 404 taxi? The arguing, the fighting and the excitement in the back seat? The photo shoot itself? The brotherhood in safari suits and sneakers? Who wears a safari suit and sneakers? Remember the only brother wearing a wrist watch? The rehearsed if not forced smile before the crack of the camera? Big sis with her doll basket? How she insisted on taking the basket with her to the studio and how she insisted that it be in the photo though the brotherhood thought it was childish? I can tell you, I remember every memorable detail of that day. I remember you walking hand in hand with mum and dad after the shoot as we went for fish and chips at Manjoro Café. I remember saying to myself, “I wish I was that guy!” You had that special connection with mum and dad maybe because you were almost the last born, hahahahaha, until Cul came along. Maybe it was because of your slow talking and sweet nature. Or maybe they loved your sense of humour and soft nature. Well take a wild guess, your guess is as good as mine. I was a bit, a tiny bit jealous of you, you know. There were a lot of times I wished I were you. Speaking of mum and dad, how are they? Just asking, it’s our tradition you know or have you forgotten? We ask how loved ones are doing even if we know for sure they are doing fine. We just want to get confirmation, especially in their own words. I know mum and dad are very fine. What with a great place you guys are in. There’s no better place than that. Greet them for me, will you? Tell them I’ll be writing them soon. I have a whole lot to talk to them about. Don’t forget to tell them that we love them very much. This is from the family not just the brotherhood. The family is much bigger than just the brotherhood now. Tell them that even if we’re given the chance to start over and the chance to choose our parents, we would choose them again and again. They’re special and unique therefore irreplaceable. Tell dad Kel is now into building construction full time. The very stuff he was into; bricklaying, plastering, tiling, grouting, etc. I’m sure he will be very happy and proud to hear that. I’m into this and that, not sure exactly what to do with my life even in my forties. If you had left me your scripts and dance moves, maybe, I’d be an artist hahahahaha! Cul is the tech guy. He’s into computers; assembly, programming and support, that kind of stuff. He even runs a small company in Harare doing that stuff.

Till Next Time Bro!

With lots of love,

Brother TJ.

© 2019 Takesure Danga

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