Posted by: eppingstrider | 08/07/2011

6b: Mbeya ‘boys’

I notice when talking about the staff in Mbeya and then subsequently through that tape that I refer to the ‘boys’ frequently when I’m referring to the staff other than the European staff.  Now I’m afraid I refer to the ‘boys’ like that in the ‘colonial’ way – it meant any of the local employees.  We did employ as many as the local employees as we could as it was ridiculous to try and get some of the Europeans to do some of the jobs.  And besides which we liked to live with the country as much as we could and we had the native, the local tribes to do the jobs that had to be done.  I did however subsequently learn that there was one tribe that you had to be very careful of, and I’ve forgotten the name of it now unfortunately, but you had to avoid ever taking them on as a houseboy because they did not believe in killing anything at all, no animals, no bugs, no bits, no fleas, anything.  Consequently if you had them as a houseboy they would never clear up clean up or eliminate any of the bugs which would eventually eat… or got into your house sometime of other.  So that apart from any flies or fleas or spiders, you also got cockroaches, cockamongers and oh, I don’t know what you’d get in there.  So you would running alive if you had one of these boys as a houseboy as they would never kill any of them!

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