To all the cons I loved before

I was to write about some humourless dimwit in the presidency who thinks whites, his word is colonialists, have befuddled my mind to the extent that I want His Excellency, the Most High, venerable President to prioritise chisa-nyama over service delivery.

I was to write about some humourless dimwit in the presidency who thinks whites, his word is colonialists, have befuddled my mind to the extent that I want His Excellency, the Most High, venerable President to prioritise chisa-nyama over service delivery.

He hears whites speaking through me, and conversely, I hear echoes of Mugabe in his paranoia.

I hope he does not speak for the president, because I would lose all the respect I have - and I have lots of it - for our First Citizen. But why indulge some nondescript grump singing for his lunch?

Fast forward.

This might take a bit of concentrating to follow. But try.

The setting is around Faraday Station, south of Johannesburg - not the safest address in the city.

A bearded man, Con man 1, in a white dust coat who has bishop written all over his face stops me.

He tells me: "I am a one of the three prophets you must know about. We were on TV, the newspapers, radio and so on. We are here in Joburg on a major crusade ."

At that point he stops a lanky fellow, Con man 2, walking past.

"I was just telling this mfo ." he says pointing to me.

He repeats the lines about the three famous prophets, while his accomplice playing stranger keeps nodding "okay, okay". He finishes off with the lines: "I want to show you two a little miracle. I will go away and you guys introduce yourselves to each other. I don't want to hear your names. Wait until I am gone then you can talk to each other. I don't know you, but I will tell you your names when I come back. Just call me when you are done."

He walks away to stand some 15 paces away. As he walks away, Con man 2 says: "Do you believe this man? Anyway, my name is Sipho.

"I am Madoda," I say.

"Pleased to meet you Madoda ." he says.

At that moment, Con man 3 walks past me and Con man 2, at which point C2 repeats his "pleased to meet you Madoda bit".

We signal C1, the prophet, and as he comes towards us, he crosses paths with C3, the innocent passer-by. As he walks past C2 -though I don't hear it - the passer-by, C3, obviously whispers to the prophet "Madoda".

Then C1 comes back to the two of us - me and C2. He looks at C2 and blurts out: "Sipho!" and at me: "Madoda!"

C2 feigns surprise: "A-a-a-a . le ndoda?

Well, well, well.

C2 "thinks" the man is supernatural and says we must give him a chance to "work" with us, but my sceptical mind is hard at work, and the jigsaw pieces fall into place.

"Manje madoda, we need to pray ." C1 advises.

I look for an opening in the busy city human traffic, pick my opening and sprint away as fast as my thin legs can carry me.

I did not stay long enough to hear the superman's story, but I can bet my bottom Zim dollar if I had stayed long enough, I would have ended up in some dingy, dark corner being robbed blind.

I think back to this true life story years back with mixed feelings.

The one part of me is angry that these people make our streets unsafe and give my country a bad name. The other part of me, though, admires the rapscallions for planning brilliantly and being smart, jealous down.

l Charles Mogole is editor of Sunday World

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