‘Mapping Mabs’ BY OKEMWA N. Sabastian

MULTICOLOURED patches glittering in the short lived rays overhead, they(rays) will be mourned later in the evening over a cup of coffee, a coil or a ‘signifier’ other, multi-character minds brushing shoulders almost literally and intentionally, “hizi ni?” Asks a comrade with the intention of inquiring on the prize, “nyanya” answers the lady reluctantly and every sick ling bursts out laughing that ‘idiota’ laughter as the comrade makes his clarification.
It’s called Mabs and regardless, my shepherd always reminded my fellow sheep and I that the church is not the building but the believers, Mabs is therefore not only the relatively synonymous mud from whence it thrives but also the silhouettes grappling with its merchandise.
The first area in the wider Mabs map and perhaps the most profound is here for surveillance and not for any security reasons, it can do some impromptu purchasing sometimes impressed other times to impress but it’s here for the beauties and hunks, it rarely sees in its faculty, in the same wake, the partners in slime are the beneficiaries here to be ‘sin’ ; do you spend hours on end each morning scrubbing, rinsing, massaging, ‘masquerading’, spraying, and yet all day no one even makes a drooling attempt over you? Try Mabs: They drool over every month, why not the pretty butterfly in his/her Kadunda best?
Every market has a mad man/woman, expect madder ‘mud’ here; you’ll see it snapping away on its miniature cameras, what is it documenting? Well that ranges from ladies cleavages, curves, behinds (gross) to the colourful almost ridiculous garments which they will put on, snap away, and then throw them back to the unpopular heap to the dismay of the seller: heartless ‘mud’.
Then there is the ghostly Mabs, Mabs that sees the ‘mud’ as detrimental to its shallow or deep resume. They will often scan the area for any alibis, when they spot one (which is very often), they will squat as though they were buying something. Then they are bumped into by yet another alibi, “hi” and “where do you stay” are torpedoed at her and from her reply she is not a first year as expected of someone ashamed of the beautiful, fashion showing, muddy Mabs. Is it just an error in my logic or do first years give full details of where they stay: hostel X, room Y, floor Z, nope, she is not a first year.
The other Mabs is kind of gang , it doesn’t mind the mighty ‘muds’ as long as shepherd ‘Fulani’ is here with them, a dress is elegant if ‘Fulani’ says it is, afterwards they’ll visit someplace fulani will suggest. “Mimi na wewe tumetoka mbali” it’s not easy trekking from Soweto to Mabs for the sake of someone; it’s hard enough leaving L gents wing to L ladies’ wing, so bravo groupies.
The other Mabs is boring you, don’t want to read about it, it’s here weekly to buy a week worth of the relatively zero rated vegetables, tomatoes, onions, the list is boring and did I mention cheap outfits, shoes, bracelets, scarves. Moi Uniform.

The writer is 3rd Year English- Literature


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