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OLD FARTS: Jimmy the rat's love dilemma!!!!!!!!!

OLD FARTS: Jimmy the rat

Why he was called Jimmy the rat has been lost in the sands of time that been carried away by the winds of lost memory. What is even more intriguing that at the age 79 he still does not mind being known as Jimmy the Rat. As old farts go these days, he is no more a rat than any of the world’s old farts population.

He popped in the other evening to have one or two with the Friday beer adoration society not too far from where I live. Halfway through the proceedings, Jimmy begged for their undivided attention because he needed their advice. “As you guys know I have been an empty nester since Jinnelle left us night 15 years ago. Leaving alone can be a tough life: you soon tire of cooking for one and take the easy way out and you eat that garbage called takeaway food. Soon you are not able to do any cleaning around the house and thing get not done and dust and particles of dirt build their own castles in nooks and corners which while Jinnelle was alive were spotless. Cleaners are cleaners, they will be as good and meticulous as Jinny but you have to down size on your expectations. No. How do you downsize on a clean home? Well keeping the kitchen clean was becoming a problem and it got to the point that I needed someone to rescue the kitchen, bathrooms etc.

“So, I have been through a few cleaners. The current Japanese lady and her husband (they must be all of 90 years old… each … but look a lot younger) are doing an acceptable, not quite the standard of Jinny the spotless but I think acceptable enough.

“Had a world with the window cleaner and tried to explain the Jinny method of getting all glass in the house spot but gave up because I could not remember (or I had no idea in the first place) what Jinny’s secret was. Well, we can’t all be Jinny perfect and not everybody is a saint (that is what she used to say).
“Very impressed with the horticulturalist turned garden carer who is looking after the lawn. Got to the stage that with my neck and lower back problems, I could not handle the heavy whipper-snipper. I could handle the lawn mower but even that was becoming difficult.
“At the moment … washing the clothes is problem. Into the washer, into the dryer (or on the line). Fixed. Not a problem.

“Well as I head into the twilight zone of 80 years… I am feeling reasonably comfortable … and this happens: You guys remember my friend Gina Davis (No, not the actress, Thomas) who I meet with a whole mob of other people for a meal or a drink at the club. Well she asked me this question, in front of everyone else present: Would you like me for a roommate?

“Well, I never … if I was sitting on a high-chair I would have fallen off it, probably broken my neck and would never have had to deal with providing a diplomatic answer to her question. After many hours (it seemed) of regaining any composer I had left, I pretended I did not hear the question, but she persisted.

“I did not know what to say to her so I took the chicken-shit way out: ‘I will call you one of these days and we will discuss it.’ I was tempted to ask why but with a hundred nosing ears pretending not to be there but were listening with all their might, I might have been subject to even more shame and misery. I never really knew why that thought entered my mind. It did and it also became an uninvited resident in my head. And for the many, many weeks after that I ignored my mobile … after making sure it was Gina the gold-digger call and not one of my other friends or contacts.
“So guys, what should I do?”

Doctor Google, as usual was quick of the mark: “Let us consider the facts.

“Do you enjoy her company – yes but not someone to live with”
“Is she after your house, your money – no Roger left her quite well off.”
“What about her that you don’t like – smoking, of course, and she likes a drink or two or three or four.”
“You have been to her home, did it impress you – yes, of course, not as good Jinny’s housekeeping skills but OK, but she has a cleaner too.”
“Have you tasted her cooking?  -- a little bit, nothing to write home about.”
“She has a pretty garden, all her own work – I will give her that …. but man does not live by garden alone.”
“What is the one thing worrying you? – She might want sex and I can’t do that anymore I am all dried up.”
“Another thing, I am too old to share my bed or my bedroom”
Alan the singer piped in: “Goodbye, you two are not suited to share the same house.” “Exactly.”
Michael the dove, in his usually cooing voice, offered: “May be you guys have got it all wrong … maybe she is just offering to do the decent thing for a friend who might be ending up in an old folk’s home soon.”
Jimmy: “Wash your mouth with salt, castor oil and Lifeboy soap.”
Danno “Book him”: The little clever dick tried to humiliate Jimmy: “Whatever happened to sleepless in New York?” “Nothing. Just good friends. A potential romance destroyed by tyranny of distance even though I had a soft spot for her, off and on from the age of 14.”
“So why do you keep going to the Big Apple? “What’s not to love about the Big Apple?”
Peter the Owl: “Talk to her (with your daughter or son present). Have a real heart to heart. If you will not have her under any circumstances have the guts and the decency to tell her. She has been decent enough, and brave enough, to make the offer … you should at least respect that. With your children draw up a list of questions you want to ask her and after you have heard her just tell that one of these you may be going into a home … but thank her for her genuine concern, her very special caring, and most of all being a true friend.”
Orville the IT Nut: “Yes. Just have a chat with her … as a true friend and tell her how you feel. You don’t really want to hurt her and lose a great friend like her.”

There was considerable silence as each one present did the right thing and let their noses care for the insides of their beer pint glasses and they sought respite from a tricky dilemma in the holiest of amber liquids.

Then silence … the only noise was one that imagined …nuts and bolts in their brains having a bit of a set to.

If anyone has any thoughts on Jimmy’s dilemma, please post.

THEY had a chat yesterday after Mass over a Cappucino (several) for her and lots of tea for him. The end result was this: She said: I will come and stay if and when you need me. Don't forget I have my own life ... but if you are ill or in pain, I don't want you to be alone. I am happy to be there for you ... take you to the doctors, to the hospital if necessary (God forbid) ... whatever your needs are ... just happy to be there for you."

He is grinning from ear to ear ... and feeling better already.

She told him: That is what friend are for.



For all the love, kindness and support you have shown us, 
we are so thankful and it will always be remembered.

From the family of

Clara passed away on Saturday, November 9, 2019. She was the dearly beloved wife of the late Mr A.R. Da Costa. She was the fondly mother of  Bernadette (deceased), Matilda/Johnny, Joseph/Antonieta, Mariella/Brian. She was blessed to be the much loved grandmother to Lee-John/Sonia, Lou-Allan/Hillary, Mary-Ann, Ryan, and adored great grandmother to Mateo, Raina and Davi.

Clara was born in Nairobi, attended Dr Ribeiro Goan School, and had a kindergarten nursery school there for 25 years before moving to the U.S. in 1976. She worked for the International Institute in Oakland, California for 15 years. She thoroughly enjoyed time with family and friends, traveling, and hobbies.

Clara was living in Alameda, California with her daughter and son-in-law. Clara passed away peacefully with her children and her grandchildren by her side. Her funeral service was held on
Saturday, November 16.

Clara had a strong devotion to St Jude and also loved children. In memory of Clara, you make a donation to St Jude's Hospital using the following link:

               Read by Ryan D’Costa (Grandson) at Funeral Mass on 11/16/2019

Maria Piedade Clara, affectionately known as Clara, was born in Nairobi, Kenya.  Clara was the eldest of the five children of Ludgero and Olga Gracias.  She had two brothers Maurice and Philip, and two sisters, Dolly and Brigida.

Clara attended Dr. Ribeiro Goan School and did extremely well in her studies, especially English and Mathematics, and she always had impeccable handwriting.  She played badminton, cricket and rounders and after completing high school, she enrolled in dressmaking classes.

Clara enjoyed a busy social life in Nairobi.  She and her family went to church, had a large community of relatives and friends, and attended sporting events and dances.  She caught the eye of a young man, Antonio, who played the
saxophone in the dance bands and was an accountant.  Antonio always looked for an opportunity to leave the stage and go and dance with Clara.  Before long, he asked her to marry him, and she said "Yes"!  They had a beautiful wedding and started their life together.

Clara and Antonio were blessed with four children, Bernadette, Matilda, Joseph, and Mariella.  Clara took on the role of wife and mother with great confidence, love and pride for her family.

Clara took on an opportunity to teach a young student named Jude.  This had a very special meaning to her as she had great faith in St. Jude.  She did well teaching him and opened up her own kindergarten school for 12 children.  She prepared them for Grade One, and also gave tuitions to older children.  She taught for 25 years, and her students went on to excel in school and have successful careers.  Her former students and their parents accredited their success to the strong foundation in reading, writing, and arithmetic that Clara gave them with her teaching.

In 1976, Clara and Antonio moved to the U.S. to join her brother Maurice and his family in the Bay Area.  This was a major decision but they met all the challenges of moving to a new country.  Clara changed her career to office work, and worked at the International Institute for 15 years.

She enjoyed her career there and received an award for her outstanding work.
She made many good friends there including Connie who is here today.  They continued their friendship as the “Golden Girls” after they retired with many get-togethers and day trips.

Clara felt overjoyed to become a grandmother of four grandchildren, see two of them marry, and then happily welcomed three great-grandchildren.  She dearly loved her family and friends visiting or going to meet them, and always said “it is so nice to be together”.

Clara had strong religious devotion, deluging the saints and heavens with her prayers.  Clara’s hobbies over the years included cooking, sewing, gardening, ballroom dancing, music, puzzles, and watching TV.  Clara always loved to travel and enjoyed road trips, train rides, cruises, and outdoor beauty.

Clara suffered losses of her husband Antonio and her daughter Bernadette but remained strong throughout.  With her family and friends, she lived life to the fullest into her 80s and 90s.  Just a month before she passed away, she went to a Bruno Mars concert, a Bee Gee’s review concert, and won a little on a slot machine.

Clara was a sweet lady who made friends easily and had a lot of fans everywhere. Her sweet tooth was legendary and no matter where we went she always saved room for dessert.  Her genuine smile, warmth, and caring lit up everyone whom she met.  She had a quick sense of humor, loved to laugh and always knew what she wanted.

Over the last few years Grandma and I got to spend more time together than ever. She was a warm, nurturing and loving presence every day of my life. In her eyes I could do no wrong, and in mine either could she. We squeezed so many special moments, laughs memories into the time we had together.  I am proud and blessed that I have Clara as my Grandma.

Top 10 Loving Memories of Clara

A Life Well Lived and Her Beautiful Legacy
                                Read by Ryan D’Costa (Grandson) at
                          Celebration of Life Reception on 11/16/2019

She never needed a recipe yet the taste was always just right. From

chicken and rice to her famous ground beef with peas and sweets at Christmas time she made sure we were all well fed with some of her signature dishes. My personal favorite was her fish cutlets which I was lucky to have made alongside her several times even if mine have never come out quite as good as hers.

NUMBER   Her HOSPITALITY. She treated every visitor as her own special guest.
She always wanted to bring you a drink,

make you a cup of tea, and share some of her favorite biscuits. No matter how long you stayed she was sad to see you go and wanted to know when you were coming again. When I visited no matter how much I ate it was never enough. I used to joke that if I lived with her I would need to use the double front doors just to in and out of the house.

NUMBER 8 Her love of TRAVEL. She was always ready for a new adventure.
She loved taking cruises and visiting new

places. Some of her favorite places to visit included Hawaii, Australia, the Caribbean, Russia, the Mediterranean, Vegas, England and Canada. On every cruise or hotel stay she was happy to have a room with a view.  A few years into Brian and Mariella’s marriage she commandeered the front seat of every car and was happy to come on long road trips to Nevada and Washington.
She and I would share a cabin on cruises and she’s probably the only woman I’ll ever share a room with willing to get up at 5 to use the bathroom and the wipe it down completely so it was ready to go for me whenever I got up.

NUMBER 7 Her SWEET TOOTH was famous. She had a profound love
of biscuits, cakes, toffees, marzipan, chocolates,

jam, Indian sweets and fresh fruit. You couldn’t walk by a dessert case, a doughnut shop or a chocolate store without her freezing in her tracks. She always said she had an extra space in her stomach for ice cream. She enjoyed a shot glass of Port wine every evening and if Port wasn’t available, she always let you know that it wasn’t quite sweet enough. Sugar was the one food group that the portion was never “too much”

NUMBER 6 Her love of GARDENING. She could make the smallest cutting grow into a thriving plant. Most of our gardens

were started with cuttings of plants she gave us. She was as meticulous with her gardening as she was with everything she did and was not satisfied until every dry leaf and weed was taken care of.

NUMBER 5 Her HOBBIES. She loved to read the paper and watch her favorite TV shows like Lawrence Welk, Jeopardy,

Wheel of Fortune and Sit and Be Fit. She loved to do word puzzles, math puzzles and play games on her tablet.  In the afternoon she would enjoy time sitting at the front window and waving to the neighbors as they came home and watching the planes take off and land. She loved to sew and made her own dresses and was available for alterations even Christmas Eve 1999 as Brian was trying to propose.

NUMBER 4 Her METICULOUS nature. Whether she was making her bed, setting the table or cleaning the house there

was a correct way to do everything and she always made sure it was done to perfection. Even if the table was already laid out, but the napkins were folded into rectangles she would walk around the table and refold them into triangles so they were “nice”. She’s the only person I’ve ever met who looked back at last year’s Christmas cards to see if the person sent a religious card or not and whether they wrote dear or dearest so she could reciprocate.

NUMBER 3 Her sense of HUMOR. She had a very quick wit and always enjoyed a good laugh. She loved to make us and

herself laugh. On last Monday I was trying to tell her to take big sips of her water instead of what I always described as “baby bird sips”. When she took a small sip anyway I asked her if she was a baby bird and she replied no, I’m a duck. I asked her, if you’re a duck and you’re my grandmother what does that make me? Before she could even reply she started laughing looked at me and said a goose!

NUMBER 2 Her strong FAITH.
She was a devout Catholic and she instilled a deep faith in each of her children and

grandchildren. Her daily routine consisted of saying her daily prayer, saying the rosary and a peacefully reciting prayers from her collection. She never forgot to say her grace before meals and had a prayer for every occasion, whether it was travel, something was lost or any ailment.

NUMBER 1 Her love of FAMILY and FRIENDS.
She was part of large extended family and was able to fondly recall details

of family gatherings, relationships, birthdays and other special events going back several years. She was blessed to live with Mariella and Brian and had a daily conversation with Matilda and Joseph throughout her life. She also loved meeting new people and touched the lives of all those who knew her.  She cared about all of us deeply, the love was mutual, and we all adored her completely. She will remain in our hearts forever.

Malaika, the mystery, the history, the torment

MALAIKA (Angel) (Ongoing research – preliminary notes, presented to Mama Africa Miriam Makeba, January 14 2008, at the Uppsala Congress and Concert Hall, Sweden.

Abdulaziz Y. Lodhi (PhD ( Professor in Swahili and Bantu Studies.
Dept. of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, Sweden

(CRF: I spent quite a bit of time with Fadhili Williams in Nairobi, even sat in some of the recording sessions at Charles Hayes studios in Nairobi. Also played regular snooker with him at Queens' (Brunners). We talked quite a bit of Kenyan music and musicians but never discussed Malaika with him. It was taken for granted that he wrote and recorded the song. This study put some serious doubt on that score, even though there really no hard proof except somewhat weight circumstantial evidence. For some mystery remains. For others it is dead and buried with Adam Salim)

Malaika has been the No. 1 Kiswahili/Swahili song since Fadhili Williams of Kenya recorded it in 1959. It has since been recorded more than dozen including by such mega-stars Miriam Makeba with Harry Belafonte, Angelique Kidjo (several Indian chanteuses) and even the Swedish pop-rock group Hep Stars in 1967 who made it their top hit the following year. (In Kidjo’s version there are some errors in the text.)

Until recently it was generally taken for granted that Fadhili Williams was also the author of the song. However, in June 1986, Sunday News of Tanzania presented a sensational story in a rather long article to shed light on the history of this famous song. Fadhili Williams had always claimed authorship of the song which he had recorded several times and earned royalties from record sales. Another Kenyan artist, Grant Charo, had also claimed copyright to the lyrics of Malaika,  and after his death, his widow pursued the case in court without success.
In May 1986, after a concert given by Fadhili Williams at the Kilimanjaro Hotel in Dar es Salaam, the Sunday News started an investigation on the origins of the song Malaika to which the Tanzanian public responded well. Hundreds of older Tanzanians almost unanimously claimed that it was a certain Adam Salim who had written the song. Some of them also believed that Adam Salim was no longer alive while a few others were they could lead the Sunday News to a little house in Moshi at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.
There lived the 70-year-old Adam Salim, a small skinny man weathered by hardships of life in poverty, in the loyal company of his equally ancient-looking second wife. Of course, it was he, Adam bin Salim, who had written the song at the beginning of 1945, he said, for his beloved Halima binti Ramadhani Maruwa of Arusha (born 1926). Both families were against their union which led to the birth of the most famous lamentation in eastern Africa. Adam recorded the song for the Columbia East African Music Company sometime around 1950, and he was paid 60 shillings for it. But he had no written contract as evidence. Such things did not exist at the time.
Adam was born in Nairobi in 1916. He was a car mechanic and he had his own jazz band called Adam& Trio which performed some evenings per week. His somewhat practising Muslim parents did not approve of him being a modern musician performing in bars and clubs, and this was also the main reason why Halima’s father Ramadhani Maruwa disqualified Adam Salim as his future son-in-law. Halima was persuaded by her parents to marry a wealthy Swahili gentleman of Indian descent in late 1944. A few months late Adam wrote Malaika to an improved variant of a traditional Swahili melody from Tanga, Tanzania.
A couple of years later Adam was involved in a serious car accident and had to be hospitalised in Nairobi for three years. After his recovery, he moved to Moshi where his parent at settled. He then moved to Morogoro and worked as a bicycle repairer at the Kilombero Sugar Company for 25 years. After his retirement, he returned to his parents home in Moshi with his second wife, children and grandchildren.
Halima later separated from her rich husband and re-married. She assured the Sunday News that Adam Salim had composed Malaika for her, but she could not produce any documentary evidence.
Adam could produce his ‘Angel’ for whom he had written the song which the ‘Angel’ could at least orally maintain, and this has been corroborated for the Tanzanian media in writing by several hundred East Africans.
Several year earlier in 1967, my late uncle Ustaad (Maestro) Mitu alias Ayoub Ahmad Ayoub bin Amir Osman Rangooni, poet, musician, and singer from Mkunazini, Zanzibar, had informed me at his home in Kipawa, near Dar es Salaam Airport, that he was acquainted with both Adam Salim and Fadhili Williams. According to Ustaad Mitu, there an old very short  Swahili song of only one stanza which some sailors on the Cable and Wireless ship (that laid the telegraph and telephone lines in the Indian Ocean between Zanzibar and Bombay) used to sing a traditional melody from Tanga which Adam Salim developed further and composed a longer song. In that original sailors’ song, Malaika was the proper name of the sweetheart involved.
Malaika, nakupenda Malaika!
Nami nifanyeje, mpenzi mwenzio
Nashindwa no pesa sina wee, ninegohuoa Malaika

Literal translation of the above “old” or original sailors’ version:
1.     Angel, I love you angel!
And what shall I do, your lover?
I am defeated, I have no money (or else) I would marry you angel.

‘Malaika’ as recorded by Fadhili Williams and others
According to Ustaad Mitu, Adam Salim’s original song has only two stanza, the first and the third one; the second/middle was added later by Adam Salim and he sang it in the following orderof stanzas: 1 – 2 –1 – 3 – 1
1.     Malaika, nakupenda malaika! -2
Nami nifanyeje, kijana mwenzio?
Pesa zasumbua roho yangu -2
Nashindwa no mali sina wee, ninegekuoa malaika! -2

2.     Pesa za sumbua roho yangu! -2
Ningekuoa mwenyewe; ningekuoa dada!
Nashindwa na mali sina wee, ningekuoa malaika!-2

3.     Kidege, nakuwaza kidege! -2
Nami nifanyeje, kijana mwenzio?
Nashindwa na mali sina wee, ningekuoa malaika


Angel, I love you angel,
And what shall I do, your young friend?
I can’t afford the dowry, I have no money (or else) I would marry you angel!

Money tortures my soul!
I would have married you myself, I would have married you my dear!
I can’t afford the dowry, I have no money, (or else) I would marry you angel!

Little bird (Darling), I dream of you little bird
And what shall I do, your young friend?
I can't afford the dowry, I have no money, (or else) I would marry you my angel!


Fadhili Williams version Miriam Makeba version