Djenne Manuscript dealing with the subject of Magic.
Have someone put a bad spell on me?
I am becoming an old witch. I walk around scowling most of the time, and people avoid me because they fear a tantrum. And why am I so angry ? Well, because everything is so shoddy, hopeless and ramshackle. Everywhere I turn the bad quality Chinese things that I buy (because I have no choice) are being mended by my staff in a haphazard African sort of way, because they fear telling me that once again the staff bicycles (wheel barrows, plastic buckets, watering hose etc etc) which were thoroughly mended last week only are now once more broken. They dare not tell me so they cut up an old inner tube and wind it around the tyre (watering hose or…) which has perished once more. The bicycle brakes that have been mended will last for about a day. This is not a problem for an African- things like brakes are for fainthearted toubabs. Why should one want to slow down the progress of something which is actually working for once ?
And in the MaliMali studio I find first of all that my patterns, painstakingly cut out of recycled old cement sacks, have been eaten up by termites in the last three days because the person who is in charge of the sweeping and cleaning has gone missing. Then I notice a jar containing all the brushes that I brought out from England. They are thickly encrusted with oil based low-grade enamel paint… This provokes an uncontrollable fit in me, and I scream at the top of my volume control :
MERDE ! I brought these brushes from England in order that we would be able to move one step up on the development ladder in our bogolan production! We no longer have to use tooth brushes! And now I find that Petit Baba has gone and painted his Goddam BICYCLE with them !!! I don’t want to be here any more!! I have had just about enough of you lot! DO YOU HEAR !
And I wander off, the old witch of Djenne Djenno, quite literally tearing my hair out and mumbling incoherantly. Fortunately it is coming up towards sunset time and I escape onto my roof, where I sit for an hour or two, alone, gazing into the distance.