Thursday, November 22, 2012

Yelfa was not so easily put off. He arrived promptly at the hotel and came up with a very generous offer: Jerome was just to pay a small part now- whatever he could afford- and then, later, when Yelfa’s work had come to pass: when Clem had come to live with him in Nairobi, then only would Jerome pay. Yelfa had absolutely no doubt that his spell would be powerful enough. But Jerome looked even more uncomfortable…. So I explained tactfully to Yelfa that Jerome was very grateful for the offer, but that Toubabs in general don’t like the idea of animal sacrifices. It has to do with Christianity, I explained. Since Yelfa is a very religious person, and also very tolerant and understanding in his own way, this argument was understood and accepted.. We arrived at a compromise: Yelfa would produce a piece of calligraphy on a sheep parchment instead: a blessing in Arabic for Jerome and his girlfriend. Yelfa left to do the work. If Jerome had accepted Yelfa’s offer, and Yelfa’s spell had indeed worked, he would always have thought that Clem was in Nairobi because of the spell, not because of her love for him… When I told Keita this story he laughed and said Toubabos are too complicated! (Jerome has given me the go-ahead to publish this, just in case you were thinking I was being very indiscreet.)

5 Comments:

Blogger Claire D said...

This is an excellent story. I laughed out loud and then when my husband came home, I read it to him and he loved it to. So many fond memories of Mali! But this is so well written, too. When are we going to have Djenne Djenno - the book???

9:15 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Ah Claire, one day when I am old and far away from here and all the memories have fallen in to their proper place...thank you for reading and I am so glad you enjoy it!

10:25 PM  
Blogger David said...

What a tale! I wonder if we'll get the Times perspective on all this. Let me know if they let you know, as all that stuff is behind a paywall.

dxx

11:11 AM  
Blogger toubab said...

well I believe the Times article on the manuscript library is coming out next week, so please keep an eye open!

3:52 PM  
Blogger Susan Scheid said...

Oh, my, I have got very far behind here, and come back to such a tremendous story. Yes, yes, as David asks, do let us know when the Times article comes out.

2:36 AM  

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