"Jingle ... Jangle"

 

One characteristic that set Chianapio, the Chief of Ghiana apart from every other Ghanaian I met in the Northern Territories was his practice of wearing a heavy brass bracelet around his left ankle, with a tinkling little brass bell affixed to it.   You always knew when Chianapio was near for you  could hear the distinctive "Jingle Jangle, Jingle Jangle" as he walked.

Fascinated, I inspected the anklet and was surprised to find that it could not be removed without cutting it with a hacksaw or cutting his foot off.  The chief was a large man, almost as big as Pagapio, though one thired his age and very strong.  I loved to film him with my old Kodak 8mm camera, almost as much as he loved to watch himself on our home movie screen when the reels had been developed and returned.

Years later, I happened to be in the dark lobby of a second rate downtown hotel in Addis Abeba, waiting for a missionary to arrive for an appointed interview.  Otherwise, I would never have been in this particular shabby hotel at any time.  As I sat in an old over-stuffed chair in the dim light trying to keep from dozing off,  I suddenly became aware of a distinctive "Jingle Jangle ... Jingle Jangle"  approaching me along the lengthy narrow hallway.  I experienced a sudden revelation - a flash signal exploded in my brain -  instantly,   I knew there could only be one person in the world who made that distinctive "Jingle Jangle' when they walked.

I leapt from the chair and rushed down the hall screaming  "Chianapio, Chianapio," long before I saw him.

The young chief, now twenty years older and no longer a disappointed student, was shocked in disbelief, but recognized me at once.  He embraced me in a hugh bear hug with tears streaming down his face.

"Mr. Gibson ... Mr. Gibson ...Mr,  Gibson ... What are you? ... How did you? ... Why? ... Where? ... Oh, my God!"

When we both finally settled down, we learned what each other was doing there.  It came as a shock to me to learn that Chianapio was a Moslem.  During the three years I had lived in Navrogo, he had never mentioned, nor had I ever inquired, what his religious beliefs were.  But now, twenty years later in Ethiopia, I learned.

"I have prospered since your departure from Ghana, as has all of my village," he said. "Your American sorghum yielded great surpluses for all of us.  Every field in Chiana has been contoured and the fertility of our lands continues to improve.  Our dam, which you built, has solved our annual water shortage.  I felt it was time to make my HADJ to Mecca and thank Allah God for His goodness."

"But what brought you to Addis Abebe?"  I inquired.

"The only return flight I could get was to here where I spent the night.  This was the only hotel with enough available rooms for our group.  This afternoon I fly to Lagos and from there to Accra.  It is only by the will of God that both you and I were in this small hotel at the same time and that you remembered my leg bracelet."

 

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