On a cold evening at a car wash in Katutura, I spotted a lonely figure. Pants sagged, dirty black underwear showing, an oversized worn-out jacket perched precariously on his extra lean shoulders, shock of long unkempt dreadlocks cascading down his head and teeth yellowed by years of hard living.
The odious stench of alcohol could be perceived miles away with just the word “Hello”.
To my surprise, I recognised this mysterious junky, it’s Mr John (pseudonym), my high school mathematics teacher. On a red-letter day, he could solve three pages of mathematical questions and explain calculus in a way that even a mad man would understand it easily.
This man must be a genius. In my youthful mind I could bet Leonhard Euler could learn a few tricks from him. This same admired mathematician I saw, begging for a bottle of ombike because he does not have N$10 to pay for it.
I pulled out N$20 and was immediately struck by confusion. Should I give him this money and contribute to his death, or should I refuse him and watch him throw a tantrum like a disposed toddler?
He saved me from the dilemma as he grabbed the money from me and rushed to the ugly, dirty merchant of death, who gleefully poured him a glass full.
Unsurprisingly, he downed the drink like a glass of water and hugged me like I had just saved him from the hangman’s knot. I looked deep into his eyes and saw a lost soul. I thought to myself, can this increase in alcohol tax come any time sooner?
Lots of siblings, fathers and wayward mothers have lost their souls, all in the name of alcohol abuse. Though it would have little or no effect, I would root for counselling, which would surely be the best option, but woe betide you if the demon crawls back.
One word, they say, is enough for the wise.