In the beginning God created the earth. But the earth was without form; it was a mere deep dark void. But the spirit of God moved across the dark void of earth and there was light. God divided the darkness and the light into day and night. It was the first day. On the second day, he created the heavens, on the third, the dry land, and so forth. Soon the world was complete. It was the Sabbath; the lord God rested and retired to Goddom. This retirement is what lesser kings to this day ape by going to Camp David, Berghof, Novorgard Dacha, Checkers and Kanilai.
One day, looking down from his Celestial Throne in the place the Baha’i called Hahut, the Great God decided to come down on earth for some rare adventure. After all, He had sent down His messengers to remind errant earthlings that He was not dead and was still the Lord, their God but they had stoned and killed some, beaten and taunted the rest as charlatans and mad men. So it was time for Himself to come down.
But as He made the descent from the reaches of the lower heavens all He could see was filth and stench everywhere. The seas were dirty. The clean azure with which he had stamped the heavens was turned into hot oceans of poison. The trees which He carpeted the floors of the earth were being cut and burnt. In His wisdom He wondered: ‘What destruction doth those little fingers of men wrought? Knoweth they not that even the trees are more important than them? For surely, the trees can flourish without them but they will become extinct without the trees?’ Then he recalled the plaintive cries of the angels following his announcement of the creation of man; ‘Will you create a people who will shed blood…?
The great cities, the dens of fifth and iniquity, were no place for the sole occupier of Hahut, the Sanctum of Glory of which the human mind cannot even begin to fathom. So He chose to rest in the desert. But not even the crystalline reflective dunes of the deserts were clean enough, so He returned to His sanctum, far removed from the muck and mire of the earth.
The Great God then decided the time for his long promised Armageddon had come; it was time to recreate the best from the fifth that is the earth. Time to roll up the canopies of the skies and crush the earth into fine powder. But before He ordered the trumpet-happy Michael to blow the Horn, He summoned three of His viceroys from the earth. These were men He hath favoured with power, a dash of charisma, wealth and the fealty of millions of earthlings. An angel, the Hermes of God’s sanctum, whose one wingspan covers the earth, swop down on the earth, picked up Clinton in Washington, Blair in London and Jammeh in Banjul and within the bat of an eye flung them prostrate before God. They got up on their feet and saw unending columns of winged, bowing creatures. The angels beat the tambourines of heaven and blew their trumpets in fanfare as the genii danced in rings of fire before the throne of God.
After the salutations and the genuflections, God surveyed his visitors and finally spoke: “To each of you, I will allow one comment.”
Clinton stepped forward. “Knower of all things, tell me, what will I be remembered for when I die, and when will the USA be the supreme hegemon of the world?”
God smiled bemusedly and said: ‘There goes the lawyer in you. I gave leave to ask one question and you asked two. Bill, you have been a good man and I have never created a perfect man. You have brought prosperity to your people. You have fought the bad guys, Slobodan and Saddam, but, why didn’t you apologise to black people for the crimes of slavery and write off Africa’s entire debt? You could afford that. It would be like giving away a little nutmeg from your grand granary. Your ancestors took away a hundred million of that land’s strongest and tallest, thereby robbing it of the seed of its regeneration. Or did you think the Elephants on the Hill would have made a live feast of your carrion if you had attempted to? Anyway, as for your legacy, Bill, your face will not be carved on the mountain but in the hot years after you leave, there will come a string of such badass presidents including George W Bush and Ace Ventura that your people will soon realise your greatness, and they will build monument for you in Washington. I made your country great, the pride of the world. You have made it roundly admired as an exporter of hope and progress, but after you will come a man who in his demure and arrogance will turn your country from being an exporter of hope and democracy to an exporter of terror and arrogance. On when the USA will become the supreme superpower, it shan’t be before November 2050, nay even January 2500…”
With that Clinton wailed, sobbed and blew his nose. “Why are you crying, William?” God asked. “Because that will not be in my time…not even in Chelsea’s time. Please, please…’ Clinton pleaded. But even as he bawled, the mighty angels seized him by his forelock and flung him away from the sanctum into the outer space of earth. Like Denzel aka Michael the Angel in Preacher’s Wife, Clinton fell down on the White House lawn from heaven, picked himself up before some Polaroid slinging tourist loafing around could take his snapshot and headed for the main doors of the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Then God turned Blair, “What is your question, Anthony” And like Bill before him, Tony asked: “What will be my legacy, and when will Britain be the unchallenged hegemon in Europe, obeyed and loved by the French as well as the German?”
“Anthony, even I, Lord God, love your shock of Scottish hair, lilting voice and face like cherry. Indeed, Anthony, I have a purpose for sending you to your island people. I wanted you to destroy the concrete foundation of their monarchy, The Family must come down, the house must come down as the empire has come down! Your people need a revo. Remember that the architects of the American revo were English radicals. Anthony, I sent you to bring home the revo they gave America. Happy was I at the beginning when you would rather walk than ride the royal carriage. But now, you have abandoned my new way, the third way. At Davos, you did not talk about it. Stop the pussyfooting, stop the pettifogging! You, Anthony, are My Moses, and Anthony Giddens your Aaron, and Jonathan Freeland’s Bring Home the Revolution: A Case for a British Republic your gospel. And why wouldn’t you give the Fayed man a passport? And stop dividing my house. What did Red Ken do to you? He is, like you, my child. If you can embrace Mendelsohn the Sodomite, why can’t you shake the hand of Ken? As for your legacy, Cherie has delivered and that proves you are the first normal man to live in No.10 for one hundred years. Excepting that, your legacy is, as yet, a blank tablet waiting to be inked. On when Britain will be the supreme power again, it will come when America falls and after that China rises and falls.”
Blair was nonplussed, for until now, he hadn’t thought that any historian would ink the fall of America. Much does he loved America and secretly can’t forgive King George for losing that land and God for creating him in the grey and gloomy British back water instead of the dazzling land of America,
But God continued: “Indeed, America will fall, just as the English, the Ottoman, and the Roman empires before it. Then, fifteen prime ministers after Michael Portillo shall Britain again be the super power, lord of the sea, the land and sky of Europe.”
Tony, like a Brummie schoolgirl, jumped up and down and bawled. Asked by God what was upsetting him so much, Tony quipped: “Because that will not be in my time. How I wish I could be reborn to be the prime minister…” But even as spoke, the mighty angels seized him by his forelock and threw into the outer reaches of the earth landing on the soft mown lawns of the Pall Mall.
Then God turned to Abdul Aziz Ibn Junkung Jemus and asked, “And you, Yahya, what question do you have?” Rosary of one thousand beads in right hand and sheathed scimitar in left, Yahya Jammeh said: “The Lord God, truly, Your love flows in every vein of my heart. Tell me, what will be my legacy and when will The Gambia become a super power, loved and respected by all nations of the earth and …?
But even as Yahya was speaking, God Himself began crying. The heavens came to a standstill. The angels were frozen, the genii lost their burnish glow and looked ghoulish, and even the air stopped moving. God crying!!! No one had ever seen such a spectacle. Then Yahya boldly asked: “God, why are you crying?” Indeed, it never was seen before….the Godface crying Godden tears! Then as the angels rushed to grab Yahya, God spoke, “I cry, because, I fear, that will not be even in my time.”
‘But since you asked two question, so shall you receive two answers? O Father of Mariam, lest you do not know, let me that you are no accident; you are My own design. You are My sign, sent to those who have understanding. There were a people whom I had chosen above all else and favoured like I had favoured none else, yet like the fame wizards of Kudang who hated all things good, they threw away My benevolence. I then looked to a different people, Bedouins, considered lowly and detestable and chose from among them my vicegerent on earth . Young man, see yourself in that mold. Remember the song of Solomon: Look not upon me because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me…
“Remember, be good because no complot can bring down a good man. Shun the company of petty men and griots and griottes. They suck and hunger for only your blood, your soul and the integrity of your character. You have a great heart and drive and I shall help you. My bounty is infinite. If you ask for myrrh and gold, I can give you diamonds and if you ask for a river, I can give you an ocean. You were an orphan and I put my protective hands over you. You were ignorant and I taught you the wisdom of life. I gave you courage and the strength so that no one ever threw you on your back and you never fell from the palm tree. Was it not I who changed your name from Jacob to John to remind you of my mercy on you? I wanted you to feel nakedness, heat, emptiness, powerlessness, hunger and penury of the armies of indigents, so that one day, when you become what you have to become, you will remember my other children in the desert. Then shall you cure the ailing, take mercy on the weak and the vulnerable, give love to the lovelorn and food to the hungry.
“You have built the land, fed the poor, healed the sick and gave hope to the hopeless but you are high haughty and must carom from your high iron seat. I have not chosen you above one million of your people because I love your face. It’s your heart. But now, it seems like your heart has become your eyes. Do not cause fear in the land. Do not exact revenge, for surely, vengeance is mine, mine alone! Carom from your high seat. Talk to your people. Give back homes to those you have made homeless, give back love to those you have made loveless. Speak the tongue of humility and reconciliation. Make your self a ladder of your defeats.
‘If you are lost, turn to me, your Lord God, for I love you. You, like Caesar Octavius, found your kingdom a brick and you could leave it a marble. Like Solomon of old, I sent you to your people a young man, and I shall give you the wisdom to rule over them wisely. But My wisdom is for your asking. When you ask, then shall you receive and be at peace with your inner self and with others. Know that a million bows and arrows, a million pounds of steel and gunpowder cannot save you from the hatred of man, so be yourself. Be Yahya. And why do you dance at the Futampaf, don’t you know that kings do not dance…?
With that, the mighty angels seized Yahya by his ropes and flung him to earth. In the weeks following, the people off his land marveled at his changed ways. They called King John, The Good, and when he died, they named his son Suleiman, the new king of the land for his father had earned his spurs for him.
First written and published on 23 July 2000 in the Daily Observer.
By Sheriff Bojang