Macho Bele’s father was a driver. For many years he used to drive trucks all over East Africa and sometimes didn’t return home for a whole year. But the story of how he got his name, happened close to home.
Macho Bele’s father got a job driving a group of people from his village Shimbwe on the slopes of mount Kilimanjaro, to a wedding in Rombo.
Like any African wedding, it was a happy celebration, with a great deal of alcohol involved, and ended in the wee hours of the night.
When it was time to return home, the group realized that their hired driver was too drunk to walk, let alone drive!
After all, he did find himself at a wedding, and the only logical thing to do is, well, to drink.
Now the group faced a dilemma with only one apparent solution.
If they stay the night and wait for their driver to sober up, they will have to find a place to sleep, and spend more money on the wedding, money they simply don’t have. Therefore the solution was clear to everybody involved:
If their driver can’t walk to the car, they will carry him to it!
And so they carried Macho Bele’s father in their arms, seated him in front of the wheel, placed his hands on it, and shouted at him to start driving. He will get them home tonight! As agreed!
As the story goes, the whole way they shouted at him “Eyes forward! Eyes forward!”
After all, this drive home had to be a team effort for it to succeed.
You have to know, in Africa, every problem has a solution. and no matter what it is and how illogical or unsafe it is – it must work, because it’s the only solution there is. And in some miraculous way, with the blessing of Mama Africa, it does work!
And it did work in our story, and everybody arrived in one piece at Shimbwe village.
Rejoiced at the fact that their drunk driver managed to get them home alive through the winding roads up the mountain, they announced:
From this day onwards your name will be known in Shimbwe-
Macho Mbele = eyes forward!
And when his first born son started working as a driver many years later, it only made sense to everybody that he would henceforth be called Macho Mbele, after his father the famous driver.
And in short –Macho Bele.
Macho Bella Jr. is a gentle and good hearted young man, an excellent driver, and one thing you need to know – no one will ever have to carry him to the driver’s seat.
He is also a guide at a guesthouse in the village of Shimbwe, my home on the Kilimanjaro that I write so much about.
He calls me Auntie…
Come meet him at Shimbwe Meadows Guesthouse.
He always has incredible stories and also many wonderful places to show you.