Jimbo Mzungu – Essay

Jimbo - Père Lachaise

According to the Urban Dictionarymzungu, a commonly used Swahili term for “white man” actually means “someone who wanders without purpose / someone constantly on the move.”

Tomorrow I will leave San Francisco island and drive through a dark San Joaquin Valley, past Kettleman City, Avenal, and Lost Hills. Then I’ll climb the Tehachapis… Fort Tejon and LeBec before descending by night to the City of Light, Loz Ahnnnn Ha Leeze. I will think of LA mzungus.

“Are you a lucky little lady in the city of light? Or just another lost angel…city of night… city of night,,,”  Jimbo wandered mzungu style, himself… always thirsty, thirsty as the Mojave.

Probably not ironic, or paradoxic , or even coinciental that we call both LA and Paris, “The City of Light.” We’ll be in LA, the City of Light, but far from poor Jimbo, ex mzungu, asleep forever in Père Lachaise, the City of Light.

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