Dar es Salaam’s Watchman

Photo courtesy: mwanasimba — Wikimedia Commons

Askari monument, in the middle of a roundabout in Dar es Salaam, was a statue I passed every day on the way to the General Post Office. In the days before the Internet, I traipsed by the statue, but couldn’t make a connection between this askari, who looked more like a soldier poised to attack, than the watchman who guarded our property at night.

366px-askari_monument_dar_es_salaam
Photo courtesy: Moongateclimber — Wikimedia Commons

We often arrived home late in the evening to find our askari in a comatose state, his body slung over a woven coir bed in front of our doorway. He’d wake from his slumber and declare that all was safe, and some how we always believed him.

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