Pride is a sweet fruit, but not when it goes down your throat. It has to remain in your mouth for it to keep its fresh taste


By Nhamo Muchagumisa


Hammond had fired him from his job, but his father had not struck his name off the list of his beneficiaries, as had emerged from the reading of his father’s will.

Even though Hammond had scooped more than 70% of his father’s estate, he could not fathom how his father could leave US30 000 in the hands of a stranger, for a stranger’s undeserved prosperity.

Yes, the bond Guvi had had with Hammond ‘s father had proven to be the most robust the human mind could imagine, but Hammond needed spiritual revelation to demystify the force behind the attachment his father had had with the man his only son had disgraced, only to see him receive honours from the man who regarded with the hottest abhorrence, whatever his son detested.

Guvi had fallen out of favour with Hammond when he started to intermittently report for duty, giving the most flimsy excuses that could be expected from an adult.

To make matters worse, Guvi had turned into a skiver while his employer was recovering from a major operation that involved a kidney transplant.

His father had finally recovered after five weeks of home-based care, hospitalisation and visits, and all-night care sessions from surgeons.

Ironically,  two weeks before his father resumed his position as the indestructible owner of Maruziva Transport and Logistics, Guvi started reporting more regularly for duty, but the damage he had caused was irreparable.



Hammond had already made up his mind to throw him overboard. He could not stand his callous behaviour, especially when his employer was in a critical condition.

Immediately after his father had resumed his superordinate position in the organisation, Hammond laid an adverse report about Guvi on his desk, whose two concluding lines recommended Guvi’s dismissal from office.

“But he is the best personnel manager I have had for the past fifteen years,” Mr Maruziva protested innocently.

“He was…” Hammond cut in but his father cut him short.

“If you act in a rash, you will create fresh problems for yourself that you will try to correct in a rash, and the result will be an accumulation of insurmountable challenges,” the businessman said, sitting like the revered Olympus of Greek religion and philosophy on his throne, staring at his son across the desk with undisguised concern printed on the wrinkles of his face.

“The old man and his philosophy again!” Hammond teased his parent. “I leave these papers on your table, but with a son’s absolute humility, I expect no more philosophy lectures.”

Two days after this exchange, Guvi was chopped from his post and Maruziva’s twenty-six-year-old heir had to double as Personnel Manager and Accountant.

The business continued to flourish until three years down the line Maruziva passed on. Even though the deceased tycoon seemed to have become a figurehead, with his son doing most of his duties, the fortunes of his business began to decline after his death.



Some drivers left their jobs at short notice,  only to get employed by transport companies that had always played the underdog to Maruziva Transport and Logistics.

The company’s balance sheet fell in the red and the value of the company’s shares plummeted. Maruziva Junior began to sorely miss the late philosopher. There was a kind of magic in his philosophy that held things together. Hammond had no choice, but to approach his late father’s lawyer.

“Your case is simple. If I was a magician, I would bring back your father, but it is obscene for me to wish I was,” said the lawyer, “but I can give you the most pragmatic advice that only your father would give you if he could speak from the grave.”

“Go ahead, I am desperate,” Hammond Maruziva responded eagerly. Reinstate Mr. Guvi and stop doubling as Accountant and Personnel Manager.”

Pride is a sweet fruit, but not when it goes down your throat. It has to remain in your mouth for it to keep its fresh taste. Hammond knew that he had to part ways with his pride. Even when he walked out of the lawyer’s office to face the busy streets, he felt his pride cold in his belly.

For a moment he thought he wanted to vomit, but the moment he realised that he had swallowed his pride to save his late father’s reputation, he felt a wave of relief.

As he drove back to his office, the late afternoon sun behind him, he felt like he was defying the impending sunset and driving right into the new day.



But Mr. Guvi was not forthcoming. After a long video call from Hammond, he said the only way he could help was to send someone trustworthy who would serve as an Accountant so that Hammond would fully play the role of Personnel Manager and employer.

A girl, aged around twenty-four, was referred by Hammond’s secretary to his office the following morning. She had in her hand a letter from Guvi. Hammond felt somehow betrayed, but when he went through her qualifications, his attention shifted from the vulnerable beauty she seemed to be, towards the possible assert she might be to his business.

The fortunes of the business began to revive, yet Hammond entertained a constant fear, that if he proposed marriage to Millie Katana, the young accountant, she might say yes, and then that might have negative effects on her performance, but Hammond had fallen in love with her.

When he finally laid bare the contents of his heart to the fairer half of the incipient relationship, Millie did not delay introducing him to her maternal uncles and aunts who were her guardians.

Her father failed to attend the bride price ceremony, which took place six months down the line, but he sent a parcel locked in a small wooden box.

There was a smaller parcel in form of a brown envelope, accompanying the box, containing the keys and a brief note that read, “Share the story within the box with the man who will marry you, and seriously consider the importance of making relevant sacrifices in life.”



So after the bride price had been received, Hammond and Millie left the house, sat in Hammond’s car, and unlocked the box.

Millie’s father had donated one of his kidneys to his employer, out of love, as he knew that Mr. Maruziva, being blood group O, would die without getting a donor. Guvi, being also blood group O, knew that he was the only one who would save his employer’s life.

“Had I died before knowing this, I would be condemned in the afterlife,” Hammond said. “How about I? Let’s see,” said Millie.

They read the remainder of the message. Millie’s father had remained on Maruziva’s payroll after being fired from his post, receiving his “remuneration” through the businessman’s lawyers, and with that money, he was able to continue sending his children to school, including Millie, a product of a childhood relationship, whom he had sent to study overseas.

“Our bond started with our parents and signed before we met, not on paper, but on two hearts that beat each to each,” Millie said.

Fiance and fiancee raised their faces from the paper and looked into each other’s eyes and silently began to rehearse their reciprocal vows in anticipation of their wedding day.



Nhamo Muchagumisa is an English Language and Literature teacher, and he writes from Odzi. He writes in his own capacity and can be contacted on +263771271478 Email him at:













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