November 18, 2015

"I can't go to my brother and ask him to bring back the shoes he got as inheritance."

"I was presumed dead, so my family has the right to have my property."

Said Joseph Burule Robi, rescued after 41 days in a collapsed gold mine in Tanzania.

30 comments:

gadfly said...

He shouldn't have to ask for his shoes to be returned.

Guildofcannonballs said...

It's like Leo O'Bannion played by Albert Finney said, paraphrasing;

"Jesus Tommy sounds like a bad break for me I wasn't killed."

Carnifex said...

The spoiled crybullies of BLM should trade places for a person who is being truly being treated badly. They should thank God their ancestors were sold into slavery in this country.

Largo said...

This reminds me of a Charlie Brown (Peanuts) feature film where Snoopy leaves 'forever' and leaves all his worldly possessions to members of the gang according to a Will he dictated to Woodstock.

'forever' turns out to be a short time, and the film ends (after the tears of reunion) which Snoopy producing a legal letter to his friends (read out by Linus) demanding return of his items 'forthwith'.

The letter ends by addressing Charlie Brown with the words 'Since I gave you nothing, you owe me nothing!'

(of course :) )

Grackle said...

It is well to remember that American blacks represent the losers of Africa. That many have risen from the miserable state of bondage over the past 150 years is a tribute to their potential and the human spirit. But let's be clear - sitting around whining because someone called you a name is EXACTLY the kind of shit that got your ancestor's village raided back in the day and got their asses sold to the slave ships. By more ambitious black Africans.

False Grackle

tim maguire said...

What an odd reaction. His family has a right hs his stuff because he was presumed dead? Is that how inheritance works? Presumption of death?

But never mind, if he has to ask for his shoes back, then his brother is not worthy of the title. Same for the rest of his family, they should be (and I'm sure most are) overjoyed at the opportunity to give it back.

David said...

"It is well to remember that American blacks represent the losers of Africa."

They also represent the survivors of a gruesome trek to the New World and generations of bondage. Many are also descendants of the leading white citizens of the American South. Persevering through all of this took strength and ingenuity, a characteristic of all immigrants.

Joseph Burule Robi could more positively be seen as representing a culture of humility and acceptance of fate. An African Zen Master. Being a Tanzanian gold miner seems to require a different outlook than a 21st Century American has. It might be hard to explain microagressions to him.

David said...

"Is that how inheritance works? Presumption of death?"

Pretty much. In the US it would require lawyers and judges and hearings. The Tanzanian procedure is less formally contentious but involves the same thought process.

Nichevo said...

He seems very level headed. The fact that shoes are something worth inheriting should tell people something about the economic climate there, I would think. Probably the day the brother got the shoes he traded them for a chicken and ate the chicken.

This trapped miner has a very healthy outlook to my mind, very realistic. And after all, I suppose mining is a relatively good occupation even in Tanzania, so hopefully he can buy himself another pair of shoes later, since he is alive and able to continue working.

As usual I don't read Ann's links (I suspect she has monetized that too), but was this brother the only one to hold on to whatever he got? How about his parents and other relatives? Did they give back his shirt or his toilet brush or whatever they were able to fasten onto? Sounds like Tanzania is a no microaggressions zone.

tim maguire said...

David, that's not quite right. The presumption of death is usually never disproved. In the U.S., a court has to declare a person dead, in Tanzania it may or may not be different, but in either case, if the person turns out not to be dead, that undoes the presumption, no? More directly, the "presumption" carries no weight, the "death" part does all the work.

tim maguire said...

Nichevo, the article gives very few details. It does, however, include the interesting fact that he was a rescuer who became trapped while trying to find other miners caught in a cave in. (He was a miner as well, but he went into a collapsing mine to try to help his trapped comrades.)

Ann Althouse said...

I read the quote again in the morning and thought it was one of the saddest statements I've ever read... not because of the idea of the brother being so selfish he wouldn't voluntarily return the shoes, but because these people are also so poor that a pair of used shoes is significant property. Even within this dramatic experience of burial, presumed death, and unexpected salvation, they are paying attention to old shoes. You'd think there would be festivals showering gifts on these poor men who suffered so much and celebrating the return of loved ones. And here is this poor man wondering if he'll have shoes and empathizing with his brother, not wanting to undercut his good fortune of having inherited shoes.

traditionalguy said...

A title conveyance of property at death is a basic concept of legal systems that preserves peace and must be purchased from the king and Cleric by the member of a family with paid for rituals. Otherwise humans will treat a dead man's property as a shipwreck to be looted by the first comers like predators.

For this legal order Governments and the Churches have always asserted their right to a cut. The Death Tax is just the continuation payment or a transfer fee necessary for a feudal tenure rights to pass at death to heirs.

The Statutes of Mortmain restricting Testamentary gifts and in life gifts to Churches within three months before death were necessary. Without them the Jesuit trained Catholic Armies could stealing everything at death as if the deceased had made voluntary payments necessary for immediate entry into heaven.

Hint: Make your Will to take effect at death. It is by far the most powerful legal document that can be created within our legal system. And it virtually cannot be broken.

Nichevo said...

What the what what? Don't all wills take effect at death?

traditionalguy said...

Right Nichevo. That's the point. Wills can be changed until they take effect at death. Otherwise, we call them gifts and trusts.

Corollary: Contrary to popular opinion, putting off making your Will does not delay death.

Nichevo said...

Trad, even when I do not perceive conflict, the effort to get you to speak in plain language is generally not worth the effort. If I follow you, you are warning people off estate planning strategies like gifts and trusts, because Catholics?

EDH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amielalune said...


I'm a pretty hard-hearted b*tch, but I agree with Ann; the sad thing was that his shoes were considered an inheritance. I read the article hoping there would be a way to send this man some shoes. And/or clothes, etc.

I don't believe in giving to corrupt governments and NGO's; I wish there were a way to give directly (and I mean DIRECTLY, not through "this great charity") to people like this.

If we could find a real way for American families to adopt a poor family -- WITHOUT ANY MIDDLEMEN -- I think it could be huge and could change the lives of so many people.

Laslo Spatula said...

It's sad about the shoes, but what must really be heartbreaking is knowing that his brother has been fucking his goat the entire time he was presumed dead.

Now his brother has the goat, and his brother puts his cock in the goat, while wearing those shoes.

His shoe-wearing, goat-fucking brother.

Life can be cruel. Even for the goats.

I am Laslo.

Paddy O said...

"it was one of the saddest statements I've ever read... not because of the idea of the brother being so selfish he wouldn't voluntarily return the shoes, but because these people are also so poor that a pair of used shoes is significant property"

On the other hand, privileged students at elite universities have grievances about the way they are not being privileged enough, so all in all, the US really isn't much different.

traditionalguy said...

Nichevo...As hard as you find the concept to make sense, I am saying leave your wealth to your family. And tell the con men dressed up in the clothes of Catholic priests to get a real jobs.

EMD said...

Talk about putting one's life into perspective.

Freeman Hunt said...

Yes, that is sad.

I would ask my brother to split them with me. One day he wears them, next day I wear them. Then we could each try to save our most intensive walking for days when we had the shoes.

David said...

"I would ask my brother to split them with me. One day he wears them, next day I wear them. Then we could each try to save our most intensive walking for days when we had the shoes."

Or you could each have one shoe.

Nichevo said...

Trad,

Of course leave your wealth to your family, who else?

Unless you're a Democrat and want to leave it to the Democratic Church?

I generally don't have much occasion to speak with Catholic priests, not being Catholic, but you try it and let me know how it goes.

Nichevo said...

I was really just asking if you deprecate advanced estate planning techniques.

Paddy O said...

"and tell the con men dressed up in the clothes of Catholic priests to get a real jobs."

That's what George Fox was trying to tell people! Well, he was talking mostly about Protestants in England and Scotland, but same exact message and goal.

EMD said...

"I wish there were a way to give directly (and I mean DIRECTLY, not through "this great charity") to people like this"

Start a gofundme.com page. Ask for shoes or money for shoes. Done.

Char Char Binks said...

In Tanzania, life is cheap, but shoes are expensive.

Grackle said...

Yes, Dear Professor! Having worked in Tanzania this year, I can testify that poor people there are SKINNY! As in too poor to have enough to eat. Donkeys deliver jugs of water. We have the most cosseted black people on the planet in the good old US of A, and all their collegians want to do is whine about their fucking feelings. Drink your water off the donkey cart and then whine.

False Grackle