Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Alexei Sayle's Imaginary Sandwich Bar and Wilf Mbanga

I have been enjoying Alexei Sayle's Imaginary Sandwich Bar on Radio 4.

One of the best stories he has told this time is about he and his wife's cat Wilf Mbanga.

When it went missing Sayle used his celebrity status to get at article in the local paper.

This led to the revelation that the original Wilf Mbanga, a Zimbabwean opposition politician, was living in exile nearby.

A tweet by Zorro P Freely led me to a Camden New Journal article that proves the story was true.

Written after Wilf Mbanga had been returned to the Sayles, the article says:
The real Wilf Mbanga, a journalist critical of the Mugabe regime who lives in London, told the New Journal three weeks ago he was “tickled pink” after hearing Mr Sayle had named his cat after him. 
But he said he would not join the hunt because he was allergic to cats and suffered from severe hay fever. 
This week, Wilf Mbanga said: “I am delighted Wilf Mbanga has been found. Even in times of distress, we need to laugh at ourselves.”
It gets better:
With world debate focused on the outcome of the Zimbabwean elections and the reinstatement of Robert Mugabe as leader, Mr Mbanga appeared on the BBC World Service on Saturday. But in a surreal few minutes, a newsreader also discussed the missing cat named in his honour.
And, in a final touch which I don't think Alexei Sayle mentioned, they first adopted Wilf Mbanga after he had turned up as a stray in John Humphrys's garden.

That's the cat, not the exiled Zimbabwean politician.

No comments: