Carton the Rastaman is a father of four who lives in Burundi, and he has one of the rare and probably unique records in the World, of spending 20 years without drinking water.
He used to drink water and spend time with people around his village. Back in the days he was an extremely rich man who was famous in his village, and he could invite people all around his huge compound and they would discuss and joke, while he provided meals for the poor and other necessities.
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His richness went hand in hand with his kindness, and the two made him the most likeable man in his village. But his kindness came to change his life forever.
One day, a group of men came to his house as usual. He received them and they cracked jokes as it was a habit. Carton had a very big house and many housemaids.
So one of the visitors left a pile of documents in his house, and nobody knew about it only that in the next morning, one housemaid reported the documents and Carton kept them safely, hoping that the men would realise that they left the documents and thus come back to take them.
It was back in the days when telephone was not yet a thing in Sub-Saharan Africa, let alone Burundi.
But days went by and nobody came to claim the documents. In the house, nobody cared, it was such a simple thing that Carton had already forgotten about it, until one day when policemen showed up, and demanded to search his house.
“He dropped his car documents in my house and I didn’t know it because I had a big house and many house workers, I couldn’t know they were there,” he said.
Carton was surprised by that surprising search but was cool about it, given that he felt that he was innocent for whatever case they might accuse him of.
Then one policeman emerged from the house with a pile of documents in his house, and he asked Carton about it. He responded that the documents belonged to the men who had come to his house.
The matter was that the documents were for a car that was s**olen by the men who had previously visited Carton. However, the case was complicated, according to the policemen, and thus they a**rested him.
By then Carton still had hopes that he would be proven innocent, and there was no panic at all.
The Police asked the men who had s**olen the car and they admitted to have committed that cr**me, however they paid a heavy br**be and they were released from pr**son.
Carton was also approached to pay the b**ibe but declined, fearing that if he agreed, he would be completely caged and thus might be asked to pay everything to the victim, a burden he didn’t want to take.
Also he feared to tarnish his name and reputation, so he stuck to the truth. But the Justice system in Burundi back then was not fair, thus Carton was thrown in pr**son after he had refused to pay the b**ibe. This time, the whole case was on his sole head, and he was s**ntenced to spend many years in prison.
At last, Carton settled and came to terms with all that had happened to him, despite how d**pressing it was. He was deeply s**ddened by the betrayal done to him by the people he always cared about, and up to now, he has not understood it.
But after 20, his s**ntence was finished and he was back in life outside the pr**son. However, his life is not the same. His belongings were all gone and he simply went home to settle with his 103 years old mother.
He also left pr**son with another mindset, as he had vowed to never drink water or eat meat. He is also a Rastafarian and he spends most of his time going around and playing his guitar, while singing songs of love.
“Since I have left pr**son, I haven’t drank water,” he told The Afrimax Team that visited him.
Even up to now, when Carton remains with absolutely nothing compared to what he had before he was impr**soned, he still manages to find time and means to help people in his surrounding community.
This is why his elderly mother praises him, saying that among her six children, he is the only one who still comes over to look at her.
“He always does the right thing, no matter the situation he is going through,” she said.
One of the young men who was sheltered by Carton said how he took him from the streets without anywhere else to go, and brought him home.
“He gave us a place to stay and we didn’t have any idea what it was about. He is a good man who always wants other people to develop,” he said.