Good people, something big happened in Lilongwe a few days ago and your take could be symptomatic of your perception of decency.
From the capital city, which once suffered some banter and trolls when its one-time mayor dozed off publicly, has risen from its loud slumber to ban late night shows at Lilongwe Golf Club.
Oops! There goes the most beloved nocturnal entertainment setting!
It is not difficult to weep for the vast venue in Area 3.
Cry for numerous nights of thrilling live performances, dazzling lights and blinding smoke you have had there.
Remember all those ‘afternoon shows’ by Black Missionaries, Skeffa Chimoto, Lucius Banda and other big-stage hitmakers that ended on the wrong side of midnight.
In my line of duty, I have bumped into more than a few entertainers and enthusiasts who say there is no place like the greens of Lilongwe.
Many are those encounters that might have made them wish they camped on the greens forever.
The golf club is scenic for every eye, spacious for every nose and a place to be for every skin that develops goose bumps when it brushes hairs with sweaty strangers.
What will become a no-go zone for music pilgrims when the clocks hits 6pm is a playground where music oozed as you would expect.
This sensual appeal is what pushed thousands of pilgrims to keep packing their favourite venue despite depressing complaints of occupational thieves pilfering vital goods from pockets and cars.
But the order from Lilongwe City Council is supposed to mark the beginning of a battle to confront an inhumane side of the country’s public entertainment and nightlife which hides in plain sight.
We are a nation that seemingly sees nothing wrong with having fun without caring about those bothered or affected by our resounding blasts.
Here owners of sound systems have a way to brag about the mega-wattage of their gadgets without caring when, where and who they are blasting.
Many seem not to care one’s music is another’s noise.
Sound pollution is the reason residential areas are supposed to be free from deafening mass entertainment venues and activities.
Area 3 is first and foremost the home of numerous movers and shakers in national and city affairs.
They have reclaimed their freedom.
But history will record that the ban of late night showbiz at the golf club was just another symbol of elitism and inequalities if the stop-orders begin and end in the low-density setting.
Any system which protects the well-to-do from ills that the poor suffer with no end in sight must not only be frowned upon, but also be kicked out or jolted back to the ideals of equality.
Equality required the city council to put a stop to ear-splitting clubs and nightlong entertainment places in high-density townships of the aristocratic many decades before they came knocking at golf club.
The elitist way of enforcing city by-laws excludes townships where noise pollution is rampant, the calls for an end urgent and the voices of decency neglected.
It appears only duty-bearers at all councils know why club owners who bring mayhem to sanctuaries of low-income Malawians go un-policed.
Until this discriminatory enforcement of law and order is discarded, it is utterly premature to congratulate Lilongwe and rally other city councils to learn from the said ban.
Unless authorities move to liberate numerous Malawians in Area 23, Likuni and Area 25 from noisy nights, the order that has brought noiseless weekend slumbers to Area 3 should be ridiculed as a perfect act of elites guarding their space of privilege which seemingly lesser Malawians can only covet.
And this is selective justice.
It is not justice at all. n