Bigger and taller
Every time I visit my home these days, I have noticed that the things that used to be bigger and taller have become smaller and shorter. Some trees I was not able to climb have become shorter and smaller.“How time flies!!!!!”
Chimbenje the Village Bouncer
And there was the village giant known as Chimbenje. There was a time a story flooded the whole of our village when we were told this beast Chimbenje had nearly cut his only nine-month-old child into two in the middle of the night to demonstrate his anger at his wife. The child was spared when the mother unconditionally had submitted to the beast’s request. Chimbenje is still alive and in his very late eighties. Unlike in the past, he has dwarfed. “How time flies!!!!!”
Tales from Msungudzi River
You cannot believe that I was the ring leader in watching girls bathe naked at Msungudzi River. For your sake, any river in the village had demarcated swimming pools for women and also for men. Men were not allowed to go near women’s pools. In clear defiance, I used to take a team of my age-mates to a secret hiding place close to the ladies pool and enjoyed observing the unsuspecting girls undress and dive into the waters.
One day it was too much. I uncontrollably shouted in admiration. That was the end of it all. We were discovered and what followed cannot be narrated here. That was some 40 years ago. “How time flies!!!!!”
One of the most memorable moments in my childhood was when we had masanje sessions. Masanje is when children play the household roles. We would construct some huts and play the roles of husband and father (boys) and wives and mothers (girls). Some of us used to be husbands and played the husband role. It was wonderful, unforgettable and brought us close to girls just like the little girls came to know us boys better. “How time flies!!!!!”
The Christmas we used to celebrate in the 70s is different from the ones you enjoy these days.
The dancing sun
On Christmas Eve, my mother used to tell us that on the morning of Christmas, the sun dances. So every morning around 6am, we used to wake up and watch the sun dance. It really looked like it was dancing. These days it has stopped dancing probably because of pollution. “How time flies!!!!!”
The tantalising Rice
The best meal we would have on Christmas was rice with chicken. The rice was tasty and very fragrant (Wonunkhira). These days we eat rice that is tasteless and ‘fungoless’. “How time flies!!!!!”
You may not believe this. In those days, tea was scarce. The only time we would drink tea with milk was on Christmas and two things used to happen when drinking tea. Either you ended up burning your gums because the tea was hot; Or you had to whistle when drinking the tea. “How time flies!!!!!”
The birth of Jesus
Having grown up in a Christian family, we were forced to go to church on Christmas Day. I vividly remember when one of my playmates was asked where Jesus was born, he innocently answered: “Jesus was born in my father’s banana farm”. These days, I wonder how many children go to church on Christmas Day. “How time flies!!!!!”
Ours was a Christmas full of meaning, value and surprises. As children we never thought of drinking alcohol because Jesus never taught children to drink alcohol. In our time as children, we may have done nasty things, but we respected God and Jesus Christ.
Spare the rod; spoil the child
Can the children of today refrain from taking alcohol? Where are we parents? Our parents never spared the rod (chikwapu) because they knew that you will spoil the child if you spare the rod. “How time flies!!!!!”
Today, on Christmas Day let us re-think the meaning of Christmas and enjoy it meaningfully.
I wish all they youths in Malawi a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. “How time flies!!!!!”