I always enjoy the company of my houseboy Rozario Semu. He thrills my world with his funny talk and I should state here that the moment he put Axion dish washing paste in the refrigerator thinking it was margarine, stands out.
When I asked him why he had done that, his response was as confident as: â€œNkesa ndi stoko wopaka pa buledi bwana?â€
I always laugh my lungs out whenever I recall the incident. Semu always provides me good company. Last week, as we were watching highlights of the Olympic swimming 4 x 200 metres free-style on TV, he again thrilled my world when he yelled that a boy called Josofati from his village in Luchenza could easily beat celebrated American swimmer Michael Phelps.
â€œAsa! Nditokuwuzani ine, ameneyi (Phelps) sangafikepo pa Josofati ata, wachepa kwabasi!â€ [Phelps cannot compete against Josofati, he would be beaten by far!]
Semu explained how Josofati dazzles onlookers with his diving skills, darting into deep and shallow ends alike of the Thuchila River, with bare hands, emerging with any type of fish.
Semuâ€™s tale reminded me of a naughty nine-year boy in my home village in Nkhata Bay called Budula who can pinch from fishers and dive to safety in the lake only to appear a kilometre away three minutes later.
Why then ladies and gentlemen should we wax lyrical about the 20-year-old Australian swimmer Cate Campbell who was born in the country and won gold in the womenÂ 4 x 100 metres freestyle relay swimming, when we have our own Josofati and Budula?Â
Do you tell me that with proper training, Josofati and Budula cannot challenge Phelps for gold at the next Olympics? Canâ€™t Joyce Tafatatha, who won her heat at the global event on Friday morning, make the grade with good training?
In football, the boy Diego Maradona provided a charming story when he grew up in the slums of Buenos Aires in Argentina in the â€˜swinging 60sâ€™ and used his talent to transform himself into one of the biggest sporting personality the world has ever known; hence, I have no reason to doubt that Joyce, Josofati and Budula can also do it.
My good friend Tiya Somba-Banda posted on his Facebook wall that it baffles him that with water covering 20.6 percent of our country, we are still unable to produce an athlete who can compete for medals at big events such as the Olympics. Well, Tiya, look out for Josofati, Budula and, of course, young Joyce who gave us a reason to smile on Friday.
So, it is not all doom and gloom isnâ€™t it? Come on Joyce! Come on Budula and Josofati! ! Uloliwe! Uloliwe. Wayidudula…angâ€™esiza! [the train is pushing!]