Although this Zikathankalima is a ‘beerful’ animal, my storytelling friend allowed no booze throughout the show just to please his donor-cum-darling. So, I was still dismayed by the detention without booze when a dreadlocked comedian appeared.
“Put mobiles phones on vibration, all talkative mouths on silent and switch off your noisy lovers,” said the comic soul on stage.
His non-alcoholic chattering left the audience high on laughter as I nursed my thirsty soul.Â Meanwhile, Chimutu was admiring beauties in the audience while his imported half, Kim, stared at the dreadlocked performer.
“Ouch!” she yelled as the man in braids, in a suspenseful ending to his pleasant madness, fell like a damned dictator succumbing to cardiac arrest.
“Save your cries for bedtime?” Chimutu switched her off as the performer received a standing ovation.
Do not ask me what spectacular thing the dreadlocked soul did. I was asleep when a self-confessed happily married actress gave him a wet kiss. While many were drafting dos and don’ts for married performers, Chimutu telling his dearest only violence can come from the unkempt dreadlocked head.
I wished Chimutu started telling her love stories, but he barked: “Why do you fancy artists, the poor celebrity prostitutes?”
Kim and I know flaws of crooked generalisations, but it took Chimimba, a potbellied seatmate, to convince him that some artists know no more than one sexual partner despite their fame and dime.
“One might have stolen your sweetheart, but there are lots of us who lead faithful lives,” Chimimba bragged.
He wanted to snatch our mzungu from us. Fortunately, she dashed outside to deliver her handshakes and hugs to her favourite actor while I went to buy booze. As Chimutu searched why white ladies seem fascinated with dreadlocked men, she demanded the bitter stuff I, Zikathankalima, was guzzling.
Refuelling, we left for dinner at a hotel where my friends were given comfortable chairs and I a hard one.
“A private lounge, please,” I told the waitress.
“It’s not free, sir” she answered, staring at mzungu as if she would pay the price.
Without more ado, the lovebirds ordered traditional meals. However, the waitress was still hesitant when I settled for pizza.
“But it’s expensive, sir.”
“I want the most expensive with scotch whiskey.”
She gazed at mzungu and interrogated me: “Are you sure you want scotch whiskey, not sachets?”
“Double sure. Two shots of John Walker Blue Label Scotch Whiskey and something meaty, please.”
She left in disbelief and returned with my pick. She stood beside me, constantly looking at Chimutu’s sweetie as if a Malawian cannot buy food for mzungu in times of devaluation.
She temporarily left us and the storyteller told me in vernacular he had first met the waitress at my favourite pub, admitting: “She’s a perfect machine bed-wise.”
Why do we leave our stable partners for short-time things? My scorched soul stuttered as the waitress reappeared with the bill and handed it to Kim. Our mzungu told her to bring it to me, but she gave it to Chimutu instead.
I enjoyed the drama as he shook his head too, forcing the waitress to swallow a humble pie.
I fingered some notes from the bursting wallet, saying: “Keep change.”
For once, she said thanks and apologised. Had I commanded her to jump, she would have jumped without asking how high.
But she was still standing by my side when Chimimba entered the room. She felt uneasy. So did the self-confessed saint we had met at the theatre that he backtracked. Automatically, the waitress opened her heart as if we were long-time friends.
“The biggie has slept with all girls here, but he can’t leave me alone.”
I was about to pose the obvious question when Chimutu switched from his beloved and asked the waitress: “Wati Chimimba nayenso anatero nawe kale [has Chimimba already tasted you]?”
“Akufunitsitsa atatero koma sadzatero poti sinditerotero ngati ena oteroteronu [I’m not easily taken up like you],” she answered.
Maybe she was a saint in a boozy workplace where the Chimimbas, Chimutus and I think we are dipsticks for checking women’s oil levels. But do we know the status of those we sleep with? Do they know our sex history? Why judge others by complexion alone when our numerous darlings could be our worst enemies?