I have said this before by I will repeat and may be add a few things to what I already wrote. When I met the Hon Goodall Gondwe, whom Roy Hauya considers a public servant par excellence, Hon Gondwe suggested that Malawi’s problem is ‘despondency’. Upon which I asked the Finance Minister how much resources he has allocated to deal with the problem of despondency? If despondence is the main problem, what were we doing about it? He did not answer, but only asked me if I thought that there should be resources allocated to despondency?
The other time, the Right Honourable Saulosi Chilima was speaking at a Seventh Day Adventist function at Civo Stadium, I believe he identified lack of love as one of the main problems facing Malawi. This was before he spoke of his njoka saweta proverb (you cannot tame a snake) at Nyambabdwe ground in Blantyre.
If lack of love is the problem Mr Vice-President, do you think talking about it will bring the love? I know there are different African professors and doctors like Mfitiidzafanso, Musandiyense Mwana, M’bale Chenjera and others that promise return of lost love, but should we seek them?
Going back to the njoka saweta proverb. The problem with all proverbs is that once they are said, the person saying them must never attempt to interpret them also. If they interpret them, both the wise and the foolish will understand, and yet proverbs are for the wise.
So, the Right Honourable SK Chilima will never interpret who was raring or breeding the snake and who was this snake. Just to say, I have heard some people interpreting Atupele’s UDF as the “proverbial snake”. Whether that is the case or not, the fact remains: do not tame the cobra.
I have known Mr Chilima long from when we shared the same hostel at Chancellor College. My faint recollection was that he was not into reggae music, rather Babyface, Boyz II Men like music. I did not know he was also listening to reggae music my roommate and I were listening to. This may be where the VP may have gotten inspiration from Peter Hubert McIntosh, aka Peter Tosh’s Maga Dog.
Peter Tosh sang the song Maga Dog. This is what Tosh says: “…sorry fi Maga Dog Im a go turn around and bite you; an’ if you jump out out a frying pan; I know you jump inna fire…”
From the surface, what Tosh is saying may be difficult to understand. We do not speak Jamaican Pidgin English here. But Peter is saying that if you feel sorry for a mad dog and start feeding it from your hand, it may turn round and bite you. Why? Because it is a maga dog! Njoka saweta.
This is what I got from the Internet on how to rid off snakes: “Avoid any plants that are low to the ground or are ground cover. You want to keep any snakes as exposed as possible. Taking away the animal’s sense of security. Snakes love anything they can wiggle under.” Now, your’e good to go VP. Expose the snakes and they will run for cover.