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Bernadetta’s unexpected date

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Now, Bernadetta boarded a minibus to Blantyre from Balaka District. It is a long time ago.

But not too long ago for Bernadetta to forget.

Now, Bernadetta, as a secondary school student then, decided to put on camouflage clothes. A long time ago.

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But not too long ago for Bernadetta to forget.

She said, in her heart, camouflaged clothes are in fashion. Many people are moving about clad in camouflage clothes. A long time ago.

But not too long ago for Bernadetta to forget.

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I mean, long ago, but not too long ago. The type of long ago associated with the time Malawian women started wearing pairs of trousers. I mean, when a Malawian girl or woman started wearing a pair of trousers while feeling comfortable in them.

You know, there was time women felt uncomfortable in a pair of trousers because the idea of girls and women [I do not want to say females] wearing a pair of trousers was, somehow, strange.

But, then, all strange things turn into the familiar. When that happens and one tries to look back, they feel like the recent past is so long ago. As long ago as they can remember.

That is why everyone, even a baby aged two seconds [yes, aged two seconds! There are some misinformed people who think that age means year. No! No! No! A baby can be aged three weeks! Now, the misinformed people who think it is wrong to say so and so is aged four YEARS are wrong. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! I mean, it is correct to say he is aged four [as the BBC likes to say]; and correct to say he is aged four years, as some Britons like to put it.] has a ‘long ago’.

Now, in the long ago of Bernadetta, she decided to don camouflage clothes and head for Blantyre.

Is so doing, Bernadetta— who once served us, Malawians, as legislator for Chikwawa Central Constituency; yes, Bernadetta, who launched her musical career at Robin’s Park in Blantyre in September 2015, when she launched the album Yahweh— was putting herself in ‘harm’s way’.

A long time ago.

But not too long ago for Bernadetta to forget.

I mean, we have uniformed men and women who go about terrorising people, in the name of law-enforcement. They stop anyone wearing camouflage clothes, grab them and give them to their relatives. They call it charity. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Cruel charity.

Well, this scene— that of a law enforcer grabbing anything camouflage from an innocent citizen— nearly played itself out on Bernadetta, had it not been for Mlaka Maliro, now her beloved husband.

You see, the bus Bernadetta jumped into had a passenger; a passenger unknown to Bernadetta. The passenger was Mlaka Mlaliro [no short cuts; I will not say Mlaka].

At a police check point, as Bernadetta was dreaming about getting to Blantyre in good time— a police officer flagged the bus down.

Everyone got out of the bus; including Bernadetta and Mlaka Maliro [no short cuts].

One police officer saw Bernadetta, a girl in camouflage clothes. The police officer called her aside and started questioning her about her camouflage pair of trousers.

Bernadetta started stammering, knowing it would be grabbed. Her beloved camouflage clothes.

That time, Mlaka Maliro was making his first steps into music. He was getting known. Including by uniformed officers.

Including those at the police check point.

Mlaka Maliro rushed from the back of the line, or wherever he was standing, and came to the rescue of a shaking Bernadetta.

“She is my girlfriend,” he said, according to Bernadetta. Of course, Mlaka Maliro just wanted to save her from the jaws of a lion.

I can only imagine how relieved Bernadetta was.

The uniformed officers backed off. The bus proceeded to Blantyre. The rest is history but, sure enough, Mlaka Maliro and Bernadetta’s love story started there. For Mlaka Maliro had the presence of mind to ask for Bernadetta’s phone number.

Mlaka Maliro is wise. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha

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