There is some place in Blantyre, where pub talk is usually diverse. Within the complex, there are three bars: one for those who like loud music and the other two for gurus who like sipping their ‘stuff’ as they tackle all sorts of issues.
It is in one of the latter where we are. We started with the more popular common bar before one of us suggested that the subject our talk centred on deserved a more ‘private’ place.
And this subject has come in a very funny way but has graduated into a serious debate.
The talk ignites after one of the young men in our company talks of how his neighbour beat up his wife and ended up becoming a subject of ridicule in the community.
“Eti zoona kumenya mkazi n’kumuotchera zovala zonse (just imagine beating one’s wife and then setting all her clothes on fire)? The things some men do leave me disappointed because I was born a man,” he says.
“What did the wife do to deserve that barbaric treatment?” I ask.
The young man tells us that the man had discovered the wife was cheating on him and rumour had it that he found the lover ‘in action’ with his wife.
“Nanga osangomusiya mkaziyo (why not just divorce the woman)? Really, why would a husband set a wife’s clothes on fire? He will just spend more money to replace the clothes,” says my friend Grawel.
But some young man with grey hair for a moustache says we are wrong in demonising the husband.
He says there is nothing as devastating as finding out you are sharing a woman with another man – be it a wife or girlfriend.
“The husband was even right to set ablaze the clothes because those may have been the things that were making her look good to the point of the other man coaxing her to bed,” he says.
“Zofoyira basi, kupanda nzeru kumeneko (its’ just some crazy and dull reasoning). The wife can continue ‘prostituting’, the best he would have done was to eject her from the matrimonial home because he achieved nothing by beating her and setting her clothes ablaze; he did not solve the problem,” says Grawel.
“But don’t you think it is better to maintain the devil you know than divorcing her and start scouting for a new one. Guys, let us learn to forgive, even the Bible advocates so!” Exclaims ‘Atsogoleri’ Rob M.
But our controversial ‘foot soldier’, Joe, bashes the reasoning.
“Atsogoleri’, you and me know that the worst thing a man can tolerate from a wife, or even lover, is to have someone partaking in his bedroom specialty. Any man who can forgive the wife after being caught red handed doing that sort of thing deserves to be admitted at that other special hospital in Zomba.”
I come in: “And what happens if, and when, men are caught by our wives and lovers in the act of adultery? Are we better placed to sin than women? Have you, people, read a book called Animal Farm? This tendency of being harsh on women and thinking women should be soft on us actually promotes the concept of ‘some animals are more equal than others’ as advocated in the Animal Farm.”
“Then, we should all go for the concept of ‘Cut the head, get rid of the body’ when any one of the couple in marriage is caught in adulterous acts. Zizingothapo basi, bandi igawane zida [the relationships should just end]!” says Joe, ending the debate by throwing a round of beer.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues