Cut the head, get rid of the body


There is some place in Blantyre, where pub talk is usually diverse. There are three bars within the complex: one for those who like loud music and the other two for gurus who like sipping the ‘stuff’ as they tackle all sorts of issues in debate.

It is in one of the later where we are. We started with the more popular common bar before one of us suggested that the subject we were dissecting deserved a more ‘private’ place.

And this subject has come in a very funny way, although it has graduated into a serious debate.


It starts with one of the young men in the group, who talks of how his neighbour beat his wife and ended up becoming a subject of ridicule in the community.

“Eti zoona kumenya mkazi n’kumuotchera zovala zonse (just imagine beating a woman and setting her clothes on fire)? Things some men do leave me disappointed since I was born a man,” he says.

“What did the wife do to deserve such barbaric treatment?” I ask.


The young man tells us that the man had discovered that 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 should a husband set someone’s clothes on fire? He will just be burdened in spending 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 into bed,” he says.

“Zofoyira basi, kupanda nzeru kumeneko (its’ just crazy and dull reasoning). The wife can continue ‘prostituting’; the best he would have done was eject her from the matrimonial home because he achieved nothing by beating her and setting her clothes ablaze. In fact, that did not solve the problem,” Grawel says.

“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 catching her red handed deserves to be admitted to that other special hospital in Zomba.”

I come in: “And what happens if, and when, we, 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 perpetuates the notion that ‘some animals are more equal than others’, as advocated in the ‘Animal Farm’.”

“Then, we should all adopt the concept of ‘Cut the head, get rid of the body’ when any party to marriage vows is caught in adulterous acts. Zizingothapo basi, bandi igawane zida [the relationships should just end]!” says Joe, ending the debate with a round.

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