Fortieth day


It must have been in July 2015 when a horde of artists, among them Black Missionaries, Malawi Police Orchestra and Elly K, had a tour of duty in Zomba. The venue, specifically, was the then DNC at Matawale [the name has changed now. Boxer is no longer there, too. I do not know what is happening to Matawale!].

I was a temporary citizen of Zomba then because, for some two years, I turned the old capital into a sweet home of sorts, albeit temporarily. Rest in peace Plot 22, a.k.a. Big Brother House!

So, being in Zomba, there was no way I was going to miss this show. No way.


Of course, there were some disturbing reports that Black Missionaries, who had another outing in Lilongwe the same evening, would not make the trip to Zomba.

No wonder, some people decided to stay home, which, sort of, affected the turn up.

But I was happy to be in the audience. I particularly enjoyed Elly K’s performance. Yes, I am talking of Ellen Kadango, the second-born in a family of five members. Yes, Elly K, the only daughter in the family.


That evening, she stole the show with her scintillating performance, instead of attending to matters at Unisex Salon in the Capital City or imparting dancing antics knowledge in others. I mean, Elly K is a business lady. She does not sit idle while waiting for event organisers to invite her to the next show in town.

She dished out several songs, among them ‘Nthano’.

Anyway, after Elly K’s performance came Malawi Police Orchestra. The band took us down memory lane, playing hits such as ‘Chirombo’.

They played several of them, but ‘Chirombo’ always fascinates me because it has a deep meaning.

Chinapha amayi n’chiyani?/

Sindichidziwa ine abale/

Ena akuti n’chirombo/


Well, I guess they are not talking about this Chirombo, or the Big Man Edward Monster at the United States Embassy in Lilongwe. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Now, Malawi Police Orchestra played one song, and another; another and another— until I got so tired with the dancing that I could not stand on my feet.

And, so, I sat down in one of the chairs, listening to the songs in passive mode. Well, before long, I could not keep on listening to the songs in passive mode and, so, I drifted into sleep. The type you drift in naturally because you are so tired that you cannot stand it to remain standing. Whatever that means.

I had K5, 000 in my side pocket.

Now, someone might have seen me drift into sleep. Now, someone must have guessed that I had money in one of the pockets. And that someone must have followed my every move because, as I slept, I felt someone touch my side pocket— the one that had the money.

At first, it did not hit me that it could be a man. But, when the touching continued, I forced myself to open my eyes. Lo and behold! A thief.

And, so, I reached for my side pocket, only to find that there was no money.

Meanwhile, the thief had taken to his heels, getting his way into the crowd and getting lost in the maze of the crowd thereafter.

I was not one to be beaten, for I had picked out one characteristic in the man: height. He was of medium height. And, again, I was not to be beaten at this game because that was the only money I had on me. Would I walk from Matawale to Zomba Central Business District? No way.

Well, he might have seen me get into the crowd, for he started running away. Fast.

I took after him, catching up with him at the door where, fortunately, one of the band members of Malawi Police Orchestra tripped the man after I had shouted for help. The band member gave the ‘thief’ one heck of a blow that sent him sprawling to the ground!

Somehow, he had kept the money in his hands and I was able to find it when I opened his fist. Phew! I will never drift into sleep again, especially at a public gig.

Needless to say I was happy, and relieved, to get my money back— knowing that I would board one of the taxis that ply their trade in Zomba for one long nap once home.

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