Hiding under the veil of religion


Shame! Not the Lord please! You youngsters of today are not ashamed to hide under the veil of religion and use your choir practicing time for episodes that don’t come closer to God’s work,” exclaims Happison’s Uncle, irked that one of his nieces has brought shame to his house.

He is lambasting his son, who we hear was some sort of custodian of the girl each time they went out for choir practice and other religious functions.

“Where were you when your cousin was getting ‘balooned’? I demand an immediate answer! Don’t you know that the society and even Church respect me and my wife?” fumes the old man, his face showing all signs of maximum anger, blended with tears.


“Father, it is only that girls are difficult to manage…really, Hlupi did not show any signs of tilting towards the devil’s way at any point.

I am even shocked that the very choir master that we have always respected is the one responsible for pregnancy we are all ashamed of,” says the young man, signs of remorse all over him.

Uncle, baukilano wa sono niwazereza, mukwezgenge baka BP (youth of these days are useless, don’t waste your time getting angry otherwise you just risk yourself to Blood Pressure),” Happison bodly tells the Uncle.


The old man stands up and retreats to his bedroom for some time. As he disappears, Happison laughs the loudest.

“You know what, I have always said time and again that the boys and girls of this house are always viewed as saints. I even warned uncle of the stares that the girls give when there are male visitors in this house are not ‘religious’ – I have always suspected something sinister in them, yet uncle always argues that he has ‘saints’ in the house in the name of these youngsters because they are too religious,” says Happison.

But ‘Atsogoleri’ Rob M rebukes him and supports the uncle’s holding the youngsters to high esteem.

Mtima wa mzako ndi tsidya lina (you cannot know what is on the mind of another person)! The old man here invested love, religious doctrines in these youngsters. He did his obligations and God will reward him, only that the youngsters maybe full of pretenc…even the Bible has lots of deceitful characters posing as sincere men or women of God; so don’t blame the innocent old man!”

As we are busy talking, the old man comes out of the bedroom, carrying a plastic bag. “Hlupe, uli nkhu? Zakuno lubiro (Hlupe, where are you, come here fast)! Face down, the girl comes to where we are seated. Before she sits down, the old man grabs her and gets a sjambok from the plastic bag and starts whipping the girl. “Mundikomenge badada, mundikomenge (you will kill me father, please you will kill me)!”

More anger appears to be mounting in the uncle, he whips harder: “Chindere, chindere chakufikapo…ntchebe, chipiliri, tungwa (Stupid girl, real stupid, dog, and scoundrel)!”

Since some of us were too afraid to intervene in the disciplining process, ‘Atsogoleri’ Rob M fails to resist the urge for peace making effort.

He rushes to stand between the old man and the girl, holding the hand that is carrying the sjambok.

“Uncle, there are better ways of disciplining these youngsters, just accept it has happened and as a God fearing person, take the matter up with your pastor. I am saying so because it is involving a choir master,” he says.

But the uncle feels defeated as he reveals that the church leadership is shielding the choir master.

“Why, why hide under the veil of faith and religion when people shield wrong doers?” exclaims the old man as he retires to his bedroom again.

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