Shame! Not the Lord please! You youngsters of these days are not ashamed to hide under the veil of religion and use your choir practising time for episodes that don’t qualify to be close 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 go out for choir practices and more religious functions.
“Where were you when your cousin was getting ‘balooned’? I demand an immediate answer! Don’t you know that society and even Church respects 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 the devil’s way at any point.
“I am even shocked that the very choirmaster that we have always respected is the one behind this pregnancy we are all ashamed of,” says the young man, signs of remorse all over him.
Uncle, baukilano wa sono niwazereza, mukwezgenge baka BP (youths 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 that the stares that the girls pass on when they are male visitors in this house are not ‘religious’ – I have always suspected something sinister in them, yet Uncle always vows 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 nzako 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 may be full of pretence….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 syamboko 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 up in the Uncle, he whips harder: “Chindere, chindere chakufikapo…ntchebe, chipiliri, tungwa (stupid girl, real stupid, dog, and scoundrel)!”
As some of us were too afraid to intervene in the disciplining process, ‘Atsogoleri’ Rob M fails to resist his peacemaking spirit.
He rushes to stand between the old man and the girl, holding the hand that is carrying the syamboko.
“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 ChoirMaster,” he says.
But the Uncle feels defeated; he reveals that the church leadership is shielding the ChoirMaster.
“Why, why, hide under the veil of faith and religion when people shield wrongdoers?” exclaims the old man as he retires to his bedroom again.
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