Is changing the package changing the poison stuff?


The Crew is somewhere in the peripherals of Chilimba, at a place called Easy By Night.

It is this guy Lackson, with his palate for ‘everything local’, that has made us convene here. He is one of those who believe in the notion of ‘Cats sleep anywhere’; meaning, a person worth his salt must not choose places to hang out and around.

And we are in an extended company of these two ‘kids’, not in the actual sense of ‘kids’ of course. They should be in their late twenties or even early 30s. But because they believe our company largely comprises the old guards, they stress they are kids of sort.


The youngsters ignite an interesting talk and subject. They are busy talking ill of women who, they say, are old but don’t spare a minute to think of the reputation and respect that’s supposed to go with their age.

“Why should a lady like that mother of our friend expose her thighs almost 75 percent? Why should she wear a miniskirt that shows the explicit things we cannot talk here?” says one of the youngsters.

Kodi ana ake akamatuluka m’nyumbamo mayi amene uja, amati chiyani? Is it fair to the family and children?” Responds the other.


From nowhere and uninvited, ‘Atsogoleri’ Rob M joins the conversation. “Mwina anzanu ndi banja la chizungu? Kkkk! [Maybe it is a family that is advanced in ideologies, policies and actions, not the Malawi style!]”, he says.

“Boss, whether they call it advancement or what but, realistically, it is out of order for elderly women to dress worse than girls. It is shameful and that is a fact,” stresses one of the youngsters.

But Lackson brings in another scope of the same argument. “And what would you describe the behaviour of some old men who wear their long pairs of trousers in the style called kukhwefula [sagging]? Are they better than the ladies you are condemning? Why are you always chauvinistic?”

That attracts laughter from the bulk of the gathering and the order of the bitter stuff outpaces the mood. Suddenly everyone is ordering a round or two; maybe while pondering over the subject.

“Hey, what beer are you taking, brother? Is it not that poisonous stuff the government and Parliament banned?” asks ‘Atsogoleri’ Rob M, as one of the talkative youngsters opens a bottle of beer-looking stuff.

“Zinayambiransotu, kungoti zili m’mabotolo a galasi [they restarted manufacturing the formerly banned spirits, only that they are packed in glass bottles. It is no longer illegal, go around and you will see people selling it all around, including in reputable shops!” he says.

But the guard of the joint decides to chase the youngsters.

“We don’t allow people to bring beer bought from other joints, let alone those illegal spirits. We, at Easy By Night, are a reputable lot; we are very law-abiding and don’t want to ignite problems where there are no problems. Please leave in peace,” he says.

And, looking at the muscles of the guard, the two youngsters don’t resist and rush out of the joint. And it gives us another topic to discuss.

“Is changing the package changing the poisonous stuff?”

Or is there something happening in our country that we don’t know? We thought those things – the spirits – were banned in a transparent manner, and why is it that they are back through the backdoor?

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