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It’s 2018 but hunger, disease, envy reign

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Should we celebrate or sob and cry aloud?

“It is shameful to think that we are in 2018 without registering positive change. We are still the Malawi and Malawians we know, full of jealousy, disease-infested and very hungry in soul and spirit,” says our new member in the Crew, this brownish-in-complexion scribe, nick-named ‘Abdul’.

He joins the Crew at a time we have one vacancy. He, having qualified as one scandalous fella, was readily available to fill the shoes.

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‘Abdul’ is worse than our own Joe, being Joe. He should be a lieutenant of ‘Atsogoleri’ Rob M, in his new form.

For him to be accepted into the fold, we heard of his Mangochi escapades, where he forgot his oneself. We also got reports of what he did in Lilongwe, during some sort of fellowshipping of the likes of him.

And, crowning it all, ‘Abdul’ is very intelligent, befitting the IQ of the bulk of the Crew members. Indeed, now, he is just proving that in his debut debate in the Crew.

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“I am ashamed to be part and parcel of a nation that is in 2018 but still backward. How do we celebrate achievements when all we have done is fail ourselves and others again and again? Zachamba basi [crazy school of thought]!” exclaims Abdul, ordering three bottles for each one of us.

Everyone is surprised at his extravagance, considering our knowledge that most local scribes are as financially dry as a church mouse.

At first, I and other Crew members could not really understand what our new-found colleague was trying to prove.

“My brothers, I come into the Crew with ideas, I come with cash and I come with all sorts of scandal packages – raw and cooked – including software. I am a full member of the Crew and I will not hide my thoughts or suppress my mind, no. I am, of course, dangerous when it comes to chasing the usual things most men chase,” he says.

But Joe seems scared of his own reputation being dwarfed. He halts the conversation to push across his own sentiments.

“Wait a moment, ‘Abdul’ do you know that talk of the Crew is regulated and no one is supposed to manipulate protocol? Yes, it maybe your maiden speech, your maiden talk, but rules of the game must apply,” he says.

But ‘Abdul’ looks set to impress and not to be conquered: “You think I am mad or drunk? Some of you are even thinking I am on my way to the famous Zomba hospital. No way, I am going to tell you facts; and that I am here to stay. Take it or leave it,” he says.

But the bulk of the Crew quashes Joe and has a soft spot for the new catch. They encourage ‘Abdul’ to talk more and more; provided he buys the bulk of the drinks.

‘Atsogoleri’ Rob M comes in: “The guy is saying the truth. He is actually intelligent. Why should we be busy celebrating that we are in 2018 when, for instance, the public toilet at Lilongwe Bus Depot continues to stink and operate without running water; why should we smile when we are spending hours in darkness called blackouts. And why should we celebrate when our farmers cannot afford to buy fertiliser just because they are selling a bag of maize at low prices while a bag of fertiliser costs over K23, 000?

Kho, kho, kho! Mwalasa odala, n’zoona odala [that is very true, you have raised a pertinent point]!” chips in Happison, instantly asking the Braii Master to bring 10 snack plates – two for each present.

“Unfortunately, even come 2019, life will be the same; no change. Even those on the opposite ranks don’t look set to promote the agenda of ordinary people!” winds up ‘Abdul’.

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