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Night time: prostitutes rule

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It is an undeniable fact that Malawi is at the mercy of prostitutes, who take charge of Malawi from dusk to dawn. Deny this reasoning and you immediately become one of the people who pretend to be in the know but are ignorant.

And, the Crew has no doubt about this school of thought. Even the doubting Thomases in the Crew agree with this line of reasoning, and some debate within our earshot has just sealed this belief.

We are somewhere in Lilongwe, a drinking place around the famous Devil Street. The beer is cool and cold, the snacks are great.

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For once, all of us in the crew have decided to drink nothing but Safari Lager – a Tanzanian brand of beer, one that easily makes one’s brain a victim of reasoning lapse.

Some lady picks up some moment, when the noise and music is down, to challenge all men in Malawi. First, all of the men-folk in the pub seem not to agree with her sentiments but, as time passes, reasoning grabs their minds, making them more shocked in the face of reality.

Mumangochita matama amuna inu, mumadziwa kuti usiku onse dziko lino timalamulira ndife amene mumatitcha oyenda yendafe? (You men are just proud for nothing, yet you know that this country is controlled by us – the very people you call prostitutes)?” challenges the lady, speaking to no one in particular.

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She goes on to challenge that whoever among the patrons has never fallen prey to some prostitute in his life should immediately drink four ‘Petrodas’ on her bill. Surprisingly, no one comes forward to either brave the challenge, let alone face her head on with denial.

Mwaonatu, mumangoti ife amuna ndi madolo, koma ukafika usiku ngakhale mabwana a mabwanawo amasanduka tiana ife tikumangowalamula zochita (look, you men think you are greater than women and yet, come night time, you behave like babies and we control and manipulate you)!”

She goes on with her belittling of the men-folk, insinuating that even the very reputable Cabinet ministers behave funny and babyish when under the siege of the ‘night queens’.

Ukakhala unduna kapena ubwana umakhala masana, usiku mabwanawo amakhala zoseweretsa zathu. Timatha kutenga bwana wamkulu, ngakhale nduna imene, kukayigonetsa pakamkeka, n’kufunda nsalu, koma pochoka yekha amazweta mutu, n’kumangochokocha ma aluvera [K1,000] kapena ma Trump [K2,000] amene, mbwe mbwe mbwe! (We control bosses and Cabinet ministers at time. We take the so called bosses to our homes where they sleep on mats, with a simple cloth for a blanket – but, regardless that, they get excited and feel full to the extent that they dish out so much cash to us due to the excellent service we provide.

Even with these seemingly crude allegations, no one of the crew or entire patronage at the joint braves her challenge.

“Tamayankhani amuna inu. Kuchokera ku Chitipa mpaka Nsanje, Nkhotakota mpaka Mchinji, usiku timalamulira ndife mahule. Mabwana , akampompa ngolo, malova, mavenda, madalaiva a minibasi…ndingoti amuna mitundu yonse, amakhala m’manja mwathu; miyoyo yanu yonse imakhala m’manja mwathu, ndalama zanu zimakhalanso zathu (Please, prove me otherwise, but I can say without fear that lives of all men – from Chitipa to Nsanje, Nkhotakota to Mchinji – is mostly in the hands of we prostitutes, whether you like it or not. We control all sorts of men – low class and high profiles).

Some old man on the counter orders three ciders for the lady as she continues her chronicle. She stresses that if the prostitutes so decide, they can easily take over governance at all levels, since most of the people who matter in the society are usually at one point or the other of night time taken care of by the ladies of the night.

Ngakhale boma litafuna kuchita kaundula kuti akulu akulu ake ali kuti usiku, likhoza kumva chisoni kuti ambiri mwaiwo ali mphechepeche mwathu (if government decides to undertake a census about the whereabouts of its senior officials at night, it will be shocked to know that the bulk of them are under the custody of prostitutes like us)!” she says, attracting laughter from the entire patronage of the bar.

“I think the lady is a hundred percent right, imagine the vehicles that come down there to pick ladies from this joint? Most of those posh vehicles belong to influential figures in our society who use the cover of darkness at night to do what they cannot do during the day in the area of ‘picking’ and prostitution. And, the very fact that none of you my customers has dared to quash this lady’s allegations just proves her right, we men indeed become pawns of women of the street most of the times!” says the barman, shaking the hand of the lady-narrator, as all heads nod in agreement.

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