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Nya Uyu’s favourite diversion

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With Richard Chirombo:

A woman, with a stern face, came straight at me the other day the other year.

That woman, trembling, quivering, and vibrating, was serious at it; so serious I nearly whipped myself into a frenzy-of-surprise— if there is such a thing.

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Like, where— I mean, on earth— does one approach strangers like me like that?

And, then, I burst into laughter. By the way, some confused people say “stitches of laughter”. That is pure madness. There is nothing like stitches of laughter. Sorry, I thought I were Teacher Mpamire! Teacher Mpamire should not come back to Malawi. He is confusing me, already. Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha! Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!H a!Ha!

Why is it that, in one moment, I nearly whipped myself into a frenzy-of-surprise and, in the next, I was laughing to myself? Simple. Someone, probably observing my verbal reactions, said: “She is a stand-up comedian. Remember we are here for a live show. Her name is Felistus Ngwira, Mzuzu-based. That is why you are probably confused.”

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Well, sure enough, she was rehearsing just before a performance— that day I suffered mixed emotions.

Ngwira is the stand-up comedian we call Nya Uyu in the arts sector.

She, surely, is scaling the heights. Possibly beyond her wildest dreams.

Maybe I lost an opportunity then, that day she made as if to ‘hit’ me with her seriousness. But I should have said: “Do you know how to brew sweet beer. I do it already!”

Probably, she would have said: “I know. I brew sweet beer for my grandpa or ma!”

But I did not ask and I can only assume that she knows how to go about ‘cooking’ sweet beer, aka thobwa.

But, how late I may be, I can still ask: Nya Uyu, what do you call thobwa in Tumbuka?

Nya Uyu! Nya Uyu! Nya Uyu! How many times have I called your name, the way someone called Samuel in the Bible, and you are not answering? Sorry, I forgot that Nya Uyu is a serious lady off the stage. Do not hit back at me, please Nya Uyu! Ha !Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!H a!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!

What I mean is, we must celebrate Nya Uyu. Her story is now being told beyond the borders.

That is why, this year, she has been invited to perform in Zimbabwe and South Africa, not to talk about Zambia.

Now, Nya Uyu can have an excuse to shun tasks, especially when her turn to brew thobwa comes next month. Please Nya Uyu, cook thobwa for grand pa and ma for the last time. Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha !Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!

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