Only the woman knows a child’s paternity


This dude that has just joined us in the Crew is trying to be part of us. He has a rude awakening though. His showy and pompous self is dwarfed by the brains in the Crew.

He starts boasting about how he sires beautiful girls and handsome boys. He talks of how he, and his loving wife, has raised the kids and offered them the best education.

Ndine mashini akuluakulu, sindine munthu wamba – one kick – mapasa [I am strong, I am very productive, I don’t hesitate to produce twins]!” I feel pity that, out there, there are some guys who cannot bear children; they even go about adopting kids. God forbid!” the showy guy boasts.


His name – at least what we have been told is his nickname –is ‘Abig’; meaning he is not an ordinary person, he is rich, a businessman who enjoys the reputation of a ‘real cash man’, not at par with those who brag about buying rounds of beer around Kamba, Chigwiri, Luwinga or Mzuzu Old Town. This is a real guy, a khumutcha!

He continues: “The goodness of being a father is that you have the best of love from the kids, and not even from the wife. Your children cannot bewitch you, your children cannot wish you bad…and guys, my children love me, I am a good father, they have a good father!”

But ‘Atsogoleri Rob M’ tries to censure the ‘Abig’: “Boss, why don’t we just keep on drinking, because it is not only you who has got children. After all, we all love our children.”


But ‘Abig’ is adamant: “Look, this is a different case because some people don’t know how to love their kids; they don’t even know how to be proud of them.”

He goes on boasting and boasting, making everybody like they don’t know how to raise a family, and indeed love their children. He boasts how his youngest child wakes up at night and calls for the father – not mother.

As everyone is becoming displeased and irritated about this, some lady, one of the regular ones at the joint, laughs loud.

A Gama inu, tazisiyani zimenezo, mudziuza amene sakukudziwani. Mwatani kodi alamu? Bongoloro sadzolera mafuta pagulu, mudzakhumudwa [please don’t talk a lot in public because you may one day be disappointed]!” she says.

“Hie Patuma, I did not know you are here, how is Lilongwe? By the way, why are you trying to gag my showcasing of the happiness I have in my family?” says ‘Abig’.

We wonder what Patuma, one of the regular patrons to this joint, knows about the new-comer-pompous dude.

As the guy, I mean ‘Abig’ continues with his loud mouth talk, Patuma pleads with him to stop, but he does not.

Then the unexpected happens. She beckons the guy and shows him some SMS message on her phone; immediately ‘Abig’ starts breathing fast.

“No, it can’t be. No, you should be lying. No, it must be a mistake!” he exclaims.

The guy drifts between finishing the stuff in his tumbler and rushing to his vehicle. He leaves the stuff, and starts off for his vehicle, but the barman follows him.

“Sir, you have not settled your bill!” He just throws some wads of cash to the bar man, looking very disturbed.

Hehede, amuna inu! Musamachite matama [you men must not be boastful]! Exclaims Patuma.

“What is happening?” the bulk of the Crew ask in unison, confused.

Patuma says: “You know what, the wife of that dude is my cousin, and because of circumstances— me being her best friend— she confided in me that the guy is incompetent. So, the children he is boasting of are a product of his long time house-boy, the houseboy the wife sold to ‘Abig’ as the best worker the family has ever had. He has worked for the family for 16 years and, indeed, ‘Abig’ did not know that the salary he was paying the guy from Mtakataka is not only meant for services of washing plates and cleaning the house. The salary has also been payment for warming his own bed sheets and, indeed, siring the children he calls his!”

“Amangwetu, this world is very cruel. So, we men should not boast of paternity. It is only the woman who knows a child’s father! Koto ineeeeeeee [my gosh]!” shouts Lackson.

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