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‘Rainful’ memories

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With Richard Chirombo:

Nostalgia, I have come to understand, is a serious ‘disease’.

You see, some people find it difficult to sail past their past, embrace the present and hope for the best, when it comes to the future.

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That is why Billy Kaunda, in one of his songs, ‘Kale’, recognises this fact. In the song though, he takes an objective position as the persona portrays the past as a mixed bag. It is a concoction of the bad and the good.

For some people, especially those who are basking in the glory of riches now, the past is a bad wind they have no intention to sniff at. Again.

Come rain or sunshine, they want to have nothing to do with it. In the Bible, we can refer to the days others do not want to think about as the ‘Saul- Years’.

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I am talking of the biblical Saul, a monster of deceit who persecuted others for their beliefs.

For other people, though, the past is a bed of roses they want to sleep on again. If they had

their chance, their way, they would not hesitate to ‘go back’ to the past, not in memories but real life.

These are the kind of people who used to get it tickled over their backs in those old, glorious days. Today, if you look around, you may discover that the present is ‘treating’ them with disdain.

Whatever take one has on the past, Fredokiss, or Penjani Kalua, seems to think of the past as a springboard for success.

That is the impression I got when I attended a viewing session of the artist’s documentary at Chichiri Shopping Mall’s Underground Cinema in Blantyre this year.

In the documentary, In the Hands of the Young: Music as a Tool for Social Change, he speaks about his upbringing, shedding some light on what life was like as he grew up in the ghetto, and how he got out of that cage.

Whatever the case, Fredokiss skipped one aspect of his life in the documentary: the part about the rains.

Two of his childhood friends told me this month, after he launched a trophy in Blantyre before Christmas, that Fredokiss used to play in the rain, soaking to the bone.

He would, they said, jump up and down in the rain, singing and dancing as if there was no tomorrow.

His relatives would then take a whip, threatening to crack it on him if he did not get out of the rains and get indoors. Oh, how Fredokiss would run! The child in him was a runner! Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!H a!Ha!Ha!Ha!Ha!The boy and rains are brothers. Simple!

I was reminded of this side of Fredokiss this month, when, despite donning a suit, Fredokiss braved heavy rains launch a trophy in Blantyre.

Now, you do not wear a suit and get soaked to the bone in the rain. Actually, you do not chew sugarcane in a suit. You do not run up and down while donning a suit.

But Fredokiss does not care about suits and rains; he loves them [suits and rains], but loves the rain more than a suit.

Who does not want to hold the hand of a brother? To Fredokiss, getting soaked to the bone, never mind in a suit, is akin to holding a brother or sister’s right hand.

And, so, at Moneymen, Fredokiss relived those childhood days when he could run up and down in the rain. Even though he was soaked to the bone while donning a suit, it must have been a pleasure to him, as the rains poured down on him at Moneymen.

Now, some people have all the luck. They do not follow the rains. The rains, like a faithful brother, follow them.

Pleasurable thing indeed, when the past comes back at you in the form of a pleasant memory called rain; real point of relief.

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