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Wailer talks to Malawi

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Now in one starless night

When loving ain’t right

You got the tears in your eyes.

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Tears in Your Eyes! — Bunny Wailer

Bunny Wailer: Little woman I never will hurt you, I will do my best to please you.

Malawi: Oh no! I am not that little woman anymore. I am a big woman now. Don’t you know I mothered Dr Kamuzu Banda, Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika, my only daughter Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika. You sound like them, I have heard similar things from each one of them. They promise(d) me to do their best to please me. Who has sent you, should I believe your promise Bunny?

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Wailer: Yes I promise if only you listen to me then we won’t have to quarrel and you won’t be here in your sorrow tomorrow.

Malawi: I have always listened to my children and none can blame me. Now you are telling me Bunny that if I were to listen to you, all will be well. How different will your promise be because I have heard that before from Dr Banda, Bakili, Bingu, Abiti and this other brother Peter?

Wailer: Of course I know there are things that will hinder a woman from having a happy tomorrow.

Malawi: What are those things Bunny? I know the leaders have done that well. Telling me that tomorrow will be better but they have offered little solutions. All they care about is to make their cronies happy and they have abandoned me. I should ask Peter if he still cares about me; the two big brothers died some years ago, I no longer talk to Bakili and I do not know about the whereabouts of my only daughter.

Wailer: So hush little woman, things ain’t so bad

Malawi: Why are you still calling me little woman? Don’t you see I am old now? I deserve some respect. Just know that I cannot keep quiet when I am hurting inside. You say things ain’t so bad. See, there is no electricity and no safe drinking water. Infact I draw water from unsafe sources and when I get sick, the hospitals say there is no medicine. Why do you say things ain’t so bad?

Wailer: Oh no, I didn’t mean to make you cry. Wipe the tears from your eyes.

Malawi: I wish I could but I cannot hold my tears back.

Wailer: Daddy is home, you ought to be glad

Malawi: You call my son daddy? Does he deserve that honour? Yes ‘daddy’ is home but he has not spoken to me yet. I overheard people saying he is not well but I do not believe them. I love all my children although they have disappointed me. I am more worried that my only daughter has been away for too long and it seems she is not coming back soon.

Wailer: You say what happened to your daughter? Hasn’t she listened to my song Home Sweet Home?

Malawi: I am quite surprised too because music is part of our culture. Home is indeed sweet, you rightly say in your song that loneliness makes the heart grow fonder. I will ask someone to send her that song.

Wailer: Well, I’m here just to guide and end all your fears.

Malawi: How will you achieve that Wailer?

Wailer: Through my music of course, do you know any of my songs?

Malawi: Yes I know a number of songs of course like Tears from Your Eyes, Time Will Tell and Electric City.

Wailer: Do you like Time Will Tell?

Malawi: Yes I do but what sums up my life is Tears From Your Eyes, that is the song Bunny. I feel Electric City is just some fantasy, you cannot talk about electric city here.

Wailer: What do you mean Electric City is just fantasy?

Malawi: There is no electricity in Malawi. All we gave blackout cities. And you cannot protest as well. The few who have tried have been in trouble. That is a very sensitive topic here in Malawi.

Wailer: I thought you were liberated several years ago, has nothing changed?

Malawi: No, there is no liberation here. Infact some people tried to reclaim their land but now they are in trouble.

Wailer: You are really in trouble, can I send you some songs of freedom so you can feel better? I see tears in your eyes.

Malawi: I will be thankful.

NOTE: Tears From Your Eyes is Bunny Wailer’s song from the album Market Place released in 1985. The conversation is based on the lyrics of the song.

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