By: Harry Silence Magwali
Gwedula gazed to the west, north, south and finally to the eastern direction where the famous village of Dzimbiri innocently laid. He saw two sky-scraping mountains which deceived his poor eyes. It seemed that these mountains and the impregnated dark clouds in the sky expected to burst into a heavy down pour were in direct contact. That had even no space for a needle to penetrate. Though this scenery portrayed that Dzimbili village was at infinity to where he stood but it never weakened his heart and mind which was half full with questions of no answers. He made up his mind and embarked on the journey to the new country of Malomo where his future and riches dwelt.
Gwedula was a tall slender lad whose life was in deeper wounds of poverty beyond the line. Even his relatives and the lice stood aloof. He struggled with life the poor soul. His heart kept on piercing with a sharp needle upon seeing his colleagues changing their life destiny through numerous businesses which they ventured in. He convinced himself that life was a bed of roses to his friends of the same leaf in their village, as they drove and own posh cars of different make up. The worst thing, summing up to his already broken heart was, even extremely gorgeous ladies in the village treated him with cold shoulders when he confronted and requested them a hand in marriage.
“Who deceived you to throw a love word to me? What will l eat? Look at yourself; see the punches on your trouser as if you are a Kapoli. That is the name of the traditional dance in Dowa district, popularly known as Gule wamkulu in our mother`s tongue,” vomited the flames of fire Nasha. She said this while her index figure pointing to Gwedula`s rags tied with a wool from the maize sack. This happened when Gwedula empted his throat by proposing to his dream better half Nasha. Nasha`s response aggravated his already troubled mind. He was under panic indeed as each day things were turning from worse to worst.
This other day while sitting on the veranda of his hut he reminisces about the events that happened the previous day. He then came to his feet as if the needle has pierced him on his buttocks. A couple of minutes elapsed while standing there as a statue. In his day dreaming, he saw Nasha receding and vanishing from his sight. He pondered deeper in his mind to extract and come up with a long lasting solution to the predicaments that rocked his life. He at first decided to confront his friend and ask him for a help, but reversed the decision later to save his face. His problems and poverty were the source of thorn in his flesh. Long at last he swallowed his pride and embarked on the journey to solicit the views from his friend who also happened to be his desk mate at primary school. He m with joy and did not beat about the bush as he just hit the head of the nail back. He tol et Zikuwo his friend who was in the class of his own the whole village. Zikuwo welcomed the news d him that his riches were the product of hard work as well as proper expenditure of the little he earns from his business. Zikuwo`s response did not please him because he expected his friend to give him a traditional medicine. He thought that proper routes were only the waist of time. He wanted to square the circle within two days. He then ran quickly to his computer memory data base and remembered the news he heard a unit of years ago. That in Malomo there was a witch doctor who claimed to have powerful medicine. A medicine that can change the destiny of a person to brush shoulders with the famous British prime ministers Bill and Clinton. This time he become optimistic and strongly convinced that all will be the song of the past if that witch doctor was still alive.
The following day Gwedula catches the Cock`s mouth in a long and tiresome journey to the hilly nation of Malomo. He killed the ants day and night for three days. He then reached the foreign land in a state that the stomach and the back were in close contact as he walked with an empty stomach. He had no even a penny to buy something to play with in his mouth.
In the nick of time he found himself with Ndobwe who was fame as the death of the president. Gwedula was this time astounded to learn that though Ndobwe was well known for making people rich but was as poor as rat dwelling in stores full of nails. He couldn’t believe what his eyes were telling him. They talked with each other for a reasonable time and in the end Ndobwe handed over a huge and tied heap of small sticks to him. “Use this medicine when bathing for only two days each and every night. Then go around the grave yard thrice while in your bath suit ’naked’.” The witch doctor advised him while pulling the tied heap against each other. In strongest terms he told Gwedula not to let any one see him running around the grave yard as it was against the spirits.
Gwedula soldiered on the way back home with hope that in no time he will be the millionaire. Upon reaching home every instruction was followed as he waited with bated breath new seasons of life. The very first day when he started running around the grave yard, he heard a commotion. People in the village were chasing a thief who wanted to steal ducks. He ran inside the grave yard and hides at the tomb of his grandfather for fear of broking the instructions given and to bear the consequences as well.
Unfortunately the thief sneaked through the same grave yard too. The mobs were craver too and wanted the thief caught and brought to book. They too find their way into the yard in search of the beast at that particular time of the night. “I have found him here but he had stripped off his clothes for fear of being recognized,” yelled one of the chasers. In no time Gwedula became mad right away besides his grandfather`s tomb. Indeed an idle mind is the devil`s workshop.
The author of this short story is a BSC (Education) student at Mzuzu University and a best friend to Christopher Loti.
(Mighty Pen Creative Works)