Sunday, March 29, 2009

The crook who met his match

Plain View with Mzati Mkolokosa

I WAS TOLD THIS story in the way of a warning that a crook must never be allowed to fool me twice mainly because we live once and some mistakes cannot be repeated.

The story is straightforward. A man, let us call him, Two Boy, married a woman at a village called Namara and failed miserably to manage his family that he was chased from the village. He did not care for his wife also. He failed so miserably for all to see.

It all started when Two Boy came to Namara Village. This was a society in which a man leaves his home to stay with his wife at her home.

Here, the man promised that he would bring cattle and ploughs to prepare people’s field.

“You will no longer use hoes, except for planting and minor works,” he said, “not for preparing ridges no. Not when I am here.” That was in June. He spoke as he lazed on a verandah, by the fire.

People believed him. It’s winter time, so let us not doubt his ability at work, they said. After the cold days, he will join us in the season of work, they thought.

But come August, the man was on the road, moving from one village to another, making more promises, more pledges. He did not ask what people wanted, he simply told them what he thought they wanted. Some did not believe Two Boy but they were outnumbered by those who believed the man.

One day, while walking three villages away, Two Boy met a man who was going to Namara Village to pay back K7 which he borrowed from a resident of the village. Upon greetings, Two Boy told the man that he did not need to walk all the distance.

“I will give him the money on your behalf,” pledged Two Boy.

He got the money but never did what he promised. Now K7, then, was a lot of money. It was school fees for two junior primary school pupils. And you know that people failed to go to school because of fees, lack of K3.50.

As this story of theft spread throughout the villages, more such stories started to flow like waters in a river that runs throughout the year. Here, too, he took some maize for his mother-in-law, said one. That maize flew in the sky and never reached its destination.

Here, he took eggs. These too disappeared. Here also, also said another man, Two Boy promised us razor blades for cutting our fingernails. They are yet to come. He said his father has a factory that makes razors in town and he would bring a carton of the product.

And there was one story of an old woman who was sick and needed some medicine. Two Boy, who had a bicycle, took some money from the old woman, saying he would buy the medicine for her. He never returned with the medicine, not even the money. Out of love for order and peace, this was not said at the funeral of the woman because she died while waiting for the medicine that never came. It was a sad story.

Now after four months, another man came to marry the woman. He was not eloquent as Two Boy. Some people knew him when they discussed what he had done, the good work of his mind.

This is when Two Boy appeared from wherever he was hiding. “I want my wife,” he said. A few people who benefited from the money he stole started to back him. Let Two Boy take his wife, they said. After all, they claimed, Two Boy was just chased, there was no divorce. The new husband is illegitimate, committing adultery and not in official marriage, they added.

The new husband must be chased away, they concluded. But by the mercies of those who loved peace and the work of the new husband, life went on. Two Boy was not allowed back into the village. He did not get back his old wife. The new husband stayed on. Sanity prevailed. I was told this story two decades ago. Now in the new century, it seems to make sense.

My plain view is that some mistakes must never be repeated. Crooks like Two Boy must never be allowed to fool people twice. I hope you see the sense -Nation on Sunday 15 March, 2009, Page 16.


  1. This Two Boy being talked about in the story, I believe is Bakili Muluzi and the new husband is Ngwazi Dr Bingu wa Mutharika. That's the way I understand the story of this man called Two Boy.

    Well written Mzati!

  2. Two Boy is Makolija, Mbava Bakili Tsinzinantole Muluzi.

  3. every well meaning Malawian knows that we have the best president in the Bingu

  4. Wow! That is the way to tell! I see Bakili in this but also the other mlonda claiming to be Mercy James' father. It is a loaded piece. Well done!

  5. Awa ndi a Mzati masiku azana. Pano iii ali ndi masikono mkamwa