In the times we were growing up most often during summer holidays we were taken or sent to spend some time in the village. These times were exciting as we would be looked after by our grandparents who like any normal grand parent used to spoil us with whatever we desired. Worthy mentioning that there were always two competing sides; our fathers and our mothers.
One of the places we used to visit Lisungwi in Mwanza (now part of Neno) had two notorious insects that each time we were told about going there brought some abhor feelings in us. There was the black ants called Mpembedzu that would move faster than I have seen any ant do that would bite your feet mercilessly especially because once one starts biting you there would be several coming fast to the feast. Then there was this insects which would irritate by the noise they made as they circle your head apparently wanting to partake the fluids in the eyes . The insect is in the vernacular called ‘Tongole’ and after some labour I found out in English they are called ‘Gnat.’
The thing that surprises me about the gnat in particular is that they announce their presence even though you may keep on capping them. They are so persistent so much that I have never seen any person that does not blink or close their eyes in their presence without wanting to. As to why an annoying insect that at the most wants to scavenge on you would keep making noise announcing their presence, I do not know the reasons. Perhaps we can learn from these insects their brevity. For instant the black ants can easily be killed with the stamp of your foot on to them yet they still persist.
This week’s quotes are from an emerging fine writer of fiction. Having finished reading her book, it is not wrong to say she belongs to the seats reserved for such writers in the likes of Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Andichie. It is just a matter of time when this writer whose golden narrations I will present here will be pushed on to that higher podium. Read and enjoy these quotations:
THE WHIRLWINDS OF NDONDA by Patricia Kulipa Chimangeni
“Polina was leaving in ‘Sodom’ as it were, so she did not understand why Mateyu was keen on seeing her. On the other hand, Mateyu’s character was flawless. He was a helpful man and there was no job that would have suited him better than tending the Lord’s flock. Polina accepted the reason why he wanted their relationship to be discreet. It would be frowned upon for a man of God to be seen alone in female company, especially if that company happened to be a member of his congregation. Polina used to find this funny. As a man of God, where would he find a suitable partner apart from the flock that he was rearing? Nevertheless, she was lucky to have been chosen as the flock that the reverend wanted to share the rest of his life with.”
“Theo recalled the first time that he met Nkhwendo. He had been selected to The Technology University from Misuku Academy for Boys, a high school for privileged children. Just like any person with good news, Theo had danced with joy. His mother had ululated and danced around the house, showing off to her neighbours what an intelligent son she had. That was the first time that Theo had seen his mother in such a joyous mood. ————–Later that day, Mrs Sauzika, Theo’s mother had gone to the local market to buy a chicken. Theo was asked to prepare it into manageable pieces. That evening, to his father’s surprise, the whole chicken pot was placed on Theo’s place at the table. Mr Sauzika was confused. He never took well to defiance of such kind. He had thought Janet his wife had switched her allegiance. It was the first time that Theo had witnessed her put his father second. It was a brave act.”
Ndonda Village. An unassuming settlement, similar to any other village nearby. The red dusty whirlwinds, the hazy sun and the heavy thundery rains are natural events that take place every year. Then what is it about Ndonda that exudes a feeling of trepidation among those who hear about it?
The sceptics think that there is nothing peculiar about Ndonda, that the events that happen in the village have a logical explanation. Even so, there has been one or two occurrences that have left the most doubtful sceptic speechless.