Light talk on Monday: Zikomo Matope walks out of church in protest of beer preaching

I was busy preparing my early lunch at home when I heard the landlord’s son talking to someone just outside my quarters.

“Is this the house of Mr. Divaluweshoni?” The voice sounded so familiar that I went to the front door to quench my curiosity, inwardly praying that it shouldn’t be Tholo, the barman, coming after his previous day’s unsettled bill.

Enya” The landlord’s son assented in Tumbuka.

Through the keyhole, I saw a smartly dressed young man. I could not believe my eyes; it was my good friend Zikomo Matope! What on earth had brought him to my place? I honestly couldn’t figure out.

You wouldn’t believe me if I told you despite the two of us being as close as the biblical Jonathan and David for sometime now, Zikomo had never been to my place before. We only meet in town and chat over some cold greens.pius-logo lighttalk

“Zikomo Matope! You are dressed like a presidential hopeful today!” I joked as I opened the door for him.

“You can’t be completely wrong,” he answered back, smiling as he sauntered in.

“What are you cooking here?” Zikomo Matope asked and without waiting for my answer, he went to the kitchen and came back with a piece of boiled pork.

We sat down, him in the only cane chair at my sitting room and me on an empty case of Carlsberg beer that serves as a chair when need arises.

“Welcome to my place,” I said.

“So this is where you stay? How do you manage to locate this place when you are drunk especially at night?”

“But fortunately I don’t get drunk like you, Zikomo.”

“Between you and I, who drinks the worst?”

“Of course you, Zikomo. And everybody knows it.”

“We’ll ask Tholo then.”

“When?”

“Today of course. That’s where we are going from here.” He said.

No news sounds better. I suppressed my smile.

Nonetheless, there was one thing I found not adding up; was the suit my good friend was wearing just meant for a drinking spree? No. That couldn’t be.

“Has my good friend just decided to pay me a courtesy visit today?” I couldn’t help asking.

“Yes,” he replied. “Just a whistle stop. I’m going home from church.”

That explained it.

“But where is the bible?” I asked.

“With Ivy, of course!” he said, a grin dancing on his lips. “I met her on her way to Tholo’s place, that’s where I’ll get it from.”

I shook my hornless head.

“You mean you are coming from church and you’re going to a bar for more sins?”

“Does it matter?” he asked. “After all, I didn’t attend the service to the end today.”

“Why?”

“That church pastor of ours! How could he transgress from his sermon and started preaching about beer the moment he spotted me in the church?”

“But you were not the only drunkard in attendance I suppose, how did you know you were the target?” I asked.

“Everybody knew he was hitting at me. Fancy the whole church turned to look at me the moment the beer subject was introduced.”

I wanted to laugh but I didn’t want to scratch a healing wound.

“By the way, let’s go join Ivy,” he said.

We munched our lunch and ten minutes later, we were in a taxi.

“You should’ve communicated you were coming. What if you found me busy in bed with one of your mulamus?”

Zikomo laughed his lungs out.

“I don’t have a phone now,” he said, sounding deeply concerned.

“Where has your phone gone?”

“Hey, do you have to know everything?” He replied, attracting laughter from the third female passenger in the taxi.

In no time, we were at Tholo’s place. As soon as Ivy saw us arrive, she looked relaxed. Her bottle was empty and she might have been starving.

“Tholo!” Zikomo screamed. “Beer, please!”

He fished out several K1000 banknotes from his fat wallet. “We are blowing every coin of my month’s tithe today.”

A joke here, a story there, time went by.

“Diva?” Zikomo suddenly called. He had already downed nine bottles in the thirty minutes we had been here.

“What if we start our own church?” he asked.

Ivy laughed heartily while I simply looked at him, completely caught off guard.

“Why should we?”

“You see, we can pull crowds and crowds.” He returned “I can be the pastor and I can ordain you my treasurer.”

“Go deeper, Prophet Zikomo Matope!” Ivy, who looked getting done by the haram drink, shouted.

“And later,” Zikomo took the floor again. “We can try our luck in politics as presidential hopeful and running mate, respectively.”

I shook my head at the wishful thinking.

“But what if I became president of the this republic today?” Zikomo Matope asked, opening his eleventh bottle.

“Of course I know you would first of all reduce beer prices as a token of appreciation to the drinking fraternity who, I’m sure, will account for your landslide!” Ivy intruded.

We laughed.

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