Which comfort? ‘AXA coaches are a big lie’

Last weekend was like no other. I was lost in the splendour of Blantyre night life – drinking from the beer holes of Mount Soche’s Sportsman’s Bar, Masters, Lunzu and Ndirande.

I was away from Mzuzu – Villa Kagwentha, Paris, and Sports Café – and from the sharper-than-lead guitar voice of Diehard Pakwawo.

It was at Ndirande Flats that the merry-making reached untellable levels. First, because of the so-called flats that are more famous than the City of Blantyre itself and second, because of the scarcity of night queens at the pubs which was so strange – considering the nature of how lively night life at the place can be.pius-logo lighttalk

Despite being 3pm, and on a Saturday, the place breathed life – the kind of life that Mzuzians experience only around midnight and only at Paris.

I was seated on one of the rugged stools in Beluga, downing one Carlsberg Green after the other, as I waited for a man I have been looking forward to meet for the past two years – the Duke of Ndirande.

Because his face is always printed on top of a controversial column he writes every Friday for one of the country’s leading dailies, it wasn’t very difficult to notice him the moment he sauntered into the pub.

I laughed at his height and joked that he was closer to the ground more than he was to heaven.

And we talked and talked and talked as he got me drunk and drunk and drunk, all on his bill.

“When are you getting back?” the Duke of Ndirande asked.

“On Monday. My ticket is booked for Monday. I’ll be aboard the AXA deluxe coach.”

“Is it the only choice you have? Or you just have enough money to spend on poorness?”

I looked around, stunned by what the Duke of Ndirande meant.

“I mean,” the Duke of Ndirande returned.  “I don’t see any reason why people pay more when the services they get from the so-called coaches are equivalent to the ones they can get from a common commuter?”

I was listening.

“AXA Bus Co. is cheating Malawians,” he said. “They are a big lie. Tell me, where is the comfort this company preaches when passengers are packed like bags of maize while some stand from Mzuzu to Lilongwe?”

That struck me. Actually, I had stood all the way from Mzuzu on my way to Blantyre via the so-called executive coaches.

“Are you trying to de-campaign madala madala because he is eying Malawi Inc. top seat?”

“No,” the Duke responded the reflex-action way. “The problem might not be madala madala. It might be the unscrupulous people working for him trying to make more to add onto what they already earn.”

“But for sure that may negatively impact on the votes he will earn in the general elections,” I said.

“Of course, Diva,” he said as he gulped another mouthful of Carlsberg Green. “People will always judge politicians by what they have and are affiliated to. Politicians who have businesses must be on the lookout so that their employees don’t disappoint their customers cum voters during this time.”

After hours and hours of being there a girl of good shape and colour walked into the bar.

“Is she alone?” I asked.

Even before the Duke of Ndirande answered me, a man of unquestionable repute walked after the girl and, they got themselves seats at the far end of the mahogany counter.

“That’s Laughter,” the Duke of Ndirande said. “Laughter Kambala. The most persecuted ex-government top dog of our time as far as cash-gate and the shooting of afana Paul is concerned.”

I did not say an extra word.

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