Thanks to some witty guy at around Area 18A of our dusty capital Lilongwe, one can hammer Carlsberg greens or specials at half a thousand kwacha while waiting for their order of roasted pork.
And, by sheer luck, my good friend Zikomo Matope and I found ourselves coiled to the spot. Now, Pa Willie – just next to Busybodies Club at 18A – is a place you will least expect finding such a gold mine. It is not as classy as the other places one would have in mind once in Lilongwe. For lack of a better expression, we would say it is a life on life support.
But there, last Saturday morning, we found men who love their bottle reduced to empty crates, downing a green or special after another, happily. There saw brands and brands of cars, expensive and inexpensive, beautiful and ugly, escorting tens of throats.
“Why are all these people here?” Impatient Zikomo quizzed William, the pork-roaster we’d settled at.
“Why are you here,” Willie, as he is popularly called, shot back rather rudely.
“Pork,” I said.
“They are also here for pork plus beer. Green is K500 here. So too specia…”
“What?” We chorused. He did not react.
Still in disbelief, Zikomo asked a boy, with a hefty cooler box serving some two pot-bellied gentlemen, to ‘see’ us.
“Is it really K500 each?” I sought clarification, but even before the boy nodded Zikomo was already walking about in search of empty crates on which we could sit on.
“Lilongwe shall never relent in surprising me each time I come,” Zikomo said, gulping down the remains of his sixth bottle. “Imagine, we’ve hammered twelve already and yet we haven’t even hit K7 000. If it were in these other places we should have been talking over K9 000. This is my place henceforth.”
I said nothing.
“By the way, last week was supposed to be elections weekend for you guys right? You’ve not said anything.”
“There is nothing to say. We had our ceremonial march in the streets, and then a dinner in the evening where colleagues were rewarded and awarded for their outstanding performances.”
“I’m sure you haven’t won anything. You should have been blubbing about it to me.”
“I always win you. And, that makes me happy.”
“And the elections?”
“The two contesting teams could not agree on a number of issues, including those who were eligible and those who were not. The results have been postponed to first weekend June. But this time everyone will have to shoulder their transport and accommodation costs.”
There was silence, as each of us opened our eighths.
“What’s wrong with you Malawian journalists? Why should you make noise over elections, instead of setting an example to all of us including our politicians?
“Is it not you that would have written pages and pages of articles and Facebook posts if it were another organisation or political party? Why should politics play centre stage for you when there are more pressing issues that affect you?
“Are you well paid?”
“What?” I was taken unawares.
“For elections, you make so much noise, and yet I know in your team most of you are deplorably salaried but you cannot even speak about it because of pride. Those are some of the issues you should have been discussing at your dinner and not quarrelling and postponing elections.”
“When are you going to Mzuzu? You said the week we’re beginning tomorrow,” I wanted to change the topic.
“I’m not going. Next Saturday we’ll be here again,” Zikomo said unconcernedly, chewing the pork that had just arrived from Willie.
He called for four more Carlsberg greens.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :