Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Limbani Kumanga
– Paul Theroux
So here we go. Since, all my previous posts have focused on describing my official engagements, I have decided to bring in a tad bit of change this time around. Change is inevitable, huh? In this post, I highlight some of the memorable shows that I have encountered or partaken in my effort to overturn slow days. Consider this a public service.
BANKERS FC: For people that know me, it is no secret that I am a soccer maniac. I love soccer. Playing it, watching it, discussing it, thinking about it, betting on it – you name it. I mean, I am no Yannick Bolasie nor Gabadinho Mhango, but believe me when I say that a soccer field is my heaven on earth. Funny enough, the ecstasy I get when I step on the pitch has nothing to do with the quality of the pitch nor the standard of play. As long as I can run on it and be able to kick that ball, all is good with me. At least then, I take a much craved respite from thinking about my most dreaded daily activity – setting a charcoal burner.
What does a self-professed soccer fanatic do when he finds himself in Likoswe Village? The answer is simple. He joins Bankers FC, formally known as Likoswe FC (Don’t ask me the idea behind the “Bankers” name because surely there is no formal bank in my community and there won’t be one anytime soon. All I know is that the name switch has strong politics behind it between the current crop of players and former players, mostly those that emigrated to South Africa in search of employment). Upon joining the team, I was nicknamed Nakamura by the lad who used to coach the team then. Apparently, in an effort to draw parallelism with Genk Nakamura, a Japanese footballer who has signed for Be Forward Wanderers FC – one of the giants and mainstays in the national football league. Personally, I don’t like that nickname but at my age I know that unwarranted nicknames tend to stick when you protest them. So I had to let it go. Nevertheless, despite the fact that Bankers FC is mostly known for shipping goals than banging them, I like the camaraderie here. The team has interesting characters with a great sense of humor. So whenever we get thrashed on the soccer field, we usually find a bright side of it and joke about it. Meanwhile, the team’s administrative set up has shaken up a bit. Yours truly has been assigned the role of a coach-player (yes, what a meteoric rise) and surely our results should start improving hence forth.
MOUNTAIN HIKE: My house is located on the fringes of Malavi mountain, the biggest mountain you see on your right as you exit Blantyre heading toward Mulanje through Midima Road. I had made it a case that I would hike the mountain before the end of my service. But I had always found reasons to postpone my hike the second the thought of this personal challenge came to my mind. Procrastination. Two days ago, however, a friend from them old days paid me a surprise but brief visit and we embarked on a postprandial hiking escapade. The entire trip, back and forth, took about 4 hours. On my fledgling list of mountains to have hiked, which currently includes conquering the massive Chongoni Mountain in Dedza, hiking Malavi mountain involved the steepest hike. As I write this piece, my thighs still ache from the experience. Despite my mild acrophobia, I am hungry for more hiking expeditions.
Anyway, I could go on and on narrating amazing experiences that I have had on my slow days here. But we both don’t have the whole day. The point is slow days are a real life phenomenon and it is incumbent on a every individual to find their special panacea for slow days. Go out there. Get involved in something. That way, you observe a lot of interesting stuff that make you appreciate the essence of life. FORGET IT. I am not good at this whole philosophical gibberish. But I am sure you now have a better understanding of what I do when I am not out there with my ladies or.. never mind. I am out of here. For now.