TORN APART with BOYD PHIRI
WHEN a year comes to an end, it always feels good to welcome a new one. And 2015 certainly deserves a toast.
I am talking about entering January which comes from the word janus. In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, and thereby of gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings.
He is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus.
Many of us would be shrieking with the relief of not being on the other side of life at the turn of time.
Life is good â€“ not even someone at 100 wants to die early. There is something wonderful about crossing over to the brand new year.
No wonder my Bemba friends call the month kutumpu-meaning to emerge.
The 1st of January has a soothing feeling, especially if throughout the year one had leant towards melancholy because of not winning a lottery or, letâ€™s say, getting married.
My Pentecostal Pastors come up with all kinds of themes every January. This include â€˜year of breakthrough,â€™ â€˜year of starting afreshâ€™, â€˜year of reapingâ€™, â€˜year of starting on a new slateâ€™ etc.
Those who were in bondage from shylocks would be happy to start on a new slate or completely erase the money lendersâ€™ contacts in their phones to keep a clean sheet in the New Year.
You see, if there is anything mind boggling than facing up to the jibe of a landlord, it is getting into a slanging match with a shylock in the full glare of members of the hood.
Some shylocks can strip you naked in the middle of the road on your way to church.
â€œLeta ndalama zanga. Uganiza nizadya mapemphelo yako,â€ they would say, meaning â€œBring my money. I wonâ€™t eat your prayers.â€
Even if they find you terminally ill in hospital, they would swear to Caesar that your wife gives back what belongs to him.
Dare not suggest to pay them when you are fully recovered, otherwise they would give your wife a ticket to the officer in charge at a police station, who happens to be their regular client.
Obviously, being taunted by a shylock in hospital can be pretty embarrassing â€“ something which when you look back at 2014 would still make you feel blue.
Another experience which some men would want to forget quickly is being held holstage by sex workers for non-payment of sex services rendered.
Some men, who may have had the misfortune of getting too familiar with sex workers, would be hoping to quickly forget the embarrassing experience of being forced to leave their under wears as collateral.
Perhaps this is why they say social life is expensive â€“ one needs to have disposable income, not only for buying children sweets, but also padding the sex workersâ€™ handbags when one pays a courtesy call on them in brothels.
Imagine one going home without something to hold oneâ€™s prized possession together. One can only pray that he does not step on red ants, which force victims to undress in public.
The sad reality about this experience is that it may develop into one completely losing his vital organ if the wife discovered his dangerous exploits.
Not that Chamangeni Zulu, a Malawian who sacrificed his genitals to a hyena, does not know that the wife can also be lethal, but his desire to become rich made him lose his in a different way.
But this may not be the only experience some people would want to forget 2014 quickly about.
Some would remember how they vomited copious amounts of beer in front of their congregations when the previous Sunday they had testified to stopping beer drinking.
Others would remember 2014 for mistaking a fellow man for a woman at a pub after he disguised himself as one.
They would rue the day they discovered that the man who posed as a woman did not have a female condom in his handbag, not to talk of female genitals. And to this day nobody has any idea what the courts of law would do with the man, although the cops have slapped him with a charge of personation.
On the political front, some would remember 2014 for failing to raise 200 people on nomination day for the January 20 presidential election. They would curse their luck when they see people trooping to polling stations to vote for their preferred candidate.
They would also regret failing to convince members of their extended families to pose as political cadres. What a year 2014 was! I bet 2015 will not give many people a dose of the blues. Happy New Year.
Adios 2014, welcome 2015!
TORN APART with BOYD PHIRI