Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI
NEWS of a 93-year-old man of Mongu having a newborn baby with his 55-year-old wife is good.
If you ask me, this could be a perfect example of child spacing. I don’t mean this in a bad way.
But obviously everyone in the hood would be asking, how did the old man pull such a feat when he is in his evenings of life?
Well, you can understand the woman at 55. Although this is the early retirement age for those in employment, there can be no giving up to the desire of having a child.
In the hood, women seek motherhood for various reasons: some look forward to having grandchildren. Others look forward to having children to keep their marriages because the relatives of a man want to see children at all costs.
Yet others want children so that in return the offspring can take care of them in their old age. The Bembas say “mayo mpapa naine nkakupapa”.
But it is difficult to understand how the old man and his wife can fit in this paradigm.
You’ve got to be Mr Gorebrown Kashumba or his wife Brenda to understand this. But whether one understands it or not, it’s a miracle, isn’t it?
This goes to show that although Mr Kashumba might be needing a hearing aid, he does not need any aid when it comes to reproduction.
In fact, some men who are still searching for their first child may be planning to visit Mr Kashumba for advice. I don’t know how they will react if he tells them to become vegetarians.
Certainly, at this point it is not the years in his life that count, but what he has done to make himself start buying napkins or diapers again. Or would his grandchildren buy nappies for him? Just kidding.
Of course, you don’t expect him to use the nappies he had bought for his first child many years ago.
This reminds me of how our parents used to recycle napkins from one child to the next until the under garments turned yellow.
It’s as if they always knew that they would need them for the next child in future. Perhaps it is the nappies of those days which could last until the child who wore them was 10 years old.
Another thing familiar with pregnancies in those days was ‘ukupikula’ (knitting). It’s as if it was mandatory for every woman who fell pregnant to start knitting a shawl.
If anything, the skill of knitting went together with falling pregnant. Apparently, young women made sure they fell pregnant early so that they could also know how to knit a shawl.
But I don’t see women of nowadays in the hood knitting shawls for their babies. I guess this is because one can buy these things in shops today unlike in the past.
Well, I am not saying that I saw Mrs Kashumba knitting a cozy blanket for her baby.
Anyway, let’s just call this a ‘Kashumba Challenge’. While the original Ice Bucket Challenge involved people pouring a bucket of ice over their heads, the Kashumba Challenge would involve men in the hood buying nappies for their unborn babies they anticipate having when they reach 93 years old.
I guess, given his age, Mr Kashumba will be a perfect stay-at-home dad. His wife knows very well that having a baby in old age is difficult and has asked for anyone to teach her how to care for the baby. Mr Kashumba can’t remember either.
I am sure the old man won’t have to put his snuff in the open anymore – that is if he smokes tobacco.
This is just a lighter side of Mr Kashumba’s blessing. In any case, I say congratulations to Mr and Mrs Kashumba. What has happened to you gives us reason to live longer because it is an epitome of hope.
Torn Apart: BOYD PHIRI