LIFE! WHAT A JOURNEY with CHARLES CHISALA
SINCE in my faith we do not recognise or celebrate Christmas for very strong reasons my family and I regard it as a working day.
Not that I have any problems with those who recognise and celebrate the festival. We are all entitled to our own beliefs.
So on the last Christmas Day, December 25, 2014, I reported for work as usual.
I am informing you that by the time I was knocking off and heading back home I had seen enough debauchery to convince me that to most people Christmas is not about the birth of Jesus Christ after all.
They just use it as an excuse to satisfy the human fleshâ€™s basest passions and desires as listed in the Bibleâ€™s book of Galatians chapter five, that are constantly warring against the Spirit of God.
I do not think our Saviour approves of all the evil, ungodly and most vile activities carried out in His holy name.
No wonder there is no record in the entire Bible of the Lord holding or ordering a feast to celebrate His birth day.
He only celebrated His death (Lordâ€™s Supper) and ordered His followers to observe the feast until His return. Matthew 26:17-29; 1 Corinthians 11:20-27.
Well, let us leave the evangelism for another time.
Back to my story. As I drove past one of the many mini-bars and taverns that line the road I use on my way to work I saw a group of â€˜Christiansâ€™ drinking an assortment of alcoholic beverages, mostly chibuku, to celebrate Christmas.
I stopped, came out and started inspecting my motor vehicle as if I had detected something wrong.
Among the patrons was a heavily-built woman with a baby strapped on her back. There were three to four other women while the rest were men.
The baby on the womanâ€™s back was protesting bitterly for being denied the â€˜drinkâ€™, and was running riot inside the chitenge wrapper that was keeping it hostage.
â€œIwe, mwana wako afuna moba. Mupaseko tungâ€™ono we (eh, canâ€™t you see that your baby is crying for beer? Give it a little),â€ one woman told the apparently inebriated mother of the baby.
Some patrons found the remark amusing and laughed, but the mother wasnâ€™t as amused.
She turned her head and addressed the little nuisance on her back, â€œIwe kolwe, nizakucaya ine ngati suniziba. Usiye vabupuba wanvela (you little monkey, I will thrash you if you donâ€™t know me. Stop being a fool, you hear me)?â€ the mother shouted and stood up to dance.
But the determined baby, whom I estimated to be a year or so old, was not intimidated.
Pointing at packets of opaque beer on a coffee table it wriggled, kicked and threw its head back and forth to drive home its point.
The racket provided entertainment to the patrons who teased the baby by pretending to give it a packet of chibuku beer and then withdrawing it.
â€œAka kamwana kakaba ka cakolwa. Moneni ifyo kalelililo bwalwa (this baby will grow up into a drunkard; look at the way it is crying for beer),â€ one male patron quipped, triggering more laughter.
The mother couldnâ€™t take the babyâ€™s protests and the running commentaries they were attracting from her fellow patrons any more.
She scooped one of the numerous packets of chibuku from the cheap wooden table, took a swig, wiped her lips and started dancing, shaking her meaty behind vigorously while her â€˜drink matesâ€™ cheered her on.
Then she turned back to the protesting baby.
â€œIwe, nenzenakuuza cani, nenzenakuuza cani (you, what did I tell you, what did I tell you)?â€ she railed, then pinched the babyâ€™s right cheek so roughly that the other patrons winced. The baby cried out in pain.
However, this angered the other women and a few male patrons, who took turns in condemning her.
The woman tried to justify her abuse of the obviously starved baby, but they shouted her down.
â€œImwe Banaâ€¦.. (you mother ofâ€¦.). How can you pinch the baby like that? Why did you come with it in the first place? The baby is hungry; go and feed it,â€ said one man.
I donâ€™t know what followed because I drove away, pouting my mouth in dismay.
At Garden House market one dishevelled drunk had failed to cross the busy expanded Mumbwa road from the southern to the northern side.
He stood swaying precariously in the middle of the left inner lane near the speed control rumble strips, causing a traffic jam.
Some call boys were cheering and laughing as the man struggled to make a step forward amid a cacophony of honking by infuriated motorists.
An excited taxi driver stood next to the swaying drunk and started teaching him how to walk. He stretched his right foot forward and ordered the alcohol-reeking wretch to do the same.
â€œWalk like this,â€ the taxi driver shouted. The drunk planted the right foot in front of him, but as he tried to drag the left one forward, he span dangerously and started falling.
Donâ€™t miss the next edition of the Sunday Mail.
LIFE! WHAT A JOURNEY with CHARLES CHISALA