With her body bent and hips swaying this way and that—it was such a lovely sight, sweet to the eye—and it became increasingly irresistible not to steal glances at my next-door neighbour’s new maid as she did her laundry. Time and again, I pipped through the tiny holes of the wall fence to appreciate nature’s beauty.
By the time I realised that I was racing against time for my appointment with Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Minister, Henry Mussa, it was a bit too late as I had only a few minutes before the scheduled 9.15am.
I got there about 10 minutes late and from a distance, I saw a fellow standing on the entrance of the minister’s office, dressed in a tracksuit with national colours, a snappy beret complete with sunglasses and I thought probably this was a youth cadet standing guard for the minister, but nay! This was the big shot himself, popularly known as ‘Mtengo wa minga’.
After apologising for my late arrival, Mussa played it down with a warm smile as he offered me a handshake, jokingly remarking: “If I were Garry Chirwa, I wouldn’t be late for my appointment.”
Throughout the 40-minute interview, the big shot concentrated on issues unlike some of his predecessors who would spend time singing praises of powers that be. He also did not promise the moon, opting to be realistic on his vision and ambitious plans. Over and above that, he thrilled my world with his parting shot: “Dead wood must go, it cannot be business as usual. It’s high time we changed the way we do things.” I hope it was not just empty talk and he will live to his word.
On a lighter note, despite feigning a hiccup in anticipation of an offer for a cold drink, the minister did not offer me any, not even a glass of water. Nevertheless, I found him to be an easy-going fellow and he spoke highly about his Man United bouncing back after three straight losses. He also bragged about having a taekwondo black belt just to prove that he was not a stranger in sports. Uloliwe wayidudula, neng’esiza, hah! (Oh yes, the train is pushing). Glory be to God. n