In the good ‘ol days, life at public primary schools was full of fun. As a mischievous fella, I still remember when my Standard 6B teacher at Dharap (now Namiwawa), gave me a good spank for applying chitedze (buffalo beans) in our classroom which sent the entire class into a scratching session.
Then there were days when we would forego lessons and line up in the streests (kumsewu) just to clap hands in a sheer display of loyalty to former President late Ngwazi Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda (Alidzi) as he passed on his convoy either from his crop inspection tours or on return from abroad on a tour of duty.
This would provide naughty fellas an oppornunity to hook up with mashura (girls) from other schools and take them to Cream Centre which was the place to be. But for lock-jawed guys like me (owuma), we would just give the chics love proposal letters and then vanish into thin air.
Oh yes! We also had the Mayor’s Trophy matches which also provided us an opportunity for fun by offering moral support to our respective school teams or indeed interacting with our colleagues from other schools.
I remember having a class-mate who was popularly known as ‘Zivago’, a key player for the school team, but there was never a day I saw him in class, he only showed up for school team matches. There were fellas who would repeat Standard 8, six times just to be playing in the Mayor’s Trophy.
Life was good then and it was through such tournaments that big-name players such as Lawrence ‘Lule’ Waya, Ernest ‘Wire’ Mtawali, late Holman and Kennedy Malunga, Mabvuto Lungu, Chance Gondwe and Fischer Kondowe in football and Mary ‘Atcheya’ Waya, Peace Chawinga-Kalua and Ruth Kaipa-Chimombo in netball were identified.
It therefore, felt so good to be part of Blantyre City mayor Noel Chalamanda’s initiative to relaunch the Mayor’s Trophy last weekend. Maybe it will provide a platform to produce another midfielder in the mould of Mtawali or a striker blessed with sublime skills like ‘Lule’ as it used to be in the good ‘ol days. Thank you, Your Worship. Uloliwe wayidudula, neng’esiza hah! (oh yes, the train is pushing). Glory be to God.