When art is a critic!

Times are hard in the country, and even harder in our gutters.

I have, however, opted to earn clean. That is why I have been around town, trying to locate where to plant a carwash business.

A carwash seems to be the hottest money spinner nowadays. If it were not, would scores and scores of carwash sites be sprouting along the city roads?

I gathered all I needed then was just to employ some market intelligence and gather intricacies that matter about the business.

I then ended up by one of the many carwash sites along a street leading to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe.

Introducing myself to the carwash guy and motive for my visit, I could see it in his eyes I was an unwelcome guest.

He told me how he disliked the possibiliity of me planting my carwash along the same street.

But I assured him my dream place was somewhere far away from there. He kind of softened up.

Hardly had he started with the complexities of the trade than an anthology of rickety pieces of metal pulled by, under the escort of heavy music playing from its speakers.

From inside the heap of metal majestically sprung a man with a big moustache the size of a toilet brush. A short while later I was to come to realise that the bearded soul was a regular at this place.

Armed with a bar of soap, an old brush with bristles bent out of shape, an equally aged bath towel and a long loofah sponge, the carwash guy looked more ready for a bath than a car-washing session!

Work had swiftly begun, only for the car owner to interrupt with a narration of how his son had broken a window-winder; hence, one window could not close properly.

He seethed with anger: “Ndamutumiza kumudzi azikavutika”.

I froze into a shock. So we still have people who think their own village is a rubbish skip where ‘unruly’ children can be sent to face the music?

And if the village or gutter like mine qualifies for such a prison, at what level of respect does he hold people living there?

I gathered I was better off away from this bwana and his mentality. I started off for home, but not without hitting a high note with an Edgar ndi Davis tune Musamabwere Kumudzi. You surely do not want to know how that added flames to the bwana’s fire!

Thankfully, I am here to write again. Art is beautiful! n


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