FORTUNE favours fools, so goes the saying.
But when the fortune which usually knocks only once at one’s door is misused, it becomes disastrous that those who had misused it regret for the rest of their life time.
It could be that one was very fortunate to have acquired wealth, which many people thought they did not deserve to have, or it could be that one became so prosperous after chancing a position in their employment even if they did not go far in their education.
Indeed, to some people, such opportunities are quite visible and probably because they know they just chanced them, they have to show others that they mattered in society, but soon, things went haywire for them.
Last week, a mechanic friend of mine and myself were going to Kaniki in Ndola to retrieve a vehicle which had broken down on our way back to Chifubu Township the previous night.
When we just boarded the mini bus, I heard someone saying, “Shani boy Magaiva? Uleya kwisa ino nshita? (How are you my friend Magaiva? Where are you going at this time)?”
Magaiva is the nick name which many people call this mechanic friend of mine.
On hearing his name mentioned, Magaiva turned his head to see who was greeting him and when he saw the man, he responded cheerfully: “Yes bamudala. Epo mwaba? Kale sana namimwenepo (Yes big man. Are you around? I have not seen you in a long time).”
It was after their greetings that the two men engaged in some conversation, and I heard Magaiva asking the man he addressed as ba Mudala about the whereabouts of another man they probably hobnobbed with some time back.
“Where is your friend Mulenga? He is also not seen in drinking joints these days,” Magaiva said.
The man cleared his throat before responding: “Tawaishiba ukuti ba Mulenga balibatanfya incito nombabekala mumpanga mumafamu? Nabakashi babo balibasha elyo nabana babo balikana ukwikala nabo (You don’t know that Mr Mulenga was fired and he now stays in the bush in some farms? Even his wife has left him and his children have refused to stay with him).”
The woman who was seated next to the man laughed before she asked; “Bushe umwanakashi kuti asha abalume nga baba tanfya incite (Can a woman leave her husband if he is fired)?”
The man looked at her and said; “Ee, ukukonka efyo balemusunga, umukashi kuti abasha (Yes, according to the way he was keeping her, the wife could desert him).”
That statement made many people on the bus top laugh.
As an eavesdropper, my ears were attracted and I wanted to hear more.
Then the man turned to Magaiva and started explaining what happened to Mr Mulenga.
“Iwe Magaiva walishibe amacinchi ba Mulenga bakwete. Walishiba nefyo balecita nga baingila muchikulwa (You Magaiva you knew how boastful Mr Mulenga was. You also knew what he used to do when he got into the bar),” said the man as Magaiva nodded his head in agreement.
The man explained that as a supervisor at his work place, Mr Mulenga always had money and each time he knocked off from work, he went to a popular watering hole in town and many people there knew him.
According to the man, the people who knew Mr Mulenga would not sit on the stool on which he sat each time he got into the bar unless they wanted to be insulted, although some who did not know or were strangers to this bar would use the stool.
“He used to insult if he found someone sitting on the stool he used to use. Even barmen were telling people not to sit on that stool before he came,” the man said.
He described Mr Mulenga as having been a tall, powerfully and strongly built man who earned himself the name of ‘Americano’.
“If he found someone sitted on that stool, he would point a finger at him and ask him, you…, why are you sited there? Don’t you know the owner of that stool? Get off,” the man said.
He said just looking at Mr Mulenga would send shivers in many and whoever might have been sitting on the stool would get off at once.
He said although Mr Mulenga was so hush, he was also a generous man who bought beers for all the people he found in the bar, including those he ordered to get off what he called “his stool” because he always had money which he got from some of the workers he worked in league with to steal from the company.
The man said Mr Mulenga was not only rude to people at his workplace and at the bar, but also to his wife and his children.
He said apart from being rude to his wife, Mr Mulenga had an extra-marital affair with another woman whom he bought a house for in a named residential area while he was renting a house in which he was living with his wife in Lubuto Township.
Noting that the man had digressed from the topic of Mr Mulenga being fired, one man who was listening attentively chirped in and asked why Mr Mulenga had been fired and it was then that the man started narrating what befell Mr Mulenga.
According to the man, Mr Mulenga was the head of security at his workplace and because of his position, he knew many loopholes that the workers used to steal items from the company and sell them.
“He knew all the loopholes and the workers who were stealing, whom he was getting along with and sharing the money with when they sold what they were stealing,” said the man.
He said this practice had been going on for a long time until some workers who were caught revealed that they were working in league with Mr Mulenga who was the head of security.
(To be continued next week).
COMMENTS: Ba Tembo, your article on the quarrelling siblings over the property of their deceased parents is an eye opener.
Three young men sold the property of their dead, shared the money and went out to spend the money. Today they regret what they did as they live in squalor.
Is writing a Will a solution?
The tragedy is that by nature, Africans have no respect for Wills. Some think having a Will is the same as signing own death warrant. Aggressive civic education is required in our communities.
Chabwe Chisunka, Lusaka.
Chisunka was commenting on the article titled Siblings clash over late father’s house which appeared in the Times of Zambia last week.
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