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My true Utembe by Reuben Chonzie (Bunda College, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources: Malawi)

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MY TRUE UTEMBE

By

REUBEN CHONZIE

LILONGWE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES, MALAWI

Over the past years relationships have been the source of happiness among human kind regardless of the quantity of possession that one has. At the heart of every relationship there is love that binds people together, it has the power to define one’s fate, to make people understand and read each other’s mind. When people are in love they are able to listen to the emotional sound of their loved ones. It is a gift that was given to human kind for free and it can only be attained based on the quality of people involved. The center of discussion in this story is the right partner that every young person is longing for. 

The New Year eve was full of happiness and drama, people were celebrating like there is no tomorrow, it was a day that marked the beginning of my love journey. We all gathered in the church for night of prayer worship to ask God to lead our plans in the New Year. For the people of Utochi village it was a custom to converge at church on every New Year eve for night of prayer worship. The atmosphere among the believers was great, everyone was busy casting his or her burden to Jesus Christ. It was a day marked by lots of miracles and wonders. Demons were cast out, the sick were being healed and the blind were made to see. The day I knew God is with us.

It came a time to pray in pairs, so I was paired with a lady who was new to me but by coincidence we prayed for the same thing that is the right partner. I didn’t know whether God has answered my prayer or not but when I opened my eyes I saw something in that lady that I didn’t notice by the time we were about to pray. I rushed to conclude that God has answered my prayer without consulting him. She was a very beautiful woman, the true UTEMBE Lady, a woman more deserving to spend the rest of my life with. I actually lost my mind. I couldn’t concentrate on the prayers anymore because my whole attention was shifted to that beautiful utembe woman.

During the time of refreshments, I went straight where she was. We shared different stories and we came to know each other very well. I didn’t waste much time but to go straight to the point. With my cleverness I let her know that she was the whole purpose of my presence on night of prayer of that New Year eve and she was my true utembe woman I have been looking for. She dropped her face, took a bible and held my hands and she said “when I saw you during prayer time I knew that God has answered my prayers. I have been longing for this special time, please be my man”. The voice and the gazing of her eyes control the thinking department inside my brain, I didn’t know where my superego was because I ended up hugging her inside the church.

Her name was Soledad a very prayerful, loyal and moral woman. She was a graduate from Utombeli University commonly known as the home of science. It is one of the outstanding and famous public universities in our country. It didn’t take me much time before I was introduced to her parents, they were very good people and it was a pleasure meeting them. I knew she was a very serious woman with all qualities of a right partner, my true UTEMBE. One day I received a text from Soledad, the text reads “hi my dear, am feeling lonely here, everyone is not around, they have gone to visit grandma and they will be back tomorrow. I need your company”. It was around eight in the evening. When I thought about the text and the time I knew there was a need of something I had to carry when going there. Well I was frank enough, I never planned to sleep with her that day, but as a real and clever man who has gone through higher levels of education, a person who has spent a lot of years engaging people in HIV prevention campaign, I thought it wise to carry my boots. I didn’t know if it was right or wrong but a real man must always be ready for any attack.

I found her in the sitting room, so we started our conversation there. I planned not to take too much time because I was very tired and after all I was just coming from work so I had to make few documentations and to plan for next day’s work. After some time she asked if I would mind to accompany her to the bed room, I couldn’t do otherwise apart from accompanying her to the bedroom. It didn’t take much time before we started caressing each other but immediately she stopped and told me that she was not ready. So we were back to our conversation until I started dozing. She asked me “PATON are you sleeping?” I replied “yes am tired”, then she said “please don’t sleep” immediately she started petting me. I knew what she was looking for, so I couldn’t afford to lower my morale but to join her in the game. Based on how things were going I knew that if I would proceed then I would go barefooted because at that point I couldn’t see any pant in my body. So I asked “are you serious about this?” she said “absolutely yes”. I knew that was the right time to put on my boot, but if I had known I could have not produced them. Everything was tumbledown, she acted like I was raping her, pushing me like an enemy in the middle of a great war. And she started shouting and talking unceasingly, things I never expected. “You planned for this, that’s why you brought your boots here, so it’s true you are a womanizer, you wanted to compare with other girls you have been sleeping with. I thought you are the right person for me only to find out that you wanted to undress me and run away.  It’s over Paton I can’t take this anymore, I want to enter into marriage a virgin”. That day I really danced to the music, I was speechless listening to the vocal of her mouth. Everything goes beyond my control, the only thing I did was to put on my clothes and went back home. We both thought we were right partners but what really went wrong?

Human beings are born with different personalities, that’s individual differences. Some characters are controlled by genes and others are a contribution of the environment. We may be born with some bad temperament or bad behaviours or attitudes but as we grow up our environment can help to mask those bad behaviours and people will always say we have changed but actually we have only pushed those bad behaviours to the unconscious part of the mind. So we can be classified as good people that everyone can wish to associate with, but are we really good people?

I used to work as a family therapist at utembewu hospital, one day I met this client who look very tired and compromised so I asked her what was the problem. She replied “it is now four years since I got married, two weeks after our weeding I caught my husband red handed with another woman, we discussed about it and he promised that he will not to do it again. After four months, two women came to my house reporting that my husband was responsible for their pregnancies, we strangled a lot to cool down the issue. From that time onwards my husband was a changed man, everything was going well in our family and he was a very responsible husband. Now he has started again going with other women”. During the night of that day I asked myself some questions: do people completely change their behaviour? For the past four years did this man stop sleeping with other women? Or he was sleeping with other women only that he was not being caught?

After doing a lot of studies I come to a conclusion that people do not completely change their behaviours but they just press the bad behaviours that the society rejected into the unconscious part of the mind. These behaviours can only be produced when you are challenged and you have no time or little time to think what you are supposed to do, that’s why people always say I don’t know what I was doing.

Early in the morning she called me, she wanted to know if I was doing okay with all the drama that happened the previous night. I was frank enough to tell her the truth, so with a cool, calm and lovely voice I said “Soledad you are a very beautiful and a good woman, the desire of every man, but am sorry am not the right person for you, as you put it”.

My work as a family therapist exposes me to a lot of family issues, I come to understand that it’s very simple to nurture an adult to be a good wife or husband but it is impossible to nurture an adult to be a good person. The same goes that it is easy to find a good woman or husband but it is difficult to find a good woman or husband with good personality. Soledad was a very good woman but she had a bad personality. Furthermore, I may also conclude that to find a right partner there is a need to find a good person first, but in this world no one is perfect, everyone has problem with his or her personality. I wonder if there is a formula for finding the right partner. One day I was cracking jokes with one of my classmates, so she said “I wonder why everyone is busy looking for a right partner, why can they just shift the person on the right to the left and the person on the left to the right, still the person be the right one since no one was born a right person and you never know, you can strangle looking for the right person when the right person is right there on your nose”. It was a nice joke but there was some sense in it.  You know we spend much time judging and criticizing other people as not being the right person, but who told us that we are the right person? Or do we think we are more deserving to be the right person than others? Hahahaha only God knows.

After two years of separation, Soledad came to visit me at my work place, we had a lot of stories to share and it was indeed a great moment for us. I wanted to know if she was married, but she said she was still single. so I said “two years now since we part ways and you are still single, am I really not the right person for you?” she didn’t say anything, she was just smiling and at last she ended up kissing me. We didn’t waste time discussing who was right or wrong, we only concentrated on sustaining our love. Eight years now since we got married and blessed with two children, I still imagine what my life could have been if Soledad had gone forever. I learned something special from my relationship with Soledad “sometimes it is not easy to find the right partner even when that person is very close to you”.

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