Growing up in Lilongwe, there were many indicators of measuring each other’s socio-economic background; one of the most common was the type of school to which one was enrolled. I’m sure this was the status quo elsewhere in Malawi but in the Capital there was a three tier system to this social stratum:
At the very top was Bishop Mackenzie international primary school, closely followed by Lilongwe Academy and Good Shepherd, then the likes of Bambino, Walani, Mphanje and finally the bottom rung where you found the likes of Chimutu et al.
Kids from Bishop Mac were the untouchables, ‘afana opita ku ma birthday party azungu’ having a friend or cousin from Bish Mac in those days was like being known personally by Tay grin nowadays- you were in a league of your own, and palibenso mkazi amakukaniza ku showa…ana avephi onse mu hood anali ako.
Attending Lilongwe Academy or Good Shepherd you were assured of a weekly supply of samosas and the coveted opportunity of kushowa akaladi, all owing to the large concentration of Indians and people of mixed race at those establishments.
Bambino, Walani and Mphanje were for the masses of middleclass children…ngati kwanu 1st born amamutumiza ku Lilongwe Academy or Bish Mac, umangoziwiratu kuti the rest of you insufferable lot muzikasewera rounders ku Bambino ndi ‘Mr Bozzwello’.
Ma government schools were the hardcore ones, largely identified as reserved for poor people or anthu okuti kwao samawakonda…komanso those kids being kept by their ‘well to do’ douchebag uncles who wanted to maintain a class system in their homes:ana awo azipita kumasukulu achizungu pomwe ana ongosungidwa azipita ku ma F.P school were eventually the girls will be forced to shave their heads and the boys become ‘Game-boy enthusiasts’….thus in the same household you would find ana amabwana wo atamangisa ma dread and having video games whilst their cousins being perennially bald headed and being excited by nothing more than a video game….Makolo a anthu ena were just terrible people.
In those days, the biggest of daddies (bae) attended Bishop Mackenzie (as usual you can ask Isaac Mkangama for evidence) before largely doing Bambino then later on moved to Zomba where my siblings and I were treated like gods ati chifukwa chokuti tinali ndi ma sports house tshirts aku Bambino…ine nde ndinashowera nazo zimenezo osati masewera….
…and I must say fitting in with magaye opita ku Chimutu in those days was a hustle…
First and foremost anali magaye ochitisa manyazi heavy, you couldn’t let one accompany you to a birthday party largely because ‘macarena’ sankayimanya and they didn’t have the necessary clothes to blend in with everybody…anthuwa it seems kwina kulikonse ankangovala school uniform pa chinachilichonse…very embarrassing…makamaka akakhala cousin wako.
All this percentage was ever good for was having your back during fights, acting as lookouts iwe umakashowa ma sistez awo and in soccer:…..magaye amakhala ndi stamina awa…must have been their low carb diet ku ma breaktime aku school…paja anyapala awa amakondo kutenga mtedza wokazinga ku skulu.
These fuckers used to be bitter as hell also. They made going to ‘private’ schools seem like a sin or something….as if going to Bambino was only good for kukupeperesa or getting molested by ‘Mr Bozwello’…kuti iwowo they were the ones getting the necessary skills and expertise for later life i.e. getting prepped to repel ‘tease’ nthawi yopita ku secondary ikazakwana.
Also they made it seem as if all the fun was happening in their dirt ridden corridors.
Thus spending an afternoon with them you would return home converted to the belief that walking barefoot to school nde udolo and getting dropped off at school in your dad’s company car is for losers. Plus there was this silent conviction by them that somewhere in the future things and circumstance were going to reverse change for everybody: iwowo azalemera, ana amabwanafe makolo athu azamwalira, achibale kutilanda katundu and eventually end up destitute.
As such I grew up with the acceptance that I would get slaughtered in boarding school and that my parents would pass on anytime leading me to being taken into the care of my evil village uncles who would chow all my rents’ wealth and torture my siblings and I.
All this pessimism thanks to those smelly assholes! Who always made stupid conclusions and shielded themselves using the veil of poverty as accreditation of knowing everything there was about real life….kuyijaja life amatero iwowa…
To make it even worse, some of us didn’t exactly have Jacuzzis in our backyards, kupita ku school ndi ana anamageya anyezi was attributed largely to the dedication and persistence of our parents who were insistent on defying the odds and giving the best there was for their children.
But none the less we were still persecuted for going to private school and thus inevitably ‘kukula mopepera’
Funny thing was, (with some) we eventually found ourselves attending the same institutions of higher learning, tikumakumanaso mu ma workshop mu and some are even way way better off than some of us (private school going kids).
But still there exists a proportion of people who were once thought to be underprivileged and progressed into underprivileged adults(mainly out of their actions) who still stick to the childish creed that it’s not their fault and that most people owe their success in later life wholly to the(economic) way they were brought up.
This is false
Of course our backgrounds do play a significant part, indeed others have climbed higher mountains to reach where they are in life…
But in life it’s never about what you have, but rather what you do with it…ana amabwana ambirimbiri ngini inawafoyilira and they are as every bit useless as the furniture in their mothers’ houses, they also pathetically cling to past glories and classification of being ‘ana akumpanda’ when they are as unproductive as the nearest Area 23 nigga…every offense intended(ukumva Katakwe)
Ubwino wake magaye onsewa have found common ground and a platform to erase those childhood boundaries and hate on anyone who is doing something productive with their life.
This platform is largely Kuzibaghi and ma shabeen.