Mwenemisuku- is word for a chief of Misuku hill.
Nkhwali- bird that cries at sunset even when they are clouds.
Act II Chatonda
Scene 1 Vwila (mythical snake deity)
The lights are dim. Sounds of Nkhwali can be heard. Wamaka and Yalenga are lying down by a fire deep in the forest.
Yal: Where are you from? No not Kaulimi as in where were you born.
Wam: Misuku hills.
Yal: Why did you leave?
Wam: That’s a long tale.
Yal: It’s a long night.
Wam: I was chosen to be Mwenemisuku’s wife when I was about your age. The one that had ascended to the throne was a young man. I was chosen to be his first wife. I left for Kaulimi shortly after.
Yal: Why? What’s so bad about being the chief’s first wife?
Wam: Its death. Mwenemisuku’s first wife rarely leaves her hut. She is not allowed to cross the river.
Yal: Why not?
Wam: If she touches the water it is said that it will rain and never stop. So all day long she is served by other women. I couldn’t live that life. I loved hunting and swimming. So I left, I was young and naïve. I wasn’t running to Kaulimi. I had never heard of it I was just running away. Before sun down of the next day I got beaten by a snake, I thought I was going to die and I almost did. At the time, the idea of dying wasn’t so scary. It was almost comforting. A Kaulimi warrior found me half conscious. She dragged me to a cave.
Lights switch on and off. In the centre of the stage is a younger Wamaka lying in a cave and Tusekile sitting next to her. Wamaka continues to narrate as the action is shown on stage.
Tusekile: Eat the snake. In eating this you will reclaim your life from it. (Wamaka eats the snake).What’s a youngling like you doing in these parts?
I told her what happened.
Tutsekile: Long ago, when the moon had but one wife. There were two Vwilas that resided not too far from here; Ungweru and Chisi . Chisi was cruel and sadistic. Ungweru was compassionate and kind. Chisi often demanded human sacrifices from the villages that surrounded their Mountain. Ungweru detested this and often protested but her brother never listened. Tired of watching his brutality against the innocent humans, she left and ran away to Kaulimi Mountain.
Siziwa was a young woman who lived near Kaulimi. She had married a wicked man who often tortured her. She left him and ran away to her home village. Her brother, angry and disgraced, chased her away. She wondered, lost, confused until she reached Lake Kaulimi, Ungweru’s new home.
It is said that Siziwa cried and cried making the pure waters of Kaulimi salty. Disturbed, Ungweru rose to the surface to see what was making the waters salty and saw this heartbroken woman. She asked what was the matter, and Siziwa told her. The Vwila was moved to compassion, having known what it was like to have a wicked brother. She built a valley for Siziwa to live in. Siziwa stayed feeding on the wild fruits in the area and the many animals that came to drink water at Kaulimi. Since then, women from all parts of Maravi seek a haven here where no men are allowed.
I followed her to Kaulimi and have lived there since.
Yal: Have you ever seen the Vwila?
Wam: On clear suns, you can see her magnificent tail showing from the edge of the water.
Yal: What happened to her brother?
Wam: He was killed by the people of the village he tormented. Now his son Mwenembe lives on that mountain. Enough stories for one night. We should sleep. We have much ground to cover.
They fall asleep.
Nthombi- ngoni word for a girl of marrying age.
Mthimba- ngoni word for wedding
Scene 2 Khataza
In Nkhamanga, Yalenga’s village. They are six elders sitting at the village’s arena. The elders are all wearing lion skins. Several huts and a forest in the background.
Induna 1: A nthombi has run away a day before her Mthimba . You must find her and bring her back at all costs.
Kuwuna: Alive or dead.
Induna 2: Alive. She humiliated him. When she comes, she will die a slow and painful death in front of the whole village to deter this weak tribe from any rebellion.
The other elders cheer to show agreement raising their Ikwas in the air. The elders disperse leaving behind only The Kuwuna and Khataza. The Kuwuna walks to Khataza.
Kuwuna: Do you have the object? (holding out his hand)
Khataza hands him a necklace. They walk as they talk.
Kuwuna: Did she wear this recently? That is the only way I can track her.
Khataza nods his head. They both walk off stage.
Thanks for reading. Please don’t forget to comment and vote.
What did you think of Wamaka's backstory?
What do you think of Yalenga's fiance?
What do you think will happen now that a kuwuna is after Yalenga?
My novel (which is also available here on Tapas) Kalikwikwiti is set in this world 300 years into the future. And yes Kaulimi is still standing strong