Kaulimi by Wongile Mbano
Yalenga: a Tumbuka girl of about sixteen. Akafula 2
Wamaka Kyara: Kaulimi warrior Mwanda
Simeda: Aunt to Yalenga Chameleon
Towera: Yalenga’s mother Lizard
Khataza: Yalenga’s fiancé Animals
Anyauzembe: Old Phoka woman Kaulimi residents
Nengezwayo: Ngoni man Group of women.
Kuwuna: Kiyangonde magician. Villagers.
Tusekile: Kaulimi warrior Dancers.
Induna: Ngoni elder
Induna 2: Ngoni elder
Tumpale: Lambia man
This is a published work. I retain all rights to it. Any publication of this work, be it plot, characters, nomenclature is liable to a lawsuit.
Act 1 Mwali
Scene1: Nkhamanga (location of nkhamanga kingdom)
Lights switch on, Simeda is plaiting Yalenga’s hair. Simeda and Yalenga are both dressed in tree bark covering their upper body and lower body. Yalenga is wearing beads around her waist and ankles. While Simeda has beads around her neck only. Yalenga’s face is tearstained. Simeda is slowly and skilfully weaving beads into Yalenga’s kinky tresses. There is a hut behind them and a forest behind the hut.
Simeda: Your hair has grown back quickly.
Waits for Yalenga’s response, Yalenga does not respond.
Simeda: Do not let grief conquer you. (Finished plaiting her hair. Runs her fingers across the ridges she has made.) You will be a beautiful bride. Sangwani …
Yalenga: Ankhazi ! I told you I no longer answer to that name, I am now Yalenga . How can I be joyful when death has conquered me! How can I be full of happiness when the Ngoni barbarians have invaded my home and massacred my family. And… (Starts to weep.) are forcing me to marry one of their dipsomaniac barbarians.
Simeda: (Embracing her from behind) Crying won’t help. We must accept our situation. This is our life now. We must accept it. Sangwani, I’m bereaved too. They did kill my brother, your father and my husband too. But I know that those that have died never leave us. They are spirits that surround and guide us. Wipe your tears child.
Lights go off. Lights on showing Yalenga in the middle of the night, sneaking out of the hut she shares with Simeda. She sneaks out of the hut, and makes it out of the village past two dozing guards with spears and shields in their hand. She walks in the forest, she looks lost. Dancers join her on stage. Yalenga falls into a big hole.
Akafula are pygmies. They are believed to be the first inhabitants of Malawi.
Scene 2: Nguyi. (Forest)
Yalenga: (screams) Oh! Help! Help! Anyone help! (stays quiet after exhausting her voice)
Wamaka Kyara walks in that direction. Wamaka is dressed in the skin of a leopard. She has a bow slung on her left arm and a spear attached to the leopard skin she is wearing. Yalenga hears her and screams once more. Wamaka draws closer to the hole cautiously. She sees Yalenga in the hole.
Wamaka: How did you get in there?
Yalenga: I fell in.
Wamaka starts helping her out of the hole.
Wamaka: Is this your first time seeing an Akafula trap?
Wamaka: I guess it is your first time seeing an Akafula trap. They are small but masterful craftsmen. You better get away from that hole before they find you.
Wamaka ends up falling into the trap. Two akafula dressed in tree bark appear on stage. They have several tattoos on their face and chest. They stand at the edge of the hole.
Akafula 1: You two ruined our trap.
Yalenga: I didn’t mean to.
Wamaka: No she ruined it. I just fell into it when I was trying to help her out of it.
Akafula 2: Since you ruined our trap you must hunt for us game.
Wamaka: But I didn’t…
The two Akafula walk away.
Yalenga: What? Why? It was an accident. Where are you going?
The akafula are offstage. Wamaka pushes her spear into the side of the hole. Then uses it to hoister herself from the hole. Yalenga attempts to do the same and fails several times. Finally she succeeds with Wamaka’s help.
Yalenga: They aren’t serious; are they?
Wamaka: They are. Can you hunt?
Wamaka: People who cannot hunt should not ruin Akafula traps. They will turn you into a toad! (Yalenga shudders) Hold my hand. (Wamaka stretches out her hand. Yalenga holds it)
Wamaka leans into the hole and pulls her spear out. Then walks off stage, Yalenga follows her.
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