Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Dear Africana Woman,
For the next few weeks the blog is going to take a different turn. For whatever reason I feel compelled to write a story. Please flow with me. I have been writing for quite some time. For those of you who knew me way back when, you may remember that in secondary school I used to write stories on single sheets of paper which would be passed around my classmates. By the way, this was an all girls boarding school and it was the height of Mills & Boon and the Harlequins of this world. I guess they never really stopped publishing the books. We just grew out of them. Needless to say I haven’t written an actual story in a LONG time. I would love for you to help me to build the characters. You can sway what happens to them next. I think this could be fun. Let’s try it.
Lunch in the Sky
She was late. As she crossed the lobby to the elevator her steps were almost a run. Ama drew many admiring glances in her direction as the onlookers took in her full figure and slim waist. She was tall in stature with 4C hair that she liked to wear as a big afro. Her cocoa coloured skin complimented the earthy tones of her dress, that was not too long yet not too short. It hugged her in the right places. Her red bottom heels made her look even taller. Finally on the top floor, she walked out onto the rooftop restaurant. She paused to look around for her party. There were a few people she recognised from ministers to CEOs and executives having lunch meetings. Then she saw them. Her two girlfriends, Nkonde and Mainza. They had been best friends since childhood. She started to make her way over to their table which was in a corner overlooking the beautiful city of Lusaka. Then she heard it.
“TAMALA!!!! We are here.” Nkonde screamed from across the restaurant. The girl was loud. She rushed over even faster to save herself more embarrassment. There was a flurry of excitement as the girls shared hugs and air kisses.
As Ama settled in her chair she said, “You know I hate it when you call me that.” When they were children the nanny who worked for Ama’s family, could never quite get her Ls and Rs in the right place. So she would continue to call her Tamala and for the longest time she actually believed that was her name. Now she just went by Ama but her friends would not let her live it down.
“I know you do. But you are late so you deserved it.” Nkonde teased. Nkonde was a petite, pine coloured skin and larger than life beauty. Wherever she was she always hogged all the attention, be it from men, relatives or workers. Everyone hung on every word she said and would do anything in their power to make her happy. Dressed in a jumpsuit, her hair was always waist length and the best of the best Brazillian hair. Her manicured nails matched her impeccable makeup.
Where as Mainza was slim, dark and could be mistaken for a runway model. She had a beauty that was simply not common. As the only married woman of the trio she was sporting a huge rock on her left hand that could be spotted from across any room. Despite the ostentatious ring, her style was very simple. Today she was in a tailored grey pant suit, that showed a hint of the silver silk top she wore inside. And her dreadlocks were neatly styled. Mainza seemed a little distracted as she flicked through her iPhone 13.
“Madam, what is on that phone? We haven’t been together like this for months. Can we have your attention for the next hour. Please.” Nkonde pleaded for Mainza.
“It’s work. My assistant keeps calling when I told her not to disturb me. Turning it off now.” Mainza tucked her phone in her bag. As a marketing exec in one of the biggest telecom companies, she was a rising star. Of late she had more responsibilities and accounts to work on and she absolutely loved it.
“How is Mulenga?” They were asking of her husband of 6 years. They had tied the knot right out of university. The last 6 years had been the best and worst years of her life. Her husband was so devoted to her. Often going out of his way to make her feel like a queen. Lavishing her with expensive gifts. But they did not have any children. A sore point for her. Something her in-laws would not let her forget.
“He is great. You know that man as long as he has his football he is happy. What about you Nkonde how are you an Mav?” Nkonde smiled sweetly as she thought of the love of her life.
“We are perfect. I moved out of the family house about 3 months ago and we moved in together. By the way, Ama, I told Mum I am living with you.”
“WHAT!” Ama spat out the drink she had been sipping on, “Why would you do that?”
“Eh! Do you want me to have a life. How can I tell my parents that I am living with a man?” Nkonde said sheepishly.
“So you want Aunty to come kill me instead? Your whole 30 something self cannot tell your parents you are living with your boyfriend.” Ama was not amused by this news. Nkonde’s mother was not someone you wanted to get on the bad side of.
“My dear, just because you lived in the UK for a some years does not mean things have changed here. This is Zed hey. I will be murdered. Anyway what have you been up to?” Nkonde insisted.
Ama could not deny the truth in that statement. Her family had moved to the UK just before university where she had picked up a few mannerisms and the British accent. A couple years ago she decided to move back to Zambia alone and make a go at life here. Truth is she was tired of the looks of disappointment swept in her direction by all her family. After she had taken a break from university her parents thought she would go back but she never did. Then there was the string of jobs she could never keep for more than 6 months. Before she left, her family had taken to pointing out her lack of direction frequently, which often resulted in arguments. So when a cousin invited her for a wedding back in Zambia, she jumped on the opportunity to leave and had just never gone back. It was now a couple years later.
“I am good. Family is fine. It is all good.” Ama said and rushed to change the subject. The girls chatted over lunch, laughing at Nkonde’s misadventures and reminiscing on old times. When it was time to leave they made their way downstairs together. Nkonde’s taxi driver pulled up to the curb and she gingerly jumped in as she waved bye to the girls.
Mainza motioned to the area where her car was parked. “My car is over there. I have to rush my assistant is blowing up my phone. Where are you parked?”
“Oh…Um over there,” Ama said non committedly. “But you go on. You are busy. In fact, uh I need to use the rest room before I go.” She hugged Mainza and watched her walk to her Range Rover. She waved goodbye then ran back in the hotel to the reception.
“May I have my bag please?” The receptionist nodded and handed Ama a backpack. She took it and made her way to the nearest rest room. After sometime, she stepped out dressed in jeans, sneakers and a baseball cap. When she was outside of the hotel and she crossed the road past the taxis and came to a stop by the bus station. A minibus pulled up shortly after with the conductor hanging outside the moving vehicle whilst calling for riders. "Sisi, muyenda?" he asked of her. Ama nodded and jumped on making herself comfortable in the nearest empty seat. And it drove off to Kulima Tower.
Life on the Ground
Mainza walked briskly into the office. She hadn’t actually checked her phone as she was focused on getting to the office as soon as possible. It must be one of those impromptu meetings her boss enjoyed calling, she thought to herself. She had to be on her A game. As she walked in, her assistant rushed over to her looking dishevelled. She immediately started rambling about how she had been trying to call her.
“Alice, I am here now. Please calm down and tell me what the emergency is.” She opened the door to her office.
“Madam please…” Before she could get any more words out of her mouth, Mainza heard what she thought was crying. She looked closely in her office and there on the in tray was a baby, not more than 4 months, crying it's lungs out. “Alice?” “Madam, this is for you” Alice handed Mainza a hand written note. It read: I had a child with your husband. He won’t support us. So keep the baby.
Mainza felt a sharp pain pierce her heart as the note slipped from her fingers.
Nkonde was dropped off at the gate of her home. She walked into the compound of 6 flats. It was a lovely arrangement in a good neighbourhood. Mostly young families lived there. Each house had a car port and they all shared a swimming pool and lawn area. Nkonde walked to the end of the row, then made her way to the back of the building. There housed in the corner was a small structure. She took out keys and opened the door. The structure was basically two rooms. A bathroom and studio that accommodated a sink, a futon, a TV and a small fridge. Nkonde dropped her bag on the futon and kicked off her shoes. She bent down to open the fridge which was empty save for a couple of beers. She grabbed one and sunk on the futon to wonder about what they would eat for super that night.
After about 2 hours Ama had finally made it home. Between switching routes, waiting for buses to fill up and the busy Lusaka traffic, one had to be used to spending an exorbitant amount of time in transit. Nonetheless, she had made it home. She was living in one of her parents many properties. It was a three bedroomed, fully furnished house tucked away in the affluent neighbourhood of New Kasama. It had a spacious beautiful garden and a servants quarter at the back with two staff assigned to look after the property.
Ama was lost in thoughts over the happenings of the last few weeks. Her monthly stipend had not hit her account. She had repeatedly tried to call her parents but they seemed to be ignoring her. As it stood she was very low on cash she could not even afford gas for her car. She stepped into the yard and it did not click that there was a foreign car sitting next to hers. She walked up to the front door and deafly opened it. She made her way to the master bedroom. All she wanted was to take a nap. She fell on her bed and closed her eyes.
“What are you doing here?” a deep voice said in a angry tone. Ama’s eyes flew open as she sat up abruptly. There in the ensuite bathroom doorway stood a man clad in a towel around his waist. Still dripping with water from the bath he obviously just took. In her shower. What was a man doing in her house. Ama’s first instinct was to scream at the top of her voice and she began to throw anything she could get her hands on at the stranger.
A minute later, Mwape, the gardener rushed into the scene. “Madam. Madam. Calm down,” he tried to say over the ruckus.
“How can I calm down there is a naked man in my bedroom. Call the police”
“Madam Ama. The bwana called,” That was the name he called her father, “He said I should move your things to the servants quarter. This is the new tenant.”
Ama snapped her head towards Mwape, “What!”
What do you think? Should I continue this story? Clearly these friends do not know how to be honest with each other. I wonder if this is true of people reading. Anyway, like I said, the mood had swayed me so I thought to start this story. If there is enough interest I shall continue. If you are new to Africana Woman welcome sis. So glad to have you here. We have so much that you can do here from events, the podcast, blog and community. Do take a look around and subscribe. Thank you to all my dear readers that come back week after week. I love you. You can always catch me during the week @Chulu_byDesign. I love hearing from you. Remember to love yourself flaws n all and attract the life that you truly desire.
Hugs and Kisses