Little girls playing at Game Complex, Lilongwe, Malawi
We met at Game stores complex, in Lilongwe, Malawi, him with two assistants, pushing filled up trollies. A chubby happy face that I could not recognise, but my guess was he was into blue collar jobs. He had been the first to call after me, addressing me as ‘Gedion’, the name I last used some 30 years back. That was interesting. That told me one thing, that he was someone I knew from the past.
‘Do you recognise me?’
I was blank. I shook my head, slowly, encouraging him to remind me. The two assistants, with their filled up trollies, stopped, and were watching with interest. Then he extended his hand to me. I raised mine and held his.
Surprisingly his hands were coarse in sharp contrast to the soft face
‘Do you remember me?’
Yes, I did.
The hands. Something about the hands. An incident. Something about a boy who was severely punished by his father for stealing 10 cents whilst he was away. I still remember a ball of fire, in pitch darkness, on the hands of this boy, crying out to my mama to untie him. His hands were tied together with pieces of twigs and grass and then set alight as a way of punishing him…
He was smiling, cruising, catching up on stories. But no story was loud enough than the one which his hands spoke…