By Sepo Musokotwane and Hope Phiri

Did you hear? They’re coming today

Yes, I heard the women at the river singi…

Who? Who’s coming? Why didn’t I hear anything

You never know what is happening, it’s the matebeto. They are bringing it today

No one thought this day would come, the rain gods did not bless us, the earth was filled with heat

Do you remember how the families bickered and fought?

How can I forget, that’s why this day is a miracle

I remember three months ago, Chiatlu’s water broke

And as it hit the grounds, the rain gods smiled upon us

The sun had not broken through the sky yet, the thunder rumbled

and between roars, you could hear the stifled cries of a new born baby

Oh how the compound was overjoyed

A son was born

I remember their wedding like it was yesterday.

How even the cows seemed to celebrate in their union

Yes! We hadn’t seen a wedding in months

There were so many fights, compound was strife with bitterness and anger

But finally, the two families came together

The drums starting to sound before the roosters

I was with the other women already at the river

I could smell the chikanda from my window

You can always smell the chikanda, I heard the children running and climbing trees Voice I hadn’t felt such happiness in the air in a long time

We all needed the happiness the wedding brought, a reason to celebrate and now 13 months later

Then the water of the womb and the water of the sky joined hands and hit the earth together

After 13 months, the cry of new life and that of the ancestors gathered in the thunder

The way Chitalu pushed, the ground shook

and today the ground shakes again

Underneath the weight of Chitalus family

and almost 100 pots

I can’t wait to taste the maize

Have you ever tried bana Chitalus beans?

No, Why?

Haaa! It’s the best beans in the whole compound

Even their munkoyo

There’s a rumour, that her family was amongst the elders

That explains it. I’ve never tasted munkoyo that rich and smooth

The matebeto is finally here

And we are slowly forgetting the wasted waters