Readers Travel

A Subtle Thief of your Heart: Zambia (Part 5)

April 12, 2019

Not long after that, we left Zambia but not before another round of shopping, going to the movies to watch Aqua Man and best of all I met my grandpa Abel for the first time. Grandpa Abel is my grandpa’s cousin. All I ever knew about him was that he moved to Zambia, made quite the name for himself and never moved back.
So when we had to go visit him in Roma (yeah there’s a surburb called Roma in Zambia, years ago it was mostly Italians who lived there, so they called it Roma and the name stuck) I did not know what to expect. When we got there, he was entertained guest over a lunch meal and his first words to us were ‘You have finally made it to Roma, the Livingstonia in Zambia (Livingstonia is where my family comes from in Malawi, the Northern part. That’s where you will find my grandpa, the patriarch of the family).’
A full head of silver hair, with the biggest smile and warmest of hugs. He sits on his favourite chair and does not skip a beat in telling his life story. How he made it Zambia, the challenges he faced being a foreigner. And he says it so casually, likes it’s not a big deal and I suppose to him, it wasn’t a big deal but as he reminisces with her brother who also migrated to Zambia about their time he says remember that time with Thabo Mbeki when they were here in Zambia fighting against apartheid!! Thabo Mbeki! I’m sitting there thinking my grandpa’s know Thabo Mbeki.
I can’t help myself and I just have to ask. ‘What was he like as a person?” And she says his a really cool guy. I am blown, I am still blown. He has tall tales, inspiring and I’m thinking that is my family. He takes around his place, his got chickens, ducks and guinea fowls in the back. He says I’m retired, I need to occupy my time, says the guy who was head of Zambian Escom and involved in the copper belt. I want to be him when I’m old.

This is how we spent that last afternoon in Zambia. Laughing! We laughed until our stomachs hurt. And this is how my Zambian tale ends. Every moment in Zambia was precious. Every moment was memorable. We left Zambia happy, we left having fallen in love with Zambia and knowing in our hearts we would go back someday.
‘Musings of that Malawian Girl’

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