It finally rained

Rains in Balaka, 19 December 2011

At last, it rained in some parts of Balaka including Andiamo. I hear Kankao, which is 11km away from Andiamo, did not receive any drop. This is according to one watchman working for a private home in Balaka town, who hails from Kankao.

Few things happened last week when it couldn’t rain despite some signs of rain clouds.

Before Fr. Mario Pacifici celebrated mass on the day of his birthday, 14 December, where he prayed for rains, Chief Nsamala of Balaka led his people to the river to take a bathe that was to clean them of any “impurities” that denied people rains. Traditionally this act brings rains.

But it rained when no one expected it, Sunday. Some people did not “want” the rains this day because it was yet another day when Andiamo Youth Cooperative Trust (AYCT) through its partners in Italy organised a final match for a football trophy worth MK0.5 Million.

The scenes at the stadium revealed that despite a drought of sports trophies in the area, people were also dying of rains and never wanted the same rains they longed for to either disrupt or divide them.

The Balaka Stadium is built in such a way that there is only one covered stand, which they call VIP – for very important people or in other words, invited persons. As was expected, those that were supposed to be at this stand were supposed to be those that were invited or those that paid K100, which was double the gate fee of K50.

This was not to be. The raindrops were enough to send the “uninvited” to the high table to enjoy the banquet of a football match that was made possible with the existing coexistence of AYCT and Italian volunteers from the covered stand. They were all invited and no one seemed to care that the “uninvited” were among them.

The muddy ground provided the slow motion pictures only enjoyed when watching a match on television. It was Chilobwe Football Club that won the match. Chilobwe Football Club comes from the other side of Balaka town where Chibuku beer (opaque beer) is sold. It is no secret that after the match, people from the area went partying. Coincidentally, this was the type of beer that Malawi’s ancestors drank when the rains they prayed for had eventually come.

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