Ousmane Owen Munthali 1987-2015, the best of memories

Good morning Mr Munthali. I always responded Good morning Mr. Munthali. He always ended ndimakukondani Achimwene. I would laugh or ask what is it you want. He would say your time, I have nobody to bother now, so you are my choice lets chat. Every call, whatsapp, messenger from Ousmane was something else. He did not see what time it was and neither did he mind that he was inconveniencing you. He said he never applied to be my brother, so since he cant be fired, get used to it and live with it.
In 2007 whilst in Johannesburg, we were with Chikwekwe Khonje, is his rugged Fiat, South African Police stopped and searched us. I was furious, Ousmane was laughing after the ordeal I snapped up asking him what was funny about the humiliation of being stopped and searched as potential suspects, he casually said "zilibe woti wachoka ku USA, kaya ndiwe celeb wa newspaper ku Malawi umazunza ma President kwanu, aliyense kuno ndi suspect. Pepa chimwene." I am dark, he could not read I had turned red.
Tears roll as I remember Harare, at its peak of lacking in 2008. Ous, found way of making fun of everything. He used to take my place and do things I could not do myself. Slowly he became my substitute. That when my best friend Blessings Phumisa was marrying his Josophine, Ousmane was to be a groomsman. We had another fight coming, he wanted the most expensive suit and said I could afford it. I showed him my payslip, he pulled out my bank statement he had gone to an ATM earlier and knew my balance.
Nobody could convince him to go to repeat Form 4. Someone in the family called me and said munthu wako azipita kusukulu umuwuze. I casually brought it up when we went out to drink that evening, he looked at me and asked me if it was me asking or someone had asked me to ask him. I said it was me, the next week he was happily off to school.
All these memories make me look back the wonderful kid Ousmane was, and how he slowly transformed to become a man. He never was shy to pick up and argument with me, and he never said sorry, he only told me to relax.
Every friend of mine who would meet Ousmane, they became good friends. Pilirani Phiri, Late Dennis Chirwa, Aubrey Kalino, Blessings Phumisa and others. He never was an irritation, he simply went his own way.
But one thing Ousmane was to me, he could literally read me. With my little Sister Olipha, they formed a gang that would know how get anything from me without suggesting. He became close to the ladies that I dated or associated with. He would smile and push them to ask for anything he wanted, he would say mukakhalapo amaphweka nkuluyu.
That can only come froma true brother. When my best friend Clement from Swaziland came, he took over as his close buddy. When we met King Kawamba in Johannesburg they went to all sorts of places I could not go.
I feel privileged everytime he confided in me and waited for my reaction. When his girl was pregnant it took him days to tell me, I only smiled and told him he was a man now. He hugged me relieved. I never saw the kid so happy one morning, when after a night at Chez Ntemba he came and asked how drunk I was last night, because I had danced with his girlfriend someone we never had a good start with. I laughed and said I remember and that was nothing, he explained to me how much it meant to him. When his daughter was born, he took the day old kid to my house to show me, I laughed at the name Zaquisha, his close buddy and partner in crime in UK had also given another name to his newly born daughter. I smiled and said these names you might have kids suffer in future.
We travelled a bumpy and smooth roads. When I was down, fired from work, Ousmane would buy my Malawi gin, roast chambo and find my dear neighbour and mother to give him nkhwani wotendela my favourate. He will remind me stories of our many escapades.
The famous of all, involved the four of us. Myself, my brother, Limbikani and late Dennis Chirwa. Now we will write Late Ousmane, Late Dennis Chirwa and myself and Limbikani Chisi.
The rented car we had hired was misbehaving and breaks were not working, Ousmane was a jack of all trades, he said he will fix the car. After we started off, the breaks were worse, as he enjoyed fighting with me, I gave Limbikani the car. After a few minutes we turned back, Ousmane only was convinced after being told by Limbikani or Kakabalika as we called him. We were on the road around 3am after getting someone to look at breaks, we took turns to drive as my self and Limbi were to be at work in the morning. Near Chiyingeni it was Limbikani's turn and with Ousmane they saw that were sleeping. They started shouting "nfiti". When we woke up startled they swore they had seen a naked person as we travelled. Nobody went to sleep again until Lilongwe. Ousmane was laughing when we arrived- it was a gimmick to have everybody up than leave one man driving.
On Saturday, 12th December, 2015 I got one of those calls. Six missed calls from Dru Chabwera, dozens of texts asking me if I had heard on Ousmane. I was driving from Birmingham to Coventry. I asked what mischief has he done. Everyone could not tell me straight, saying they heard he had an accident. Aunt Innocent Changwa in Johannesburg, sent a simple text- Ousmane had an accident he has passed on.
Death, comes when least expected. As I figure out memories I shared with my kid brother Ousamane one thing that comes in my mind constantly is that I never saw him with an angry face. Not towards me. The painful part was as much as he told me he loved me all the time, what he shared about me with friends make me cry. He always thought I was better among all when it came to compassion.
We travelled many journeys. When I acquired a farm, he became a self proclaimed Chief Adviser. I never allowed him anywhere near it, he found his way and charmed the workers and got chicken for his field work.
He never spoke tumbuka, he almost put us in trouble at Mozambique border where he could not say his village. He managed to get away with immigration officers laughing. He told me they were friends.
On Thursday the 10th, we spoke four times. Discussed the future. I asked him to come to London with my son for my graduation in May. He said he will be harvesting his crops then. I now realised he followed me and listened to whatever I told him, only he never showed.
Last Christmas, I spent my lunch with him and his wife Getrude and daughter Zaquisha at Mzuzu Hotel, we agreed to farming to supplement his income. He was to start this year.
On 28th September, 2015 in Mzuzu was the last time together physically. I had problems with my ATM, he called someone he knew. Actually despite being in the city for only a year, he knew everyone.
When I was leaving, he pulled me aside and said, "achimwene ndapeza nyumba yayikulu, you wont sleep elsewhere but my home when you are here, tanvana." I laughed, two days before he died he told me his future plans after selling tobacco. He knew I don't support growing tobacco, he promised that it was to raise capital and he will do other business.
His last message was I love my brother. I said I cant wait to see you next year.
I promised to send him Christmas surprise, he laughed he said the best surprise would be me flying down home.
We were four in our gang. Dennis Departed on 26th October, 2014, brutally murdered by thugs. Ousmane killed in a car accident on December, 12, 2015.
Where are these two brothers of mine now, or who will join them next.
Ousmane exactly at 12.14 Malawian time, his coffin was lowered into the soil at Area 18 cemetery. I couldn't cry because I can not believe it. I cant be sad because I have no sad face of him anywhere in my memory. But I am weak and with questions, why my little brother, why?
No more good morning Mr. Munthali. No more ngati mwandiona tola mwala ndigende. No more crazy dance on the middle of the road, no more long calls, long trips, no more laughter, no more texts nor messages.
Like that, Ousmane Owen Munthali, you are gone. Until we meet again, I will never forget you and promise to look after your only daughter to grow up knowing how much you loved her. Getrude, thank you for being with him these years. It hurts knowing we wont see him again.
To my friend Limbikani, slowly the boys are gone. To Aubrey, home wont be the same, nobody to fight with.
To Masida, be strong, I know how much he meant to you. To Chazika, you did all you could, so too Uncle Levi and the Mwalas.
To God, glory unto thy name for the life of Ousmane. You gave us a beautiful soul, you took him home at your own befitting time. Your time and ways are yours God, we ask you look after his soul.
We look forward to the proclamation of your word 1 Corinthians 15 from verse 42:
42 So will it be1 with the resurrection of the dead.2 The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;3

43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory;4 it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.5 If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

45 So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"a;6 the last Adam,7 a life-giving spirit.8

46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.9

47 The first man was of the dust of the earth,10 the second man from heaven.11

48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.12

49 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man,13 so shall web bear the likeness of the man from heaven.14

50 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood15 cannot inherit the kingdom of God,16 nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.17

51 Listen, I tell you a mystery:18 We will not all sleep,19 but we will all be changed20--

52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound,21 the dead22 will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

53 For the perishable23 must clothe itself with the imperishable,24 and the mortal with immortality.

54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."c25

55 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"d26

56 The sting of death is sin,27 and the power of sin is the law.28

57 But thanks be to God!29 He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.30

58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord,31 because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.32

Comments

Mrs Sharon Sim said…
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