Narrated by Kelvin Sikanyiti

My story goes back to 1994 When I was in grade 4. It was an amazing experience. In those days, it was common that as you prepare for Independence Day celebrations, every pupil was required to contribute a certain amount of money in order to taste any drop of a meal on that special day.

As the preparations got geared, a number of pupils made their contributions but some of us kept a deaf ear. Actually we were known to be stubborn boys around the school and it was an opportunity for us to keep our tag alive.

The Independence Day came. The contribution period had ended two days before the event. As usual, it was my team of four stubborn boys amongst those who had not contributed. On the celebration day, 24th October, 1994. We prepared ourselves to go and attend this special day without any second thought of eventualities.

We got there with my team and the celebrations were in full swing. As per tradition, performances like dancing, singing, and drama were always done before the meals were served. We enjoyed ourselves at this moment because no ticket was required to feed our eyes.

Then around 13:00 hours, it was official lunch break. It was now time for everyone to hold on to his/her coupon and be on the queue to collect the food. We moved around with our dry mouths while smelling the aroma of rare fried village chicken. Those who had paid started chewing and breaking bones in our full view.

We tried to think of intruding but it was so strict such that our kalulu antics never helped. Our celebration was cut short as we had to go and feed from our homes but we were not done with those teachers. Plan B was hatched to revenge for our being stopped from eating as we walked home. We quickly realized that it was impossible that all the food cooked would finish that same day.

We knew that teachers would keep some sweet beer (chibwantu) in the staff room for some days and continue to quench their throats. As we went to school the following day, our focus was to have a taste of whatever remained the previous day. Without much struggle, we noticed that there was a drum in one of the classrooms.

We verified the content in the drum and it was half of chibwantu. Next to the drum was a 10 litre bucket. This was not ordinary chibwantu. Those days it was rare to drink chibwantu with sugar. We quickly filled the 10 litre bucket in view of some pupils. We cared less. By this time, no teacher had arrived yet at the school. I guess they were still nursing the hangovers of the previous day.

We collected our 10 litres of chibwantu and ran to the nearest river where we drunk the hell out of it. Knowing that we have messed up, we never returned to school that day but went straight home and left the empty bucket by the river bank. The news broke out in school and we were told that the head teacher was itching to see us in school. Following day, we all went to school with unknown courage.

All the fellow pupils were shocked to see us knowing the calamity ahead of us. The headmaster came around 08:00 hours. We were called and questioned over the incident. We tried to dodge but the evidence was overwhelming. The headmaster quickly called all the pupils to the assembly point. Two desks were brought in front and fresh Mopani tree strokes.

It was a showdown, lying one by one on the desk. We were beaten 15 strokes each one in the full view of the entire school. Fellow pupils were told to mock us as the beating was going on. It was a bitter experience. All the girls we were eying witnessed our beatings. This was our turning point in behaviour. We became good boys from that day and the headmaster trusted us to be captains in grade 7. What an experience! We have come a long way.


  1. Joseph sikombe

    This is interesting and hillaous

  2. Honesty Simulwi

    This is hilarious! Was it at chuundwe basic which school was that? The name is familiar

  3. Mailesi Banda

    I thought I was trouble until I came across this

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