Exploring the Mystery of a Woman
By Mwizenge S. Tembo, Ph. D.
Professor of Sociology
My sweet Linda Jitanda chipesha mano (one who kills my brain), chipha dzuwa (the sun killer) was gone on the fish truck back to Mwinilunga. I was despondent. I got drunk and I could have been killed. Was she really worth dying for? When I was born as a boy in the village in Lundazi in rural Zambia, I truly lived a life of innocence with other boys. We hoed in the field, dug mbeba (mice) and hunted small birds and animals. We played football with small old rags tied together, ate wild fruits such as kasokolowe, nchenja, futu, masuku, and nthumuzgha, went to school, played games, and swum in the fresh clean waters of the Lundazi River.
I lived a life of fierce boy adventure including stings from masanganavo (wasps) trying to get to that last ripe mango in the mango tree. Although I had 6 sisters, numerous girl cousins, girls and boys never mixed. In the village, boys and girls would mix around the age of ten when we played the innocent game of madimbi on the edge of the village. We the boys would build small grass shacks playing as husbands. The girls would borrow small pots from their mothers, make fires, cook and play as wives. The young children who were 3 or 4 years old would play the children of husbands and wives. Sexuality never featured in any of these games or during this early age.
All of this suddenly changed for me one day when I was about 14 years old sometime in 1967; I began to notice beautiful attractive girls around me at Chalumbe School villages north of Chipata. I wanted to see, talk to, and be in the company of girls every day and all the time. The attraction was so powerful I did not understand it although I had heard of it growing up. The strange thing about these girls I was attracted to was when I approached them. The girls who were 13 years old would stop with her back to me. She would smile and take sweet glances at me. I did not know what to say either. Then the girl would run away giggling. This puzzled and perplexed me.
When I was at Chizongwe Secondary School from 1967 to 1971, I became aware of the girl goddesses of the planet; the St. Monica’s Secondary School girls in Chipata. All Chizongwe Secondary School metals would agree that St. Monica’s girls are goddesses of the whole world. I was blessed and lucky enough that one of those girl goddesses was my girl friend. My friend Ben wrote a beautiful poem celebrating St. Monica’s girl goddesses that was published in our school magazine.
My intrigue in my life long quest to understand women took a thicker turn when I reported at University of Zambia in 1972. The women there were suddenly called mommas. The center of gravity of UNZA mommas for all mojos (male students) was the celebrated women students’ hall of residence October Hall. Parallel to my studying to learn the intricacies of psychology and sociology at UNZA, I wanted to learn more about women. I talked to them, sat with them in the student dining room and lecture halls. I began to read books so I could unveil the mystery of women. I bought and read the famous books: “The Perfumed Garden” by Sheik Nefzawi and “The Kamasutra of Vatsyayana”
By the time my path and that of chipesha mano Linda Jitanda crossed at Sinjonjo that memorable night in Mongu in November 1976, I was shocked that I still had not unveiled the mystery of a woman. I now was yearning to use my fingers to explore to my personal gratification both the physical and emotional geography of this woman Linda Jitanda whose power over me was unmatched by any woman before.
That power she had over me, influenced me to write the long poem to Linda Jitanda in the next part: “Woman Made Me Love Zambia PART TWENTY-ONE”. I had intentions of posting this poem to her but her postal address was no longer in Mongu in early 1977. I was going to somehow find out her address in her village in Mwinilunga so that once she read the love poems, somehow she and God could help bring her back to me.
*Dispatch from Mika Lodge, Jesmondine, Lusaka, Zambia