© Pauline Mumbi
“Mr and Mrs Mwale meet my niece Mwansa and
Mwansa these are our in-laws to be.. Of course
Claudine over there is Atusaye’s fiancée” Mrs.
Martins said.
“Of course the one and only” Claudine responded as
her eyes flir-ted with Atusaye.
I was honoured to be called a niece, not even my
uncle and aunt addressed me as such.
“This food is so nice” Mrs. Mwale said.
“Yes sis in-law this is great” Claudine added.
Mrs. Martins smiled and appreciated the
comments. Dinner was indeed great but what
baffled me was the fact that Atusaye was too
serious. He never p@rticipated in the conversations
and he didn’t seem interested at all. Perhaps its
because his in-laws were around.
Claudine’s family was very modest, they were quiet
p@rticular about a lot of things and from the look of
things they were rich.
After dinner the guests went to the living room to
have a conversation while I picked the plates to
take them to the kitchen.
Atusaye helped with taking the dishes to the
“On which side of the family are you from? Is it
from Mrs. Martins or???” Claudine asked as she sat
by the kitchen counter.
“Am actually from…”
“She’s mums cousins daughter” Atusaye interrupted.
I took in a de-ep breath and continued doing the
“So where are you from?” Claudine asked.
“She’s from within.. Honey let’s take a walk
outside” Atusaye interrupted again.
From the look of things I alre-ady knew Claudine
and I would not get along.
I quic-kly cleared the kitchen and walked to my
ap@rtment. I overheard Claudine asking Atu where I
was going but I didn’t turn around to look at them
neither did I bother to hear Atusaye’s response.
I changed into my old dress so I could sleep in it,
its funny how my favourite dress was now my night
go-wn. God surely works wonders.
I quic-kly fell asleep guess the walking for 3hours
had made me really tired.
The following morning I was up by 5 and I cleared
my ap@rtment. Mrs. Martins c@m£ to the ap@rtment
just before 7 and she asked me to join her in the
“I was impressed with how you left the kitchen” she
said as we walked.
“Oh thanks madam”..
” Mrs. Martins” She interrupted
“Sure.. Mrs. Martins” I responded.
Mrs. Martin’s gave me food and she ran me throu-gh
a couple of rules. Everything sounded fair and
manageable, all she wanted was for me to do my
The maids c@m£ in a little while later and she
introduced me to them, they seemed just as nice as
the ones from the mansion and I felt welcome.
“Do you know how to pound groundnuts?” Mrs.
Martin’s asked me.
“Yes I do Mrs. Martins” I responded.
She gave me about a kg of groundnuts and led me
to the back where I could pound from.
It wasn’t a difficult task for me at all, so I sorted
the nuts, put half in and I started pounding.
“Someone is working ha-rd , a lot of strength you’ve
got there” tea-sed Atusaye.
“Good morning sir”. I greeted him as I continued
Atusaye bended over about to get a handful of nuts
when Mrs. Martins walked out.
” Atu what are you doing? Mrs. Martins asked.
“Oh sis.. Just the person I was looking for” Atusaye
said before walking away with Mrs. Martins.
They disappeared into the house and I continued
pounding until I finished.
Mrs. Martins was in the living room with Atusaye
when I walked in.
“You’re done? That was quic-k” she said.
“OK you give it to the maids to prepare lumanda or
are you able to do that?” Mrs. Martins asked me.
I didn’t expect Mrs. Martins to eat such traditional
food but I guess the pregnancy had a mind of its
“Yes I do” I responded calmly.
“OK then you can prepare..” She said.
I quic-kly cooked the traditional vegetable and
nshima. The maids had cooked the other food to
complete the meal.
After setting the table I sat with the maids in the
kitchen and we enjoyed the food, it was just like
the mansion except I was welcome.
As I went to pick the dishes from the table Mrs.
Martin’s tea-sed Atusaye.

“Can your soon to be wife prepare such a meal?”

She asked.
“In my house will be modern, such won’t be there
… Will be having h0tel kind of food” Atusaye
responded as he giggled.
“Oh plea-se.. Its your favourite food.. Are you just
ashamed to admit that you enjoyed?” She tea-sed
Atusaye just giggled as he pla-yed with with the
toothpick in his mouth.
“Mwansa dear the food was great, I’m holding you
responsible for getting me so full” Mrs. Martins
“Oh thanks madam” I responded.
” Atusaye aren’t you going for work?” Mrs. Martins
“No I’m off today..” He responded.
“You’re off how many times in a row? If I were you, I
would be happy to be working with the love of my
life” Mrs. Martins said.
“Jeez…… Working with Claudine? then plea-se take
my place by all means” Atusaye said as he la-id
back in his seat.
I quic-kly cleared my mind and lifted the last plates
from the table.
When I was done Mrs. Martin’s asked me to go and
rest before I could come and prepare dinner. She
asked me to leave the work for the maids.
To be continued… 
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