NARRATED BY TAMALA MHURA
A long time ago there were two brothers who were known far and wide because of their beautiful dancing. Sometimes they danced as partners, at other times they danced individually.
One day a King from a far off village organised a competition and the two brothers were invited to take part.
Each participant danced and the crowd cheered and gave the dancer various types of presents.
When it came to the brother’s turn, the elder brother danced and he received more presents than the other participants did. The King gave him a goat as his present.
The younger brother’s turn came and he danced and danced. The crowd gave him presents and the King gave him 2 goats … the grand prize.
The elder brother said to the King, “This is not fair your majesty, I danced longer and better than my brother, how has he got two goats while you only gave me one goat?
The King consulted with his advisors who asked him that the two brothers should each dance again.
The elder brother danced, he danced so well that the crowd gave him more presents. The King gave him a cow.
The younger brother’s turn came and he danced and danced and danced. He danced as if the spirits possessed him. His elder brother was even surprised at how well his junior brother was dancing. The crowd went wild; they gave him even more presents. The King with his advisors decided to give him two cows.
The brothers set off for home with their presence.
On the way, in the thick forest, the elder brother killed his junior brother. Before he died the younger brother was pleading with him, “Please don’t kill me, we will say that we won all these presents together as partners. Or we could say that you won all the presents”. But his elder brother was blind with fury and jealousy and did not listen to any of what his brother was saying. He killed his junior brother and buried him in a shallow grave.
He gathered the presents, directed the animals (goats and cows) and set off for his village.
When his parents saw him, they asked, “where’s your brother?”.
“He decided to stay on in the village”, he lied to the parents “look at all these presents I won for the family”.
Days went by and the parents began to get worried, as their younger son did not come home.
One day the mother decided to go and fetch some food. She went to gather some mushrooms from the bush. She approached some beautiful yellow mushrooms and as she was about to lift some and put them in her basket, the mushrooms started singing…. The words went like: –
Ndine Mwana winu
Mwana winu waulamiro
Nkhaluta Kukavina na mkulu wane
Nkhawina mbuzi ziwiri, ngombe zibiri
Mkulu wane wakawina mbizi yimoza, na ng’ombe yimoza.
Mkulu wane wanikoma! I am your last born son.
We went to a competition.
My brother won a goat and a cow.
I won two goats and two cows.
My brother killed me because he was jealous of me.
The mother ran off frightened, she cried and went home.
At home. she told her husband what had happened in the bush and the two of them set off for the Forest.
When they approached the mushrooms, the wife asked the husband to gather the mushrooms. As soon as he bent down to uplift them, the mushrooms started singing the same sad song again: –
I am your last born son.
We went to a competition, etc etc!”
The father was furious, he was so furious that he went home and asked the son to come to the Forest to help gather some mushrooms. As soon as they approached where the mushrooms were, the son knew that was the shallow grave where he buried his brother. The father asked him to gather the mushrooms and again the mushroom song started:
“I am your last born son.
We went to a competition, etc etc!”
The parents forced the son to tell them the truth and he narrated the story. He begged for forgiveness but the parents said, “because you have murdered your brother, the village Chief will have to sentence you”.
The jealous son was brought in front of the whole village and the people chased him away from the village. The once respectable gentleman had stones thrown at him until he disappeared from the village. Each village he approached, people threw stones at him as word of his jealousy and murder reached these villages before he did. Each village beat the Talking Drum to announce that a bad person was approaching.
Thus the jealous brother lived in poverty, far away from his village.
There are a few morals or lessons learnt from this story. Can you find them?