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Mac Wonderful (Tembo Village, Malawi)
Mac Wonderful has a small shop near Tembo Village. With his help the chief of the village allowed us to pitch up our tent for one night.

"Stick together"

Where are you born? What do you like about the place/country? I was born in a small village in Malawi. We do a lot of farming, which I like to do. Thatīs why you see all the tobacco hanging under the roof of my shop. I also farm maize. When I finished shool I worked at the private sector as a veterinare assistent. But I like farming. Nowadays I have this shop and also do some farming. It is difficult to manage, but sometimes I got support. I like doing my busines, but I donīt have enough money to buy things to sell. I would like to go to South Africa to buy some goods there. But I would have to renew my passport. Trading with Zimbabwe is difficult because of political problems and in Zambia the currency went down. I like the countries where the currency is strong. Sometimes I like to join politics, I go to meetings. I have tried to become a member of parliament, but I was not elected during the primary. The next time I will try again.

I like Malawi, because it is a peaceful country, though poor. The peace is the reason that makes me love my country. The people of this region are mainly the Ngoni and the Chewa. They have different roots and a different culture. The Ngoni for example have a special kind of dancing, which is very typical for them. Today everyone speaks Chewa and the people are mixed and live together. People are marrying each other. E.g. I am a Ngoni and my wife is Chewa.

Do you know anything about Germany? If so, what?

In history at school we learned about Hitler. I know that the frontier between east and west was falling down. Certain types of motorvehicles come from Germany, like Mercedes-Benz.

What do you like to celebrate? I like birthdays. At my birthday I ask my children and all people around to join me for a special meal. Sometimes we slaughter a chicken, sometimes we have rice. I start my birthday in the morning with a tea with enough milk. Sometimes I buy decent clothes for myself.
Have you travelled before? I travelled in Malawi, in the southern region, in Blantyre, Mulange, Zomba. As a young boy I stayed with my uncle in Zomba. I liked the time when I was in Blantyre with my elder brother in 1978. Mulange I liked also because of the abundance of vegetation and fruit.
What means of transportation do you normally use? When I want to go to Lilongwe I take the big bus in the morning and the one in the evening. The big bus is cheaper than the local pick-up vehicles.
With how many people do you live together? At present time we are three: My wife, my youngest daughter and me. I have three daughters. The other two are at school.
What do you especially like to do? Alone? With your family/friends? Alone: Sometimes I practise mathematics. I want to remember what I learned at school. I also like to read novels of African wirters which I bought when I was at school.

With friends: Sunday after praying I like to play "bawo". Thats a favourite game in southern Africa. Two men play against each other on a table with holes and you have to put stones in the holes and take the stones of the other one according to the rules. It is a quite strategical game and it takes a lot of time.
What event during the last week was especially nice? I visited my children at their school. That was a very nice day. In three or four months they will come for holiday. Unfortunately I donīt see them so often.

Last week Iīve had a lot of luck not to be robbed. In Lilongwe there had been people who wanted to steal my money. There was a man who said he is a witch doctor and he is able to give life to the dead frog in front of him. I went very close to look at his show. Then he said: "My spirits told me to give money to you." So he gave money to the people around. Then he said "My spirits told me that you have to show me all the money you have." Now I recognized, that this is a trap. I had a lot of money with me to buy some goods for my shop. I told him that I donīt have any money. He said "If you donīt show me all your money you will be banned to ashes". I was able to escape from this situation and luckily nothing happened. But I am sure that they wanted to rob me.
What event in your live has moved you? Most days of my life had been very bitter. when I was three months old my mother died. I grew up with my grandparents, always had been very miserable, skinny, in bad health.
What would be your fondest wish? My wish is that my children are educated in a proper way. I hope that they will have a better life. The day I will die I want to leave my children with no problems.
A material wish of mine is to have a pushing bike or some other means of transportation.
Do you have any message or advice for our readers or us? We as men or women have to take care of our families. We have to take care especially if we have children. We have to guide our children. If you want to have children you have to teach them good things. Stick to your partner.
Mac Wonderful Tinemenji, 43 years, 10th of June 2003, Tembo Village, Malawi.

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