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Mainza Kasongola was the last born in the family of three and his birth came as a great joy to the Kasongola family.

He was special to his parents because he was born after 5 years of trying to have their third child.

He was named Mainza because he was born in the rainy season in Kabwe`s Makululu Township but his childhood was no bed of roses as he endured a lot of calamities and mysterious tragedies kept on pursuing him.

He was only 6 years when his mother died of a sudden illness. She complained of sudden headaches and went to sleep after taking some pain killers and slept for good.

Her death shocked everyone in the family and the neighbours within Makululu-Township.

Even more shocking was that two months later his father died in a similar circumstances.

There was talk of witchcraft within the family which brought about division in the family.

Kasongola and his older brother and sister were orphaned and left with no one to help them with education and other needs until an uncle from Chiyuni in Chibombo within Central Province adopted them.

Uncle Shamboko promised to take them to school but never did and instead used them to work at his farm.

Kasongola’s sister ended up marrying early when she was a teenager while Kasongola and his brother Stone, tendered cattle at their uncle’s farm.

Again tragedy resurfaced as Stone went missing mysteriously and despite several attempts to find him, failed.

Other relatives and friends were informed and questioned about stone’s whereabouts but none seemed to have an idea.

Some relative’s accused uncle Shamboko of being behind the disappearing of stone through witchcraft, an accusation he vehemently denied.

Kasongola lived a sad and lonely life as he could not get along well with his uncle’s children too. Kasongola however met a boy named Credential and the two became good friends.

Credential lived in Chisamba and was doing his secondary school in Livingstone at a boarding school but was visiting a relative in Chiyuni in Chibombo.

Kasongola was 14 years old while Credential was 3years older when they met.

Credential invited Kasongola to his family house in Chisamba and Credential`s family seemed to be financially stable.

They had a nice big house and farm with livestock like cattle, goats, pigs and poultry.

Credential was the youngest in the family of three and his older brother and sister were working in Lusaka and Ndola respectively and living independent lives.

Credentials parents were warm and kind and treated Kasongola very well. Kasongola had never met kind and friendly people like credential and his parents.

For the first time in his life Kasongola had found happiness. In Credential and his family, he found people he could share his happiness and problems.

Kasongola was a farm boy who had stopped school at primary level to herd his uncle`s cattle while credential was still a secondary school pupil but they managed to get along well. Kasongola’s uncle detested Credential with a passion.

He always warned Kasongola to stay away from him because he was a spoiled boy from Livingstone city who would corrupt his morals.

“But uncle, he lives in Chisamba, he just goes to Livingstone for school” Kasongola told his uncle.

“Stop arguing with me he spent most of his time in Livingstone and most kids that side are spoiled kids.” Uncle Shamboko argued. “Look at how you are changing.

“You now go for funny city haircuts and listen to bad city music and dress like a spoiled city boy”. “You are a farmer, farmers don’t need to go to school since their specialty is the field and look after livestock”.

“That boy is only destructing you from being a great farmer with his silly books and life style and I don’t want to see him with you again,” Uncle Shamboko warned.

But Kasongola and Credential would meet secretly and when his uncle heard about it, he beat him up and punished him by not giving him supper that evening.

The following morning Kasongola and credential again met secretly despite the punishment he was subjected to the previous evening.

Credential was sad and disturbed when he heard about what happened to his friend and bought him food.

When credential asked Kasongola to live his uncle`s house for good and instead start living with him and his parents in Chisamba, Kasongola couldn’t believe him.

When he finally realized that his friend was serious, he asked him how possible it would be for his parents to allow him to invite someone who was a non-relative to start living with them, but Credential smiled and said.

“Trust me, I know my parents well and they cannot refuse when I ask them to let you start living with us, more over I had already told them how bad and abusive your uncle has been with you.”

Two days later, to Kasongola`s shock, Credential came to him and told him that he already spoken with his parents and they agreed that he can stay with them.

Kasongola’s uncle refused to grant him permission to leave but Credential advised him to sneak out without his permission or concern which he did, and uncle Shamboko was very upset when he came to find out what Kasongola did and swore to deal with him ruthlessly when he finds him.

In Chisamba, Credential`s parents received him very well and treated him like family.

Kasongola could not believe the good hospitality he was receiving by Credential’s parents who were not even related to him.

They even started making arrangements to take him back to school.

Credential then had to go back to school in Livingstone, living Kasongola with his parents.

Being a hard worker who was used to hard work at his uncle`s farm since he was young, Kasongola helped his adopted parents at their farm house and there were pleased with his hard work. Although they had farm workers, Kasongola worked with them well and everyone liked him. He kept in touch with Credential by phone in Livingstone.

He missed his friend who was in his final year at secondary school. But his stay with his warm hearted family was short lived when tragedy struck again.

Credentials parents died in a road accident on their way to Lusaka.

It was such a devastating blow which affected Kasongola badly as he had come to love and regard them as his own parents too.

Just after they were interred and when the funeral was over, Credential advised Kasongola to remain at the house and wait for him for a month as he had to go back to Livingstone and write his final examinations.

But while Credential was in Livingstone, some family wrangles erupted in Chisamba which Kasongola could not stand.

He was not their biological child and some of Credential’s relatives were against him staying at the  house.

Kasongola’s phone was stolen and unable to be in touch with Credential in Livingstone to let him know about what was happening, he was forced to leave.

Going back to uncle Shamboko was a nonstarter to him so with the remaining little money he had, he travelled to Landless Corner area to locate his cousin but found that he had long relocated to Lusaka permanently.

Kasongola had no option but to become a homeless teenager who earned a living by washing cars and doing odd jobs whilst sleeping in bars for over a year.

And then when he saw a nice BMWX6, at Landless corner he rushed to it in a bid to convince the owner for a car wash.

He could not believe his eyes to find Credential at the steering wheel. It was a happy re – union after suffering and not seeing each other for over a year.

Credential told him that he was working in Livingstone and living alone and Kasongola immediately joined him in Livingstone.

Kasongola was amazed at how his friend achieved so much in such a short period. He was living in a well-furnished two bedroomed house, driving an expensive car, seems he was getting a good pay as a bank accountant.

After staying for a week with him however, Kasongola would notice and hear strange things at night.  He would hear voices of people in a conversation in Credential’s room at night when he knew that he slept alone in the room.

He would found himself tongue tied and kept quiet then one evening, just after supper with Credential, he saw a large African Rock Python entering Credentials room.

He screamed but to his surprise, Credential just laughed and asked him to relax as it meant no harm.

He opened the fridge, got a bottle of red wine, poured into two glasses, handed one to Kasongola and asked him to drink before saying; “Mainza Kasongola, you are a very close friend of mine, that’s why I can’t let you suffer.” “I want you to join me in the occult World.”

To be continued!!

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