My Brother In-law Steals From Me

By Tuyisenge

In the year 2007, I encountered a lady at a Baba Nyasa shop whom I admired. The shop is located near the main road leading to Lisungwi street. It measures seven meters in length and five in width, attracting numerous visitors seeking groceries. Her striking beauty in a dark-blue dress left a lasting memory from our first meeting. What appealed to me most was her gentle demeanor and her ability to shun negativity. She spoke to me in a pleasant manner, a trait I deeply appreciated. Unfortunately, at that time, she didn’t possess a phone, so I couldn’t obtain her number.

We both resided in Dzaleka refugee camp, specifically in Kawale 1 location. To have another opportunity to see her, I followed her to her residence. She looked exceptionally attractive during our initial encounter, adorned in a stylish black skirt and a white t-shirt that matched her shoes. My attention was solely on her, not wavering elsewhere. During those days, proposing was a challenge due to the scarcity of phones and the underdeveloped state of communication in the country. Acquiring a phone was difficult and making a call involved visiting shops that had landlines. People primarily communicated through letters, and internet access was confined to a small café nearby, yet it remained costly, making it inaccessible for many.

One day, I summoned the courage to visit her home, despite feeling nervous as it was my first time. My desire outweighed my apprehensions, propelling me to go. Her home had a prominent red gate, necessitating a knock for entry. She greeted me warmly upon opening the gate and invited me inside. Her respectful reception resonated deeply with my values. She offered me a seat and fetched Sobo juice for me.

My urgency drove me to express my intentions swiftly. After introducing myself, I candidly stated, “I am seeking a life partner, and I am interested in having you as my wife.” Her surprise was evident, and she responded, “I feel like we don’t know each other well, and I believe I need time to process this and get to know you before making such a significant decision in my life.” Her willingness to ponder this and understand me filled me with hope. I assured her I was patient and willing to wait for her decision, before bidding her goodbye, promising to return in two weeks to discuss her thoughts regarding my proposal.

Two weeks later, upon my return to her home, she agreed to be my wife. I was elated to have found a beautiful woman to marry. Her beauty was captivating, defined by her radiant smile and the way her eyes lit up during our conversations. It was her inner beauty and kindness towards me that truly won me over. However, arranging a wedding proved challenging due to financial constraints. We lacked the six million Malawi kwacha needed for a proper ceremony. My wife, Angela, always aspired to make her parents proud, a sentiment she often expressed during our conversations. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford a wedding, despite seeking assistance from friends who were also facing financial difficulties.

One evening during her visit, we decided to consummate our relationship, mutually agreeing to this step. A month later, she joyfully informed me, “I am pregnant.” This news filled me with happiness, prompting us to start living together. Although her parents were displeased with our unconventional approach, they had no choice but to accept our marriage. My life took a turn for the better after marrying her, enjoying delicious meals she lovingly prepared.

A month into our marriage, she introduced me to her brother, Rishari, during his visit. I embraced him as my own and granted him access to our room, allowing him to fetch water when needed. However, I began losing money from my room. Whenever I left a hundred thousand kwacha in the bag, a portion of it would disappear. I was furious at the loss, but confronting a family member in our culture was frowned upon. Accusing my brother-in-law would tarnish our relationship, hence I urged my wife to approach him. He denied any involvement, leaving us perplexed.

To uncover the truth, my wife and I devised a plan, leaving the money in its usual place and counting it. We maintained our routine to observe any suspicious activity. We took a trip to Lilongwe, leaving my brother-in-law at home. Upon our return, we discovered a discrepancy in the amount, confirming our suspicions. From that point, we safeguarded our money by changing the locks and keeping the keys to ourselves, ensuring our financial security.

16 October, 2023