Brother Sam is Dead

© Troy Viyazhi Samuel

He got married first. I am the first born in the family of four. He was second born. Both of our parents were peasant farmers. He was our father’s original copy.  He was tall, very calm, and too smart in his dealing with life’s challenges.

My brother Sam married a very beautiful young lady from a nearby village found the other side of the river. Her village shared boundaries with ours. She was as high as three feet my brother Sam’s height. Light skinned young lady with huge backs. She had an attractive chest with the salivating 
cleave. Her lips were as thick as if they were inviting men into a kissing party. No beauty has beaten the splendor of Diminga, my brother Sam’s wife. 

No wonder Diminga was the queen of exquisiteness in her generation. I remember before they got married, in their early hey-days, my brother Sam was being mocked by his peers whether he will be able to manage the beauty of Diminga. ‘Brother’, Sam whispered into my ears. People think Diminga and I are mismatch. They are talking a lot of negativities and my inability of managing Diminga Exquisiteness.’ Sam complained.

What lies in the beauty of a woman is what will destroy a man one day. My brother Sam did not know this. One night while in their courtship, we were about to take a sleep, Sam complained about what Diminga did to him when they were having good times in the flood plains of the river Nyamadzere that separated our village and hers. One of the hot topics was about their future parenthood. ‘Brother, what Diminga did today it is uncalled.’ 

Remorsely my brother complained. ‘Imagine telling me I am stupid because I rebuked her for calling a woman who was passing by the footpath was reeking.’
I am an elder brother to Sam. I hearted my brother Sam. We were more than brother, we were friends. We used to share some difficult moments with him. 

I used to be his best man while they were in dating. Diminga knew that every bad moments she was having with Sam, my brother Sam would share with the story.

It’s just a year after my brother Sam weds Diminga in a colorful traditional marriage. No one believed that the couple could get married. I mean there were a lot of stop overs that could stop them from getting married. Who loved the other one more than the other, nobody knows. What I know my brother Sam had a natural intimacy for Diminga. He had a lot of stories to tell about her family.  I could see that. But Sam was a man. My brother was a he-antelope who married a lioness.

The choice that my brother made now has turned against him. I remember the director of ceremony, who happened to be the secretary to our chief and the most loved right hand man by the chief,   on Sam’s wedding praised Diminga how beautiful Diminga was. He even called her the blessed Mary, a mother to a Christian son of God.

Brother Sam is Dead
Image for illustration purposes

This other day when both of us, Sam and I, were coming from our sweet potatoes garden, Sam failed to explain to me why Diminga and him seemed to no longer talking to each other. I knew there were something big devious going between my brother and the sister in-law. Sam seemed to have a war of thoughts in his life but could not explain to me.
‘This meal is so sweet.’ I extolled the meal that Diminga cooked for us when I visited my brother’s home. 

‘Kunyado (in-law) these days you know how 
to mix up food ingredients. I guess my brother is enjoying this…’. 

Before I finished fawning Diminga for the good cook my brother Sam tapped my knee stopping from uttering such praises. With this tap on my knee I knew my brother’ home is a zone of combat.  Nothing is ok on my brother’s home. 
‘Kunyado this is what my parents taught me. Only that your brother is unthankful.’ Diminga became pompous. I zipped my mouth to avoid the continued embarrassment on my brother by his so called beautiful young woman.  I ate the plate of nsima with Makakana (small chambo).

‘Kunyado, Kunyado, please help! Amwene anu (your brother) is not well please help.’Dimanga pleaded for an assistance. ‘What has happened to him, my brother Sam.’ I reacted to Diminga’s plead for help. I carried myself to Sam’s house finding him is in comma. I asked for a piece of clothing so as I can blow him some fresh air. It did not work. I asked for a ten-litre bucket so that we can shower him with some water onto his body. Yes! It worked. Sam waked up from the comma. I felt very sorry for my brother whilst asking myself what happened to Sam.

I was not convinced with what my brother’s wife explained to me on what happened to her husband for him to faint. A lot of questions were bombarding into my head though deep down my soul knowing that my brother fainted because of his wife. I tried to ask him what happened. ‘It’s ok’. 

That was his only three-worded answer. Brother please explain to me so that we may help each other.
‘See, what I only remember is we were in arguments with your Kunyado. In the peak of the argument I saw her lifting a kitchen tool which she used to hit in the back of my head.’ Sam narrated. A few seconds later I felt the flow of tears down on my cheek while facing away from him so that he should not realize this. My brother Sam’s calmness was accompanied with low self-esteem. He is always fond of failing to express himself.
Rumors has it that this was not his first time to faint. It is buzzed that he was once knocked down by his wife with a blow after failing to give her money to buy relish for that day. A reason that Diminga gave to her friends why she smashed her husband.
Stop! My brother was not that coward that he can fail to beat his wife. 

He was once get sensitized with a message on gender violence. I think this was what was killing my brother Sam. I was with him when one of the social groupings from our village were sensitizing the villagers with messages on violence against a certain gender. It was said that the grouping was trained to sensitize, report and coordinate gender issues in our village. 

We murmured to each other the message was humane. ‘Men need to change.’ He said to me. ‘Not only men, our ladies too. The message seem to target men only as the only social group that is involved in gender-based violence.

The day was cloudy, dark with some warmth breezes of air blowing from south east to south-south of our village. My wife and I went to our sweet potatoes garden. I heard a screaming from a man who was running towards us. 
He screamed while mentioning the name Sam. I knew something bad has befallen on Sam. My brother Sam is dead. He died of heart attack. It is said that de fainted first, and the breathed his last breath. His wife tortured him psychologically.

No gender has committed more verbal violence against women than women themselves. Men have hurt women too but check nowadays the role women played against men and even fellow women. They hide behind a beautiful smile and call each other pet names but deep down is a heart filled with hate and crookness.

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