At a certain village, there were two girls named Ngoza and Kasiwa.

One day Ngoza set on a journey to a distant village to visit her relatives. After covering a long distance, it became too dark to continue with the journey so she sought for a place to spend a night. She only saw one house and went to the house. There she knocked on the door and a very old woman welcomed her. The old woman said; “welcome, welcome my grandchild, come in”.

Ngoza entered into the house and the old woman prepared nsima and some maggots for dinner . The girl saw the maggots but decided not to disappoint the old woman by refusing to eat the meal so she received and thanked the old woman for the meal.

Thereafter, she started eating the food but she only ate the nsima and hid the maggots so that the woman should not see that she did not like them. After she finished the nsima, she thanked the old woman and returned the plate she used. The woman thanked Ngoza for appreciating and eating the meal. Then she was given a place to sleep.

The following morning as Ngoza was preparing to continue with her journey, she said good bye to the woman. The old woman was so happy that she told her that along the road  she would find a big tree and three drums under it. She instructed her to beat each of the drums. The drums were either producing a betebete sound or a njunjunju sound. Ngoza was told only to open the drum that produced the njunjunju sound.

Now Ngoza left the old woman’s house and indeed reached the place that the woman described. Then she did exactly what the woman instructed her. In the drum, she found a very beautiful baby girl and she was so happy as she took the baby and proceeded on her journey. Finally she reached the village where her relatives were staying. After spending some time with her relatives there, she bid farewell and headed back to her village.

When she arrived at her village, her parents and all the villagers were so amazed and asked where she got such a beautiful baby girl. But her dear sister Kasiwa who was so troublesome and very rude asked her where she got the baby. Ngoza explained to her that she had met an old woman who gave her the baby and she told Kasiwa to go there too.

Without hesitating, Kasiwa also set on a journey to visit relatives at a distant village. She got to the old woman’s place and decided to spend a night there too. She was also welcomed and the old woman offered her the same meal for dinner. When the girl saw the food, nsima and maggots, she told the woman; “I cannot eat this food!” The woman  told her that she would try to look for other relish. After a while the old woman found another type of relish and offered the meal to Kasiwa so they ate the meal and she spent a night there.

In the morning as Kasiwa was leaving , she asked the woman about the beautiful baby Ngoza got.  Unlike Ngoza, Kasiwa was instructed to open the drum with the batabata sound and not the njunjunju sound when she reaches the tall tree with three drums under it.



When Kasiwa reached the place she beat the drums and opened the batabata sound drum. Unfortunately she found a baby with one eye, one nostril, one arm and one leg in the drum. After getting the baby she continued with her journey. She visited her relatives and some days later she started off back to her village. She passed by the old woman’s house and shouted at her for giving her such an ugly baby. Thereafter she reached her home village and killed the baby.

Surprisingly, the baby came back to her and started singing while limping with one leg;

“With my limp, why did you get me?

With limp, why did you get me?

Wth my limp, why did you get me?

With my limp, why did you get me?”

Then Kasiwa was so furious and decided to get the baby and crush it in the mortar. She crushed the baby hard and later buried the deformed baby. But this was to no avail as the baby still came back to her and started singing again;

“With my limp, why did you get me?

With my limp, why did you get me?

With my limp, why did you get me?

With my limp, why did you get me?”

Finally Kasiwa got tired of the situation and kept the baby. She was the only girl with such a baby in the whole village.

The major lesson that we get from the story is that if someone has good behaviour, he or she receives very good gifts. Ngoza was quite well-behaved and showed the old woman kindness hence she got a very beautiful baby girl.

As narrated by Mr Gondwe to Esela Munthali.

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