Hey 👋,

There is this joke going around that if you want to get rich quick, start a church.

Does it mean churches have become businesses and not places for spiritual fulfilment? If that is the case, then should they, therefore, be taxed?

Why the Hawk kills Chicken

A fable exists of a love story between a hawk and a pretty hen that ended prematurely because of a cockerel who was desperately in love.

Long ago, there was a beautiful hen who stayed with her parents in the bush. One day a hawk was hovering around the area and spotted the hen picking on corn. The beauty of the hen was striking, and he couldn't resist approaching her.

He greeted her enticingly and offered to marry her. The hen agreed, and the hawk spoke to her parents, paid the bride price, and they left to the land of the hawk.

A while later, a young cock who lived near the hen's parents home and had been in love with her found out about the marriage. Heartbroken, he purposed to find where she lived and swore to bring her back home. When she found out about her new home, he went at dawn and crowed in his best voice, flapping his wings. Unable to resist the sweet voice, the hen went to him and off they walked together back to her parents. The hawk, who had been watching all these happenings from a distance, was angry and felt betrayed. He demanded a return of the dowry as per the custom, but neither the hen's parents nor the cock could pay him back.

They went to the king of animals, who declared that the hawk could kill and eat the cock's children whenever he found them as payment for his dowry, and if the cock complained, he would not listen to him. From then henceforth, whenever a hawk spots chicks, he swoops down and carries it off.

This story teaches us a valuable lesson about being loyal to each other.

Umqombothi

Umqombothi is a traditional Xhosa beer made from crushed corn malt, maize meal, grounded sorghum malt, water and yeast(traditionally made from the fleshy root of the moerwortel plant, Glia gummifera). The drink is full of minerals, amino acids, vitamin B and much-needed calories.

Method of preparation

The preparation and fermentation process of the beer takes between 4 to 5 days.

A small portion of the wort (the liquid extracted from previously mashing the grain) is removed and put aside. The remaining mash is then cooked to form crusty sediment known as isidudu, which can be taken as porridge.

The isidudu is left to cool for a day and then poured into a clay pot. The wort set aside together with a handful of sorghum malt and maize malt, is then added. A higher maize malt provides a lighter-toned beer with a mild flavour, while the more sorghum malt provides a darker beer. The brewing happens over a fire outside the house.

The brew is then stirred keenly for hours with a traditional wooden spoon(iphini), and the pot covered with a lid and blanket (to retain heat). The mixture is then left overnight in a warm place for fermentation(until bubbles appear and a sour smell is detected).

A matchstick is lit close to the pot to test the readiness of the brew. If it blows out quickly, the brew is ready and vice versa. The fermented mash is then filtered through a tube-shaped, woven grass strainer called an intluzo to remove the spent grain(given to the chicken). Afterwards, the beer is poured into a large communal drum known as a gogogo for sharing.

Significance

✅ Used when contacting the ancestors(amadlozi).

✅ Vital in celebrations like weddings, funerals and imbizos(meetings).

✅ Used to celebrate the homecoming of young men(abakwetha) after initiation and ritual circumcision.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka praised this magical traditional African brew in her song under the same title, umqombothi.

Special Mentions

📌 Haile Selassie I: The Man, the Myth, the Legacy | Ethiopia's Last Emperor - NewAfrica

📌 Algeria & Morocco: the world's most self-destructive rivalry - Caspian Report

📌 Tracing the roots of Benga - Oyunga Pala

WORD OF THE WEEK 📚

Shimboni (Chaga)
Meaning : Mother
Example: Shimboni mae
Translation: Shikamoo mama (Swahili)
By: Jay Bee Lamarck

Contribute

DID YOU KNOW 🤯

Among the Luhya tribes, a woman whose child(ren) had previously died during birth would give their child 'bad or unwanted' names to distract those who might want to harm the child.

In extreme cases where a woman had lost so many children at birth, the newborn would be placed by the roadside so that a stranger might pick it up.

No person would want to harm or be jealous of a child named 'foolish' or who had been picked by the roadside.

PS: The child was not thrown literally by the roadside. Most of the time, the person to pick the child was tipped off, or the mother would disclose herself immediately someone picked up the child.
 
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Special thanks to Stephanie for editing this issue.
Thanks for reading. Remember, it is time to tell our own stories.- Mike