Economic Miracle With A Kitchen Garden

BY: Dan Phale*

This is my third time for me to publish a post related to kitchen gardens since I created this blog on WordPress a couple of years ago. I am, actually, publishing this article with all reasons to proudly say that I am a regular kitchen gardener, filled up to the brim of my mind with a keen interest in sharing with everybody what positive things a kitchen garden can bring in our lives.

It appears that there is an imbalance of of life as characterised by insufficient human needs. Actually, most of us have much less earning capacity than the ever rising cost of living. And this makes it a requirement for all of us to have viable and diverse means of sustaining our livelihood at household level, both in the short term and long term. In fact, one of the short term means, in accordance with my mother’s advice, happens to be the creation of a kitchen garden.

Managing The Kitchen Garden is not all that challenging. Let us bear in mind that the soil needs to be regularly boosted, and we can do this by adding composite manure both before and after planting vegetables; or we can plant nitrate fixing plants. If we rare chicken or guinea fowls or ducks on free range basis, we should ponder erecting a woven bamboo fence, or a wire mesh fence, or a twine mesh fence around the garden with an aim of keeping them away from the vegetables.

After planting, it is also very important to ensure there is adequate moisture in the garden. This is achieved through a number of ways, for example, adequate and regular irrigation and mulching. And in terms of irrigation, we have to create basin-like planting stations which allow water to go deeper into the soil so that our vegetables do not wither.

It is further vital for us to randomly plant shrubs around the garden with an aim of providing some shade for the vegetables. The shade provided by the shrubs helps in shielding the vegetables from the scorching sunlight, and the soil doesn’t get dry just anyhow.

Benefits Of A Kitchen Garden are quite numerous. For instance, we are able to get healthy and fresh vegetables which are highly enriched in all the nutritive values within our compound; wasteland around our compound is made useful as well as productive; waste materials like the sweepings and/or the droppings are accessed easily and/or cheaply as in comparison with manufactured fertilizer; there is a reasonable saving of the cost of buying vegetables.

Well, the savings cannot be seen in just overnight. But after a period of time, let us quantify vegetables so far consumed, we surely realise that there is a huge saving in this initiative. At the meantime, for instance, there are mustard leafy vegetables in my kitchen garden which, in view of my estimation, will help me save the sum of K8, 000.00 which is equivalent to the sum of US10 dollars in a period of three months… This means, for the whole year, a substantial amount of money can be saved.

Let us take notice of the fact that we can also plant medicinal herbal crops in our kitchen gardens. Actually, this initiative shall ease the task of moving up and down in the quest for the herbs in times of need because they will be readily available for use… And to some extent, such plants – skillfully intercropped with vegetables – do add some colour to the beautiful scenery of the surrounding of our compound.

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The But-why Method In Countering Poor Duty Standards

BY: Dan Phale*

Most of the times many managers and supervisors in various work institutions tend to groan about poor standards of services discharged by those who are under their command. However they seem to have very little or no time to make an in-depth analysis of everything in a bid to understand why such is the case. It is in this regard that I have decided to publish this article so that we discuss some of the various issues that negatively affect performance of the duty bearers.

First and foremost, we need to come to terms with the fact that there are quite many people who are well educated but are not employed. In a sharp contrast, those who are entrusted with the duty to work in certain fields are not suitably qualified for the job. Rather, they are recruited on the basis of nepotism, or regionalism, or tribalism, and so on and so forth. Usually, such are the people who do not perform their duties to the required best standards.

Let us check around, and we shall find out that even promotions are not done on merits… Not at all. Those with strong extraordinary unprofessional strings attached to their existence in work institutions have an upper hand to be elevated from one position to the next level than those without. The latter group of workers can, thus, work for many years without being considered for promotion let alone some kind of incentives; and, calling a spade a spade, they feel quite disappointed as well discouraged. Just imagine that somebody who has always portrayed a vast professional character and experience is at the receiving end of discriminatory and unfair treatment by his or her superiors.

Abuse of power and corrupt practices are other factors which have negative impact on delivery of services. What has horns cannot be wrapped in a sack… No matter how long it may be hidden, one day the horns shall protrude out, and the secret will be known by everybody. As a matter of fact leaders must lead by good examples; otherwise, eventually almost all junior employees will think that this is the right way to go. The wise old folks in Africa say that “when the chief limps, his subjects also limp.” You know, evil starts like a small seed and after germination it spreads like an oak tree.

In other circumstances, a superior in rank does not want to get views from those under his or her command. Even if he or she doesn’t know what to do, or goes astray in the line of duty, he or she doesn’t want or doesn’t accommodate views from the junior staff. Such are the know-it-all members of management. And this tendency is detrimental to the outcome of the intended objectives and goals.

There is another bad syndrome among some managers. More often than not, their eyes are blind such that they don’t seem to notice the good performance and achievements made by their junior workers. But when a very little mistake is committed, they swiftly produce insulting words or take very harsh administrative actions with little or no regard to the requirement of natural justice… This is very unfair.

Over and above, leadership is another key aspect in management of duties at every institution. How can there be the best quality services under unskilled and unsound leadership? And the issue of payments cannot be overemphasized; whereas little perks that are insufficient to match with the current cost of living are also a potential cause of poor performance of workers.

All in all, such issues as favouritism, abuse of power and corruption, unsound leadership, among other issues, bring about frustration among workers. And frustration is a catalyst for their poor standards in discharging duties. It is high time managers stopped being biased towards the selected group of their subordinates.

Some Human Beings Are More Inhuman Than Lucifer

BY: Dan Phale*

Miracle, extremely hopeless and in huge emotional and psychological pain, cried out loudly, “Where shall I go to? Who shall I approach to help me? Where shall I begin from, and how shall I begin it? My heavenly Father, why have you forsaken me…?” She sobbed, lamenting as she didn’t have any idea what to do in order to get herself out of an abyss of intricate problems.

The old wise folks have a proverb which says life is a teacher. However, at times its lessons are so excruciatingly painful. Miracle was born from a very poor lady whose husband passed away soon after her conception about seventeen years ago. As she grew up, Miracle’s mother found herself between a rock and a hard place as she struggled singlehandedly to raise financial resources. The money was not only to be used for the general well-being of the household but also for her daughter’s education. But her efforts proved futile. And this situation made life profusely unbearable for both Miracle and her single mother.

Now it happened that Miracle had just made it into the secondary school. Her caring mother continued striving in all possible ways to make ends meet so as to pay her school fees. But later on the heavens were not on her side as her mother fell critically ill… and due to the ever pressing poverty she had nothing to do in order to help her terminally sick mother. So she thought of moving up and down in the quest for money… Whether through working, or begging, but she vowed to find money so that she would take her dear mother to the hospital. At some point she met a certain rich man who, upon hearing her situation, took her to his house so as to give her a financial hand. But when they got there she was told that he would not give money to her unless on condition that she had sexual intercouse with him. Forced sexual intercouse. As if this was not enough, she was barred from leaving back until five days elapsed. What a great challenge…

The ruthless rich man took advantage of her predicament to enslave and torture her… Suffice to say that five days later Miracle was given some money and was released from the bondage and allowed to go home. However, upon getting there she found her mother dead. Too sad.

Well, three months after burial of her mother, she made a bold decision to go ahead with secondary education. In this regard she sold some of the household properties in order to realise money which she would use to pay for tuition fees and the like. But she didn’t know what lied ahead of her life. She was not feeling okay; and when she visited the clinic, she was told she was pregnant. And, according to education rules, this led to her dismissal from school. Again, with very tough moral bye laws, she was banished from the community. There and then she became a hopeless vagabond. As a matter of fact, the cross was, day by day, becoming too heavy for her to carry. She, thus became so much disturbed that she nearly committed suicide.

One day she caught sight of a signpost which said “The home of orphans” and she felt an assurance that she would find solace. Hence she walked into the compound. But in a twist of events, what she was about to face there was quite contrary. The owner and in charge, by the name of Bertha, was the human and/or child trafficker. She harboured quite a number of orphaned girls who were forced to have sexual intercouse such that they could conceive and give birth to babies that should then be sold away to childless couples. If any girl was caught attempting to escape, she was subjected to severe torture and/or death.

Miracle’s heart felt like bulging out of the chest cavity as she got these horrific instructions. It also came to her notice that the rich man who impregnated her was the one who slept with the girls in this compound. However, as the wise words tell us that even the darkest night cannot prevent the light of the morning, at the far end of the dark tunnel of her anxiety, despair and misery, there came light of miracle in Miracle’s life.

The law enforcers were tipped about slavery and trauma the orphaned girls were going through. And before Miracle gave birth to her baby, the heavily armed law enforcers raided the place and apprehended Bertha and her accomplice. Meanwhile the heartless Bertha and her accomplice are serving a life prison term with hard labour.

The Eldest Child Versus The Family’s Only Son

BY: Dan Phale*

A crisis which rocked the Solomons’ family in the recent past is probably the worst. Now and again there was noise of squabbles in the compound. And more often than not such conflicts resulted in fierce fighting among children. Family members thus became a regular subject of gossip and fun across the community… Let’s find out more.

About five decades ago, Solomon got married to a lady of his youth in his own community. After a year or so, they were blessed with a child; it was a girl child. The two were averagely happy. However, as per their culture, a man ought to have a son so that after his death he would be the custodian and in charge of all his legacy. Without a son, matrilineal people would grab the deceased property from the bereaved household.

My wife,” Solomon said to Brenda one morning as they were in their field, busy taking good care of their crop plants. “I know that you know what our traditional custom stipulates about a need for a couple to have a son family.”

Yes, my dear husband, I’m very much aware of this traditional requirement,” Brenda commented, somehow puzzled, and she continued, “This topic surprises me. Else, you must be up to something, Solomon, I suppose…”

But Solomon interrupted her, saying, “It is not that I’m up to something strange here. It’s about you and me, and our entire household. It’s about the future of our family… You know our first born child is a girl, and we are supposed to have a boy who shall be responsible for the custodianship and management of the deceased property when I am died and buried.”

Don’t worry my husband. Just like I’ve told you countless times, I’ll give you a male child. In fact, I have a good news for you, which I was intending to tell you at the right time tonight in our bedroom as a beloved husband and a wife. But for the very reason that you have initiated the topic here, I should disclose it right here and now. The good news I’m talking about is that I’m carrying the second child, and I’ve been reliably told by the prophet that it’s a boy.”

Having heard this from his wife, Solomon was all smiles. He then jumped up and down with great pleasure… In fact, he became hysterical to the extent that he was too quick to suggest that his son would be called Solomon Junior… And when the gestation period was over Solomon’s wife went to the maternal clinic. Such was a very crucial moment because she gave birth to a baby girl. The fact that the so-called prophecy was proved to be a false prophecy irked him much more; it was like an insult which worsened the relationship in his house. Instead of praising and thanking God for giving them a baby, his mouth vented curses against the heavens. Furthermore, he challenged his wife that he would rather marry the second or third wife until a time when he would have a son.

Fulfilling his words, he took the second wife and brought him to the compound. Finally a baby boy was born, lifting high Solomon’s spirits. But the worst events were yet to unfold, following his son’s birth. It happened that soon after a son was born, the polygamist ordered his first wife to vacate the house they had been living together and to relocate to the other house which was not in a very habitable condition. In his wisdom, he did this for the purpose of letting his second wife and the son to come into house.

The second wife gave birth to the second child; this time being a girl who is the last born child. Solomon had a negative attitude towards his first wife and, of course, his first two daughters. Most of the times he spent his free time with his son; as such he got the lion’s share of his fatherly care and love as the most favourite of all children.

It happened one day that there was a fight among the children as a result of a conflict which bordered on the issue of who was to sweep around the compound. Their mothers attempted to stop the fight but failed. When he came out of the house, Solomon was highly concerned, and he collapsed… He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. In fact he died of hypertension.

The sudden death of Solomon Senior was followed by a series of horrible times in the compound as the first child struggled against Solomon Junior over control and management of the family property. In fact Junior could not allow anybody to push him from his traditionally conferred position in the entire polygamous family, whereas the first child – also being the one born from the first marriage – didn’t want to be treated as a trespasser in the compound.

relationship continued in the family until such a time when the ghost of the late Solomon Senior appeared to the disagreeing children in a dream each one night. The ghost that looked highly troubled confessed that it was his own fault when he was still alive to instill hostile feelings in their minds against each other by according them unequal fatherly care and love. The remorseful ghost also advised them to reconcile and enhance harmony, love and peace among themselves. Upon waking up Solomon Junior and his elder sister reconciled. Since then, all the family members are united and staying peacefully.

Recently Married Couple Separated By War

BY: Dan Phale*

Harris and Ruth had just been married at a wedding ceremony which was officiated by the most senior pastor of their church. Time was due for them to begin their new life as a husband and wife, as one flesh. They had been patiently waiting for this moment all the five years of courtship… And now they drove to their new home, a few kilometers away from their home community. Each contributed money they earned from their businesses and bought a plot of land where they constructed a very magnificent mansion. Harris and Ruth were a dairy farmer and a fashion designer respectively.

Their brand new Mercedes Benz was parked in the garage. Having alighted, Harris instructed the house servant to open the boot, collect everything from there and take them into the house. As the obedient housemaid was busy with that task, the just married partners walked abreast into their new descent home, straight to their bedroom. Every second which passed each one of them became impatiently overburdened with a strong want to taste the feeling of each other’s lips… Inside their matrimonial room, almost magnetically, each found oneself in the embrace of the other.

They sank into their bed, and lied on their sides, still holding and facing each other. In the first place, they zoomed in on what their wedding ceremony felt like. Suddenly there developed a silence as both felt entirely strange to be locked alone in the bedroom. Then they rolled such that Harris came atop. He started by kissing her cheeks, before planting more romantic kisses over her perfectly curved body, arousing her in the process. She responded quickly by giving herself to him… They uncontrollably rolled up and down, exchanging positions as they felt nothing but a romantic ecstasy. She wrapped her arms around his neck, holding his head in the right position so that their lips interlocked. Indeed this foreplay was their glorious moment.

After minutes of caressing and kisses, while enjoying such indescribable heat that radiated from each other and the gasps which escaped from their mouths, they took off their clothes. Ruth’s body began trembling with higher levels of sensation… This time, she put her arms around his back, as she arched her back off the mattress, pulling him tighter and harder against her own tender body, as they continued kissing. At the same time she also felt his heart pounding inside his chest cavity, and his erratic breathing against her face. Their naked bodies were even warmer and more magnetic to each other, as they were eager and ready to dispossess their virginity.

A knock on their door by the housemaid could not be heard as their ears only picked their moans of pleasure inside the bedroom. Finally they heard it as the servant banged the door louder. And, assuming she had come to give them supper, the newly wedded couple felt somehow disturbed as they opened their mouths concurrently, saying, “We’ll eat our supper later on…”

But the house servant interjected; she said, “N-no, it’s not about supper… Of course I’m almost done with cooking, but I’m to say that there are visitors outside the gate who say are in urgent need of the master. But, you have to be careful when you go to meet them because they sound not to have come in peace.”

Putting on boxer shorts, a T-shirt, and a pair of sandals, Harris hurried out to see what actually they had come at that evening hour. And as per the housemaid’s advice, before he opened the gate, he had to peek through the a security hole on the gate. His eyes caught sight of a group of masked men, each of whom armed with at least an assault rifle and other dangerous weapons… He returned, shouting, “Oh, m-my God, we’re under attack…! L-let’s escape out of here…!” But in a blink of an eye, the attackers broke through the gate and entered into the compound. Some of them pursued him, while others got inside the mansion.

The masked men were members of the fighters belonging to a certain terrorist group, and had been deployed to wage war apparently to destabilise the once peaceful country… Suffice to say that the amazing grace of the merciful God of was upon all the three occupants of the house as they managed to flee for their dear lives. Harris jumped out over the fence, whereas Ruth and the housemaid drove the Mercedes Benz out through the small gate in the backyard. As for Ruth, when the vehicle ran out of fuel, they simply dumped it on the road. However, it’s good that they were safe. The other problem, nonetheless, is that Harris and Ruth went quite different directions. And ten years down the line they have never heard from each other, as such they doubt if they shall meet again.

This is but one example of what war can bring about in human life… Significant public social amenities get destroyed. Families are displaced, and properties that were actually acquired through hard work are easily lost… Generally, life is excruciatingly unbearable. And in this particular story, it is such an extremely painful reality that although Harris and Ruth left the war-torn country, the war has not left their minds because their lives are in a very bad state. Their life expectations, goals and vision became abruptly shattered as they lost all their assets and/or capital… And, currently, wherever each of them is staying, he or she is more likely to be unable to make ends meet in order to meet the high cost of living.

Fundamental Human Rights And Responsibilities

BY: Dan Phale*

For a long time we have been witnessing all sorts of barbaric actions perpetrated by various people all over the world. And these perpetrators include employees, merchants, or students from different education institutions, or other groups of people. When a journalist attempts to get their explanation as to the reasons for the violence, they say that they only do that as a matter of exercising their human right to freedom of expression… But, is this a human right? NO…! In the strongest terms, I for one hereby raise an objection. This argument is very misleading and, of course, unlawful.

Of course it is very true that everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth by the laws. It is further true that all and sundry expect such rights and freedoms must be protected and/or upheld by those who are legally obliged. However, in the exercise of such rights and freedoms, everyone is subject to such limitations as determined by law… It should be understood, in accordance with Article 29(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that the limitations are aimed at securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in the entire society.

It is very sad to take notice of the high frequency of the violent scenes across the world. Such chaotic scenes always result in the public social amenities such as health facilities, schools – and many more – being destroyed. In fact, this creates a situation in which the innocent and vulnerable people are subjected to excruciating pains in life. Families are displaced, children become orphans, and people lose their limbs, or even die, all because of the inconsiderate, and irresponsible conduct of disgruntled people. And it takes millions of financial resources and energy to recover from such catastrophic impacts.

As we have already observed from the cited law above, human rights and freedoms must be enjoyed a manner that is constructive. Calling a spade a spade, there are some ill-mannered individuals who only want to achieve their selfish goals by take an advantage of social mistakes committed by those in authority to achieve their selfish goals.

What we need are peace and stability. We can then do a lot things that will contribute towards the progress of our societies. If somebody feels his or her rights and freedoms have been violated let us follow the right procedure.

Let The Children Attain Bright Future

BY: Dan Phale *

One of my colleagues, Gerald Namisisi, who also happens to be my bosom friend, is a musician. I never knew this until two weeks ago when he shared with me one of his songs which is entitled Ana asukulu. In English it can well be translated as school children… The song is aimed at disseminating a very appealing message to all adults who are devoid of good humane feelings and behaviour towards little children.

In his song, Gerald begins by telling the listeners that he has been sent by the children. It must be generally construed that he is sent because of children are one of the vulnerable groups of human beings in the entire world, and this fact is indisputable. He proceeds to ask why on earth an woman, a man, as well as a teacher would want to be in love with a young girl or a young boy, or indecently assault the young girl or a boy… Then the musician who is also a police officer humbly relays a message from the school children not to arbitrarily interfere with their freedom and right to education.

Well, having listened to the song, I have become addicted to it so that I don’t spend a day without playing it. In fact it has become the most favourite song in my library, and at the time when I was considering publishing this article I was repeatedly listening to it.

Yes, it is very sad to take notice of the fact that most adults are driven by the insatiable lust to have sexual intimacy and/or intercourse with little children. Others have even reached an alarming extent of abducting or trafficking little children in order to achieve sexual satisfaction. The most painful reality is that all the abducted or trafficked children are exposed to indescribable trauma in various ways, which include among others, contracting sexually transmitted infections. And the scar is psychologically indelible. Some are even murdered by the perpetrators as way of preventing a disclosure of the ordeal.

Actually it is common knowledge that children are the future leaders of the world. The wise folks in my country – Malawi – say that “A child is a child of everyone.” Let us empower them both educationally and morally so that they will grow into responsible adults. Let us protect them for the sake of the future generation.

By the very virtue of the foregoing I strongly urge for such laws with the most deterrent and retributive penalties for the perpetrators of such barbaric and irresponsible conducts. All the justice administration agents, and of course everybody, must tirelessly work hand in hand in order to curb the vice. A stitch in time saves nine… It is now or never.