The Child that Loved Poverty

Here is a story:

There once was a village and in that village there lived a chief. The chief had one child, a daughter. He was a very rich man but the daughter was fed up with eating delicious food. The daughter would often ask: What is poverty? The father would then reply: Poverty is a terrible thing. Don’t seek it or you will surely suffer.

When one of the villagers returned home from his mine, he wanted to marry the chief’s daughter. She refused because she longed to marry a poor man but her father told her off: If you marry a poor man, don’t come back to me. After several days went by, a poor man came along. This time she accepted him. The chief tried to stand in their way but his daughter refused to change her mind. The chief realised it was no use trying to hold them back from marriage so he gave up and they wed. As they started living together, they began to suffer greatly, eating the worst food imaginable.

She became very ill and then she contracted an unknown illness. They tried to treat her with medicine, but all in vain. Finally, she died in great pain.

And that is the end of our story.

The moral of the story: thus, let us not run from (or disobey) our parents, because the disobedient child comes to grief. Sometimes in their pride people ask for trouble by not following advise or God’s commandments.

The Mambwe proverbs say: Where it was thatched (badly), it will keep on leaking (Na pavimbwe, apanyeke); People, like fish, follow the water (Antu inswi, zikalondela manzi); He who pays no attention to the advice of elders grows a beard on his back (Cintuvwa vya yakulu, wamelili vilezu kwitundu); The child who does not listen is taken by an earache by surprise (Mwana wamukana kuvwa, aliucilu mulembu mw’ikutwi); The servant is never above the master (Muomvi, atalusile pali sikulu wakwe).

Subjects: disobedience – grief – misfortune – not following God’s commandments – pride – troubles


Written by Stanislaus Sinyangwe, 07th of September 1994.