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With the late Raphael Tenthani, the Blantyre-Lilongwe road trip always had to be
punctuated with a stopover, somewhere around Ntcheu, for ngumbi or mbewa or both, depending on availability. It just had to happen. One evening, we ran out of luck. Or so I thought.

Driving to Blantyre, we left Lilongwe quite late and by the time we got to Ntcheu, the

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The writer with Raphael Tenthani

young boys and girls who would normally wave their goods to passer-by traffic had retreated to their homes. But Raphael, like a stubborn little child, wanted his fix and we had to look for it. So, in the thick of the night, we parked our car on the main road and started the search for ngumbi or mbewa or whichever was available.

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