Semlawa

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Semlawa Kumekucha

Semlawa wasn’t always a businesswoman. In fact, she was resigned to her role as traditional housewife to ex-soldier Mwamtitu, and mother of their two young children, Semlawa and Mewa. She grows home-use crops such as beans, maize and vegetables and has amassed a healthy herd of goats at her smallholding in Lunyanja. She is like a rope that binds her family together.

Circumstances force Semlawa to develop her innate business acumen. When Mwamtitu is injured in a road accident, Semlawa has to keep the family alive. That means stepping out of her comfort zone into the village and society at large where she has to deal with cynicism, prejudice and rejection before she becomes the agri-businesswoman she knows she can be.

Her relationship with Mwamtitu is strong and sensual. Their roles are well defined – as traditional head of the household he is the decision-maker; Semlawa is the good wife who is never questions him, “as long as he comes home.”

Mwamtitu believes a man is head of the house and his family’s sole provider. He has dreams of succeeding in business but is not nearly as good with money and investments as his wife is. That bothers him. When he is laid up with a serious injury after a road accident, Mwamtitu’s world falls apart. How does a man let his wife take the lead? It’s a terrible dilemma for Mwamtitu. Can he accept that Semlawa may end up being more competent in business than he could ever have been?

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On July 8, 2016
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