Things We See in Blantyre: Money in Underwear

Hello, I know it’s been a while, I’m sorry for leaving you hanging. But, I recently had writer’s block which literally had me feeling done. However, after reading Onyinye Udeh’s Things We See in Lagos,” I figured that I could write my own. Only this time, I want to share with you the Things We See in Blantyre. This will be a series of posts shared about some of the best and ridiculous things you will see in the city I was born in.

Before I start sharing with you, let’s make one thing clear. The Blantyre I talk of is the commercial city of Malawi, and not the town in Scotland. However, the city is named after David Livingstone’s birthplace in Scotland.

Unlike Lilongwe, which is the capital city and the biggest city in the country, Blantyre is relatively smaller. Not as small as Zomba or Mzuzu, but still small enough. Most people from Lilongwe say two steps in Blantyre and you’ve seen it all. However, one can’t dismiss its beauty and craziness that are hidden by the surrounding hills and buildings.

Things we see in Blantyre

One thing for sure that you’ll see in Blantyre is…….

Broke people that love to party

If you’re from Blantyre, don’t roll your eyes because you know it is true. It is a running joke that people from this beautiful city will share a bill, even if the liquor costs $5. And that isn’t a total lie.

While we have a fair share of rich kids who become sponsors, others are as broke as the day they were born. When a bottle of a spirit is bought, it is silently agreed that no chaser be available. That way, we get wasted as soon as possible.

Recently, fly kids have been putting undiluted spirits in bottles of expensive beers or ciders. All of it as a fashion statement so that people think they are drinking something expensive.

Like they say, you are your own dust, own it. Lol

Another thing you will see in the commercial…..

Money in underwear, gotta make it secure

Let me tell you a story. One day, I was easily chatting away on my phone as I was in line at the bank. In front of me stood a man that looked to be from the rural areas. He seemed fidgety, uncomfortable.

For the most part, I was in his shoes because we had been standing for some 30 minutes. One was bound to be tired. Slowly, we inches closer to the teller.

Three people were now ahead of the man and something weird happened. With no warning, this man dipped his hand inside his pants to retrieve a stash of money.

One would think he had retrieved it from his boxers. But no, my big eyes had seen something that made me realize the money was way in deep. You see, as he was inserting his hand inside the pants, I had gotten curious to check. The money was never retrieved from the sides, but rather the center (crotch area). Plus, his dodolido had peaked.

He seemed proud to have made the money survive till then. In slow motion, I watched him go to the teller and hand in the cash. With no gloves, the lady behind the counter begun counting until a deposit was made.

I felt sick, my stomach was turning. Since then, I have seen both men and women retrieve money from the undergarments, socks, shoes and other insane places. All to make sure that their money is not stolen.

Things We See in Blantyre

Things we see in Blantyre, we see the darnest things……

Men playing bawo are sometimes richer than the men in suits

In Blantyre, you will find places like Pa Ziboliboli or Wenela. Places were men go early morning and sit under the sun playing different board games. One might think them fools, but they are men seeing to it that millions of money is moved during the day.

Their actual hustle is a secret one dares not talk about openly. But as the sun goes down, they will seat in circles, sharing the profits made during the day.

They might look cheap, but have more to them than me, a person that seats in the office with my shirt tucked. They make so much that if it were to be revealed, one would call it cap.

Blantyre is a beautiful city. Hopefully, this series will not only make you want to visit, but give you a clue of the city I call home.

16 thoughts on “Things We See in Blantyre: Money in Underwear

  1. Now this was both informative and hilarious.
    I can only imagine what it feels like to live in such city where money is deposited in the underwear.
    Thank you for this!

  2. Fascinating that people still use the “protected areas” to store and safeguard their cash. It used to be a common practice in Lilongwe especially for rural based individuals to keep money in bras or other areas but its less prominent nowadays. I remember one time a lady brought out soaked notes from her bra. Otherwise the hygiene aspect of such practices really are inconsiderate of bank tellers as well as other customers who will served immediately after the culprits.

  3. Hahaha I’ve experienced these things in this beautiful city of ours, that’s why I love it. Keep on keeping on gal

  4. I love this! I left Malawi (Blantyre) at a very young age but still feel a strong connection. It’s hard to explain to people what it’s like there but really enjoyed reading this piece and could picture it all in my head. I’ll be looking out for more!

  5. You should also observe what happens at mibawa bus terminal and the bus stand just after the flea market. Surely you will be astonished 😆😆😆. Lots of stories to tell. Keep on girl

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