The clay child: A story told by Mwachosa Mwale

There was a woman who could not bear children. In other words she was barren. To have no child was for her a serious problem .  So she had different  thoughts about how to get  one.  She thought of moulding a child out of clay. It took her just a few days to mould it. Finishing her work, she was proud to have managed to get a child and she named it Ngoza. She bought clothes and all necessities for the child. Happily, the woman ran to show her husband the child. „But this child can not talk, how can we call it our child?“ asked the husband. „There are a lot of children on earth who can not talk , why not us having one?“ she replied. The husband agreed to keep the clay child and take care of it. He advised his wife to make sure that the child never gets wet. „If you see that it is about to rain, you must always run to keep Ngoza away from the rain“. This is how she was advised. She agreed to do as advised by her husband, as she never wanted to lose the child.

When the couple went to the field, they always left the child playing with friends. Whenever it was about to rain, the woman started to sing while calling her clay child Ngoza.

Story teller: Audience:
Ngoza! Ngoza! come back The clouds are angry
if you see the rain coming The clouds are angry

The woman saw the black clouds. She ran and ran to take away Ngoza from the rain. She took the child home. The same procedure continued for about a month.

One day as the couple was at the field they saw that it was about to rain but they ignored it. They thought it would not rain. They worked and worked hard in their field. Suddenly it started to rain. The couple ran home to save the clay child.  When they reached home they found Ngoza had melted. The couple was very sad again and could not stop crying for their clay child Ngoza.  People from the village came to console them. They were told not to worry because real human beings are also dying everyday.


Recorded by Author  10.07.2016, Mambo village, Zambia

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