The third of March is Martyr's Day in Malawi. It is etched in my brain. We were terrified of it. It is a day to commemorate the lives of 40 people who were killed during an uprising against the Federation in 1959. All we knew as schoolkids under the Banda regime in Malawi was that we weren't allowed to do ANYTHING on that day. School closed. They certainly didn't want the responsibility of keeping 300 boarders locked up in their dorms for the day. They sent us all off on half term.
My parents would usually drive up from Zambia to take us out of school and we would go to the lake. Which was great. Except we weren't allowed to do anything. On Martyr's day you had to stay indoors and mourn. No going outside. No listening to the radio. Nothing. They had spies walking the beach. I swear. The dining room at our house on the lake was separate from our bedroom - like about 50metres away and we had to dash outside to go and eat. I was always terrified of getting caught being outside.. And NO laughing! I am a laugher. And a loud one. It was torture! One guy was caught washing his car and got sent to prison for a year. Imagine, getting released one year later, on Martyr's day again and dancing a little jig outside the prison for being let out. Excuse me sir, you showed joy, back inside for another year you go. Hahaha
The Banda regime in Malawi. Ah, another post, another time