The year of Hunger

The Year of Hunger.

Once upon a time there was a terrible drought in Venda. Everybody was suffering severely but the baboons that lived in the mountains were the worst off. They were about to die of hunger. At his desperate point they had an urgent meeting and decided to send one of then to go and work for the Venda King down in the valley. Who will they send? Just then a beautiful baboon called Nyamuleli waked past. They grabbed her and skinned her alive and a lovely young girl appeared.
"Now, Nyamuleli, Listen carefully to us. You are to go and work for the Venda King down there in the valley. Your fist chores will definitely be to pound mealies and fetch water. Remember how we are suffering and when you go down to the river hide a small pot of mealies under a rock so as to keep us alive"

Nyamuleli trembled but agreed to save her relations.
At the homestead of the Venda King she was immediately brought to the king and he was impressed by her beauty. The chores of a new wife were always to pound mealies at night and to fetch water. Every morning she hid some mealies for her desperate family but after a while the other wives of the Venda King became suspicious and
Nyamuleli stopped stealing food.
"Look at her down there in the valley!" the other baboons said."She is fat and shiny and has forgotten her suffering relatives." They decided to teach her a lesson. Everyone who could play. a musical instrument, drums, or mbila, or who could sing gathered and marched down to the musanda (the Kings homestead) singing:

Nyamuleli forgot her blanket
Nyamuleli forgot her blanket of baboon skin  
the venda king thought it was great fun and ordered all ]his wives and children to come and listen to the musical performance. Everybody joined in the fun except
Nyamuleli, who recognized her family members.
"Where is my beautiful young Wife?" the King asked.
"Bring her, everybody must be here and have some fun."

Nyamuleli was forced to watch.
Nyamuleli forgot her blanket
Nyamuleli forgot her blanket of baboon skin
The troop danced closer and closer to Nyamuleli and suddenly the leader flung the old baboon skin over
Nyamuleli and there she changed back into a baboon  again,
"Ocho, ocho, ocho," the bbaboons shouted as they ran away.
The King watched as they scattered towards the dry mountains and said, "Good heavens, and all this time I have been married to a baboon."

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