“She Was Too Good”: A Conversation with Joe

I met Joe in Liwonde, Malawi on Saturday, February 7, 2015. I accidentally went to Green Bird Restaurant, owned by his sister, and asked for directions to Green Bird Bar (featured in photo). After I left the restaurant to start off on my way, Joe found me and walked with me around the market, as instructed by his mother. He told me this story over a beer. Joe is 42 years old and has one son who lives in Blantyre. Conversation excerpt by Jodi-Ann Burey.

So do you live with your wife?

No, my wife has died some years, maybe two years ago.

I’m sorry to hear that.

Yeah, you know, she did law, she was a lawyer in South Africa. Her company took her to South Africa for a bit of time.

What type of lawyer was she?

Umm, you know when there are people who get hurt, she helped them.

Oh, like an injury lawyer.

Yes, you know it. She was there helping people and I don’t know. To this day no one knows how she died.

Who was she staying with in South Africa?

She was staying with her aunt. She doesn’t know what happened to her. Someone found her body in a ditch. Was it an accident? Did someone kill her. Nobody can tell me.

What do you think happened?

You know, I think they killed her there. You see, here in Malawi you can walk around, no problem. No body gives you problems. But in South Africa, there are places… aye! You know, it can be a bad place. Some people are born to kill.

Why do you think someone would kill her?

When you have something that people don’t have, you can have problems. (Joe points repeated at his temple). She was too good.