“Before she could reach for her spear, Nyasa collapsed. The shadow of the dead piranha was her last memory.

The silt gradually deposited by the Zui Mui river had given form and shape to its banks.

The Hazanga tribe was enchanted by the banks. They moved from the nearby lands and decided to settle down there.

The Chief of the river dwellers was Onwas.

A red bellied piranha had the sharpest teeth and strongest jaw among all the fish in that river. When the tribe decided to make the riverbank, their home, they had to be safe. They had to be safe to catch fish. Fish that would feed them and earn some money for them. So, Onwas threw a spear and brought an end to the notorious piranha.

Onwas had a seven-year-old daughter at home. Her name was Nyasa.

But as they say, everything comes with a price. Nyasa was the one affected.

When her father killed the piranha, a shadow of the dead fish emerged from it. The dead fish’s shadow cursed Onwas.

It said, “You killed me today. I will make sure that the one you love the most will not live for long either.”

Before Onwas could rush back home to protect his family, his people, the doom had struck.

Nyasa was playing outside her house. Suddenly, she spotted the sun being devoured by a giant shadow. The shadow had a tail like a fish and when she moved her gaze, her eyes spotted the fins and her hand moved in reflex. She wanted to put up a brave fight. However, the piranha’s shadow caught her before she could attack it.

When Onwas reached home, he heard from his people what had happened. They said, Nyasa was cast a spell by the frightening shadow. Soon enough, the spell had turned Nyasa into rock.

Onwas was overcome with grief. His family was still mourning when a little turtle crawled up to their doorstep. It was no ordinary turtle. It could talk. It told Onwas that he could get his daughter back if he promised never to harm any water creature in the river or adjoining lakes anymore. The turtle also asked for two tear drops from Nyasa.

Onwas promised on behalf of himself and his entire tribe to be the protector of all water bodies in that region. The tribe also pledged to change their occupation to farming.

Very soon, Nyasa came back into life from being a rock.

Nyasa became emotional on seeing her family and two crystal tears appeared in her eyes. Onwas spared no moment in collecting them in a clay tumbler and handed it over to the turtle.

The turtle smiled and said, “From tomorrow, these tears will take the form of two lakes. Lake Nyasa and Lake Nungwi. To remind every human that aquatic life is precious. It is as precious as any human life. Peaceful co-existence is a must for a better tomorrow.”



4 thoughts on “Little Nyasa, a better tomorrow

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