Happy New Year. It is not very late to say that, only first month gone. 2014 was a very long year, as one of those rightly observed, a very trying year. Of course, 2015 has started on the extreme side, we have lost a very good Bishop Zuza, and of course, one of the ever smiling warm persons I came across in politics, Mai Ruth Tembo. With almost all interviews in my career as a Journalist with JZU at his area 10 residence or Nyambadwe, travelling with him during the 2009 campaigns, I ended up interacting with the mother of the house often. And whenever she was mentioned "Baba" as we call JZU would beam with pride, as speak of her as "my dietitian." For the Bishop, he loved farming, and I am sure he was coming from his farm in Hesyeni, when called recalled him to his home. We met and spoke at length about farming near my farm after Jenda, he thought it was very unusual for someone of this generation to speak of farming the way I do. May their souls, of these two unique persons Rest In Peace.
But you see, you cant go wrong about Malawi. The land where everyone looks happy, smiles and sometimes offer help when one has not asked it. The floods, deviating and horrible as they were, failed to curb the spirit of sharing that we have. The response, locally I mean from locals, has been overwhelming. People have been asking where can they give a bag of maize, some a piece of cloth. The spirit of a Malawian, who knows how to share and give is evident, that in Machinga, some camps have been disbanded after the food aid delayed, and people opted to open their homes and get the victims and share the little with them.
I have listened to the collaboration by Lulu, Lucius Banda, Skeffa and others. You definitely know that Malawi's warmth and friendly spirit is still part of our national heritage. You cant be wrong with Malawi.
Many start a new year with hope, resolutions and new sense of direction, but we have equally seen many young people working and becoming more creative in almost all fields. Young people have stopped complaining or waiting for jobs from institutions, many are trying hard, to make a difference for themselves. The frequency of Malawians travelling for business to Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, Dubai and China tells a story of a generation that finally is conscious of creating its own destiny.
Of course water and electricity have been a let down, but travelling in many rural areas, solar is slowly replacing the need for light from a service which is inadequate. The trend is that soon, even most urban homes will use renewable energy and institutions that fail to cope up with the changes and demand will be left behind.
Anywhere you drive now, you will see thousands of well tended gardens, full of green maize, tobacco and other crops. The most interesting thing is when someone accuses Malawians of being lazy. How? has been my answer, millions of tonnes of crops are harvested after cultivating using only a hoe and human labour. We have even fed agriculturally advanced neighbours without machinery and you think they are lazy. No pay a fair price, create right market conditions and let the world trade freely then poverty will be really reduced.
Finally, as I wonder in my thoughts why you cant go wrong about Malawi, is the art of story telling. There many wonderful tales, about mysterious nsima on Mulanje mountain, or Chipoka wa woli at Njakwa in Rumphi, the Cattle in Chiweta and the Phoka, or Chingwe Hole on Zomba Plateau, Mwalawanthunzi whistling in Thyolo, Chisapo Cha mbuzi, and many others, nobody has really experienced what you are told or face, but everyone has repeated them. Of course the beautiful ghost of Area 18 round about inclusive.
But 2014, ended on high note with the tale of Beans of Biwi. I heard the story from five people, so the version is an abridged version of the same. The beans were allegedly stolen by a trader and were en-route to the market when they started slapping the theif. The thief dumped them at Biwi, and everyone says there are still there, but everybody had no time to take me to see the thief slapping beans. With so many reported robberies, surely you cant go wrong to hire the thief-slapping-beans from Biwi, at least its a tale that closed 2014 tales.
Of course story telling or nthano is one area you cannot go wrong about my country. A blessed new year to all of you!