Love your language

Last week, social media and traditional media were abuzz over Flames player Dalitso Sailesi’s post-match interview. The majority of those who took to social media ridiculed the football star for responding to a question in the vernacular—Chichewa to be specific.
 A lot has been said about the whole scenario, but what caught my attention was how many Malawians felt “embarrassed” by Sailesi’s decision to speak Chichewa at an international stage. Sailesi should have never ever spoken Chichewa because that is very “embarrassing” and somewhat “primitive” and showed how intellectually-challenged the player is, so they say.
 This scenario made me realise that we still have many Malawians who are yet to embrace the cultural and linguistic diversity that exists in our country.  Many Malawians do not realise that people have a right to express themselves freely in any language. If one thinks they can express themselves better in Chiyao, so be it. No one should be gagged.
 It also showed me tha…

Unruly drivers must face the law

Unruly drivers, many of whom manage to get a licence without appearing for a driving test, are a major menace on the roads. These drivers are reckless, change lanes to create traffic congestion on the road, over-speed and have no regard for other road users.

There are many such drivers, but, minibus drivers top the list of most unruly, annoying and a-pain-in-the-neck-drivers. These drivers break traffic laws with impunity and when caught, they cry foul.
These drivers pack people into their minibuses as if they are packing bags of Irish potatoes. When passengers try to protest, they have the audacity to tell them to go hire a car or to keep quiet.
Minibus drivers do their trade as though the law doesn’t apply to them. Thumbs up to the road traffic authorities for reminding them that there are traffic laws that must be respected and adhered to. It’s either they abide by the law or ship out.
The laws governing their business have been there for some time. For instance, minibus drivers a…

Mayaya is the man

Without beating about the bush, activist Billy Mayaya is the man. He is the only Malawian so far that I have seen that is able to stand up to government whenever there are injustices. He does not mope about economic or social ills prevalent in the country on Facebook, Twitter or within the confines of his home, he publicly expresses his displeasure at a government that pays a blind eye to sufferings of Malawians. Mayaya does not wait until the streets are filled with people to validate his cause, he simply does what he feels needs to be done at a particular time. While the rest of us the timid sit and watch even though we know things are going wrong, Mayaya is not afraid to pick up his placard and march in the streets even if it means doing it alone with a horde of people laughing at him. He does not relent—now that is courage that is not in many of us. We are good at complaining behind we rarely pluck enough courage to face them. It’s either we cultivate this habit or politicians wi…

Yes, this nonsense has to stop

President Peter Mutharika needs to have a candid talk with his communication team. It is obvious that the team misled him if the anger he displayed at the press briefing last week is anything to go by. I do not see anything wrong in asking the President to explain why Malawi had such a big entourage at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). I do not see political witch-hunting, either. Gerald Viola should have known better than fanning APM’s anger with his ridiculous statements about the media. Taxpayers have every right to ask for a report on how their money was spent. Even if Malawi had sent only six people to UNGA, Malawians would be right to ask how their hard earned money was spent on those six people.
At that press briefing, Mr President you were not talking to the media, but to Malawians through the media, let us be clear here. You were expected to give Malawians your report about the trip to UNGA, to which they sent. Talking to them in such condescending manner was unwarr…

Let’s embrace cultural, linguistic diversity

Last week as I was coming froma friend’s wedding at Comesa Hall at Trade Fair in Blantyre, I was booed, threatened and called all sorts of nasty names by a group of men. They shouted and uttered almost every unprintable word they could. I was called hule, mfiti, chitsiru, wakuba (whore, witch, fool and thief) but that’s just the few words I can write, the rest were obscene utterances.
One of the men blatantly told me that if he had a gun with him, he would have just shot me dead. Mtundu uwu ndiofunika kungowupha (this tribe should be killed). He continued: Ine kungokhala president ndikhoza kungowathamangitsa anthu amenewa. Amabowa (If I were president of this country, I would chase this tribe out of Malawi).
The only crime I committed was to speak Chitumbuka which according to these men, disgusts them. I was told when in Malawi I should be speaking Chichewa which according to them is the only true local language. I was  told that Tumbukas are foreigners in Blantyre hence they ought not …

Bushiri is an unnecessary distraction

News flash: Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, Major One, Papa is in town. The Major one landed at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Lilongwe on Thursday to an elated crowd of people, mostly his followers—we cannot completely rule out, though, some curious on-lookers and those who simply wanted to ascertain that the Major One indeed flew on his own aircraft. Bushiri has earned himself the ‘man of the moment’ title, thanks to the ‘capturing’ sermon and a reincarnation of one of the famous Biblical miracles—Jesus walking on water. But he was sensitive enough not to let people confuse him with Jesus, so he chose to walk in air. The social media is buzzing with talk about the “go deeper” famed prophet. He is being talked about in pubs, minibuses and homes too, of course, not for the good reasons, but because of the suspicious miracles and his flamboyance. I have no problem with those who cheer or jeer at the self-acclaimed man of God—they are within their right. However, my problem with the w…

Female condom, a scarce commodity

It has been 20 years since the first female condom came on the market but over 13 years since Malawi launched it, as the only female-initiated preventive measure against unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Female condoms remain largely marginalised and inaccessible in Malawi even when studies show that there is some high level of awareness and acceptability in the country.

Nevertheless, most Malawian women cannot use it because it is neither available to them nor do they have the knowledge on how to use it.

Factors such as pricing, lack of funding, high illiteracy rate, cultural and religious belief exacerbate the low use of female condoms.

At only K50 a man gets a three pack of condoms while at the same price a woman gets a pack of two female condoms.

In contrast, the male condom enjoys wider promotion and accessibility, despite the fact that its use in achieving safer sex almost entirely depends on the cooperation of the male sexual partner—a t…