By Fatsani Gunya – CONTRIBUTOR
State House Director of Communications Sean Kampondeni may not be a popular figure among many owing to the fact that he is connected to the powers that be; which I believe is not his fault anyway. Everyone can marry where they want and then fate takes care of the rest!
But during Monday’s #StateHouseQuarterlyBrief, the guy touched on something that sent me into some deep reflection. By the way, I am yet to meet Sean, personally despite our respective careers crossing paths now and then!
He mentioned how much we, read Malawians, tend to always root for our own failure with no apparent care; how we find it easy to propagate doom instead of hope and how we so easily despise others around us, irrespective of the consequences on the nation at large.
It is like we deserve to live in a broken society so much that any attempts to ‘mend’ the systems that got us here in the first place are usually welcomed with contempt.
“We are here only to inform. No misinformation. No disinformation,” Kampondeni said of the quarterly briefs.
“We don’t tackle politics. All attempts to get us comment on politics are and will be directed to political parties.
“…I am aware that in Malawi, we are fond of of painting negative pictures of situations, even on things that are clearly working. How then do we expect outsiders to have confidence in us as a nation when all we do is propagate negativity all the time,” said director, also a practising church Pastor.
From what he said, and from experience, we seem to be a highly charged people when it comes to one of the three enemies against which the creative mind that was Michael Sauka warned us beforehand in his National Anthem composition: envy.
That spirit of “If I am not doing it, no one else will or should”.
As a nation, we tend to always be in a competition among ourselves to make regimes fail; and fail us they eventually do.
And like Kampondeni clearly stipulated, we tend to have all the time fabricating news, twisting stories and pushing on some narratives that do not even exist; all through disinformation, misinformation and sometimes, through pity lies.
So much for our ‘happy’ endings!
Where and how we get happiness or some satisfaction out of this still beats me.
A case in point was a specific question by a journalist during the Brief in question at Sanjika Palace.
The question bordered on the promise by President Chakwera and his Tonse Alliance partners during the campaign trail over 24 months ago, to trim presidential powers so as to enhance transparency and accountability.
While the State House Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda plainly said the President has been preoccupied with other Bills of equal importance in nature, and that he would come in to attend to the said Bill later, the country has today woken up to tongues wagging that Chakwera now sees this issue as unnecessary [to his administration].
Was Rome ever built in a day?
Are the other Bills deliberated on, or already ascented into laws in the first two years of his tenure therefore of less importance?
I guess not
Now, get me right: I do not pretend to be so wise I have never, and I don’t think I will ever claim to be one.
However, my Two Kwacha thoughts tell me that one has to act with what they have and from where they are.
I am a media practitioner, I have the pen, and the space. I come from Malawi…and so, I am here.
I am also not blind to whatever goes on in this country.
I also know that no one is beyond reproach; the administration inclusive. Not in a democratic dispensation like ours.
In fact, the presidency itself has always welcomed rebuke wherever necessary; a departure from what we kind of got used to before.
We need to inspire hope.
We need to encourage each other.
People need to have their self-esteem enhanced so that they approach the future with an understanding that it belongs to them, once they get organised.
They need to have that belief to say, yes we can.
Sadly, it seems not in Malawi!
To make matters worse, such strange philosophies, cheap propaganda and hate are often spearhead by those we expect them to know better.
They tend to always dismiss any attempts one makes, even at family level to help improve the situation; so long it’s not championed by the former!
As we clock 58 years of self rule as a nation, I beg we take a break and seriously reflect on the impact of our spread propaganda, hate and discouragement has had on the country’s socio-economic drive ove the years.
We need to each face ourselves in the mirror and question ourselves whether we are proud of ourselves for the role we have played so far through our respective areas of influence.
For sure, we need to break this curse as a nation.
We can not keep having this cycle of waiting by the fence causing mayhem and waiting for others to fail in the hope that the throne gets recommended to us before we can do something about it. All that emanates from selfishness; key to the ‘Bring Them Down’ syndrome!
Is Malawi indeed beyond redemption?
Is all hope truly gone?
Are we sure we can’t join the few in inspiring that young girl or street child towards yearning to achieve greatness one day?
Do we now have to ‘close shop’ simply because some of us have ‘already made it in life so much that we don’t care the fate of those poor millions around us; whose lives God has entrusted in our leadership per given time?
Meanwhile, as we wait for the ‘orators’ and ‘analysts’ to poke fun at us (Malawi) again tomorrow [July 6] for the Independence Celebrations; I could not help but share what Rwandan President Paul Kagame once emphasised on when faced by a similar situation back home; almost in similar fashion:
“Liberation means getting rid of bad politics. We liberated the country from bad leadership. But it is not enough, we have to deal with came as consequence.
The next stage of liberation is to liberate ourselves from poverty, hunger, disease and depending on others for our livelihood. When you rely on others for your survival, they decide whether you live or die.
We know what we are capable of because we have seen how far we have come from.
With good leadership and the right politics, each of us working together can build the nation we deserve. It is within our means to be as prosperous as any developed nation in the world.”
This was during the Rwanda’s 23rd Liberation Day celebrations that were held in the country’s Shyira District.
As it stands, I am sure we all agree that a better Malawi can not come by through an individual; let alone the President. It will come through some collective action from all of us. This is what entails mindset change. It has to begin with me; with us at an individual level.
Have you ever been to a football match? It is the spectators that make a lot of noise. They are either cheering or jeering while the players, and the coach, stay focused on the goal!
Let’s get busy, let’s get to work, folks. Let’s start from where we are and with what we have in changing the country’s socio-economic landscape for the better.
Let’s all work towards reshaping the future of our country so as to make the subsequent Independence Anniversary as rosy as we all yearn them to be.
Someone once said: “Action always proves why words are empty!”
Above all, let’s inspire hope. Let’s have encouragers; the world is already full of critics!
For now, Happy 58th Independence Day!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fatsani Gunya is a Malawian freelance journalist who is passionate about reporting on the sciences, and is a passionate photojournalist as well. However, responding to the primary calling of the trade, which is talking truth to power, he also takes time to discuss or comment on some issues affecting the socio-economic sector of the country he proudly calls home: Malawi. He is writing in his personal capacity.