Jobless queue grows as Malawi youth seek employment at hotel

With youth unemployment at record levels in Malawi, the capital city Lilongwe on Wednesday witnessed long queue  at Golden Peacock Hotel as youths search for jobs.

A line of hopefuls snaked around the hotel

A line of hopefuls snaked around the hotel

Thousands of job seekers queue for chance to work at Chinese hotel in Malawi's capital Lilongwe

Thousands of job seekers queue for chance to work at Chinese hotel in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe

A long winding queue at the hotel, situated just less than a kilometre away from Capital Hill, the seat of government surprised guests to the Chinese run hotel.

The Golden Peacock Hotel had run an advertisement weeks ago asking for applications for the jobs of waiters, waitresses, bartenders, cleaners, stewards, security guards, receptionists, food and supervisor supervisors and room and services officials.

The qualifications for all the position was just a mere Malawi School Certificate of Education, a qualification completely lowered by the mushrooming of many university and tertiary private institutions.  The  job seekers  were advised to bring their certificates  and CVs for interviews on Wednesday.

Thousands of job seekers queued for hours in a desperate attempt to nab one of the positions at hotel , a sign that there is untold high unemployment rate in Malawi due to harsh economic situation

The job hopefuls began queuing at 5am, despite the interviews not starting until 10am.

A University of Malawi graduate, who did not want to be named and joined the winding queue said: “I had to join the queue  because this can be my chance to get a job.”

Job-creation schemes for graduates are very low down in ministerial in-trays and it is a social problem, though a more deep-seated social problem than people perhaps realise.

‘It is hard for people who have no connection to the ruling elite like myself to get a job. I came for this  job  because you have to take what you can get, like I said, the opportunities are limited for the youth and those who have no one to back them up,” he said.

Civilian police from the police headquarters stood at strategic places to ensure that there was peace and calm at one of the newest hotel in Malawi.

Officials from the hotel refused to comment on why all interviewees were called one day same time saying they would respond after interviews.

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21 thoughts on “Jobless queue grows as Malawi youth seek employment at hotel”

  1. Mjomba says:

    Finale wakaBaza:, ndaona kuti iwe ndi amene uli ndimutu mopanda zeru, Msowaya walankhula za mzeru powe ulipo ungatchulepo maziko a amalawi kumbali yothetsa umployment, ofcourse even ku AMERECA vutoli liliko koma kwathu kuno zanyanya,atsogoleri athu omwe ndi maa founders a dziko lino palibe zomwe anapanga. lets talk of John Chilembe, Kamuzu banda, anangothamangitsa ma foreign investors unkufuna kuti ife obwera mmbuyo mwao tisaone kuwala komwe iwo adaona ndi azungu omwewo, Bakili muluzi pali zomwe anapanga poitana ma foreigner investors to create a platform for employment, palibe, Muluzi was just selling zomanga kale ena basi, kunakhala kuti John Chilembe, Kamuzu ndi Muluzi anaitanako ma Chinisse`wa kalekale bwezi pano malwi ili patali,

  2. Mbanji says:

    @Nabetha has written everything for me.This is sadness period. As a country we concentrate too much on politics. There’s a need to start motivating our youth from first year of University to start thinking about starting small businesses. We also need to introduce money management in standard one all the way to MSCE! Our Parliamentarians should also introduce a law on population growth. This could be a sensitive issue to many but we have scarce resources so we have to control babies being born. Say whatever you wonna say but life is money.

  3. Winston Msowoya says:

    The the line for job seekers,never failed to demolarise my morales after 52 years of independence.Banda’s leadership was a false start at best,he did not build a solid foundation from where to launch an aggressive economic and political programs for our people hence,we felt the sense of unfiltered patriotism.All of us lost moral compass and forthwith found ourselves followers of a misguided political cult singing ZONSE ZIMENE Ni ZA MALAWIAN MESSIAH instead of planning for our future and that of our children and the generations to come.We wasted our time hero worshipping the leader we had never known before.When late Dunduzu K.Chisiza was the Deputy Minister of Finance in the first Government,he drafted a FIVE YEAR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN that was later adopted by many newly independent African States.Then the Minister of Finance was a white British expatriate who admittedly,conceded Dunduzu’s economic supremacy of our time.Afrter in a tragically induced demise in car accident in 1962 September,his brilliant economic delineate vanished with him,since then Malawi has been exposed to rough economic roads which seem to have devastating aftermath.The queue we have seen on the picture not only explains the dire need to change course,but also to physically engage the bulk of our citizens in formulating notions capable of vanquishing today’s man-made failures. Yes it can be done,play your part.

    1. Winston Msowoya where do you come from, are you a Malawian for real? yours comment just shows how foolish and empty headed you are, typical of Tumbuka, always thinking like embeciles!

  4. sabata says:

    Dear my fellow Malawians, As a country we lost a plot in 1994, the UDF government failed to give this country a direction rather they took a policy with no knowledge of, PRIVATISATION and this lead to downfall of giant companies MDC, PEW David Whitehead. They promoted road transport which eventually killed rail and water transport without considering the consequences. They systematically promoted nepotism which is now deep rooted (you can prove this during elections). They promoted Kaunjika which brought down textile industry which eventually erased cotton farming. The list is endless.

    A way forward now, Lets all become patriotic Chitipa to Nsanje and this is the country we call home. We have to change our life style investment should be our food for thought. I don’t mean we should be businessmen. Buying issurance policies, investing in shares or even just saving monies. If you have land try forestry and this is good long term investment. Promote each other among your clan members not just brothers and sisters and this has worked perfectly in the Northern region.

  5. Francois says:

    On the other hand, I fault the hotels management for opting to conduct the interviews in this manner. Fairness demands that everyone who showed up needed to be attended to. I doubt if this was the case. Also to keep people standing in a queue for hours and hours amounts to abuse of one’s rights, regardless of the potential reward the few were eventually going to get. I hope lessons have been learnt and we will not witness such shameful scenes again in our Republic.

  6. mac says:

    Why did a 3/ 4 star hotel call for interviews without even shortlisting – knowing that MSCE is just a basic certificate now. I bet very few here are qualified to be on those jobs, if merit, specialization (MIT certificate) and experience are anything to go by!

    I wonder what would happen in the UK if someone advertised a job and invited everyone with a mere high school certificate to come. I bet you would get similar queues.

  7. BBC says:

    This system of inviting applicants should be discouraged. Taking into consideration that there is a high rate of unemployment in Malawi, someone needs to put control measures when inviting applications. Such control measures may include allowing applications to be submitted via emails or fax, no phone calls or submitting applications in person and in so doing the would be employer can avoid a large number of influx like the one we see on the picture above. Let say, 1000 applications were received in regard to the vacancy and you only need 40 people, 100 emails should be picked randomly without first looking at the details contained in that application, put 40 applications aside as your first priority and start scrutinising them carefully, if 20 out these 40 applications don’t meet the criteria then start picking from the 60 which were classified as second priority until you have a required number of 40. In case you will need some few applications though you have reached your required target, at least keep 40 more applications and eliminate the rest. If your recruitment was successful, publish the names of the successful candidates in the newspaper or whatever media you may choose and also thank all the applicants who showed interest by applying. In my view, I think this is a fair system because it doesn’t favour anyone, it is just a matter of luck.

  8. Smmify says:

    Mr. Analyst! How do u define unemployment? What are the indicators? As far as I’m concerned, this is enough to indicate the state of unemployment in the country. The long queue, and the presence of graduates (for those posts) notwithstanding the required qualifications should be enough to tell the degree of the problem in the country. Recall that this hotel is renown for poor working conditions but these people have put that aside to get try their luck! What more do we need to accept there is high unemployment in the country?

    1. The Analyst says:

      O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O
      Smmify . . .
      That there is very high unemployment in the country; only Hetherwick Ntaba and Patricia Kaliati can dispute . . .
      . . . but to use the long queue seen at this particular interview (where MSCE was the requirement) as an eyeball measure of the same, may not be a good idea. And this; is all The Analyst is saying.
      . . . in modern times, MSCE is a paper which is only meant to help people achieve other goals in life, but finding a job, is not one of them. We therefore need to look at the paper as such hence encourage each other to do more.
      . . . Otherwise, we may think we are cursed for failing to find a job, yet we only have a paper which is not meant to find us a job.
      O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O

    2. Zoona says:

      True we have a problem because the economy is not creating enough jobs. However we should not place the blame squarely on govt. Private citizens can also create jobs just as the founder of facebook, twitter etc have done in USA. We have many intelligent guys/girls in Malawi unfortunately even those with PhDs have not come up with any innovation worth discussing about. I agree with Henry Mintzberg in his book. Managers and not MBAs. Recently a govt ministry advertised for 70 posts out of which 5 demanded degrees. 550 graduates applied for the 5 posts.

  9. Tamuka says:

    manje manje munenge mafanana nesu imi.

  10. paul says:

    this is a terrible outcome. firstly, the hotel group is wrong to engage such recruitment tactics that risk the health and safety of citizens. people should not be subjected to such uncivilized humiliation as to be kept standing from 5 – 10 without water, food, etc. when they could quite easily have deposited cv’s and wait to hear from the hotel.

    secondly, politicians must wake up and stop the cheap talk about development and the economy. talk that the country is on course on economic recovery and yet such long lines of unemployed people points to the opposite. Nearly all these people are voters and such cheap talk stands only to mock the real suffering endured by these citizens.

    with lines as long as these, the education taps will flood the lines with even more desperate citizens once schools close. All looters of public resources, this is the direct real cost caused by this corruption. There are real victims who would otherwise be helping the nation but now languish!

  11. The Analyst says:

    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O
    While acknowledging that Malawi’s unemployment rate is very high; the long queue witnessed at this specific job interview is not a good yardstick, for the same

    This long queue is obviously expected coz of the simple fact that almost every normal body in Malawi, is an MSCE holder, notwithstanding the fact that some of these folks are diploma holders.
    . . . and as we are all aware; MSCE is not meant to help anybody perform better in any particular job, not even the common ones – security, cookery, driving e.t.c. It is only used as a stepping stone to other endeavours.
    . . . Sadly, other folks hold this paper and say, “Ine sukulu nnamaliza!”
    Now . . .
    . . . since the MSCE is not meant to make people perform certain jobs well, the paper was an underqualification for the job, hence this unprecedented queue.
    …………………………………………………………………………………..
    Putting this into perspective . . .
    . . . If the qualification for the job was a first degree, holding the nature of the job constant; how long would the queue be? perhaps quarter long! Would this indicate that unemployment is very low in Malawi? No!
    . . . what if only MSc holders were needed?; not so long would the queue be!
    . . . And there would be no one or perhaps one or two candidates if PhD was the qualification.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………
    Thus, a good sketchy measure of unemployment, would be a queue seen at a job interview befitting first degree as the qualification e.g. budget officer at Ministry of Finance or Auditor at Deloitte.
    . . . A queue seen at a job interview with MSCE as a qualification is as misleading as a queue seen buying subsidised fertiliser for K500 per 50 kg bag.

    MSCE is and shall never be a measure of anything but successful attendance of secondary education in Malawi.
    And no one, in his or her right frame of mind; should look at this queue and say OMG! I shouldnt lose my job lest I suffer.
    . . . Otherwise, would only be imposing order where none exists!
    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O

    1. David Genaro says:

      Mr Analyst

      Well said and well articulated. Thanks for reminding us the facts you have stated. We need to encourage our wards to work hard and attain qualifications higher than MSCE. Who knows, maybe the next Government will abolish MSCE certificates soon, We should aim higher always!!

      1. The Analyst says:

        Exactly!

  12. Concerned Citizen says:

    My Malawi lets wake up please. Things shortly might get to a situation worse than Zimbabwe in terms of high unemployment rates in the country that cud lead to brain drain. With the high number of public universities coming out the situation is just likely to go worse.

    As a country there are few things that we might consider to deal with this;
    (1) Govt need to deliberately establish short & long term jobs for its growing population, unlike the usual cash for work…something more to it can be done.
    (2) Universities need to change the focus of their modules…instead of talking of employment let them nurture their students to create jobs for themselves and others,
    (3) Malawians need to change mind sets….things that bring money r not necessarily under the office,,,we need to make use of our natural skills and focus on them. e.g: making toy (wire/ used bottle) cars for children can earn some1 money etc
    (4) Malawians need to understand that to make money is something else and to be employed is also another….lets be creative as a nation. e.g; Some1 might start collecting garbage from houses and get some tambalas at the end of the month.
    (5) Malawians who are in diaspora u can make a great contribution to this nations…get money there and invest in your country this way u will help create employment
    (6) Lets change the culture of “ubwana”, lets work hard in whatever small things we could be able to do etc
    (7) still loading…..

    1. Nabetha says:

      Thank you Citizen for bringing this up. One of our major problem in Malawi is focusing too much on securing employment instead of creating employment for ourselves and other people too.
      To get a job is a job on its own and the only way to beat up this predicament is to be creative, for instance, besides the fact that farming is a dirty job but if well managed someone can make fortune out of it. It is very sad to see people from other countries making a lot of money in Malawi through small businesses while the indigenous people fail to even try to run a small business because their main goal is to get a job in an already established company, kukonda ubwana.
      The government also should help to combat the level of unemployment amongst the youth by regulating the environment on which small businesses should operate such as restricting all foreign nationals from operating in certain industries such as small and medium scale retailing. It is also the duty of the government to monitor and question the policies of certain institutions that provide loans to individuals who aspire to open small and medium enterprises. Lending institutions can assist reduce the high rate of unemployment if they relax some of the terms and conditions under which people can easily access the loans.

      Above all, I’m in total support of what Citizen has contributed in his comment, the change of mind set.

  13. Nabanda says:

    Lord this life is cruel! People are desperate for work.

    1. Amfana says:

      My simple question is that; Does this Hotel has an professional HR Officer/Manager? Does he has the Mandate run HR Activities as a professional without being directed or pushed?? Is he a Malawian???? This is a total abuse and unprofessional. Already people have started suffering before getting employed , what more if they are employed. Malawians where are we heading to? and why are we having these problems? ”KUZOLOWERA KUPEMPHA, TAKAPEMPHA MAVUTO NDI KUSANVA KWATHUKU”

    2. Dengulanga says:

      I for one don’t believe in the Malawi Education system and skewed system of thinking. People in Malawi go to school to get a job. This mindset should change. People always think of a job as going to office that somebody created. These are quite few these days.

      The diaspora is unlikely to help with our situation since our country has very dishonest employees Africa has seen. Even those that have been hired to work on a small investment some diaspora colleagues try to venture into, the funds are quickly misappropriated forgetting that the same job will keep them going. Most friends I have spoken to in diaspora just keep their money and work on their own projects when they get a chance to visit the country. An opportunity to get some small livelihood.

      Lastly, the parties we have elected since 1994 promote theft. This has reduced all of us whether in government or private sector and even churches to thieves. We want good life without working for it. We want to get rich because we have read about it in a novel. We don’t take time to study what makes people rich.

      The crucial point to be made is that people in our country ARE DAMN LAZY.THE LAZINESS MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM TO BE PRODUCTIVE.

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