Malawi’s founding president Kamuzu Banda might have died years ago but is back in the news; on his secretive social life.
A letter academicians have in possession dated 8 October, 1938, Kamuzu says as much as he respected women from Nyasaland, as Malawi was known then, he could not marry any of them because they could not match his educational and social standards.
Kamuzu was responding to a letter from Ernest C Matako of Kambiri Village in Kasungu.
“I still respect our women highly but I have to admit the fact that our women are backward and could not, by any means, make me the type of home to which my education, training and experience entitle me,” says the letter in part.
Writing from The University Union in Edinburgh, Kamuzu tells Matako that he was not yet married because he had been so busy with his medical and university studies that he did not have time to think seriously about marriage.
“Then again in America and Europe it takes money to support a wife. A medical student cannot afford to be married because it costs a great deal of money to study medicine. But I do plan to marry sometime in 1940. When I do marry it will be a girl either from South Africa or from America most likely from America,” says the letter in part.
Kamuzu wrote Matako that no girl in Nyasaland would be a great companion to Dr. Banda although he was Chewa, saying his long sojourn in South Africa, US and Europe had completely changed his life that any girl from his home land would have looked a foreigner to him because of levels of education he had attained.
The late Kamuzu ruled Malawi from 1966 to 1994 with an iron fist. He claimed he did not have a wife but took Cecelia Kadzamira, a former nurse as his official hostess and stayed with him at Sanjika Palace when Kamuzu was president and later at Mudi when Kamuzu was kicked out of office at ballot box in 1994.
Mama Kadzamira left her husband before she started cohabiting with Kamuzu.
The Kamuzu family led by Jane Dzanjalimodzi waged a ceaseless battle against Kadzamira and her nephew, John Tembo from 1997 for the control of Kamuzu estate which include Chayamba Building, Chibisa House and Blantyre Print and Publishing now renamed Times Group.
Kamuzu was the most intriguing. He was a man who lived in two worlds, Africa and Europe, yet at home in neither; a man who was known to his friends as a sweet-natured, unassuming and intelligent doctor, but who disintegrated into a vain, paranoid tyrant given to outbursts of rage.
In Britain he was a doctor with a Mother Teresa reputation, yet he was later to be thrown out of Ghana for carrying out abortions. He has never married and appeared to have a fear of sex. Miniskirts, bell-bottoms and long male hair were banned in Malawi under his rule. His one known affair ended when he abandoned the woman who loved him, and their child.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :