Melinda Gates ‘does a Joyce Banda’ in Malawi

When she was President of Malawi, Joyce Banda, caused sensation when her photo went viral online capturing her leading lby example by carrying a bucket of water on her head to share the experiences of motherhood and promote water supply and development together with her people. This weekend, Melinda Gates, the wife of Bill Gates   is also trending on Instragram and Twitter with the photo of her urprised fetching water by carrying a bucket weighing 20 litres on her head on a short walk during her visit to Malawi.

Like JB, Mellisa Gates carrying a bucket of water weighing 20 litres on her head while walking back with her new found friends.-  Twitter

Like JB, Mellisa Gates carrying a bucket of water weighing 20 litres on her head while walking back with her new found friends.- Twitter

First: Joyce Banda while as President of Malawi carrying a bucket of water

First: Joyce Banda while as President of Malawi carrying a bucket of water

Despite her status as been married to the richest man in the world, Melinda didn’t just carry the bucket on her head but also helped in washing dishes and stayed in the home of a couple in a village.

“During my stay with the Gawanini family in Malawi, I joined the women collecting drinking water. I carried 20 liters and it was tough. Meanwhile, Chrissy (middle) is carrying about 40 liters. Many women do this every day,’”she said of her experience.

Speaking further, Melinda said, “Helping wash the dishes during my homestay in Malawi. Women spend much of the day cooking and then cleaning up. It’s a reminder that it’s a lot more time consuming to do dishes when you can’t just turn on a faucet.”

This was the second visit of Melinda to Malawi on safemotherhood mission, probably a follow-up on the earlier visit when she discussed a number of innovative interventions to halt maternal deaths with Banda.

Banda was widely credited for their unprecedented achievements in improving maternal health and safe motherhood. During her reign, between 2012 and 2014, she took an extra mile to curb avoidable deaths of both mothers and babies during pregnancy and childbirth.

Former President Banda believed that the provision of quality maternal and neonatal health care services to completely end maternal and neonatal deaths was of paramount importance in Malawi’s development agenda.

On ascension to the High Office in 2012, Banda established the Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood, which championed efforts to fight maternal mortality.

The Initiative intensified community mobilization and training of chiefs, construction of maternity waiting homes and training of community midwives.


At the time Banda left office in May 2014, the Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood had built 20 maternity holding shelters at various hospitals across the country. The African Union (AU) reporte dthat Malawi had moved from 675 to 460 deaths per 100,000 births that time. The African Union gave the Malawi Government an Award at its headquarters in Addis Ababafor improvements in maternal health.

These achievements were as a result of political will prevailing at that time coupled with dedication and hard work by the Initiative’s personnel led by renowned and veteran nurse, Dorothy Ngoma; the department of Maternal and Reproductive Health at the Ministry of Health; and the committee of chiefs headed by Chief Kwataine of Ntcheu.

The private sector is credited for financially supporting the construction of 20 maternity holding shelters (one holding shelter in Area 25 in Lilongwe was donated by Melinda Gates following Government’s request).

The Ann GloagFoundation of Scotland supported the Presidential Initiative on Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood to train 100 community midwives. Under this special training programme, the Joyce Banda Foundation also facilitated the training of 50 community midwives.

The Ann Gloag Foundation has also been supporting the Bwaila Hospital Fistula Centre for many years.

Since the new regime came in 2014, 380 women have died over the last six months, according to official statistics. The Presidential Initiative was abolished and staff sacked. The President engaged his sister-in-law to implement maternal health and safe motherhood initiatives, instead. The committee of chiefs has since been abolished and not one maternal holding shelter has been built since last year.

To compound the situation, media reports indicate that the health system in Malawi is on the verge of collapse and there are allegations K6 billion ($12million) worth of hospital drugs have been lost through theft.

Official statistics indicate that between 2009 and 2012, 675 women died per 100,000 live births; between 2012 and mid-2014,425 women died per 100,000 live births; and that between mid-2014 and to-date the figures have swollen to 465 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Pregnant women, once again,face the danger of dying while giving birth courtesy of a lack of political will under President Mutharika. There is deafening silence on matters of maternal health.

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41 thoughts on “Melinda Gates ‘does a Joyce Banda’ in Malawi”

  1. phomuphomu says:

    kodi nkhani apa ndi yandani? melinda kapena joyce? muzitenge bwinotu muzachotsedwa nazo manu.

  2. madiru mhango says:

    Good job to both jb and Melinda not for dramitically carrying buckets of water but for promoting a good cause that affects our women and consequently affects us all. To the male presidents, find an honourable cause that affects men in the first instance and its natural consequence affecting us all in second instance. Then go yee in the bushes and herd them goats. May almighty God drop a tear of mercy and redemption on Malawi, our Malawi.

  3. Noxy says:

    Proud of you Melinda you are so humble and blessed.

  4. Patrick yohane super says:

    Hahahahha kungokonza ulendo, mdipiti wagalimoto kuperekeza kut azikapanga zopusa akadendekere madzi kkkkkk wats the meaning either divdence of that, mpake analuza chisankho mfundo analibe

  5. Israel says:

    Weight in litres? ee ehe.

  6. Mlauzi says:

    Kuzichepetsa sikungapose uku koti president kudendekera madzi pa mutu. Long live JB


    I am so joyous with the efforts of Mrs Gates, I pray our leaders’ wives should learn from her humility and love for Africa.

    1. fisi says:

      zachani izi? angokufoilitsani nkumapezerapo ndalama inu nkumati is doing for you. za zii!

  8. vado van wilder says:

    munthalika is a waste of time

  9. jb says:

    if only our politicians can care for rural Malawi like this!

  10. Paruh says:

    Its rare for some one swimming in untold riches to humble themselves madame melinda gates pls use your experience to ease the suffering our women folk in rural areas across the country are going through to fetch portable water,pls through you and your husbands foundation help drill boreholes in our villages and support the safe motherhood foundation a little loans to the same would bring a smile and a big difference to our rural women folk,once again salutations to this great humble blessed lady.

  11. ntex says:

    Ntawi yakampeni inatha wait until 2019 muliladi simunati makwangwala inu zanu zimenezo mukamaliza kulirako mutiwuza ife pa easy.

  12. Malawi wa Lero says:

    Chizungu chimene chimalembedwa kuchita sapoti Pita chomvetsa chisoni. Kuchita kuwonekeratu kuti usapota waumbuli. Goliati basi.

  13. tsamba likagwa says:

    Nanga bwanji simunamusakhe mayiyo, Ndimayesa munali mmalawi mommuno

  14. Charter says:

    Impressive! Selfless, humble and compassionate! Thank you Mrs. Gates.

  15. bea says:

    It’s up to the government of Malawi to take care of her citizens.

  16. Khuth'upa o'Machemba says:

    Suggestion: every Malawian man should do a woman’s household chores once a month (ONLY) for a starter. And vice versa for women. We will see how some men will fare: you do not have to carry the water on the head, if you think that is shameful. This is one way of tasting what our female relatives have to go through.
    Most men do appreciate the hardships our sisters, mothers and wives go thru day in, day out; as if it a curse to be born female. Some men do talk about this discrepancy; but many men, only when drunk.
    We need to step up when it comes to reducing this discrepancy in manual chores between the genders, abale. And this has nothing to do with introducing western ideas. It’s just civilized modern manners.

  17. chinyophiro banda says:

    iam also suprised with the connection between Melinda and JOyce are you comparing a giver and a thug. Your JB to me is nothing but a thug who in 2Yrs brought Malawi to its knees. And dont just say God bless JB, you think God doesnt know people but you? WHO allows people to reign over His creatures i thought its God.

  18. Youth League Chairman: Kawale 1 market says:

    Melinda: apa ndi pang’ono. Aka Choka apo, am a ka tola nkhuni. Kenaka kuphika. Mdima ukagwa – no magetsi – nkhondo pa mphasa. Kuwatikita usiku wonse. Titamwera mthibulo! Amazonas 3 hrs

  19. Tengupenya says:

    Causing abandonment or actually Abandoning initiatives that were saving lives is tantamount to abating murder or manslaughter. This is a serious disservice to mankind. Initial seeds of a crime against humanity.

  20. Tengupenya says:

    Do not insult benevolence. Do not insult the woes or suffering of others. It is probably big news what happened, but take it down to the human beings involved. It was one person trying to experience what other persons routinely go through. What the one person decides to do about the plight of the others is a private matter between this person and her guests. Millions of other people have watched and done nothing, yet others have even perpetuated the suffering by mismanaging public resources.

  21. mtumbuka1 says:

    Melinda if you are sincere and share the pains that these village women go through day in and day out carrying water on their heads, then asked your billionaire husband to donate portable tap water in all Malawi villages cos he can. Bill gates have enough money to build another New York City in Malawi and still have enough left to him. The time I spent writing this comment here, he has made millions of dollars already with his businesses. If there are people I respect is him and Mr Donald trump. Thanks for coming to the warm heart of Africa and tell your husband that life is not fair.

    1. me says:

      bad English grammar

    2. Charlie Hebdo says:

      The Melinda and Bill Gates Foundations pumps billions of dollars every year to charitable organizations such as Unicef, Family Health International, University of Liverpool, John Hopkins etc. You can get a complete list of grantees and their areas of interventions on the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation website.

  22. Mphongozidana Ndau says:

    To better appreciate the problems people face, you have to put yourself in their shoes like Melinda Gates has done. Like JB did, not izi zamapwevupwevuzi

  23. albert says:

    This is the great people with great humanity may God protect Melinda and Joyce long live!

  24. ankhoma says:

    chitsime chikaphwa. ltold you that lets give her own 5 years and its when we can easily judge her,she did miracles in two years only. just imagine.the word cashgate was also discovered during her regime yet it was here many years ago before her. May God bless JB.

  25. kambuwi says:

    Ndinadziwa kuti a JB tizawakunbuka, chifukwa cha cha ndale za 2 kwacha tikhala tikulila nthawi iliyonse. A JB atalowa m’boma chilichonse chimene chinali kusowa chinayamba kuenda bwino, mafuta anayamba kupezeka, makazembe amene anathamangisidwa anabwela patatha miyezi 4 pomwe akanakhala wina makazembe akanakhala. 3 years ndipo muyambe kupempha kuti abwele. Anamanga maubale ambili ndi maiko akunja panthawi yochepa. Koma munthu wakuda amaganiza ngati ng’ombe kuganiza za lelo safuna za mawa. Ine ndikudandaula kwambili kumusiya mai JB. Ndale zachamba. Amalawi mufuna munthu wotano poti munthu wabwino kwanu ndi oipa. Eee mumafuna apita ndi ameneo.

  26. If JB was a caring leader;why did you women in Malawi remove her from office? Its foolish of you Crying for water in the river when it has already passed.

  27. Chikopa says:

    Muyambe mwatiuza kaye kuti jb akufunika ku court ndiye zinazo pambuyo aim waiting

  28. Odi uko amayi adults says:

    Mungamufanizile JB ndi Getu have you seen how dirty our cities have become Dirty since the launch of BEAM. This organisation was launched just syphon money from sleepy malawians

  29. half trillion says:

    she’sa billionaire (in dollars) and she’s spending her hard earned money to help you, pamene afiti inu mukubanso ndalama za amphawi zomwezo.

    let’s just admit kuti khungu lakuda ndilotembeledwadi basi. go to hell all you cashgaters.

  30. Martin says:

    The two people mentioned in the story are worlds apart and were doing these for different reasons.
    Melinda is doing it to appreciate the problems faced by women in drawing water while Jb was doing it manipulate the minds of people so she can be voted back to govt but failed all the same.
    Melinda was doing it so that in the end she knows how much she should give while the other was trying to see how much should steal. JB TIMES mwafikapotu!

  31. Soko says:


  32. Namu! says:

    Leading as an example, the humble JB, will always be a leader! May God keep blessing you Mama JB. You are my mentor even though we have never met, but I admire you.

  33. drogba says:

    so obsessed with glorifying Joyce Banda. What has Melinda’s carrying a bucket of water on her head to do with Joyce Banda?? Is Joyce Banda the only woman who carries water on her head here in Malawi?? Let’s be honest and clear here. Joyce Banda ruled this country for two years but she will NEVER rule Malawi again. She came, we all saw her strengths and weaknesses and failures, she went and we will NEVER have her as president of this country again. Don’t just be writing rubbish on this or any other forum just to tickle ears and feelings of Joyce Banda and her sympathisers, there’s no connection it comparison between Joyce Banda and Melinda Gates please

  34. peter says:

    Great!! Such a good job from a humble yet very rich woman!!! May God bless her!

  35. MKWAPU says:

    Melinda massive!!!!

  36. Patriot says:

    We call that UMUNTHU.
    Getu can not and will never do such a thing bcoz Umunthu mulibemo.

  37. loscosoko says:

    Yaaa koma kumeneko

  38. Boma! says:

    JB was a leader who was caring for her pipo. May God bless her.

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