Mr. President, more kisses please! Malawi First Couple

That hot and sticky kiss President Peter Mutharika affectionately, nay bravely, planted on First Lady Gertrude Mutharika’s cherry lips in public caused a stir.

President Mutharika and the First Lady grab a kiss on a valentine

President Mutharika and the First Lady grab a kiss on a valentine

Being a largely conservative society that Malawi is, it was not surprising that some branded the act as “unpresidential” while others went on to declare it as outright taboo.

But wait a minute: “unpresidential” and “taboo? What is “unpresidential” and “taboo” with a duly married couple displaying their love in public and particularly on Valentine’s Day?

Some of those calling it “unpresidential” made reference to Malawi’s former presidents, saying none of them could do such a ‘filthy’ act in public. They are talking about Kamuzu Banda, Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika and Joyce Banda.

But South Africa President Jacob Zuma (him who takes a shower immediately after having unprotected sex) once challenged those who asked him how he compared himself to the iconic statesman Nelson Mandela by bluntly pointing out that there cannot be more than one Nelson Mandela. And, rightly so, there shall never be another Madhiba.

In line with the gospel according to comrade Zuma (him who also laughed at our wretched roads the other day) and in as far as Malawi’s political landscape stands, there shall be only one authentic Ngwazi, Atcheya, Chitsulo cha Njanji, Amayi and, of course, APM.

n view of this assertion, APM’s kiss should not be judged within the context of how those presidents who ruled this country before him conducted themselves in public. Let APM be in his own class. It is simply called being original.

Of course, our eyes have ever before feasted on those exclusive photos of the Ngwazi dancing affectionately with Mama somewhere in the UK. We also salivated at those lovey-dovey photos of Atcheya tying the sanctified knot with Shanil and those of Bingu and Callista walking arm in arm on their nuptials day. As for Amayi and Richard, oh boy, did they not display some rare and unflinching presidential affection by trailing each other on almost each and every trip – be it local or abroad?

But let it be stated that this is not the first time a presidential public display of love has caused a sensation. In 2012, the international media published a photograph US President Barack Obama tweeted of him and his wife Michelle hugging upon his re-election. The Guardian reported then that the photo had set new records as the most liked and re-tweeted post in social media history.

Actually, the publication went on to declare that “Obama’s photo – which shows him hugging his wife, eyes closed, against a cloudy and even stormy backdrop – had set the standard for future presidential victors as it appeared to embody the core values of trust, manliness, loyalty and love of family, among others”.

So what APM did on Valentine’s Day this year is akin to that “Obama moment” for us, Malawians. Barack confessed that “she [Michelle] inspires me every day. She makes me a better man and a better president” while our own APM’s message read, in part, “thank you [Gertrude] for always being there for me through the frights and cold nights… you are an amazing wife”.

Here are two powerful men who publicly acknowledge the significance of women by publicly displaying their love for them. And what a way to make an equally powerful political statement on the inconspicuous role of women in society!

Of course, one may argue that hugs and kisses are cultural facets of the West where the Obamas belong but recently, during this same year’s ‘Valentine’s Month’, the BBC reported about how a hug made history in India when Delhi’s new leader tweeted a tribute to his wife with a picture of them hugging after his astounding victory in elections.

The story has it that one Arvind Kejriwal scored a surprising political victory by capturing almost all of Delhi’s assembly seats and when the scale of his win became clear, he tweeted out a picture of a hug with his wife. His wife, reports the BBC, looked coy and blushed.

Now, just like is the case in Malawi, in India top politicians are also not more relaxed about publicly expressing gestures of romance largely because society views such acts as taboo. Yet Kejriwal, just like Malawi’s APM, had to demystify the taboo, hence he attracted colossal praise from all and sundry for recognizing the worth of women in venerated men’s lives.

There is more good than harm for influential politicians to publicly show their love for their spouses. It is, in a way, an acknowledgement of the role women play in such men’s successful lives. It should not just be mere talk that behind every powerful man there is a woman.

Actually, this phenomena should also spill over to the showbiz circles where the existence of wives of celebrities (by the way, there has always been debate on whether we have celebrities at all in this country) is never acknowledged. Should we always wait until a public figure’s wife dies to be told that he loved her abundantly? No!

By the way, it was also quite refreshing to have a story of romance from State House, courtesy of that steamy presidential kiss. At  least a break from politics, politics and more politics.

But, to cut a long story short, through that public display of affection, APM made some notable political and social statements: A statement of acknowledging his wife’s day-to-day contribution to his political career (which borders on managing State affairs) and a statement of promoting the essence of loving our wives in a country where a local newspaper reported that between January and October last year, about 722 divorce petitions were registered at two courts in Lilongwe alone.

So, Mr. President, kudos for that  historic kiss. We need more of such presidential kisses please!

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Kondwani bwande
Guest

Vuto apa palibe. Anakisa azikazi anu. Ndinthawi yake

apo
Guest

pali nkhani apa? anthu asa kisane…. vuto ndi chani? kisanani poyera ma hope a freeze kumene……inu koma zogololo ndi akazi aeni mxiiiiii

john
Guest

kiss imakolezera chikondi inde koma kiss yamalovu pagulu siyabwino or pangono bola yapa tsaya osati mpaka lilime mkamwa aaaà president?? its private love.

Dedza
Guest

Yes very nice

Malawi
Guest

They are not commiting sin. They are lawfully married and there is nothing obscene. Whats wrong with people? Some of u who are against this love act ndi ma jelasi basi. You have never kissed ur wives koma mahule. Leave APM andhis lawgully wedded wife alone.

johnmandeule
Guest

Mr. President ndiye kufewa kumeneko

victoria Dim
Guest

Me like

Noxiebj
Guest

Kaya bolani ali pa banja…. Za kiss zo ine ndie log out…kkk

CHILOMBO MPSYALA
Guest

Anthu odya maliro sayamikira aliyense ngakhale atachita bwino bwanji.APM ngakhale akasanduka mngelo mkumakwera kumwamba ngati ELIYA wa mBaibulo Anthu bwezi akuti walakwa President sapita Kumwamba .Anthu ozolowera kudya matewera wobibirawa sitingawadabwe.

phiri la dzunje
Guest

Nkhani yake ndiye iti pamenepa mwasowa zolemba eti president analakwa chiyani mkaziyo ndi wake ambilinu mudachitira umboni ukwati wao ndiye pa valentine asapatse kiss kwa okondedwa wao walakwa president pagulu pagulu ndiye kuti chiyani.Asanakwatile ndinu nomwe mudampatsa maina ambili mbili lero ali ndi mkazi bwanji akupeleka kiss pa gulu a malawi sitidzathekanso ndife dzitsilu dza wanthu mbuzi za mano kusi godemeti

wpDiscuz

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