Simango’s ‘Thinking Aloud’ on people who throw bigotry on Nyasa Times

All I have been doing on Facebook (FB) these past 6 months or so, was just to share interesting happenings that were popping up on friends’ walls. The reason for this was that after reading through and even participating in some debates, I have come to the conclusion that trying to write anything, here, for purposes of having a meaningful discussion or debate is a futile exercise.

Simango: Thinking aloud

Simango: Thinking aloud

You see, for some reason, Malawians, including, well-meaning Malawians just sulk at this – having a good debate and disagreeing without getting personal, attacking the argument and not the person is something that is just alien to our culture (talk of culture as a basis for an argument). And to be fair, I think I have seen this sickness even on other international fora, as well. Still more, we, Malawians being what we are, we are just excel at being bad on this one.

Somehow, some people just specialised in being stupid bigots who refuse to see reason. I have joined – and left – several FB and other social groups and it is the same story everywhere – people just love to wallow in their entrenched positions and will refuse to see reason even when you shine a floodlight on it.

The sad thing is that these are the same people who will engage you in a very fruitful discussion at work, in a meeting or even on professional fora. But when it comes to economic and social-political issues outside the office, they just coil back into their entrenched positions and start spawning bigotry and stupidity. How they do that is a mystery to me.

I have no problem with a person who is out of depth arguing from a position of ignorance. Even I have learnt that I cannot sustain an economic argument against Thomas Chataghalala Munthali or a finance one against Onjezani Kenani or an IT one against Matthews Mtumbuka (by the way, congratulations and welcome back) What I just cannot stand is seeing an otherwise intelligent person insist on being stupid. It’s annoying beyond measure.

And of late I have come to accept the sad reality that the people who throw bigotry on Nyasa Times under the guise of fake names are not from Mars. They are actually Malawians. They are the same people we meet in meetings at work everyday. They wear suits and stellatos and they speak a lot of sense in boardrooms. But once they go on Nyasa Times and put on their masks, you will not believe how much hatred they harbour against Northerners, against Lomwes, against Yaos, against Chewas. And  their language? Eish!

But as I said, these are not strangers or members of some haters club who stay in some excluded community, in some desert. These are people we stay with, we sleep with, we work with. These are our, otherwise, decent friends on FB, even present here, on this very timeline. Sad.

But then there were times when, once in a while, I had some very interesting debates on Facebook. I have missed those days. I miss arguing with Patseni Mauka. who always debates fiercely but fairly even behind his mask. You see, this guy understands the etiquette of anonymity: a mask may give you permission to speak freely but the only person you can insult – if you so wish – is a fellow masquerade and no one else.

Anyways, he had some very good arguments in support of the now ruling DPP during the campaign and I, never one to be politically correct, was on the other side. We had very good disagreements, in those days and I just enjoyed sparring with him. Unfortunately, there is very little uncommon ground left between us, nowadays. You see, Patseni Mauka (yes, it does sound like a Nyasa Times  pseudo or Chigoba name) has now seen what I saw then. But, no, I will not tell him, ‘I told you so’. A gentleman does not brag!

  • Off the wall of Charles Simango Facebook page
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44 thoughts on “Simango’s ‘Thinking Aloud’ on people who throw bigotry on Nyasa Times”

  1. Quite a word worth reading, an advice worth embracing and a revelation shocking that those setting and ambush are those we rub shoulders with.

  2. Sai says:

    Long time Charles, you are a columnist I have held in high esteem for quite a long time. You are right objectiveness is what is needed. I expect that political and economic authorities would take advantage of the debates taking place in the social media, more especially Nyasa Times.

  3. Mnjuzi D Nyirenda says:

    very true!

  4. Kenkkk says:

    November Rain, I said the article was excellent for the same reasons that are articulated by those who support the writer. I didn’t want to bore people with repetitions but to me the message of the article is simply we should debate in a civil and humane manner without insulting each other or being personal. We should stick to the topic and debate our pros and cons of the message, not the messenger.

    I do differ occasionally with the analyst as in this case and others and I say so and he says so to me as well in other issues but I don’t insult him nor does he on personal front. So I don’t support those who are insulting the analyst for taking a different point of view on this article.

    Freedom of expression, yes but it doesn’t mean insulting others, that is why people get sued and the freedom of expression they were relying on or abusing won’t save them from litigation.

  5. Ain't analytical says:

    It’s a mockery how someone can call oneself ‘Analyst ‘ and yet literally fail to know the source of the article, let alone grasp anything from it. What a bogus analyst!

  6. Funzo says:

    I think that the article makes its points clearly and well. I agree that many writing comments write disrespectful and hateful comments that I am sure they would not say to people’s faces. Having since read the comments, I was amazed at the responses, many of which were of the sort the author was referring to.

    It seems many write without really thinking about the issue. Think before you speak is a good premise on which to work.

  7. nguluwe says:

    That is what happens when a society has been under oppression for so long, and suddenly you are free to talk.

  8. All-i-can-say says:

    Mr Simango has a point and there is a problem with inflexible mindset that has plagued a lot of Malawians manifest itself in social media circles. I would like to look at this inflexibility of thought in a positive light. Our institutions of learning needs to wake up and change the way we are taught and debate issues right from primary schools. We simply do not learn to discuss issues without getting personal and being offensive.

    Strong democracies are built on debate of issues and they change their world very effectively through constructive debate and disagreements for the common good. They do not take nor give offence. They agree to disagree and the common purpose prevails in the end. We as a nation are too used to believing that knowledge is a preserve of the few and they have all the answers to our problems. We have seen that this is not true and has let our country down badly.

    We still have an opportunity to change this destructive mentality and embrace constructive debate as a way to change the fortunes of our country. More importantly, the policy-makers should start studying the quality of debate on social media to proactively craft curricula which encourages critical thinking and ultimately the ability for our citizenry to engage in meaningful and useful debate.

  9. Obvious Phiri says:

    In my understanding, Simango’s point wasn’t against people holding opposing views. It’s just that he would rather those ideas were expressed civilly without insulting or otherwise attacking the person expressing them.

    For example, if someone doesn’t agree with my point of view, Simango would prefer that that person lays out his own point of view or at least points out why he can’t agree with me without.

    Surely what’s wrong in wishing for civil debate that doesn’t resort to name calling?

  10. Mkalira Henry says:

    I agree what James Mhango has written

  11. Obvious Phiri says:

    Nsamaonetsa Nyoni, at the bottom of the article it’s writted “Off the wall of Charles Simango Facebook page.” So it didn’t require someone to go to FB in to find out that the article wasn’t written for Nyasa Times. Incidentally, I haven’t been on FB myself for ages.

    As for the Plato quote, it was in the comment that I was responding to.

  12. Kabilaboza Kabuka says:

    School of thought for Simango, Writers have the tradition of using masquerades , pseudonyms in what is called persona, or implied writer. For instance, The gods and the chameleon

  13. James Mhango says:

    But then understand who human beings are. We are all actors to some degree. I reside in RSA where communities are said to have reconciled, but when we retreat to our comfort zones we spew all bigotry. Its human nature. I have two accounts on FB, I am on linkedin, am on Quora and a few dating sites. My behavior is not the same on all these fora. I act as a profession on LinkedIn, I express my innermost views on Quora, which may shock some people who know me. The two accounts on FB are not the same. Am not alone in this behavior. This behavior manifests in Marriages, in politics etc. The good thing about social media is that the opinion of a rat will be seen by all cats. There is no respect for integrity. The bigotry spewed on Nyasa times is just a sign of how informed a society is. There is something happening somewhere which registers on this forum. What is it? My guess is that the majority respond to issues emotionally , very few people gather facts and want to engage with the larger community. The issues people discuss on FB, the stories the comment on , what really ticks sometimes makes you wonder if there is nothing Fruitful to discuss.

    We live in an age where each voice matters, that of a rat, any bird can tweet these days. You task is to make sense of this.

  14. 2016 welcome says:

    The advantage of anonymity is that it creates an enabling environment for people to tell the truth. I agree with Analyst. For you Simango, I bet visit any social media forum in the world you were never see the sort of discussion you are craving for. Doesn’t happen that way. Don’t you know that this is the only opportunity say, Ben Phiri can shower insults on Mutharika? You want people to behave like they are in a monastery on Nyasatimes?

  15. Rodrigues Latata says:

    Could as well have addressed it to your own friends that you have mentioned in the article.

  16. Bingiza says:

    “The Analyst” I can sense that you have a personal grudge against Simango and have decided not to understand the message but attack the person. And that is exactly what Simango communicated on his Facebook wall.

    1. The Analyst says:

      It also helps to not forget that our senses can betray us, big time.

  17. Njoka ya Miyendo says:

    Spot on Analyst. Surey Simango, the title and the contents are not talking to each other. I expected to hear you think loud but I cant hear anything from the article. Maybe you should think louder next time. Otherwise, you are losing your place.

  18. Nanjazi wa a Njazi says:

    Ladies and gentlement, allow me to agree with The Analyst. I also dont see the sense in the article. The author could have done beter. Those of you who pretend to know cant even say what is good that you know or have heard in the article. Instead you are just respond to the analyst. too bad. Tell us what sense you have made so that we can learn, at laest we have heard some nice english from the analyst, specialy the introduction statement, eesshhhh. i always look forward to this persons comments.

  19. November Rain says:

    Most of you are commenting not to commend Simango for what he has written but just to discredit this “Analyst”. This tells me you too have seen nothing of worth in the essay and are just pretending to have heard something. Even those commending Simango are not telling us on what basis they like the article but just say, a good article or well written article basi. At least this “analyst” has expressed his opinion freely. Remember also on the article by Kachaje? The analyst was attacked by dozens and dozens of comments. Am beginning to believe this person has made an identity here which many people dont have. And I now know why you call yourself “analyst.”
    To Analyst: dont get discouraged by these haters. I for one, love your wise comments as do many people here. They know themselves. Continue, after all we cant have the same opinion on issues. and thats what democracy is about. Loliwe loliwe!!

  20. Wisdom Of Karonga says:

    Simango’s complaints are not founded, and not well thought of. Try again.

  21. Think Tank Leader says:

    Point of order:

    There are two ways of addressing and responding to issues on social media, either you be a masquerade or authentic. It all bet on the magnitude of the article in question as hiding your identity acts as a shield of self bastion in a world of political predators. I concur with you that most of the writers and pundits are confidants, workmates and who knows! spouses. Never expect such gurus to come open and vanish scot free. You can’t expect Saulos Chilima to come unfenced against APM, you know what that means. Who knows that Patseni Mauka is our very own Lazarus Chakwera in a veil. Lets accepts this certitude and thats the way to go!

  22. Angel of Doom says:

    Simango? Rome was not built in a day.

    And that is what democracy is all about. Democracy is about gratuitous careless talk, called freedom of speech.

    What you are saying is people should say what you and your kind want to hear, that is dictatorship, you want to dictate how people argue, yet when Government shuts down the net you complain.

    Whats the difference, you not liking what you read and telling people what to wright, and Government not liking what it reads and shutting the net.

    You and your Nyasa Times friends are the problem.

    Many people will tell you they write very good comments to issues raised but those never get printed instead what is printed is the rubbish you are complaining about.

    If you want someone to accuse, accuse Nyasa Times for leaving out constructive comments in favour of rubbish.

  23. Kenkkk says:

    Excellent article as far as I am concerned. Anyone thinking otherwise it is because the article had exposed and hit them hard.

    1. November Rain says:

      Its laughable that you are one of the people saying good article, excellent article without telling us waht is excellent or good about it. just shows you too havent seen anything in the essay but you are just following the crowd. Sorry for you! because the man who just follows, soon gets lost.

  24. Obvious Phiri says:

    Some people’s time would’ve been much better utilised following Plato’s advice. Of course, it isn’t surprising that they didn’t see the point in Charles’ essay. How could they when they couldn’t even see that the essay was copied from Charles’ FB timeline. Charles didn’t write it for Nyasa Times.

    Maybe they were distracted because they were too busy browsing a dictionary to find words to sprinkle onto the Dausi-like verbiage that makes up their first paragraph.

    Otherwise they would’ve seen that Charles’ essay was a lament against the sort of response they put up here.

    1. Nsamaonetsa Nyoni says:

      You are making too many assumptions, that is another problem, with this kind of thing.

      Not everyone who comment on Nyasa Times is on FB, so your talk about Plato and peoples inability to see the point, and being distracted because they were browsing a dictionary, is really about yourself browsing Plato’s writings and crying louder than the bereaved.

      1. Mavu Nkhomola says:

        Tell him Nyoni, because instead of coming out clearly he is just being parabolical. Nobody is anybody here, so why not come out clearly and not beat about the bush. Useless kid!

  25. kukhala says:

    MR C SIMANGO ARE YOU STILL AN ACTIVE JOURNALIST?

  26. xanadu says:

    Well articulated simango.you have been ironical but straight to the point.wakumva wamva

  27. Vincent says:

    This so called Analyst is another Chigoba who is useless and worthless.

    Mr Simango, I salute you for your candid article.

    Keep it up

    1. The Analyst says:

      Nobody can be more useless and worthless than anybody who fails to appreciate that asking two men to look at the same woman, they will see different things.

  28. Kunjenje says:

    Thanks Charles for raising the issue..the lack of intellectual debate in Malawi is one of the reasons this country will never develop. The Analyst decides to pretend he hasnt picked anything from your article..one of the tactics used by people who are empty of ideas

  29. tractor salesman says:

    i don’t get it. what’s your point exactly? they call it ‘news’ because it’s meant to be new. there’s nothing new here. the number you have dialed cannot be reached…..

    (stellato??? try stilleto)

  30. chibisa says:

    I missed you. I like what stand for. You have just reminded me of “”The democrat

  31. sangwani Baghaya says:

    You are 100% right Simango. You will read two stories of the same kind of killing or kudula ziwalo and if the name of the accused is from the north it will have all sorts of names but if it is from somewhere else the story will be a good one. why do we like to judge when we fail to be judged? I keep wondering. Lets comment in good faith and with good use of our words.

  32. master says:

    Analyast,
    u have goofed big time here, i used to think u are smart but no u belong to that bunch of garbage, u mean u dont know or understand what charles simango has written here? then school has not helped u my brother

    1. The Analyst says:

      You may wish to know that . . .

      “A lion does not concern himself with the opinion of a sheep.” – Tywin Lannister (Game of Thrones)

  33. master says:

    what apiece of writting, am very much impressed with you simango, it looks so sweet but very spot on very facts puts here, we are a bunch of pretenders and haters in this country!!!

  34. The Analyst says:

    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O
    Having read this writing, am left feeling robbed of my time, smudged of my spirit, and smooked of my face, and knobbed of my legs.
    Is the article too complicated for me to understand or make sense of? I don’t think so . . .
    Am I becoming too dull to grasp what is being said in the article? I doubt . . .
    Am I the only one with such thoughts and questions? Certainly not . . . !

    I feel betrayed! My time wasted and taken granted for.

    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools speak because they have to say something.” – Plato
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    Reading though the writing, I thought I would come across something; alas!
    I was even shocked to realise I was almost coming to the end of your writing yet I was to yet get the gist of the writing. Sad! Sad still, is the fact that the article is written by someone with a “name”.

    People, let us so write as to inform, bring out a new or old idea, or incite a debate or communicate something; not just to write because we have time or contacts with this page.
    You see writing just as walking is an art. Its not just putting words or legs in front of the other. Do better next time, Simango. Otherwise, truth be told, you have written a lot of nothing here. And does not reflect well on your name.
    O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O

    1. Anonymous says:

      Just to help you grab something… This author is making an appeal for people to engage in constructive arguments on various subject matters that arise. Focusing on the argument not the person initiating the argument. Being able to discuss socioeconomic issues with a sober mind not only in the confines of work, but even outside. In my opinion the author is on point and he has communicated something that I for one has been worried about for sometime. I am sure someone, somewhere has made sense of this. Of course not you

      1. The Analyst says:

        Thanks anonymous . . .

        You see, when the only danger you have known in life are elephants; walking in the forest, you can easily be attacked by scorpions; coz your are ready for something big and ignore that which is small; especially when the forest you are wondering about in, has a name like Simango.

    2. Bingiza says:

      “The Analyst”, I can sense that you have personal grudge against Simango and have decided not to understand the message but attack the person. And that is exactly what Simango communicated on his Facebook wall.

      1. The Analyst says:

        I have no personal grudges against anyone anywhere not even on this page. I remember also responding to Kachaje’s Excusiology Theory, some commenter accused me of holding personal grudges against Kachaje.
        Maybe I have just been uncharitable with my choice of words hence seen to attack the person more than his ideologies, but have no grudges.
        For next time there always is; observe! Charitable with my choice of words, I will try to be; thus seen less of attacking the person and more of his/her ideas.

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