Many Malawians have inspired and energized me, great sons and daughters of the land who sacrificed for the sake of the progress, unity and peace we are enjoying today. The likes of John Chilembwe, Michael Sauka, Henry Chipembere, Attati Mpakati, Dudunzu and Yatuta Chisiza, Lutegano Mwahimba, Alan Namoko, Bakili Muluzi, Chakufwa Chihana, Kamuzu Banda minus his human rights side and many others have been my inspiration for their great contributions to our nation.
The question I have always asked is how do we honour these former champions? I know this will be a point of debate. But why I am saying this. Few years ago I tried to trace the descendants of two great Malawians John Chilembwe and Michael Sauka.T his took me to Zomba and Balaka where I met the descendants and families of John Chilembwe and Michael Sauka.
My interest in the two Malawians is unquestionable. Chilembwe is the talk of Malawi, he is on our bank notes and has his special day to remember him.
For Michael Sauka I don’t know how I can describe him because his composition which is the National Anthem is sung thousands times every day in our schools, on national events, radios and TVs. Unfortuntely it seems people know more of Anthem than the man behind it.
One interest thing about the National Anthem is that what Michal Sauka prophesied is the character of Malawi and Malawians. Poverty, hunger, disease, hate, anger, jealous, evny all these are the orders of the day.
Malawians are always angry and bitter, everwhere you see faces of vengeance, their language is if I don’t have it nobody else shouldnt have it, definitely I will give you problems. To me Michael Sauka was just another unsung Prophet. May His Soul Rest in Peace.
The most unfortunate and sad things is that the nation has never been interested in tracing the descendants or families of the two great Malawians .I have never heard anywhere whether at a rally or any national event or meeting talking about John Chilembwe descendants and yet they live a miserable poor life somewhere in Zomba.
And for Michael Sauka it’s sad that while his composition is sung everyday and night nationally nobody cared building him a tombstone until two Malawians built him as an honour.
My question is how can we have John Chilembwe day, his face on bank notes, being taught in schools and yet we can’t have interest in tracing his roots? I admire this man ,how can someone in those years challenge the British? Nobody dared do that to the British Empire but we had our own John Chilembwe. He was just a rare breed missing in this modern generation as our current generation is full of traitors, pretenders , fear of sacrificing nd just waiting to enjoy the sweat of others.
Honestly if we are to genuinely honour our great sons and daughters then we need to do more than just the lip service or paper work. Just holding traditional national events, teach history about them, sing the national anthem daily while their descendants and families are in dire poverty is an insult to their national contribution.
Let the nation have a direction on how to honour former champions!
- Undule Mwakasungula, the former director of Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and now a human rights columnist on Nyasa Times