Appeal to Mama Cecilia Kadzamira to write a book of Kamuzu

I know you do not have any idea about me. And you may be wondering why I have decided to write this letter to you. It is important, therefore, that I should briefly introduce myself to you.

I am one of the University students who believe that knowledge, for its on sake, is very important. I believe that knowledge must be shared. As a literature student, I also bemoan the dwindling reading culture in Malawi. I belong to the generation that knows very little about how life was in Malawi during the time of the late Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, our father and founder of the Malawi Nation.

Mama Kadzamira

Having introduced myself briefly, I would like to convey my belated heartfelt congratulations to you for being conferred with an honorary Doctorate degree by the University of Jerusalem last December. You really deserve it. During the time you were the official hostess, I understand that you started the famous Chitukuko Cha Amai Mmalawi (CCAM) in 1985.

Through the establishment of the CCAM, I am told your desire to uplift economically the less privileged rural poor, especially women, orphans and the elderly materialized. Allow me again to extend another belated sincere congratulation for being given the Life Time Achiever award a fortnight ago at the Woman of Distinction Award held at the New State House. Looking at your profile, no one can dispute the fact that you really deserved the award. In fact you deserve a better award than that.

I am told that you were born in 1938 in Zimbabwe where you trained as a nurse. I hope this is true. I am also told that you came to Malawi in 1950 and secured a job at Zomba Hospital (Now called Zomba Central Hospital). I also read somewhere that when Dr Hastings Banda returned to Malawi in 1958, you were employed by him at his Limbe clinic.

The information I am writing here has been gathered through the use of both primary and secondary sources. I am told that while you were working for him, you displayed unique skills in handling patients. These unique skills caught the attention of Dr. Banda and after he had ascended to the presidency, you were hired as his official hostess. Forgive me if this is not true.

I am also told that the late Dr. Banda used to call you Mama and treated you with all due respect. I also read somewhere that when he was angry, you were the only one who could cool him down. There is more that I have heard and read about the late Banda and how friendly he was to you. I am also told that Dr Banda died on your lap. Once again forgive me if this is not true. I deserve to be forgiven because I have not heard from your own mouth. Neither have I read anything that came from the hand of Dr Banda. This brings me to the main reason why I have decided to write this letter.

While many African pioneer leaders like Jomo Kenyata of Kenya, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Kwame Nkruma of Ghana and others have written their autobiographies, the late Br Banda did not write one. Therefore, in the absence of that, many authors have taken advantage to cheat us. They give us information that is so contradictory.

Allow me to speculate more what I have read in newspapers and other books. I heard that Banda walked from Kasungu to South Africa and then to the United States of America. I read somewhere that Dr Banda was married in Ghana and had children. Then there is the issue of Juman Johanson who claims to be his son.

The other thing that makes me sad is the myth that Br Banda was not a Malawian. I am told he imposed himself on cowards Malawians and started ruling them. Why am I speculating this? I believe I am not alone in this game. This is so because Dr. Banda did not bother to write events that surrounded his life. But my culture abhors those people who blame the dead. It is not my intention to blame you.

I would like to make a special appeal to you. My request is that please write a book on the life of Dr. Banda and yourself. Some people may look at this request as absurd considering that you are aged. You should be 74 years old now. There is an alternative. You may ask good writers like Professor Kings Phiri, Stanley Kenani or Dr. Dudwa Phiri to write down the book as you narrate the events as they unfolded the time you were the official hostess. In my opinion I do not think any committed writer would turn down that offer. Before, the manuscripts are sent for publication, you can call someone you trust to read it and edit where necessary. The book would sell like hot cakes.

There are so many unanswered questions pertaining to the life of the late Dr Banda. For example look at the issue of Jumani. Should we say that he is just an opportunist? Should we say he is just trying to reap where he did not sow? Since Jumani came into the limelight, you have chosen to remain quiet. Should we say that there is nothing you know about the late Dr Banda’s marital status? They say silence is golden but I think you have been too silent. My apologies if I am not being respectful.

What was Dr Banda’s favourite food? Who was his favourite man in the government? What used to bring a smile on Dr Banda’s face? Who was Dr Banda’s favourite author? What was his favourite book? What was the role of religion in his life? What were the last words that he said to you before he died on your lap? Was he really behind all the killings that are attributed to him? What was his attitude to children? How did he react when Dr. Bakili Muluzi told him to leave Sanjika? Is it true that he did not know our local languages? If he was fluent in Chichewa as a Chewa himself, why did he choose to address his rallies through an interpreter? There are many questions that those of us who were not there would like to know about the father and founder of the Malawi nation.

Lastly, I wish you good health and best wishes as you are contemplating on how you can feed Malawi and the world at large with the correct information about our late great leader.

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