‘Are you Saulos Chilima?’

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly,” – Robert Kelly.

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked“Your vice president really left one of the topmost lucrative jobs in your country to pursue a career in politics?” I’m sure by now I would have retired and be living on a private yacht sipping margaritas somewhere along the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Ocean.

Chilima:  Reforms
Vice President Chilima

When I first heard that the Right Honourable Saulos Klaus Chilima (SKC) had resigned as Airtel’s Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) to be Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s running mate I brushed it aside. Mind you, this was the time when everyone and their aunt in Malawi was playing reporter and ‘breaking news’ on the run up to the May 2014 tripartite elections.

An hour later a friend confirmed that indeed the flamboyant Mr. Money was going to be APM’s running mate. It was a shock to many. He pulled a surprise.

My immediate response was “that’s the end of him” and all my friends and foes alike concurred. “This is the beginning of his end!”

We weren’t the only ones who held such sentiments because in no time Facebook and Twitter Malawi erupted with similar posts.

I remember sitting next to the VP’s acquaintances at one of the popular bars in the capital, Lilongwe and eavesdropped them going on and on about how happy they were that SKC was going to give politics a shot. They argued that the guy is really smart but at the same time down to earth.

This amused them because apparently they knew that there was no way the Democratic People’s Party was going to bounce back into government. Of course, then it was just a rumor, but it was only a matter of time before we were all going to be proven wrong.

But who is SKC?

Ordinarily, for many Malawians, Saulos Klaus Chilima is Malawi’s incumbent flamboyant and youthful vice president who was born in 1973 and hails from Ntcheu and Lilongwe districts. One who went to Mtendere Secondary School and later attended Chancellor College.

He is an astute economist and a vibrant marketer who holds a Master’s degree in Economics and is about to conclude his PhD with Bolton University in the UK. They know him as devoted catholic who is married to Mary and has two children. That is how many know SKC as.

But Saulos Chilima is more than just that.

Well, to me here is an extraordinary witty gentleman. He is a risk taker. SKC is a noble man who is audacious, bold and valiant. He is a dare devil. He does not fear circumstances, he creates the circumstances for the good in life not only form himself but all and sundry.

Here is an individual who can give up everything almost for nothing. He is a fearless optimist who is not afraid of tomorrow and yet he is not bothered by his yesterday. He is a man full of surprises yet very ordinary. He is just a normal human being.

For me, most politicians in Malawi turn to politics for survival and at least to earn a decent living after all else in life is doom and groom but SKC has showed that he is a different breed. We must borrow a leaf off him that life is a risky business. It is a gamble and one has to do what he must do to soar high.

SKC is so courageous, he does not fear to explore the unknown, he swims in unknown waters and yet he gets across to the shores as Anais Nim once said; “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

SKC is an inspiration. He is success personified. He is a lesson that in order for anybody to win, one must be prepared to lose. Most of us are where we are today because of not wanting to let go of the things we have no matter how detrimental they are to our lives.

Here is a man who in his early forties just when life begins, has become the country’s youngest vice president in Malawi’s history without previously being involved in politics – at least not actively. It is fair to say he is a political novice.

I, for one, know for sure I never would have played such a high stakes’ game if I was in his shoes (assuming that I somehow found myself as Airtel’s top boss). Why? There is no way I would have taken such a huge risk, but now I can!

I remember in one of his interviews the VP was asked if he thought he had made the right decision and he responded, albeit cockily, that he had never made a ‘wrong’ decision in his life and come 29th of May 2014 he was vindicated.

Chilima as the republican Vice President extraordinaire, he gives hope to the youth, the leaders of tomorrow as he brings with him a new dimension to politics.

“Saulos ndi makolo enieni!” and Saulos ndi deal, are but some of the new catchwords for many a youth in the urban circles.

With him, the long awaited tomorrow, for the youth, who for so long have been used by politicians for their own selfish good, has finally come. Tomorrow is here for the young generation. A generation of risk takers not the cowards.

So far, I am impressed with the way he is handling himself and issues of national importance. He is pure and simple. His punctuality is something we all have to emulate and his hardworking spirit is something we all need to adopt. Let’s roll up our sleeves with him and move Malawi forward.

If he changes for worse, I will be first one to come here and give him sticks. Trust me. I give credit where is due and constructive criticism when it is necessary. I am the ‘sojourner of truth.’

My wish, however, is that he doesn’t get side-tracked and eventually morph into a typical politician. Or am I just being just being naïve?

However this is all going to end up teaching us only one thing that anything is possible, not just in politics, but life in general. You can truly become anything you want to be as long as you are determined.

The moment you start to believe in yourself anything is possible, because someone that believes in himself (oneself maybe) will not be afraid to push himself (as above) to the next level and to risk the possibility of failure.

Push, push and push beyond the boundaries and achieve more. Be a daredevil. Let not the sky be the limit because it just a view, after all there are footsteps on the moon, way far beyond the sky.

To all of you who would want to be the next Saulos Chilima in life, take a risk. Do not fear to lose as Robert Kelly puts it:“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”

So, how many of you would take such an enormous risk? Or are you satisfied with the status quo? Success won’t fall on your lap, you have to pursue it.

How many Saulos Chilima’s are out there? Are you willing to take a leap of faith and dare where others have failed and conquer?

Be a Saulos Chilima and make it big in life. Take a risk. Don’t fear to lose what you have, there is more you can achieve if you believe in yourself.

Of course, it is not easy. There are obstacles along the way but who said life is easy? If you want honey dare the bee sting and as Christopher Columbus once said: “By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his or her chosen goal or destination…” The choice is yours.

If you’ve the desire to achieve greatness in life, Bring it on!

Are you Saulos Chilima?

  •  Mtumiki Woyamba is a Nyasa Times Columnist and a political and social Commentator based in the Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe.

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7 years ago

Yes, go aheard SKC. We need people with dynamic thinking like you. In most cases, risk takers usually succeed. Bravo VP!

Mtonga Mwenecho
Mtonga Mwenecho
7 years ago

Malawians,lets not praise people blindly.Kafunseni anthu ogwira ntchito ku Airtel kuti pa nthawi imene a Chilima anali MD,anasintha bwanji moyo wa anthu ogwira ntchito ku AIrtel.You will be surprised kuti mwina bola azungu akunja omwewa.

I am told kuti the contract for Airtel MDs run for 2 Years,mwina the time he was joining politics,amadziwa kale kuti ntchito yawo kulibe.

Nanga izi timamva kuti he was forced to leave the office the same day without even the handovers,mwina there was misappropriation of funds,who knows

Concerned citizen
7 years ago

I believe Saulos is the breath of fresh air the nation needed.

I can tell you the “Reform” processes is taking great shape. Just the composition of the team is impressive.

If the current government continues to place the right people in the right positions, Malawi shall be a different nation come 2019.

Saulos, keep up the GREAT work. Make MALAWI a proud nation. Show that there is no room for idle hands and minds.

Mute Gama
Mute Gama
7 years ago

It is clear the many so called commentators do not know the other dark side of the VP (before he became one) and other topics they tend to tackle. Please do some research and write balanced articles.

7 years ago

Thank you for inspiring me.

7 years ago

A story is told that during one cabinet meeting one vocal woman minister said at the end of the cabinet meeting ‘DPP inner titsalire’. Saulos thought he was one of them and he remained. The lady minister then said Mr vice president please give us space. The vice president then looked at APM thinking that APM was going to support him. Then APM said yes, Mr VP you are excused. This story tells me that Saulos is yet to see things in DPP. The young man has been used and unless he plays his cards very very carefully he will… Read more »

concerned citizen
concerned citizen
7 years ago

Malawians your comments about saulos amuse me. As long as we practise regional politix, saulos will never advance. The Dpp inner circle is devlish and they mek sure it is for southerners. Tiyeni timuthandize kupemphera

7 years ago

A “NDIKUTELO”……..The thing is not just about praising SKC…but, that’s the truth so far as it stands. What you are saying abt them “others” nzoona, but why are they not coming openly to assist the country at large just as SKC did? smh….

7 years ago

Chilima is by far better than Bakili’s son, so we hope the DPP-UDF coalition should not be a stepping stone for Bakili’s son to take over from Chilima.

7 years ago

Anthu mukungoti,Chilima,Chilima anayendetsa bwino airtel aaaaaa- rubish kugulitsa airtime komweko. Pali anthu achita zazikulu m’malawi muno koma chifukwa choti saimba chitolilo ndie nkumaona ngati Chilima wapambana zaziiiiiiii ,mxiiiiooo

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