Former President Joyce Banda unites with her young idol Oyanda 

Impressed with a picture post on Facebook of a young admirer dressed in her traditional dress-wear style — captioned as ‘Her Excellency Madam Oyanda Nyama’ — former President Joyce Banda appealed to the public to help and trace her for a possible meeting.

Her wish was granted when she was connected to the young girl’s parents and the former President expressed her appreciation to all those who helped her find the new friend Oyanda — a learner at The Good Shephered International School in Lilongwe.

Oyanda meets former President Joyce Banda

“I found her at last and I was honoured to receive her together with her parents, her school director Ms Sani and her teachers,” said the former President on her Facebook page.

Oyanda was dressed in Joyce Banda’s People’s Party (PP) colours complete with the former President’s face and another cloth dangled on her shoulder — just as Joyce Banda dresses and is world-renowned for it.

“I learnt in this meeting that Oyanda wore this PP cloth at a school event” where the students were asked to dress up to represent the country’s five former Presidents.

“This was part of the Black History Month commemoration. Oyanda was Malawi’s 4th President Joyce Banda [2012-2014]. I was amazed to listen to the speech she gave at the event that she recited it to me.

“It is also wonderful to see how Mr & Mrs Nyama Banda are raising up this beautiful child. It was delightful to see how confident she is as she talked about what she wants to do in future.

“It is my hope that the parents can allow me to continue to be in the life of their brilliant child. I love interacting with girls of this age group. I really enjoyed spending the afternoon with Oyanda and I could see she enjoyed my company too!”

She was grateful to Madam Esnath Kaliyati and all those who helped her trace Oyanda and her parents, saying may God bless you all.

On February 5, the former President announced that her Joyce Banda Foundation International has opened the Barry Segal Child Feeding & Wellness Centre at Domasi in Traditional Authority Malemia in Zomba, which is set to provide early child education, nutrition and growth monitoring.

The center is being sponsored by Segal Family Foundation and according to Wikipedia, Siegel is an American journalist — a former national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, who won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2002 for his piece ‘A Father’s Pain, a Judge’s Duty, and a Justice Beyond Their Reach’.

“While we have 35 centers where we provide food to children and distribute food packs to the elderly and those living with HIV/Aids, this center will only target those with only a year or two to go before first class in primary school,” Joyce Banda said on her Facebook page.

“It has been scientifically proven that the first 5/6 years of a child’s life is when the brain is developed. The child’s nutrition during this critical period will determine what kind of a citizen this child will grow to be.

Her parents accompanied her

“My worry always is what about those children locked up in abject poverty? It is for this reason that I shall continue to feed Malawi’s rural children.  We cannot lose our future leaders.”

At the launch, Dr. Banda reiterated that despite the fact that leaders are born with 30% leadership traits, 70% of the leadership skills are added from the society.

Through findings of the research, Dr. Banda has written a book ‘From Day One’ in which she presents persuasive evidence — enriched by her first-hand accounts of the importance of granting the girlchild the same openings as the boy from the very beginning.

Her work examines the impact of this unfulfilled potential for the African continent and provides actionable recommendations for government, civil society, international organizations and individuals.

A focus on children from 0-10 years old is critical as it gives the children a good beginning for a better future.

Joyce Banda Foundation was established in 1997 to address challenges many Malawians including women, girls and the vulnerable are facing with a main focus on education, health (maternal), HIV/Aids as well as rural and community transformation.

The Joyce Banda Foundation went on to establish a high school that was  opened in 1997 in Blantyre and by 2003, two more were opened.

By 2018, Joyce Banda Foundation International had sent 6,500 boys and girls to school with all of them attaining high school, 1,500 had acquired tertiary education — out of whom 30 are medical doctors.

Currently, Joyce Banda Foundation has 35 orphan care and feeding centres where children receive early childhood education. The centres also serve as feeding centres for the rural communities.

According to Segal Family, the Foundation believes in a world where development is steered by grassroots leaders and power is shifted into the hands of communities.

The Foundation work across Sub-Saharan Africa and strives to be true partners to the grantees, it aims at changing the power dynamics inherent in traditional philanthropy and prove that a new, more equitable, and responsive approach that is not only more fair, but more effective.

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Chunga chunga
Chunga chunga
2 years ago

Very true, woman of the people.

2 years ago

Almost for half of my life now, at 51, I have been hearing, seeing and reading about Dr. Joyce Banda. Sometimes seeing her impact and influence from a very short distance. My conclusions have always been the same; WOMAN OF THE PEOPLE.

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