Celebrated rapper turned politician Fredokiss – born Penjani Kalua – has said he did not venture into politics with opportunistic motives but rather saw it as a “platform for solutions” towards the bettering of his country—Malawi.
Kalua, who contested for a parliamentary seat in Blantyre City South during the May 2019 tripartite elections, said in a pre-recorded televised interview on Times Television on Saturday, hosted by Wonder Msiska, that after a “successful” career with his music, he thought of taking up another challenge.
“In life you always have a destiny – a calling. With my musical background originating from Zingwangwa and Nkolokosa, it was a challenge to hit it big. But I made it, and as a person who likes taking up challenges, I wanted to pick up another challenge,” Kalua said, sounding composed and looking focused.
He claims that some individuals – of high social standing – approached him if he would consider venturing into politics after he had reached the “peak” of his musical career being named, among others, as NBS Bank and UNICEF.
“They quizzed me on where I was taking my musical influence to, and the question reignited my passion for politics which I see as a calling,” said Kalua, who is son to controversial politician and former cabinet minister Kamlepo Kalua.
According to Kalua, he did not join politics because his father was into it but rather, he joined the game to contribute towards finding solutions to some pressing issues in the country, especially amongst the youth.
“As a young man, I felt duty-bound to join politics and I strongly feel that if the youths do not participate in the development agenda, they need to start now,” he said.
On the June 23, 2020 arrested in which he was detained by the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) at Chiweta in Rumphi for allegedly issuing cash handouts to prospective voters in the fresh presidential election, Kalua said he had committed no offence and that is why he was released after being charged with something that does not exist in the penal code.
“We went to court, and there was no evidence at all. The MDF soldier who picked me up confessed to me that I was arrested because some powers-that-be thought that my influence would in some way disturb the electoral process which I do not think so. There was actually no statement taken because I was innocent,” said Kalua, adding that he had at the time just returned from South Africa and wished to visit his home—Rumphi.
On whether he was a power-hungry personality built on usurping UTM Party youth directorate leadership, Kalua said since he joined the party in December 2020, he is not at qualms with anybody.
Recently, there have been outbursts on social media between him and the sitting MP Lipipa to the extent that the latter warned the former that “there is one MP at a time” and that the fact should be respected.
The remark followed Kalua’s intervention towards the ameliorating of toilets for staff and the maternity wing at Zingwangwa Clinic within the constituency.
Kalua explained: “I got a call from someone in Zingwangwa where they explained that they had approached the ward councillor and the MP regarding the dire state of the health facility but both of them were not forthcoming.
“Looking at the situation at hand, I felt heart broken and took the issue to social media so that well wishers could support my initiative to better things at the clinic. When Lipipa saw that that is when he came out with his outbursts, but I challenged him to find a solution to the problems within 24 hours because it was an urgent matter. I had to because as constituents we must make demands because we employed him.”
According to Kalua, despite not making it to parliament he believes he still won.
“I did not lose at all, but won the hearts of over 12 000 people of Blantyre City South. I won a lot of things with interaction. That is what I tell my fellow youth: there is so much to life. What we simply need to do is to participate. We need to focus on issues and solutions and not individuals,” he said, apparently referring to MP Lipipa.
He called on the Tonse Alliance government to consider easing some of the requirements to get the National Economic Empowerment Fund (NEEF) loans so that more youths in the country can have access.
“NEEF should partner with youths who have great business ideas and partner with them. In that way, youths will be able to create jobs amongst themselves and employ each other,” said Kalua, mentioning that soon he would be introducing a ‘Ghetto Bank’ in the constituency that will target youths and women by providing them with capital.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :