Malawi selfless teacher with 7 classes: Kamphira reaps fruits of hard work

Hard work and dedication pays.  That’s the story of Mark Kamphira, a 35-year-old volunteer teacher who has transformed the status of Chiguma Primary in Blantyre from a community structure into a fully government owned school.

Teacher Kamphira: Selfless man working hard

With his contribution to society, Kamphira emerged the overall winner in the 2017 Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC’s) Innovator of Innovators award and was rewarded with K3.5 million cash prize and a one-month all paid for trip to the Peoples Republic of China.

Other accolades for Kamphira included a treat to a State dinner, a photo opportunity with the Head of State, President Professor Peter Mutharika and a scholarship for further studies.

His success did not come on a silver platter. He had to sweat by sacrificing his time, resources and everything towards his work.

Since 2015, Kamphira has been teaching at Chiguma Primary School, which was established and run by the community in Traditional Authority Kunthembwe. He was the lone teacher managing all classes from Standard one to seven.

He was the school’s head teacher, deputy head, class teacher and sports master. In brief, he was an all-rounder.

For all the great work, Kamphira only got a measly K15, 000 as his monthly pay sourced from community’ contributions. On some other months, he could live with less that amount because some poor households could not afford the contribution.

Indisputably, his dependency on the community affected his performance but such a challenge did not take away his powerful drive and desire to work even harder.

“I accepted to teach in a harsh environment because it has always been my passion to teach. I wanted to assist children from the area to attain quality education,” Kamphira says.

He confides that he was touched by the alarming school dropout rates.

“I never wanted the situation to continue and that is why I volunteered to teach children in the area.”

In the course of his voluntary work, Kamphira would sometimes use his scanty resources to buy teaching and learning materials. Within the two years that he has been in charge of the school, many learners have posted good results.

Due to his hard work and dedication, MBC included Kamphira on the list of 2017 innovators awardees under the education category.

Luckily, the volunteer teacher scooped first position in the category before emerging the overall winner as Innovator of Innovators.

Kamphira says he never imagined this would ever happen in his life and until today, the shock is yet to start waning.

“You can imagine the shock; from struggling to get a monthly income of K15, 000 and stumbling into a millionaire overnight,” he says.

For someone who never expected any reward from his hard work and dedication, the gods have really smiled at him with this national recognition that is will surely find its way to the global scene.

With the prize money he got through the award, Kamphira has lined up a number of a short and long-term plans.

Firstly, he wants upgrade his qualifications from the Malawi School Certificate Education (MSCE) which he obtained at Mulanje Secondary School with 29 points.

“I want to pursue a degree in education majoring in humanities,” he says.

In the long term, Kamphira is planning to build a three-bedroom house in Chilomoni, Blantyre where he secured land for such a project.

Unlike other people who would easily be carried away with such a huge sum of money, the volunteer teacher refuses to head that direction.

He has already deposited K3 million to one of the country’s commercial banks under a fixed-deposit account while pondering on how best he can invest the money on the two priority plans.

“I am very careful with the money. I would like to do something that will be memorable to my life,” Kamphira says.

He adds that he takes the advice he received from the state president that he should continue working hard and forge ahead in creating a better future for himself and the school children.

Kamphira’s initiative and dedication has put Chiguma Primary School on the map with government through the Ministry of Education responding by deploying two additional teachers.

Despite the new developments both at the primary school and in his personal life, Kamphira vows to continue serving his community until such a time when he secures a place in college for further studies.

“I am excited that the school has two more teachers that are professionals. This is good for pupils in terms accessing better and quality education,” he says.

During the unveiling of the two new teachers, Blantyre District Education Manager responsible for rural primary education, Paul Chiphanda, hailed Kamphira for his positive contribution to society.

“The DEM’s office recognizes Kamphira’s contribution to the development of education. We will consider placing him in one of the teachers’ colleges so that he continues with his studies and become a qualified teacher,” Chiphanda says.

He adds that the ministry will maintain his services so that he continues with his selfless work despite the coming of new teachers.

Chiguma Primary School is now a fully recognized public institution; it will operate a double shift teaching system of morning and afternoon classes to give chance to more children in the area to access primary school education.

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No words can express the sacrifice you do Mr Kamphira,you have a heart of gold,you choose to use your time
on this earth to help without expecting anything in return..God bless


Mr Kamphira you are the man! But who is the real champion is one community that is organised enough to pay one Mr Kamphira a monthly salary. That is an amazing development. I wish Government should recognise this community as well. They truly inspired one teacher to stay and work at their school though on a meagre salary of 15K and that’s no small achievement. Well done Kunthembwe people!!!!!

I wish Mr Kamphira all the best. May God bless you. May I also thank the DEM for stepping in quickly to uplift the young people’s plight. However, I have some questions. 1. Where was the MP for the area all this long? 2. Mr DEM, kungotumiza aziphunzitsi awiri mwayambapo za double shift. Really? 3. Mzanu akukamba za degree in muli TTC. Sure? Adutse munadutsa inu! 4. Kunthembwe is so close to town you mean a DEM simnkaziwa za zimenezi? Mukugona PA Ntchito tu inu! Who is the PEA of the area? Mma report mwake Amati kukuchitika chani PA School… Read more »
Waku Gauteng
Politicians take a cue from this man. You are servants of the people and serve them. Many Of our MP’s are happy to drive around in expensive sedans while their areas are in state of rot. And yet they are unperturbed. You should be ashamed. A mere simple guy without enough resources managed to run a school and whole bunch of you are queuing up to steal. Many of you if are given city public toilets to manage you have no idea where to start. Or may be you pass the contract on to your relatives, that’s how shameless you… Read more »

Misonzi yanga yagwa mosakakamizidwa. Do such kind of people exist in Malawi?

Here is a man sacrificing his all to teach the kids while those at Capital Hill are doing their best to steal the resources meant for education.

May the almighty Lord bless this man abundantly.

Principal Group Village Headman
Principal Group Village Headman

God should really continue to bless this man for his noble cause…

M Sizini

Mr Kamphira – you are an inspiration to us all. You are a real example of what service-leadership is all about. It is not just about words that dribble from the lips of self-interested politicians. it’s about people like you who observe a need in their community and then do everything in their power to ensure that that need is met. You are the embodiment of civic education. If more people would aspire to be more like you, this country would not be in the dire situation is is in today. I salute you, sir.


We need a lot of Kamphira’s in Malawi. congratulations sir and may God bless you


He is a true hero. Well done sir!


Well deserved person

Maggie Phiri

A touching story

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