Today, I want to appreciate Lucius Chiccio Banda.
The man loves his country.
About 25 years ago, he sang the most revolutionary song any musician in Malawi has ever dared to sing: Mabala. The song shook the foundations of a dictatorship.
The government of the day did not like him for that.
Since bursting on Malawi’s music scene, he has always been its biggest star, while remaining humble as ever.
He has even groomed some big names. He let them fly on their own. He let their light shine. Mr Banda is not a man full of envy.
Our national anthem asks God to liberate us from three enemies: hunger, disease and envy. Mr Banda’s heart is already liberated from envy.
When he stepped into the national limelight, he declared that he wanted to speak for the marginalized voices of our society, and he has. For 25 years or more.
We must appreciate people while they are still alive, and today I want to appreciate Lucius Banda.
When he joined politics, the United Democratic Front, to which he belongs, should have known they were accepting a revolutionary in their ranks.
He was not one of the feeble-minded automatons who are easily remote-controlled by a big man operating behind the scenes.
Lucius is one of the most independent-minded politicians we will ever have.
There is not a single government that has liked him.
And he doesn’t care. After all, in the early 90s, when he came onto the scene, he did not say he was going to be a stool for the powerful.
He said he was going to be a soldier for the poor. And he, fiercely, remains a soldier that noone can push over, not even the president of our republic.
Thank you very much, Lucius. People like you give me hope that not all is lost for our country. Keep the fire burning.