Every man’s life is a classroom for the world. But some lives are almost universities; one example being Sunduzwayo Madise’s life which offers all of us one fundamental lesson in life: that whatever happens to us, we can move on and rise again
Sundu was my classmate at French Cultural Centre in 2000. (I wonder if he remembers any French sentence.) Then I was an undergraduate student at Poly, second year, and I knew Sundu as a science product from Chanco, something like a computer scientist. That is still the knowledge, right or wrong, I have about him.
He was working for ESCOM, then, I think. But I am sure he was active either in football or workers unionism or both. In sports, he was vice president of Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
But he appeared in the media more than any other official at FAM. Part of the reason could be that Sundu is friendly and, therefore, media friendly. But most important reason, I think, is that Sundu has an answer for almost every question a journalist can ask. Can Sundu fail to answer a question?
Then, from the famous person built by his work and the media, Sundu fell down. He was implicated in corruption at FAM, tried, convicted and slapped with a suspended sentence. (Do I remember correctly?)
That seemed to be the end of Sundu, a sudden end of a man who was popular in sports and unionism, a man who was able to invite President Bakili Muluzi to Labour Day celebrations. A sure end? Not Sundu. He has risen again, in a bigger way than before, for after the fall he enrolled to study law at Chanco and earned himself an LLB. His academic performance earned him a teaching post in the Faculty of Law at the institution. He went on to study for an LLM and he is now PhD candidate in law.
Now, many years later, it is important to ask the question: was Sundu really in the wrong or his popularity was his enemy? In a country whose national anthem lists envy as one of three important enemies, we can never rule out ill will against a man who was a shining star.
Whatever happened, Sundu has taught all of us one critical lesson. No matter what happens to you or what people may do to you, your brain remains with you. Vampires, as Peter Tosh would call our enemies, cannot take away our brains.
Use your brain and you shall rise again, higher than before!