The white shame in Seodi: In defence of Malawi Pres. Banda

The anger of Madam Seodi White towards President Joyce Banda has been noted. What has not been noted is what caused it.

She claims she was annoyed because President Banda sort of demonized women who are divorced.

This, President Banda did, according to Madam Seodi White, by advising women in Nkhata Bay a couple of weeks ago not to misconstrue the concept of gender for rudeness towards their husbands.

“If someone comes here to tell you that you have to be rude to your husband because that is what gender equality entails, ask them if they are still in marriage,” advised the Malawi leader in her remarks at Masamba Ground in the Area of Chief Timbiri.

“Many of them will not give you answers because they don’t have husbands. They have wrecked their marriages three or four times for misconceiving gender equality,” President Banda had explained.

Seodi White
Seodi White

What has not been noted in the President Banda’s remarks is the demonization of divorced women and where Madam White is being singled out for mention.

Only Madam Seodi White knows.

Even if she had wanted to narrow the remarks on herself being a divorced woman, the President did not restrict herself to a single divorced woman.

This is what she said: “Many of them….have wrecked their marriages three or four times…for misconceiving gender equality.”

So the President was just as a good as making a general reference. She was saying not all gender activists have wrecked their marriages, only “many of them.”

And these “many” have not just wrecked a single marriage but “three to four.” Even if Madam Seodi White wanted to drag herself into this reference, it lacks the specificity and particularity to her.

Madam Seodi White has not wrecked three or four marriages, unless she would want to dispute this. It is not even known whether she wrecked it, unless her protest is suggesting something different.

And the President did not refer to all divorced women. She made a specific qualification of the divorced women she alluded to. These are women who earned their divorce through recklessness.

She even qualified this recklessness. It is the recklessness by way of misconstruing the concept of gender.

Even here, she was specific in terms of the misconception of the gender concept. She said by misconceiving the concept some women are rude to their husbands.


Put it differently, for Seodi to take it personally on the President she must prove that in saying “many of them”, the Head of State was referring to her.

She must prove that in saying the “many of them” have “wrecked” their marriages, the President was referring to her. She, thus, might want to provide more details about how she wrecked it to prove that the wreckage was the same as the one the Malawi leader may have been referring to.

Seodi must prove that in saying that the “many of them” who have “wrecked” their marriages, have done it three to four times, the President was referring to her, and she might want to confirm that she was married more than once and when.

She must prove that in saying that the “many of them” who have “wrecked” their marriages “three or four times” by misconception of gender, the President was talking about her, and she might want to state her misconception to confirm that it coincides with the one Dr. Joyce Banda was referring to.

Seodi must prove that in saying that the “many of them” who have “wrecked” their marriages “three or four times” through the misconception of gender by being rude to their husbands, President Banda was referring to her, and she may want to confirm she was rude to the husband and specify the kind of rudeness so it ties with the one Joyce Banda may have been referring to.

President Banda referred to “many of them” and being rude to “their husbands.” By protesting, is Madam Seodi White confirming she has been involved with “husbands,” not a husband, and she was rude to all of them?

President Banda cannot be attacked that she was demonizing divorced women. She never did, if what she said in Nkhata Bay is the only premise upon which Seodi is basing her misgivings.

She would not have “demonized” all divorced women because not all of them were divorced for wrecking their marriages. As a matter of fact, some actually divorced their husbands because it is the men they wrecked the marriages.

The President would certainly not have scorned all divorced women because not all of them, even if they may have been the ones who wrecked their marriages, wrecked them on the basis of misconstruing the concept of gender.

She would not have been referring to all divorced women, because not all their divorces were based on rudeness to their husbands.

By saying that many of them have wrecked their marriages, the President was not condemning the fact that the marriages were wrecked, nor was she celebrating the fact that some women were divorced; she was simply lamenting the whole carelessness that should end up in sinking the institution of marriage.

If she was celebrating she would not have given advice to the women in Nkhata Bay to prevent more marriages from dissolving.

By giving them the piece of advice, President Banda was sympathizing with those that have been divorced for misconstruing gender because inherent in the concept is the need for strong families that must flourish in the availability of mutual respect, equity and justice.

Unless Madam Seodi White has other issues against the President, opening her sorry mouth to make her sorry protestations can only be a sorry development.

Her heckling lacks in both premise as well as substance.

Very shameful!


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