History was made in Machinga East Constituency during the 2014 tripartite elections when Esther Jailosi-Jolobala became the first female Member of Parliament (MP) to represent the area after 50 years of independence.
The area was under-developed at the time and that compelled her to go to the people and ask them to allow a woman to represent them in the August House.
Jolobala acknowledges that it was not easy.
“I come from a very poor family; not well known to society. I was not asked, but I asked the people to represent them. Despite my poor background, I was called by God to serve His people and I could feel it deep down my heart. The area was underdeveloped and the people were struggling; I wanted to bail them out,” says the legislator who comes from Kiphalele Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kawinga in Machinga.
Machinga is one of the areas where issues of early marriages, early pregnancies and school drop outs are prevalent.
Such being the case, she has worked hard to uplift the education sector as MP.
Jolobala has built a girls hostel at Ntaja Community Day Secondary School (CDSS), two new CDSSs at Ntalala and Namkuyu; nine school blocks; and nine early childhood development (ECD) centres.
“Currently, I am also acting as a role model for women and girls. I am aware of the need to open new primary schools in some of the areas to minimise distances covered by children in accessing primary and secondary education,” she says.
Outside the education sector, Jolobala has drilled and rehabilitated boreholes; brought piped water closer to people, constructed protected wells and bridges.
She is also empowering women with skills and small businesses to reduce poverty.
Minding people’s health and as a way of promoting safe motherhood in her constituency, the parliamentarian bought an ambulance.
She has also provided loans to the youth to reduce unemployment.
However, with the large population in Machinga East, some villages still lack safe drinking water.
Jolobala notes that some of the areas are not, yet, electrified.
Furthermore, the lawmaker has managed to lobby for a tarmac road from Nsanama to Nayuchi border, whose construction will start soon after the passing of the 2018/19 budget.
The MP went to Chinamwali Private Secondary School in Zomba.
From there, she went to the Malawi College of Accountancy where she studied for the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA).
Upon completing her studies, she worked with Globe Group of Companies for more than 10 years.