Immediately after Cabinet appointments, what follows is some fanfare and jamboree.
There is always this rush for hearty messages of congratulations which are done both in good and bad faith. Some are made with the hope of gaining recognition from the person on the other end. Of course yes! That they may be remembered in their kingdom on a rainy day.
Not that it is wrong to congratulate one when he achieves a notable feat in life, no! That is a mark of goodliness in many parts of the world. Those who can’t appreciate the achievements of their friends usually live a miserable life because they are filled with discontentment and jealousy.
But some of us, sometimes wait until all the dust that comes with that excitement settles. The intention is to make sure our message gets home and is received by the intended recipient. This in part is why I deemed it necessary to delay this note.
Indeed this little note is meant to welcome the new broom in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Michael Bizwick Usi. The new government has trusted him with the responsibility of transforming a ministry which has been looked down upon for long.
Given his acting background there was none from the pond who ticked all the boxes perfectly like Usi to take up the mantle of this ministry. His appointment surely must have excited a good number of players in the creative industry.
His association with the art industry is not the only qualification that made him the most ideal candidate for the post; Usi has also displayed his management capabilities during his time at the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (Adra) where he was a country director.
The good reputation he built for himself made him a cut above many. His management skills will, therefore come under another test as he steers a ministry which has multiple facets, needs and challenges.
His arrival could not have come at a worse time than when the country is grappling with the coronavirus (Covid-19) global threat. Players from the creative industry which falls under his ministry have been hit the most.
He is, therefore, stepping into a house which is in despair. The task before him is to reinvigorate the spirit among these subjects, breathe a sense of hope and give them an assurance that not all is lost.
I happen to have attended one of his first engagements as minister. On Wednesday, he held an interface meeting with leaders of various associations and unions in the creative industry.
Everything about him gave credence to his willingness and readiness to get the bus moving as soon as possible. This he made known to all present. On top of his energy, Usi said he is backed by a government which is ready to transform the creative sector.
From his address, he raised one point which has kept resounding in my memory. Usi urged his erstwhile artistic buddies not to fear or respect him too much. He asked them to approach him every time they note something is dragging. He pleaded with them that if they respect him too much, things will not work.
The kind of communication that Usi wishes to have with stakeholders under his ministry will surely birth good results if it should be sustained under the right conditions. What he said was simply challenging stakeholders to come and talk with him if they have the solutions and alternatives come.
There would not have been a better way of starting off his journey other than opening up his door to all and sundry. Usi does not want to be respected too much and I am sure the message got home. As for me, I will not either, I will personally call you to make sure you have received this note.
Welcome aboard HonourableUsi and all the best.