Good people, so this is the month business stops as we celebrate the birthday of the founding president Kamuzu Banda, the dictator we rebuffed in the name of democracy 20 years ago!
Scrape off the Kamuzu Day holiday on May 14 and stop glorifying the rejected dictator by naming public goods after him if democracy still matters as it did in 1993 when we wanted change.
Hypocrites are leaders who muted the June 14 holiday immortalizing the BIG NO to the excesses of the so-called “father and founder of the Malawi Nation” in preference for an overdrive in honor of the very monster we wholeheartedly wanted to forget.
The more things change, the more they remain the same—at least for as long as our seemingly clueless leaders continue enjoying the juiciest fruits of democracy in marble mansions named after the man their people hate to remember.
Arise Kamuzu Palace! There are one million and one civilized names celebrating democratic values that won’t reignite the bitter memories of Kamuzu’s high-handedness when that day dawns. Play me Billy Kaunda’s Musandikumbutse Kale, for I hate to stagnate in the bloody past.
So is Chilembwe!
And talking about names, I understand a ship taking shape at Monkey Bay has been named after a man of the hills who already has a public holiday in his name.
Ships are works of art and how inartistic of the brains behind ours to name Ilala successor Chilembwe in reference to the country’s premiere nationalist John Chilembwe who masterminded the 1915 Uprising.
Arise, good people! The Chiradzulu man was born upland, grew upland, fought upland and reportedly died up there in the hills.
Never does his story touch the waters of Lake Malawi even on his transformative US trip sponsored by the Reverend Joseph Booth.
Big things don’t have to always carry overused heroes’ names. For change’s sake, why don’t we just name the ship March 3 in honor of the unsung heroes who defied Britain’s State of Emergency in 1959 and allowed their blood to drip into Lake Malawi during the struggle for this 50-year-old self-rule at Nkhata Bay Harbour.