It looks puzzling but sometimes you cannot miss the humour. Recently, a decision was made to abolish primary and junior certificates. I have two primary school certificates, courtesy of repeating the eighth grade. Possibly not a bad decision after all, but something got me to think about a little deeper, as has become the norm these days.
Some clever cartoonist played it very well. He cleverly depicts an angry gentleman that calls Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) faults line wondering why he has power uninterrupted for two days. He reckoned this is impossible and thought some help from technicians to fix the problem. Someone also went further to allege that most senior executives go and take their showers at some college that is a sister to the one “God allegedly loves the most”. It is banter galore if you would call it that way.
It appears electricity and water shortages have become the norm with no end in sight. To add more humour to it some people think we should stop training electric engineers at the University of Malawi (Unima). Such a thought is crated that engineers have failed to find innovative ways to generate electricity. Others have had the view that water engineers are not necessary and I reckon hydrologists would fall into the same band as water shortages amid a huge Lake Malawi are a norm.
But I took a different view like many others. The problems are not only water and electricity, but even Cashgate that went undetected through our foolproof financial system. The calabash gatherings, as deep swags took turns, contend that maybe we do not need accountants and auditors. It even took a radical view that maybe we should abolish the central bank, commercial banks and the currency and resort to using bushels of maize or some smoked ngumbi as a medium of exchange.
Using such commodities as a medium of exchange is much safer than some information technology (IT) system that can be by-passed. The logic is very simple. Think of the ant-hill where we catch the flying ants during the rainy season. The soldier ants do not compromise and cannot be corrupted. They bite you off irrespective of who you are as long as you tread on their territory. Theirs is a system that thrives on equality before the law as they jealously guard the queen.
I have always loved sweet things though they make the services of dentists even higher. These ones we can continue to train and even introduce higher degrees. If you have been stung by a bee, you know why honey is such sweet and does not come cheap on the supermarket shelves. In the bee kingdom, just like the ant kingdom, the principles are the same. Protect the queen and sting any intruder irrespective of who they are. In other words, their system is not corrupt and all stingers are ready to defend the might of their queen.
Now what is it that I am talking about here? I could be high on either bee or smoked ant salad. We have a failed tourism industry, sang about, I argued to counter a thought we need not stop colleges offering courses on marketing or tourism. But I could not hold onto my argument because I was reminded that one profession that has to be made illegal and abandoned is customer care services. Examples ranged from services offered by telecommunication companies, commercial banks, hospitals, utility companies, transport companies, hotels and you name it.
I could only remind my colleagues at our calabash about the law of treason, protected names and others just to make sure we all tread on a secure path. We all came to a consensus that the only business that takes customer care concerns seriously is coffin making. We are a God fearing country after all and we do not need to care much about investing in public health.
Some crazy mind had a strange idea and complement. He lauded the brains that introduced social studies as intelligent, better than the Mzuzu corner cheats or thugs. The only suggestion was that there should be a slight revision to the curriculum. The curriculum needs topics on patriotism and how to dream. It should be put into the mind of any child that death at Garden City or Milpark Hospital ensures easy passage to heaven and, as such, they should grow to never advocate building modern facilities in the land of honey, milk and mud fish.
But, as they say, talk is cheap. I can only talk and talk, but cannot suggest which professions or courses should be abandoned. Functional sociologists look at a country as a system with many parts to survive and offer the best for citizens where equality before the law is not lip service but a way of life. Only if each one of us took pride in whatever work we do, well those spirits that are as low as we live in our dark homes without water would awaken. What is your role in selling the Malawi brand?
It was just a talk as we swayed the calabash, and no profession must go.