As January comes along, most people struggle to adjust having spent a good chunk of their money on Christmas through lavish meals, fancy clothes and unbudgeted for travels.
Economist Thomas Munthali speaks on how best people can survive this month, christened General January and recover in the months ahead.
Munthali says while January is just like any other month, it comes with its challenges such that most people hope to wish it away quickly.
Even as the January salary comes, it is practically already spent because it mainly repays debts incurred during the unprecedented difficulties from overspendiing previously.
Since general January has become routine, Munthali says, the best way of beating and surviving is to spend within one’s means without overindulging.
“It is prudent to remember all the expenditures that come with January such as school fees and buying fertiliser. There are also rentals to be settled,” he says.
According to Munthali, general January bites hard because of the festive season. He says while it cannot be an easy thing, the festive season must not exceed one’s own financial means.
“Lessons for the future are that the festive seasons have to be celebrated with modesty. Planning for one’s needs without going overboard would be a step in the right direction,” he says.
But why has this problem become trendy? Why is it that people spend so much over the festive seasons and go hungry months down the line? Do people ever learn?
Business person Steven Kakwera, who lives in Lilongwe’s Chilinde Township, says Malawians want to prove they have money; hence, the luxurious lifestyle over Christmas. He says if people learnt from their mistakes, they would be in a better position.
“Of course, I am one of them. Usually this month, I get loans, which is worse but what can I do? In addition, I think as Malawians toil all year, they want to compensate themselves at the year end by feeding themselves generously,” he says.
But Munthali warns that getting loans is not the best strategy to circumvent lack of money problems unless one has a clear vision on how they will repay the money without much duress.
He says the bottom line is to take a look at your expenditure items for January and prioritise needs from wants.n
Women and art of holding
on to wrecked marriages
Marriage is not all bliss. Culturally, young couples are told to persevere, advice that typically warns them of impending trouble. But exactly what does this mean? Is it about putting up with abuse or infidelity? In this article, Paida Mpaso explores:
Ideally, marriage is when man and woman come together for companionship and procreation. Couples vow to stick together till death. As life progresses, certain marriages crumble while others survive on a thread, with the woman holding onto the larger part.
This article addresses whether women should hold on to unsuccessful marriages for the sake of children or wealth? When should a woman call it quits?
The other day, a woman told a friend about how her husband treats and talks to her.
“He tells me I can pack and go if I so wish. Honestly, I have stayed in the marriage for 10 years for fear of starting all over. I am a house wife. How would I take care of three children if I were to leave?” she told the friend who naturally advised her to cling on with the hope that someday, things will work for the better.
Evidently, the fear of starting out and making on their own plays a big role in women’s decision on leaving or staying. The thought of another woman getting their supposed life on a silver platter fuels the “staying on” syndrome.
Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) counselor, Dominic Nsona, says people should enter into marriage with the spirit of working hard at it. He says giving up should be the last option.
“Nobody enters into marriage to walk out of it without any reasons. We all hope for the best and it lasts. However, there are expectations that are not met from either parties and when this happens, women in particular resort to move out; although at times they are chased.
“Women have greater expectations from the man they marry. They expect to be loved, cared for, companionship, financial security among others. This is why we see women deserting a man who may lose his ability to earn an income but stay in battered relationships as long as there is provision with the hope that things will change,” he says.
But Nsona, there are women who are not motivated by money or a good life, who choose to leave.
“The responsibility to sort out issues in marriage lies with the two. There is little ankhoswe [marriage counselors] do to keep marriages. The rest and the best can be done by the couple themselves. Abusive men should learn to live with their wives in peace and tolerance. There are troubles and misunderstandings in marriages but, they can be resolved through mutual agreement.
“Women too should take responsibility to live in peace. When things do not work out, counseling should be sought from reputable married personnel,” said Nsona.
NGO-Gender Coordination Network (NGO-GCN) chairperson Emma Kaliya says couples need to go through several counseling sessions before the ball can be thrown back to them for separation or divorce. She says while most women cling to marriage for materials or for the sake of children, it is wrong to out rightly advise separation.
“If we tell them to abandon their marriages, what will become of the children? What we do is to counsel the couple. There are some husbands who actually change after several sessions and that is what we advocate. Separation should be a last resort. If all these sessions fail, then we can tell them to do whatever they want. The decision to separate must come from the couple,” she says. n
Man and woman joined together in Holy matrimony are blessed with children. These are God’s gifts to the couple. However, not all children are raised by both parents as they are born outside the wedlock. These children are in most cases denied the attention of the two adults responsible for their birth.
2 Samuel 12:1-14 says Nathan called David to repent for his adultery. The prophet Nathan spoke to David in a parable after he had sinned with Bathsheba. The sin of adultery originates from the heart. Matthew 15:19 says out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.
Children born out of the wedlock are born to unmarried people. Most men who father children in such a scenario opt not to provide child maintenance, refuse to take responsibility either because they are already married or because they are not ready for marriage. Having children outside the wedlock is bad as it ultimately disadvantages the child. Avoid it so as to avoid hurting innocent children. The word of God clearly states in Hebrews 13:4 that God will judge the adulterer. Marriage should be honoured by all and the marriage bed kept pure.
Another group of children is raised by a single parent because of parent misunderstandings who could no compromise. They either separate or divorce. This brings misery to the children because every child wants to be identified by both parents striving to give them the best.
Another category of children is raised by single parents because one of their parents died. This is common today as deaths are on the rise.
I have just given an overview of the birth of a child. You will agree that whatever the circumstances, two adults are the source of it.
Most marriages have broken and others are on the brink of breaking because of the spirit of adultery. Peace is lacking in most marriages and trust has gone away resulting in many divorces.
Adultery has to be checked and rooted out. Every human being has the capacity to control oneself and to discipline his/her body. It is a choice which a committed Christian has to make.
No man can please two masters and have it all good. You are causing pain to your families and taking away self respect. Adultery is a spirit which can be passed on from generation to generation and becomes a curse.
Take a step forward to repent and seek help from people of God for deliverance. It is only then that you can regain peace. Stay Blessed.