Raising Malawi From The Bottom

I will let others do or dwell on politics at the top while I GO HOME. Not because I do not care joining in on the discussions but because there are other aspects of our Malawi that are being drowned in all the focus on politics and capital city government. That is the people in the villages who are waiting for our never-ending shenanigans to end so they can get a bit of their usual crumbs. So who wants to GO HOME with me?

Usually people describe lack of progress as “taking one step forward then three steps back”. Assuming that one is facing forward, they would actually take caution as they take those steps backwards. As a result, the backward steps are likely to be shorter and slower. But “taking one step forward then three steps back” is not how we should describe the situation in my country Malawi. Over many years, in Malawi, we have not take steps back. We have actually turned around, faced backwards and sprinted a whole marathon distance. So when people say Malawi is not fixable, I understand their pain and apathy.No matter what politicians have told us over the years, indeed for their own self-worth, our country has precipitated into despair for a long time.

But Malawi is fixable. Indeed Malawi will not be fixed NOW…. but it will be fixed. We will fix it. Those of us who BELIEVE that Malawi is fixable will do what we have to do individually and collectively to bring about the progress that we aspire to see. The very first thing we need is to BELIEVE that we can turn this place around. Because if we do not BELIEVE we can fix it then there is nothing we will do but whine. Otherwise who will do it for us?

Others might call it naivety but I call it HOPE and BELIEF. And when I see anger in some of my countryfolk, I have HOPE that there is fertile ground in patriots and friends of the nation who can be mobilized to fix our beautiful country.

We shall progress one person at a time, one village at a time. We must also bear in mind that we need a mindset shift of seismic proportion. Therefore, considering the depth into which we have despaired, we ought to recognize that the change that we aspire might not be be fully realized immediately. There are too many prevailing dynamics on the ground that will frustrate any efforts towards progress in our country. However, if we really care about our nation, then we cannot allow the mentalities and ills that have afflicted our generation to be passed on to the next generation. This might sound like a cliché to some, but we ought to look at it that we did not inherit this country from our forefathers but we borrowed it from our children.

Some believe that Malawi will change through a top-bottom approach only through change of leadership. I beg to differ somehow. I believe a bottom-up movement is now needed for our country. It is time we, the people, take responsibility for our own destiny by going deep into our home communities and start the progress from there. The premise of this thinking is based on the notion that in each of our home areas, there are a few prominent families from which daughters and sons have made it within Malawi and the rest of the world. It is these people who must uplift our local communities using whatever they have access to wherever they are to. We do not need wait for someone else to come and develop our areas. It is time we change Malawi from bottom-up while searching for a new breed of leaders so that some of the progress can come from the top …. Zikumane pakati. How do we, as sons and daughters of our local communities feel when we see that the people who seem to be concerned about fixing the void that has been created by years of neglect is being filled by even foreign Non-Governmental Organization while we can actually implement our own local solutions?

We must transform our local communities so that our people should be held for ransom by State House or Parliament politics from regime to regime. Let us move to a nation where people will not care about politics not out of apathy but because they do not eat politics and it is well with their home area and their lives. Indeed government has many obligations when it comes to development of these areas but this master- beggar with our Members of Parliament as Beggars-in-Chief has not worked. It is time fora total rework for government has its own grand priorities through Parliament, at Capital Hill or other arms. Let us revolutionize our local home areas, our local communities and deal with our local priorities under “our trees” organizing against poverty.

To some it sounds Utopian but considering how much we have retrogressed under our Republican independence, I am willing to try Utopian.

The goal is to establish a template that can be adapted and implemented in other areas in Malawi. Join Team NEXT, we have room enough for 15 million people.

So who wants to GO HOME?

Let’s Do This!


About Hastings Fukula Nyekanyeka Betha

Born in Malawian and advocate of community mobilization, citizens' active participation in sustainable community development, and youth empowerment. Primarily focusing on "Organizing Against Poverty" by encouraging a new generation of players to participate in and influence the development of our communities
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