By Patrick Achitabwino:
We have mastered the art of complaining. We are accustomed to seeing challenges and instead of providing solutions, we have the ability to recite litanies of the challenges.
The world is sick and tired of tears. The world wants solutions; solutions to unemployment; solutions to the faltering economy; solutions to transforming the macro-economic fundamentals that seem to prey on the economic vitality of the country.
While experts spend time groaning, offering pieces of advice that they themselves cannot implement, it is the little known and unsung heroes that are making a difference; people who have no academic qualifications worth mentioning; people who cannot stand on a podium and articulate their ideologies in English which we feel is a measure of intelligence.
At the 2022 Energy Conference that was held at Nkopola in Mangochi, delegates were stunned with the amazing stories of three youngsters, secondary school dropouts, who are leading a development revolution that even the educated envy.
Growing up in the bushy tea estates of Mulanje, young George Kalichero has become an amazing innovator. Thought uneducated, he still makes windmills and electric bicycles.
“When I was working on a windmill in Nkhotakota, I was staying far from where I was building a windmill. It was then that I thought of coming up with an electric bicycle,” George says.
Growing up in the hilly Livingstonia area in Rumphi, John Silence was at pains to see that it was a nightmare to charge phones. People had to walk long distances to have their phones charged. Children were not doing well in class as they could not study at night.
He complained no more. From the little knowledge he had, he saw a waterfall on a river in his village. There, using rudimentary and some improvised metals, he made a small hydro power plant.
That was the beginning of change. Eventually, his power plant lights the whole village. It has not ended there; eventually, there is a maize mill in his village; thus, making life easy for people.
In the scorching heat of Liwonde, little known Ben Kankhulungo was wondering how he could have adequate energy to power some of the appliances he had.
Another secondary school dropout, he developed a power boosting model that eventually attracted the interest of academic dons at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences who called for him to test his prototype.
The paradox is that people deprived of education, sometimes because of poverty, are pushing development agendas that thrill the world.
The answer is simple: they believed in their ideas. They did not care being called mad. They did not fear failure. They did not mind that they had little knowledge of physics and chemistry which professors in the fields take pride in.
They did not care that they had no articles published in any scientific journal. All they cared for was that it was possible to do what they did.
Regardless of your circumstances, regardless of the challenging environment you are in, you have one noble task: become the solution that the world needs.
The world will not respect you for shedding a torrent or an ocean of tears. The world will respect you when you come up with a solution which impacts the well-being of people.
You have the ability to do that and do it. And do it now. Believe you can.