My peers easily get incensed when I opine that the Malawi National Team, the Flames, are the most pathetic team on the continent. My friends love their Flames with legendary blindness. They even think that team will one day win something.
If you missed it, on Tuesday, the Flames were out again at Kamuzu Stadium for another act in the sequel of failure. They were playing a hapless Guinea National Football Team that has players who are more body mass other than talent. Those who closely follow football will agree that Guinea are not a good side. They lack quality. But since it was a meeting of two rustic inepts, who prefer being called football teams, one of them just had to come out victorious.
Earlier, I said that the Flames even look beaten before a ball is kicked simply because they have an acute psychological problem. The players’ postures tell a story of jittery and lack of confidence. These are players that emerge from a dressing room that produces a revolting stench. Then these players have to walk through an ugly tunnel bundled together from some old iron sheets then finally run on an artificial turf that is long past its shelf life.
The result of this is that show of hoofing the ball, running without direction like some mad men, panting heavily and finally another embarrassing loss. Look, you can’t expect much fortune in a draw than picking a shoddy team like Swaziland, a moody team like Zimbabwe and an out of sorts Guinea. Yet even with these teams, the Flames manages to be beaten. Sometimes, I am tempted to start thinking that even if the Flames were to play against themselves they cannot qualify for a tournament.
The Flames, if you analyse them well, are a grouping that represents how bad we are as a nation. Apart from the bogus peace we pride ourselves to have; I think most of our actions represent a nation with low standards and extremely shallow goals. We just cannot think big.
Take for instance the other day, I had subjected myself to a boring hour watching MBC Television. I was left appalled and drained of strength when I saw adverts congratulating President Peter Mutharika for IMF’s Extended Credit Facility nod. According to those who were busy showering praises to Mutharika, it is an achievement of note that we can now borrow money. And Mutharikas name must be lifted sky high for putting the nation back on track.
It is embarrassing really that someone—presumably— with all wires on sanity intact would cartoon themselves to be praising the President and his government for such a thing as getting back donor confidence. Perhaps someone should be told that all that means is that we have qualified to continue borrowing until kingdom come.
Elsewhere, where people run things seriously and share beautiful and lofty national goals, people should be feeling ashamed that we are a nation that has decided to survive on borrowing and we do not have ideas as to how we are going to stop this mess.
What I see here is that nauseating culture of praisin g leaders even when they cough and sneeze or do something more embarrassing. And chiefly, those adverts flying around on the telly are simply another reminder that we are a sick nation that is so proud of its trophies of failure such that it even advertises for the world to see.
And then, the problem that has left us in this state of stagnation is that even our leaders love having their bellies and chests caressed with things like those adverts. If you tell them the truth, they will boot you out, unleash their hounds on you and make sure you are muffled forever.
But people who really love this country are not those praise singers but those who are very willing to tell the truth on matters of national concern without fear of stepping on someone’s raw nerves. Sadly, most of us have taken the way of praise. In the end our leaders become too drunk and start living in their closed illusory world where everything is a success yet the reality is otherwise.
Talk of doing things the wrong way and Malawi has no match. Just this week, I read with shock that those savages who were hacking people in Chibavi, Mzuzu the other day have been released by the police unconditionally. It is depressing, really, being Malawian because in this country almost everything is done in reverse. We are talking of a police that is supposed to be disciplined and not act like some leaders of a bandit team or some private force of some ruling party.
Of course I am not surprised by the action of the police because; as you remember, the police are known for the crookedness. You can just look into the mirrors of time when in 2011 the police were busy brandishing fake suicide notes after Robert Chasowa was killed at Polytechnic.
If we continue doing things like we are doing now, I am afraid we will soon be known as a nation with congenital buffoonery.
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