Former minister tells story in new book
Former minister during the era of the country’s first president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Queen Gondwe, cannot stop writing even in her old age as has published a book titled Savouring The Moment: The Life Story of Queen Caroline Gondwe As She Counts Her Blessings.
The new project, which she started working on in 2016, follows up on her debut book titled Raising a Spiritual Child which she launched in Blantyre three years ago.
She launched the book recently in the United Kingdom which also coincided with her 80th birthday celebration.
“Savouring The Moment is a biography that captures key moments in my life starting from my birth date up the time of publishing this book. In this book, I am talking about my village and city life, including how I progressed from being a primary school learner to college in Zambia,” Gondwe said in an exclusive interview at her home in Sunnyside, Blantyre.
Gondwe said the book also covers the dramatic change of her life from being a primary school teacher and inspector of schools to Cabinet minister and member of Parliament during Kamuzu’s era.
“This book has a lot of moral and spiritual values to learn from as you go through my life history,” she said.
Gondwe recalls that the book was also inspired by a question from her teenage grandson, Chimango Nemon Gondwe, when she visited her children in the United Kingdom, who asked about the family tree.
“The boy did not know that his aunt is a direct sister to his father. He got excited when I told him how they were related,” Gondwe writes in the book’s preface.
She said she realised that there was so much to write about, including her biography, which would cover the roots of her family and parents.
“In short I am documenting my life and it even includes my involvement in Chitukuko Cha Amayi mMalawi (CCAM) activities and relationship with Mama Cecilia Tamanda Kadzamira,” Gondwe said.
In chapter 21 of the book, Gondwe journeys with people on her appointment as Deputy Minister for Community Services as well as her nomination as Member of Parliament for Rumphi District.
“Having launched in UK, I feel this is enough and people can access it on the market through digital platforms such as Amazon,” she said.
In the foreword of the book, veteran journalist Steven Nhlane writes that Gondwe, born Queen Caroline Chirambo, has a monumental life story which needed to be told.
“From the village girl born in a small grass thatched house at Lomborwe Village in Bolero, Rumphi, to Cabinet minister,” Nhlane said.
Gondwe is a retired church elder at Mount Pleasant CCAP Church in Blantyre and an active Women’s Guild member. She is a widow who, with her late husband former Football Association of Malawi president Geoff Gondwe, was blessed with seven children.