Leave my brethren alone, oh Malawi!
I have worked with hundreds of thousands who have looked up to me with enormous hope and expectation.
I have worked with school children some of them hopeless and without sense of good; millions threatened by HIV; despondent youth living with HIV and orphans created by a virulent enemy of health.
Today my heart works with people with disabilities. Little innocent children with complex disabilties whose right it is to have a head start in early childhood.
It was and still remains draining, frustrating such that many times I feared I would go crazy. The intensity, the spiritual demand, the endless emotions resulting from watching people in excruciating pain, people lost into hopelessness and rejected by their on world just for being ill.
Yes, I felt I would go berserk. But this was my passion, my job and my people! Somebody was in danger and it was my time to serve and save. Did I, I do not know, but I recall the efforts, the urgency and the responses of those who cared.
Today pictures still fly before me of beautiful children robbed of their inheritance; of women in tears at the loss of a partner and the sight of perfectly avoidable poverty if only justice had prevailed.
That was then, when men were real men. But then there’s disability.
I talk of innocent children; dignified adults stuck in the margins of society 50 years beyond independence. I talk about human kind threatened with death, abuse and neglect for being born different.
I am becoming wiser, more human as I work with strong and determined Malawians in search of dignity and rights to decent lives. I now understand better when the wise say you know a good society by the ways it treats its most vulnerable.
And the more I work the more the questions. The better I become at understanding the situation of these diligent Malawians the more questions flood my soul.
Honestly, what must we do or not do to make Malawi a land of peace for all living in the human frame, difference notwithstanding?
Take the deadly impacts of climate change for example. Does anybody truly care how the rejected child with disabilities is affected? Who is training the man and woman with disabilities to cope with their humanity intact?
Malawi now shrieks with the pain of food shortage as the cacophony of calls to declare a state of emergency gets louder. Has anybody thought what the family of a bread winner with disabilities is eating or how he makes his money – if any?
I saw Hon Patricia K receiving a petition from ‘street beggars’ with disabilties. You are right madam minister we do not need to consign Malawians to street life. Malawi must clean up.
But how do these citizens retain their humanity if they are consigned to hunger and malnutrition for the pride of clean cities? By this minister, I mean basic food and shelter. What alternative, legitimate form of livelihood do we offer these brave Malawians in the absence of comprehensive strategy?
I have read all policies affecting people with disabilities, yes I mean all including the talk about mainstreaming ‘cross-cutting’ disability. Incidentally I hate miniaturising disability as cross-cutting.
Take it from me disability is a huge human development issue, serious enough to demand personal Presidential attention. It is an issue of inclusivity, equity and equality which demands enormous skill, determination and leadership to realise.
Sometimes I fear complicity in the callous neglect and terror that Malawi has unleashed on people with rights worth all the dignity apportioned to man by the Almighty. Just for being different.
Thanks my President for speaking out on the haunting, hounding, hunting and the satanic harvesting of parts of my brethren with albinism. As you yourself ask time and again where is love for such hideous acts to surface now
As for me, I do not understand how a fisherman would hope to catch more fish using the power of albino parts. How am I supposed to understand that a politician believes they could win an elect ion baiting albino parts? Stupid frivolities!
It does seem albinism is an exceptional disability which needs an exceptional response. Understand it this way: we are protecting bona fide Malawians not albinos. Albinism doesn’t change who they are first and foremost – human.
And part of that protection is about studying the demand and supply chain. Who is creating this demand? Where are they? Who are they working with? There are answers, most of them from within.
By the way, do Malawians know that there are only five professionally qualified sign language interpreters in the country, 50 years after colonialism? How are the deaf going to communicate with their world if no investment is made in sign language?
Few might have thought about what it means to be without a language. It is painful isolation. It is exclusion from participation. It is denial of access to information. And this is against inclusion, equity, equality and protection of humanity
Not least, who is ensuring that children with disabilities are in early childhood facilities? I know and was part of crafting Mmera Mpoyamba but does the campaign prioritise children with disabilities?
It’s time to invest in true equalisation of opportunities, right from childhood. Far too many people with disabilities are illiterate and easily exploited with impunity by morally obtuse zombies as a result of powerlessness and neglect.
Meanwhile, what should Malawi do about faith in witchcraft?
Witchcraft is killing Malawians with albinism; it gets little children, people with disabilities and the elderly sexually brutalised; it tortures innocent children believed to be witches. Where is the wisdom in all this?
Malawi is but a bunch of contradictions. Citizens profess God yet harsh with each other. Help me, how does one beam and spring so high with spiritual purity and be of the devil at the same time?
I find it hard to grasp how anybody derives enjoyment from human suffering. How should so many in one nation be of diminished moral aptitude?
But then this is Malawi.
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