Making a difference
“I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance, and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and aesthetic life of man. But I wouldn’t stop there.” Martin Luther King, I have been to the mountaintop speech.
The story of Facebook as told by David Kilpatrick is modern-day William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’.
Harvard self-indulged fresher, Mark Zuckerberg, his roommate Dustin Moskovitz and others create a website that digitises friendships on campus; it is an instant hit.
The lads are so hypnotised by The Facebook effect that they do not head home after the end of the academic year; they rent out a house to continue work on the magnetising website. And, lo, behold, except for one, the rest decide to dropout; they discover their life’s mission.
Let’s cut the prattle and just say that Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and the others are multibillionaires of colossal magnitude today and Facebook is a world’s tech phenomenon.
We desire a Mark Zuckerberg and a Dustin Moskovitz at Chancellor College, The Polytechnic and Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must).
Then, we shall have a Steve Jobs who can yell out: “Thank you God for the thumping heat at Thabwa in Chikwawa. Praise God for the adjacent Shire River Waters. God, I see megawatts of green electricity in the heat that can pump the shire waters to irrigate the nearby fertile soils”.
Wisely Phiri seems to be a catalyst to awaken the giant within. His company Spark systems recently donated a server valued at K6.5 million to Chancellor College, an arm of the University of Malawi (Unima). Phiri challenged our universities to think big projects.
Malawian Warren Buffet, Thom Mpinganjira separately echoed Phiri’s remarks when he challenged student engineers to come up with technologies that would sort out the current electricity enigma.
Once upon a time, the late Kalitera coded a Malawian payroll. In the 1990, a Mr. Nyasulu, then associate lecturer in the Electrical Engineering at the Malawi polytechnic used basic programming to produce bawo game. Bawo reminds me of my grandfather, Che M’manga. He never cheated on akusyeto Firstar, but would cheat us on the bawo game.
We need a fertile political landscape where seeds of innovation can sprout out. While I surely admire the vocabulary library of my Minister of Information, Nicholas Dausi, I wonder whether the Mwanza man ever wears a technology perfume. Kenya today is a haven.
While internet is cheaper in Kenya, in Malawi the young tech-savvy internet consumers are a lucrative tax base for Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).
USA, South Korea and China are technology hotspots. The ubiquitous Windows OS and the iPhone are American icons; Samsung is proudly South Korean; Lenovo and One Plus Five are truly Chinese. Yet stories of blood sucking vampires and looting of public resources are genuinely Malawian.
The world is in the middle of a melodious tech chorus, let us join in as a country.
Let me end with a quote from my good friend Charles Joyah of ‘Seasons of Life’ fame, “Malawians are the sort that fervently ask for rain while submerged knee-high in Shire River Waters.” In English, Joyah is saying that we as Malawians, we have prayed so long that we do not even realise that God long answered some of the prayers; let us rise up and pick God’s manna. He who has an ear let him hear.
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