I am walking to Capital Hill using this highway before cutting across to the usual shortcut past the Sanctuary in this city. I look at the imposing Capital City today with mixed feelings.
I remember this month of February as the best time we used to visit the US Information service library, with Papa Frank Ndhlamini Kamwendo opening the library doors.
Papa Frank Ndhlamini Kamwendo was the grandfather of journalism and the creative industries. He organised debates, panel discussions, literary criticism programmes, journalism seminars, live shows, films and art exhibition at USIS. He gave guidance on most sensitive issues. He groomed journalists. He trained artists. He always looked at Malawi as the best nation on the earth. Papa was a diplomat in its fullest context.
Yeah country folks, I am thinking of Papa Frank Ndhlamini Kamwendo, composer of the song ‘Nsapato ya Skuna’ as played by MBC Band and later on re-recorded with Bright Nkhata of the Makasu fame. I am thinking of Papa Kamwendo, the alto-saxophonists and producer whose life is a living testimony of Black History month.
If I had the means today, I would definitely elect a shrine for Papa Kamwendo, who pioneered the Lilongwe Press Club. The club used to meet at Lingadzi Inn and tackle issues at a time when freedom of the press was a taboo.
Yeah country folks, the challenge with us today is that we tend to forget our roots and history very quickly. At times, we hail mediocrity at the expense of reality. We hail villains as heroes and take our heroes as villains!
Yeah country folks, most of the times, I get confused by the term black. Whosoever called our people black did not see the real blackness in their soul. The real black is in the mind. There is not black person in the world. Neither is there a white person. We are all human beings created in the image of God. One God.
I do not see the blackness in African or Afro-Americans. I do not see the blackness of the people on the motherland. What I see during this so-called Black History month is our beloved sons and daughters of the motherland whose contribution to the world’s civilisation is still unabated.
Yeah country folks, I am walking to Capital Hill to submit a proposal on some of the unsung heroes of the nation we should be recognising and electing shrines for during this Black History month. One of them being Papa Frank Ndhlamini Kamwendo, whose legacy should keep watch of the corridors of our hearts.
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