Too busy to die


Among the words of wisdom attributed to Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda that can be accessed on Bulawayo 1872. com is the quote: “I am too busy to die.”

The only missing link is that the website only quote Kamuzu with that word of wisdom but does not provide further information as to where the Malawi’s former leader said that. Beneath the quote, one can read the passion that the former head of state, the father and founder of Malawi, had on development. One can easily say the sentence is of equal margin to Mahatma Gandhi’s quote: “Work as if there is no tomorrow.”

It is the “I am too busy to die” concept that led to significant infrastructural, economic, academic and social development of the country during the reign of Kamuzu. It is the drive of that sentiment that made Kamuzu always dream for excellence in all undertakings. It was the same belief that gave the Ngwazi a vision for future.


The best way to the future is through the past, so says the wise. Twenty years after the reign of Kamuzu it is time the nation learned to adopt his social policies to spearhead socio-economic development for the country. The nation will be justified to take an intrinsic look into what Kamuzu did better for the nation then replicate such ideologies and implement them.

The development of Malawi requires putting into effect the “I am too busy to die” philosophy. This country requires a public sector that embraces reforms to improve service delivery, a public sector that will be too busy to die as it will be committed with spearheading and implementing development policies in supporting the country’s growth drive. In this democratic dispensation, we have ended up losing the hardworking touch that we were very much famous for. In many public institutions, the level of discharging duties is at best mediocre. A new laziness syndrome called “work as you earn” has eroded the pride of the civil service. But civil servants were not being paid millions during the reign of Kamuzu. Civil servants then were driven by the motivation, hunger and desire to be part and parcel of national development.

If you are a captain of a certain industry, put in more, work hard as if tomorrow never comes, be too busy to die. Your organisation can only develop if you are at the heart of enhancing a hardworking spirit. Mediocrity can never result in success. It is imperative to note that within ourselves, we have the capacity to develop our country, our businesses and our people and yet within ourselves as well, through the adoption of mediocrity and lack of patriotism, we have the capacity as well to retard the development of our country. We have to believe we are the best and not only just believe but do that which only the best can do.


Let us look to the future in the words of Kamuzu: “There is a future in Africa for all of us, for the majority and minority races and tribes.”

That is a noble call to the civilians of the country that in a bid to implement development agendas for the country, oneness should remain the key not tribalism and regionalism. As we cast our eyes forward, we are encouraged by the spirit of Kamuz to work hard as if there would be no tomorrow.

To err is human, so it is said and believed. The errors of today are the lessons of tomorrow. As we are commemorating the heroics of Malawi’s father and founder, it is imperative that we look at all his perceived wrongs with a forgiving heart then learn that we ourselves never fall into the trap of committing such errors.

It is time that the works of our hands spoke for us. Let our hands talk more than the tongues. Let us not just be advisers but transform ourselves into the people on the ground, digging trenches for laying the solid foundations for the development of our country, businesses, careers and the future of our choice. There is no one else to make a better Malawi for us than ourselves. With Kamuzu, together we say “we are too busy to die”.

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