Most of my friends drive toy cars like Toyota Vitz, Nissan Note, Nissan March, Toyota Passo, Toyota Starlet and Toyota Duet and they believe they are pretty much successful. I do not drive any, and I am sure I am so many steps below their success ladder.
If you were to ask them what they would prefer to drive, most of them would not hesitate to mention a Zenvo ST 1, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini Veneno and all those fancy cars in town. But, just like most of us, we just have to make do with what we have much as we know the things we are celebrating are too cheap for us.
What, however, has become very problematic is that we have resigned to the belief that small things are the only way to go and all our dreams have been limited to this dangerous fact. If you move around and take special notice of company car parks, you can easily tell that people have decided to go small in everything. A few companies have car parks that have BMWs, Mercedes Benz and other good cars while most have the Vitz, Marchs and Duets of this world.
And you will be shocked that even for one to manage to buy these small cars, you really have to save and, mostly, be saddled with a loan that will hang around your neck for years. It is so saddening, and it really disappoints me, that no one seems to notice that.
If you tell someone that the fashion of small cars is only an indication of our pathetic economic status, most people will get rabid at you and dismiss you for a wasted fault-finder who does not celebrate other people’s movement up the social and economic ladder.
We are simply a nation that easily gets pissed off with the truth and once one dares tell us the truth we can go all over the place defending ourselves or even hating with fanatical brutality.
Recently, The Sunday Times had an assessment of President Peter Mutharika and his Cabinet. Mutharika and his men did not fair very well and they did not like to be told so. Normally, it is a waste of time to go back to what has already been said because, as they say, words said cannot be unsaid, but when something represents the sickening psychology of those in power then one finds himself duty-bound to speak.
Government, through Jappie Mhango, who accidentally finds himself to be government’s mouthpiece, had to cobble together a press statement that attempted to dismiss an assessment that has been well received by the majority of well-meaning Malawians. But Mhango and whoever sent him must have forgotten that Malawians are clever today than they were years ago and they cannot be easily tantalised by a cheap tactic of trying to create a good picture of things when the reality is that things are in a mess.
It does not n e e d s o m e rocket science to tell that Peter Mutharika and his government are stuttering and they have not had a rosy go on the job. Things are not as we thought they would be. Mutharika, to be fair, has done some things that we must all praise him for but, generally, most things have been messed up and they need quick redress.
But Jappie thinks otherwise and what he wants is for us to caress the nation’s fat belly, sing its praise and canonise it even when we all know there are so many things that need quick and serious attention
It was not very surprising that Jappie was the first to come out ranting because, if you can see, he is one of those who has been sleeping on the job and has eventually scored lowly.
If I were Jappie, I wouldn’t have wasted my time suggesting that assessing a cabinet is a capricious endeavour. Rather, I would have taken it as an awakening moment to have an inner search of how to come out better.
Saulos Chilima scored highly for his handling of the vice presidency and the offices attached to it, Joseph Mwanamvekha was commended for his effort at the Ministry of Trade while Patricia Kaliati was amongst the star performers. So, if you can see, Jappie and his underperforming comrades only need to pull up their socks and stop dosing on the job.
Peter Mutharika does not need people like Jappie who love being told lies and being praised for anything silly they do. Good leaders take advice kindly other than going berserk when they are told that things are not okay.
Lets us accept that we are a nation in great need of redemption and we must start telling each other the truth. We need a serious change and stop living with the illusory belief that we are moving forward when all we can dream about and, sadly, measure our success is on driving a Vitz, a Note, a Duet, a March, and then as leaders we think that we must not be assessed on our ineptitude. We should think big and strive for success; otherwise, posterity will blame us for bequeathing it a Vitz-minded nation.
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