There are several titbits that, if you consider carefully, will significantly identify what and who a Malawian is.
One of them is that we are lazy when it comes to taking time to read important documents and grasp the full meaning and context.
We will wait for a few biased social media populists and political party obsessives to tell us the ‘story’ in a particular document and go to town making wild comments and allegations to suit our sensibilities.
This has not only been prominent with the recent report from the Commission of Inquiry which President Lazarus Chakwera assembled to investigate circumstances surrounding and leading to the arrest of Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director-General Martha Chizuma.
People have made very serious allegations and reached dangerous conclusions before and after just reading two paragraphs of a 100-page document.
It really is very easy to hide information from a Malawian—just put it in writing and make the document a little longer; they will just skim through the pages and read the last two lines and take to social media to rant about how substandard and unprofessional it is.
It is pathetic that some people will not accept that something has been professionally done unless it panders to their caprices.
The world must revolve around their leanings and everything else that contradicts what they feel is the right thing is unprofessional, corruption-riddled and rubbish.
But, in essence, that is the beauty of democracy. Everyone will be entitled to their own opinions—no matter how irrational they may be—because we are in a free country where freedom of expression goes to all the levels and heights where fools can even advertise their ignorance and be proud of it.
I will not go into the details of the report by the retired Justice Edward Twea-led team, but one thing that I can categorically state here is that those directing the attack at the retired judge are simply augmenting the fact that we have a tendency of making comments on something outside our scope.
Reading the numerous notes, one would think Twea single-handedly produced the report and forced it onto the other members of the team to endorse it.
The saddest thing about all this is that that is exactly what we are: we are never thoughtful enough; we do not like reasoning before we speak or act; we allow our political and social leanings to determine our positions on issues of national interest.
We are simply a dull generation that refuses to be objective and to reason.
And so political party zealots and social media populists will easily capitalise on such gullibility and peddle their prejudiced opinions as the gospel truth, knowing there is a whole bunch of dullards in their train.
I have taken time to read comments on social media about issues happening in Malawi and other countries and I have consistently noted a stark difference in our reasonings.
We do not soberly look at issues, but rush with comments obviously made from a very ignorant point of view.
I am highlighting this again and again because I feel it is contributing to our current condition as a country. Every country’s progress hinges on how strong-willed and rational its people are.
This other time, when some officials linked to governing Malawi Congress Party were being mentioned in corrupt dealings, the party’s zealots flooded social media with every defence apparatus at their disposal.
The officials got arrested or formally got their names on the list of individuals being investigated by ACB. The suspects still have backers pleading their innocence all the time.
The same thing happened when Vice-President Saulos Chilima first got fingered in corruption allegations. UTM fanatics went to town to demonise anyone talking about their leader being implicated in corruption.
There is this sad tendency of backing those we admire or share a home village with even when it is clear they are in the wrong.
Then there is also a group of people that are so unwise that they cannot detect that a story that has been posted on social media platforms is fake.
You do not have to be a journalist to know fake news. You simply must be observant and think a little bit more than an average idiot.
In that way, you will avoid embarrassing yourself by strongly speaking on an issue that has never existed at all.
It is difficult to determine how we reached this level, where we no longer question suspicions sentiments and declarations.
Malawians were once among the smartest people in the region before some misfortune—perhaps in the form of a dreadful education system—messed everything up.
Still, we are safe in the fact that some sober, objective and rational people still exist and question the drivel that gets spewed around, together with the motives of their propagators.
Alick Ponje is a features writer at The Times Group. He graduated from the University of Malawi with a bachelor’s degree in education, majoring in literature in English. Follow him on Twitter @aponje