Yes, Nyamilandu is right! English Premier League fans in Malawi are hypocrites

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The President of the Football Associaton of Malawi, Walter Nyamilandu, was quoted in the press (Daily Times, 25/08/2008) as describing English Premier League fans in Malawi as hypocrites for not patronizing local football matches. Instead they zealously get glued to their TVs to watch English premiership matches.

On the other hand, local TNM Super League matches are played on almost empty stadiums. These empty stadiums mean that local teams are not generating enough revenue to sustain themselves. Should we then wonder about dwindling standards of football among local teams in Malawi? Surprisingly, it is these very same English Premiership zealots that always complain about the sub-standard performance among local teams. Yes, as Nyamilandu put it, this is a clear case of pharisaic hypocrisy.

A view of the Chichiri stadium at a distance.
Note the construction works of the Chipembere
Highway in the background.
Photo credit: Bennett Kankuzi (28/08/2008)

Our obsession with “things foreign” in Malawi is well documented. Zambian music is now being played on almost all radio stations while some of our best local talent is rarely heard on our own radio stations. Going to football, there is even a radio station that has gone to the extent of making live radio commentaries as English Premiership matches are played. Yes, Star FM does this! My foot!

What about sports news on radio stations? This is dominated by “Man U this” and “Chelsea that”… Even other sporting disciplines like netball, basketball, etc rarely get any coverage. So, some radio stations are also greatly contributing to this unpatriotic attitude towards local football in Malawi. However, there are some radio stations which have to be commended for promoting local football in their sports coverage: MBC Radio 1, Zodiak Broadcasting Station and to some extent MIJ FM. On these radio stations, you are assured of knowing about local match fixtures and results. Its soothing to hear of fixtures like Makande Estate vs Liwonde Medicals, etc

Lets come to conversations about football among the “affluent”. Its all about English Premiership teams and players. There are those guys that will tell you the nitty-gritties of English Premiership football but will openly tell you that they have nothing to do with local football. Some would even go to the extent that they do not have any team they support in the local TNM Super League. Yet they vehemently support Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United and others. And sometimes discussing local football among these guys risks one to be labeled as primitive or “wachimidzi”. You have to talk about these “foreign teams” to be classified as affluent.

To me this is not very surprising. This is because our education systems across Africa indirectly teach us to “worship things foreign”. Mental colonialism manifests itself even among the so called educated people when they constantly try to detach themselves from local things. As Bob Marley said; we need to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery. Africa in general shall develop to her full potential only when her people are emancipated mentally.

Coming back to football. The question then remains: how can local football develop when we perpetually shun to support it. Definitely the FAM President is very right in calling a spade a spade. Others may not swallow the bitter pill easily. Malawians, lets learn to be patriotic. Malawi will be developed by Malawians and no-one else. Of course do not remind me of what Catherine Chikwakwa wanted to do by trying to ply her trade for another country!


Is mobile phone airtime too expensive in Malawi?

Monday, August 25, 2008

The government of Malawi has introduced a 10 percent surtax on mobile phone airtime starting from 1 July 2008. At the same time it scrapped off import tax on cell phones being sold by mobile phone operators TNM and Zain Malawi (formerly Celtel Malawi). Hence TNM is selling its NOKIA 1200 phones at MK3800 while Zain Malawi is selling its ZTE phones which have been dubbed “Mose wa lero” phones at MK2800 (USD20). The ZTE have been dubbed "Mose wa lero" because they say this is an initiative of the government of President Bingu "mose walero" Mutharika.

Clearly these cheap phones are a success story in Malawi! Almost every Jim and Jack is now owning a mobile phone. Farmers, students,..., can now own a phone. However, the 10 percent surtax on mobile phone airtime has made airtime to be very expensive. As a result, many people will agree with me that most of the times their mobile phones do not have enough credit to call out. They only have credits for "flashing" which is sad because a mobile phone is supposed to be for calling out as well as receiving calls…not just receiving calls.

Nevertheless, despite the introduced 10 percent surtax on air time, in my opinion I have always felt that mobile phone air time in Malawi is just too expensive. In addition to this, the charges are not transparent. A mobile phone user does not clearly know how much they are charged per minute/second etc at a particular time. As mobile phone users we clearly need to have this information. I hope the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) will take up this issue.

I am glad that soon we shall have two more mobile phone operators. I think it was recently announced that licenses have already been granted. Yes, these operators need to roll out their networks quickly so that they increase competition among the mobile phone operators. Otherwise we are tired of the unjustified exorbitant airtime charges by TNM and Zain Malawi ( formerly Celtel). Capitalism at work?


Am selling off a Mitsubishi RVR Sports Gear

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

If you are in Malawi, you might be interested in this:

Am selling off a a Mitsubishi RVR Sports Gear, green in colour, manual transmission and low mileage, price MK850,000 negotiable. Interested? Phone me: 04188893 The vehicle can be viewed by arrangement in Zomba. Snapshots of the vehicle are below.


A chilly August in Blantyre

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Its rather strange to have chilly weather in August in Malawi. Normally we are supposed to have hot and windy weather. Just yesterday, we had rain drizzles in Limbe. Surprisingly, Blantyre Central Business District was very cold but not wet.

I stay in Chigumula in Limbe and am enduring the chilly weather of Thyolo. Nights are very cold and we have rain drizzles now and then. A very strange August indeed! I guess we are now facing the effects of global warming. Common sense tells us that global warming is not a myth. It reminds me of what Lisa said in the Simpsons "The Movie".

On another note, with the reconstruction of the Chipembere highway, driving through this road is 'hell on earth'. One has to be extremely cautious. It seems the the contractor, Shimz, is serious with the construction work. Obviously, the road will transform Blantyre. This is what we need and not petty politicking in our Parliament. A Bingu woyee!!!


  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP