After Malawian Watchdog’s Education and Research Unit released findings of their maiden research, which, among other people, named Ambassador Brian Bowler as the best diplomat Malawi has ever produced, the unit is at it again and this time around, it has released names of ordinary Malawians but who are wielding influence on us. These are not politicians but ordinary citizens of the land.
It must be pointed out that these people we are recognizing have neither bribed us nor have they recruited us to raise their profiles as some critics charged when we unveiled our first research findings. These are people who deserve to be recognized as such.
We do not subscribe to the tradition of praising our heroes when they are dead. No. Let them feel while they are still alive that we appreciate what they do and if anything, they must continue making a difference in our lives.
By the way, the 15 ordinary but influential Malawians are, as we have already said, not politicians who are given wide coverage in the papers and radios but ordinary Malawians, who when given a chance to either comment, write, say, portrayed in papers, on radios— many Malawians listen and get influenced.
The list is endless but your trusted publication, Malawian watchdog, has picked the 15 best voted. Here they are:
15. Joy Nathu- The MBC radio 2 icon is a reason why MBC manages to have a middle class audience. This mediocrity radio station that is there to promote DPP than anything else, still manages to attract an audience in the middle class because of Joy Nathu. His selection of music makes you differentiate the days of a week unlike some radio DJs who play house music on Mondays making you believe its Friday. By the way, His Made on Monday program where he chats with different personalities is popular with the youth. He commands millions of youth across the country on his Made on Monday Programme.
14- Chief Kwataine of Ntcheu– The chief well respected in his area, the man who ended maternal death in an orthodox way. Kwataine is an influential figure not only in his area but among other chiefs in central region.
13- Gospel Kazako- This radio man with advertising skills that he can sell you sand convincing you that its brown sugar; is the voice of the poor. If Malawi was a constituency and the poor were asked to vote only one MP, most ordinary Malawians would vote Kazako. Kazako knows the poor, he speaks their language and he feels their pity.
12. Phillip Madinga- The Managing director guru whom banks would enter into a ring to fight for, Madinga is popular among the youth in Malawi especially those who dream to excel. When the top bosses in Malawi are whites and foreigners Madinga reminds the youth that it is the brain not colour that can make one excel in life.
11. Mike Mlombwa- Another icon among the youth, Mlombwa is a player in the car hire industry often dominated by Indians. He is another Malawian who has influence over the youth in Malawi. Mlombwa reminds Malawi youth that you don’t need political connection to excel in life but hard work.
10. Esmie Chombo- Very few judges would stand up and call a crooked lawyer as she/he is. Most of them would still address the crooks as learned consels but not Chombo. This non nonsense judge can even send out improper dressed lawyers from her court.
9. George Kasakula- They said a pen is mightier than a sword and no-one uses it better than Kasakula. This Cordozza-like journalist does not call a corrupt Politian honorable but his or her right name; crooks. Kasakula has a large following. Visit middle class drinking joints and you will agree with us.
8. Patrick Semphere- a columnist with excellent parental advice, Chisemphere must have the most obedient kids in Malawi. His page is widely followed and influences parents in urban areas in child upbringing.
7. Dr Mathews Mtumbuka– ask Polytechnic students especially those doing engineering their role model, I bet you out of 7 from 10 will give you the name Mtumbuka. The man who came from a poor background and managed to get a distinction in engineering. His arise and shine page attracts a good following among the youth in Malawi
6. Fredokiss- they don’t call him ghetto-boy for nothing. Fredokiss has an influence among the youth in Malawi. His lifestyle is what an ordinary Malawian youth would identify with, not full of bling bling when you have nothing in your bank account. Wearing labels to please the masses when your own mother cannot afford a bag of fertilizer.
5. Robert Chiwamba- ask any language student, he will tell you that Chiwamba’s poems do not qualify as “poetry properly so called”. There is lack of poetic language. But Chiwamba has become a brand in Malawi. His poetic narration is unique and not surprising that pupils in schools are even copying the manner. Chiwamba has taken poetry into another level and one of the influential personalities among Malawians.
4. Rev Nyondo and Chief Kachindamoto- here is a man who is Livingstonia synod himself. When Nyondo opens his mouth the government catches a flu. Nyondo is influential that politicians in the north would avoid upsetting this man since his attacks would mean catastrophe to such a politician in terms of popularity in the north. Tied on position 4 is the renowned Chief Kachindamoto of Dedza, the female brave Chief who singlehandedly fought against child marriages. Kachindamoto is so influential that men who defy her finds themselves paying heavily for her penalties.
3. Fidelis Edge Kanyongolo- This down to earth Associate Professor is the reason why we have a man in the palace. When a woman wanted to misdirect us on the Constitution, Kanyongolo guided us. He is like the referee of Constitution in Malawi when he makes his case, we all listen.
2. Judge Dustan Mwaungulu; it is difficult for those not in the legal fraternity to believe this but Mwaungulu is massive. Courts are ranked in a hierarchy but not judges, but if judges were, Mwaungulu would have been the supreme judge. They don’t call him Lord Denning for nothing, a name given from an English influential judge of the 50s. Cases are given to judges on random but if one judge gets political hot cases, you must know something strikes out. His judgements are written in such away that even those who want to appeal have a torrid time. Mwaungulu has influence and his judgements are like a syllabus in law lectures. His high court judgment in Press Trust case makes students hate Professors for it produces questions each year that students struggle.
1 Prophet Shepherd Bushiri- The major one. Bushiri is now turning himself into the White house, the leader of all prophets as white house is to world presidents. That some ten years ago Bushiri was dragged before the court in Mzuzu to answer cases of child maintenance no-one can believe it. Today, this ordinary Malawian is massive. He is so influential that when he says he would end electricity woes in Malawi in three days even the learned president believes him.