Friday, December 6, 2013

Inspiring few seconds with Nelson Mandela in Malawi

It was September 1997 and we were young new journalists on the scene and one of many in a pioneer TV team sitting in Unit House with a “toy” camera but still going out and doing stories if I may put it that way and we would proudly say we work for Television Malawi although it was not launched till April 1, 1999.
We spent about 2 years in that room becoming a family and having hope for our future.
I remember watching Nelson Mandela in 1997 during the Sadc Summit in Blantyre and it was like a dream for me because I remembered watching him on TV in 1990 when he was freed from prison and I cried.
I was nowhere near the front of the room during the Sadc summit but wishing I could greet Mandela. I struggled so hard to get close to the front to no avail.
When he was about to leave the hall, we tried to be near the red carpet so that we could see him close up but all I remember was security officers roughly pushing us into a corner or the crowd and I was scared of a stampede.
In defeat I looked down to watch my step then I heard Mandela greeting us and looked up to see that he had left the red carpet and came towards us and shook our hands. I was stunned and all I remember him saying is something like “how are you” and I can’t even remember what I answered because I felt like crying with happiness.
I also remember watching Madiba at Chileka airport leaving the red carpet to greet ‘ordinary’ Malawians behind a fence who went crazy with excitement.  That really touched my heart and taught me Mandela was not proud but a humble man who seemed to value life and human beings and for me he was like a man of the people.
That image helped me during my TV journalism career and I tried my best to feature a lot of vox pops and would at times just let the people speak.  A brief meeting but a valuable lesson I learned from Madiba’s actions. RIP

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Took this picture of children in Milange, Mozambique admiring visiting Malawian children

Tracing footsteps to lead me home

Greetings from the Warm Heart Africa, Malawi.

I'm a Malawian journalist who grew up in many countries including South Africa, Belgium, then West Germany, UK, Washington DC and New York in the US and I love New York.

Trying to come up with the production of my life and by compiling some of my 1000 poems into a book called ‘Tracing Footsteps’ to lead me Home with excellent photography.

I also plan to film award winning documentaries based on the history of this ancient land called Malawi and the mysteries of the Sirius star. this space.