Part 1 — The Four Malawians that can Change Malawi

Maclean Tamanda Mbepula
4 min readSep 12, 2019

History says that Malawi overthrew colonial rule several decades ago. Somehow this tiny nation found the conviction that it could be freed from imposed ownership by the world’s biggest kingdom, at that time, The British Empire. Obviously, there was a wave of countries springing from under foreign rule that inspired each other’s nations to take the chance like the Arab Spring did in more contemporary times. Our superhero forefathers braved everything to change this, even unto death. The underlying premise was: Malawi and generations to come deserved much better. They also had the conviction that they had to be the instruments of change or change would not happen. Sacrificial leadership was thrust upon them by sheer patriotic love and self-love (for that matter). Perhaps some of them did not expect to die and were fighting for themselves to live in a free Malawi. Others among them must have known that fighting for independence was their death sentence. In either case, they must have felt that what they would or wouldn’t do would leave a legacy and impact their whole nation for time immemorial.

Fast forward to present day (54 years later), we are several presidents and dispensations in. Malawi is probably not what our forefathers would expect it to be. To date, it is ranked the world’s 3rd poorest country, by the IMF. In the previous two articles we looked at the situation on the ground: in articles titled “What Ground Zero Looks Like for Entrepreneurs” ( Part 1 and Part 2) . Hopefully, it also paints a background picture of what will be discussed next.

Please note, every Malawian probably has the power to effect change in some way: tangible or intangible. However, my reasoning is that there are people that hold special untapped economic and political energy that could invigorate and change this nation filled with potential.

In this article, I propose that there are 4 Malawians who can change everything. I shall also offer suggestions on how they can accomplish that. Sadly, they are no politicians on my list… :P … Sorry, I meant :( . Anyway, here, we go:

The four people that can change Malawi for the better:

  1. The Malawian in the Diaspora
  2. The economically poor Malawian (Rural masses)
  3. Religious Malawian
  4. The Entrepreneur

Honourable Mentions:

  1. Career politicians
  2. The top one percent of Malawians / Affluent Malawi

Now, let’s take a closer look, at the first one:

1. The Malawian in the Diaspora

If you are a Malawian trying to flee from Malawi, just remember the Malawian saying,” Amayi ako ndi amayi ako, olo afupike mwendo.”. Paraphrased that means”Your mother is your mother, even if she has short legs”. When your country has seemingly endless problems, you can be tempted to believe that once you are out of it, you are unable to affect change IN IT. I have lived abroad myself in the past and felt removed from Malawi’s going’s on. After all, you have your new environment and life to deal with. You see, any reasonable person would agree that Malawi’s problems are bigger than what any one person can ever fix by themselves. However, those in the diaspora may be tempted to believe that because they are abroad, they do not have to care anymore. That is, apart from caring about your loved ones back home. You can almost legitimize apathy when you are removed from the situation. To be honest, that is my current thinking if I travel abroad any time soon. Malawi’s breaking my heart: it is just simpler NOT to care anymore. The problems are too big.

However, the magic is: so are you! The rough figures of Malawians abroad are noteworthy. Unofficial reports say that we are looking at at least 8 million Malawians in South Africa and Zimbabwe alone . This is not including Malawians in other countries we know we love to live in like England and Zambia. With a mark-up for the remaining countries, let’s assume we are looking at 9–10 million Malawians *worldwide* in the diaspora. That’s huge! Let that sink in.

We are not done yet with the diaspora. Tomorrow’s post will look at Why the Diaspora is an ideal catalyst for change and What they Could push right now towards change Thereafter we will continue to look at the remaining 3 people who can really change Malawi.

What are your thoughts so far? The above is just my opinion. Please feel free to comment below.

Want to discover more about Maclean Mbepula? Find her on Linkedin or here on Medium. She’s written 3 books (one in entrepreneurship from a grassroots perspective (“Challenge Accepted) and 2 poetry books which are available for purchase on Amazon or you can sign up and get the kindle versions 100% FREE.

Originally published at

Maclean Tamanda Mbepula

Ghostwriter. Author. Entrepreneur. Web Designer. Artist/ Poet. Stand-Up Comedian. Founder of Afrineur, Creative Africa Space & Shekinah Invest. ENFP. :)