Thursday, November 29, 2007

Don't Repair, Buy a New One...

I now know why I see loads of electronic goods dumped around some places in Sweden. Some of the gadgets look quite new. Today, I was at Macforum, a shop that repairs Apple computers in connection with my iBook G4 laptop that stopped working in April this year. I was told it would cost about 6,400 SEK to revive the machine...what a laugh! (I bought the laptop at around 7000 SEK two years ago)

I was told that the logic board of the iBook G4 needed replacement, and in the opinion of Macforum, I should buy a new laptop and not repair the old machine. Aha!! Sidney Kalimanjira, a Malawian who lives in Göteborg, narrated a similar experience..his damaged dvd player would cost 500 SEK to repair, yet a new one costs 300 SEK!!
Apparently Apple the manufacturers of the iBook G4 are facing a petition over thousands of defective machines they sold...iBook G4 logic board shows that over three thousands laptops were made with bad logic boards. I'm petitioner 3144, by the way. So far Apple company is silent and Applestore no longer has the iBook G4 in stock....the reason should be obvious. Rejoice in the Lord, always. Again I will say, rejoice. (Philippians 4:4

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Globalisation and Cellphones

My class is currently studying globalisation in relation to human rights. When I look at the mobile phone or 'cellular' as we fondly call it in Malawi, I see a very good expression of globalisation. It defies established borders and the traditional time lag associated with posting letters. Imagine, I can sit in class in Sweden and send instructions to my siblings back home whether they are in the home or out in the maize garden..thanks to the sms facility. Before this invention it would take a letter to be written, be posted and arrive in Malawi a month later, rendering the 'news' stale!

But the cellphone can be a source of misadventure if handled absent-mindedly! On Saturday, 17th November, I was thrilled to receive a text message from a long-time friend visiting Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Now as I replied I failed to notice that the name of this lady pal was next to my Mom's in the phonebook. The reply thus, went to my mother in Blantyre and reached her in the middle of the night at a church meeting.
The content of the sms was quite interesting, but not one I would have wanted mom to know about, let alone read!! Mercifully, Mrs Mercy Maureen Mlenga took it all in her stride and texted back to me saying:
"Good Luck Son!!"

Monday, November 12, 2007


I hear the industrial action at the University of Malawi has resumed today after the lecturers went back to class last week waiting for government to do something about their demands for a pay rise. What a fiasco with the academic calendar already in tatters! Remember there was a selection for entrants into the university not so long ago. Will it be a case of having two first year classes in 2008? Really, someone, somewhere needs to take decisive action to clear out the mess.
Having taught at the Polytechnic for two academic years, I understand the lecturers' is not easy to teach, especially if the student is academically-challenged --you need alot of patience! Put in the long hours of researching and getting ready for a lecture...some students are really smart and you have to prove your mettle that you deserve to teach them.
To this mix throw in marking during goodness! It is back-breaking. So when you receive not so much at the end of the day, you tend to question: Is it worth it to go on or should I be part of the statistics for brain?

Friday, November 09, 2007

A Dose Of My Own Medicine...

As a lecturer at the Malawi Polytechnic for the past two academic years, I was in a position to formulate and administer english literature examinations to students in the Journalism and Media Studies Department. I often wondered how they made basic mistakes during the tests, and coming up with 'horrible' handwriting.
Today I was at the receiving end, facing written examinations after over ten years without such 'harassment'. We finished the law module of the course with a three-hour paper. Looking at the way I initially reacted to the paper and my handwriting at the end of the undertaking, I think I had a judicious dose of my own medicine..excuse the pun!
It went on well though, and at least one of the two questions, 'ndinalikomaniza' or anticipated it. Thank you friends and family in Sweden, the UK and Malawi for your encouragement and prayers. Whew! Now there is this empty feeling that usually comes after writing examinations realising there is nothing to keep you that least for the weekend!