Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Pirate, Service Delivery...

I was astounded by the story of Gabriel Kondesi a primary school drop-out who managed to come up with a 'community radio station' in Mulanje, southern Malawi. The 21-year old man contrived the 'station' from a car battery, TV aerial, cassette player and other odds and ends. Wow!! Pure genius! The only hitch was that it was a pirate radio and he ended up in trouble for his creativity.
I'm glad to learn that well-wishers and his family have managed to pay the 50-thousand Kwacha fine imposed by a court for the unlicensed radio. I appeal to the broadcasting community and business fraternity to help this young man achieve his dream of operating a radio station. Who knows what innovation Gabriel will come up with next given proper resources.
On another note I was in a government department a few weeks ago seeking to meet the head of the section for business purposes. I made two trips in vain, and when I tried to get the secretary's phone number to avoid making another fruitless journey to the office she shouted at me. 'Ayi, sindikufuna zondivutitsa ine'.
Loosely translated the woman was saying I could be a nuisance with the inquiries and she didn't want that. Really? I wondered what she was doing in that very busy and crucial office for her to say asking if the boss was around was a problem. I realised there is still a stronghold of poor service delivery in Malawi and lousy attitudes in the work place. Lord have mercy!

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