IT’S OKAY TO LAMENT ON CHANGED PLANS DURING THIS PANDEMIC.

So many things have changed in a minute and everyone around the world is trying so hard to adapt to this new norm. Not really loving the processes as it was never anticipated. It’s just something that has got everyone by surprise. No one will even ask what I am talking about, for all of us have been affected by the new Novel virus.

It’s okay to lament

News broke forth on the 4th of April, 2019 and the announcement of the first reported case was made in my country, Malawi. Since then we have had some other cases being reported as well and things are getting worse globally. Sitting down yesterday, I was contemplating on the whole situation, I was so afraid because I felt like I am at war. It is really scary and I know many of us are in this mode. With lots of questions and less or no answers at all.

I keep on feeling like I am at war and battling with someone I can’t see but in my mind knowing that the enemy is so strong, that the whole world can stand still and allow the men and women in white coats to fight and not with guns and missiles but a very unusual way of fighting, at times feeling like I will hide from nothing. But hearing the casualties in this war across the globe, it’s something else.

The worst part is we don’t really know when the war is going to come to an end. This is World War. I am not fighting alone but worldwide there has been protocols designed in every Country and the nurses and doctors are on the front line, our new superheroes. Who ever thought of that.

Myself I do business and things. My business involves traveling across the boarder and now I can no longer go for orders as traveling is restricted and since many of my customers’ businesses are affected too, it’s becoming hard for them to pay me. Everyone is anxious as no one knows when everything will come back to normal.


Just like everyone else I was so excited for this year and hey it’s vision 2020, I had plans to grow and invest. But then Boom! COVID-19 decides to disturb all those plans, we pray its going to be defeated soon. Two of my friends have cancelled their weddings, ten people I know have lost their jobs just because of the virus. Each and every day new cases of infected people around the world are being reported. Schools, Shops, and even Churches are closed, as one way of defeating this enemy. Businesses are not making profits.

Parishioners wash hands as a preventative measure against COVID-19 at St. Don Bosco in Area 23, Lilongwe. (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA)

We started seeing restrictions on travel and business, and many suspected cases were advised to be in quarantine. Everyday News since has been filled with gloom, devastation has been carried in the air to our homes and the internet has been jam-packed with information of this enemy.


Regular life feels like eternity ago. Though our country has been had the cases in less than a month and it’s not long ago when the restrictions were brought forward. Its crazy how fast everything we know has changed, and its crazy how quickly weve all adapted to the changes. This have really changed in a blink of an eye.

Consider the conversations you now have with family and friends these days. When was the last time you left home or pass by town without washing hands? Everything is different now, and it happened almost overnight. We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, but its more than just that. Its a worldwide tragedy, one whose story is only beginning to unfold.
Its not just health. Its economics. Its politics. Its entertainment and lifestyle. Its society. Its everything.

Theres one thing we all share. Every one of us has lost something to Coronavirus. And its okay to lament over it. You may have changed your wedding plans, plans to start or finish School, plans for business, travel or attending your favorite concert. It’s okay to lament because it’s something you never expected.

I was worried because I didn’t get orders for my business and I was full of unpleasantness that I will be broke and won’t be able to keep up but when I read in the news and see The numbers of people that have died to this virus, I was like please, I really MUST be GRATEFUL.

We have lost People because of this pandemic, it’s okay to feel sad for the changed but let’s have hope that we are going to make it together and everything will be okay. Not so long from now. If you are afraid and worried about changed plans, I say it’s okay to feel sad but one thing that I know is we are going to go through this and I know our God is watching over us.

Let’s not forget to wash our hands frequently, observe social distance, use sanitizer and cover your mouth and nose with a mask.

What plans have you changed because of this pandemic?

Chilembwe the Hero!

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John Chilembwe

Every 15th January,  Malawians from all walks of life commemorates John Chilembwe Day, a national holiday and day of remembrance for one of the country’s greatest sons.

There are few figures as revered in the country as this former church pastor who in 1915 revolted against the white colonialists.
For years, the conversation over Chilembwe, who founded the Providence Industrial Mission (PIM) church in Chiladzulo focussed on separating myths and facts from Chilembwe’s legacy. But recently, as the country struggle with under development and poverty, 53 years after Chilembwe’s dream of self-rule was achieved, the debate has changed.
Over Chilembwe day, I overheard an interesting conversation by some young people around town.
One of the young men bitterly complained that Chilembwe rushed his uprising, before the country was ready for self-rule.
“Adah a Chilembwe aja anali aphuma (Chilembwe’s move was rushed)” said one of the young men.
He explained: “He could have waited for colonialists to help this country first in (building) infrastructure and other  developments. Look at how rich South Africa is and we are just in the middle of nowhere as a country while we wait for donors to be fund us.”
I looked at this guy, likely  in his early 20s and asked him what does he know about Chilembwe’s uprising.
He described Chilembwe in his response as “this pastor who was trying to fight with the whites to be a president and got himself killed.”

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John Chilembwe his wife Idah and their child

It’s not a strange for people to punch holes in Chilembwe’s legacy or history.
Some people have criticized Chilembwe for starting the uprising without proper military preparation, citing the fact that it failed.
Increasingly, though, the arguments that is being advanced is that the nation could have benefited from the whites for infrastructure developments.
But the arguments like above are not based entirely on facts.
Such arguments, too, should not be allowed to distract us from the main reasons why we celebrate Chilembwe’s legacy, why he is on the money or deserve to be considered a national hero.
Born in 1871 (he died in 1915), the Baptist trained Pastor had a vision of nationhood way before future anti-colonial fighters came on the scene.
Educated and trained as a minister in the United states of America, he returned to Nyasaland in 1901 to end the near slavery conditions that Malawians were subjected to via the Thangata labour system.
Those conditions were segregation and discrimination of the highest order. They were also humiliating to the victims. They also aimed at discouraging blacks of the idea that they can achieve anything.
History tells us Chilembwe was an early figure in the resistance to colonialism in Nyasaland (Malawi), opposing both the treatment of Africans working in agriculture on European-owned plantations and the colonial government’s failure to promote the social and political advancement of Africans.
Soon after the outbreak of the First World War, Chilembwe organized an unsuccessful uprising against colonial rule.
In 1900 Chilembwe returned to Nyasaland, in his own words, “to labour amongst his benighted race”.

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The last known photo of John Chilembwe (left) taken in 1914 about a year before his death. Wikipedia

Backed financially the National Baptist Convention of America who also provided two American Baptist helpers until 1906, Chilembwe started his Providence Industrial Mission(P.I.M.) in Chiradzulu district and in its first decade, the mission developed slowly, assisted by regular small donations from his American backers, and Chilembwe founded several schools, which by 1912 had 1,000 pupils and 800 adult students.
He preached the values of hard-work, self-respect and self-help to his congregation and, although as early as 1905. He used his church position to deplore the condition of Africans in the protectorate, he initially avoided specific criticism of the government that might be thought subversive.
However, by 1912 or 1913, Chilembwe had become more politically militant and openly voiced criticism over the state of African land rights in the Shire Highlands and of the conditions of labour tenants there, particularly on the A. L. Bruce Estates.
It has also been claimed that Chilembwe preached a form of Millenarianism and that this may have influenced his decision to initiate an armed uprising in 1915.
The whole main reason of his Uprising was to fight for freedom for his people, Africa for Africa. He didn’t like to see his people working in the white’s farm and receive peanuts’, Chilembwe wanted black people to enjoy their rights and be free in their land.
We might not have all the beautiful infrastructures in our country as of now but we can see people speaking their minds dressing the way they want, being in better position without a white a man looking down on us.

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John Chilembwe on a 500 Malawi Kwacha Note.

We are on the contrary poor and underdeveloped because we have betrayed the genuine spirit of patriotism and self reliance that Chilembwe fought for.
Before we conclude that Chilembwe’s mission failed, let’s remember that all subsequent freedom fighters who followed Chilembwe have cited the pastor as their inspiration.
Chilembwe might have failed militarily but his ideas outlasted him.
The big question now is what have we done with the freedom which Chilembwe longed for?
University of Livistonia political scientists George Phiri argues that whatever position may have, one of Chilembwe’s enviable qualities remains the bravery displayed in the face of the white rule and this was one quality the nation ought to emulate going forward.
Much as everyone is entitled to their opinion, I would still not join the bandwagon in critising Chilembwe.
He did what a leader ought to do. He led by example and did his best with the little resources.
All in all, the life of John Chilembwe is worthy celebrating, as a young person I believe we need people who can act on their dreams and not just talking. There are lessons about courage and sacrifice.

SHAKE OFF THAT PROCASTINATION HOMIE!

Day 12 of 2020 and am doing just fine and still have the vibe of the new year and its okay to have that jovial mood I mean it’s 2020.If you had a chance to read my last article on my blog I said planning on whatever you want to achieve is very important.

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Philadelphia Magazine, Design Thinking

 Last week I was talking to one of my friends and I realized that this year is not different from 2019 or the rest of all the years I have been on earth. What makes it different is the way you will handle whatever comes on your way and how you have planned it.
I have set and jot down my goals and I am ready to go but there is just one thing that always triggers me and I know most of us struggles with Procrastination and you and I need to stand up and fight this disease if we really need change and have good results in this year.

Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished by a certain deadline. It could be further stated as a habitual or intentional delay of starting or finishing a task despite knowing it might have negative consequences according to Wikipedia.
So if you had no idea of what procrastination is you now know what you need to shake off. The habit of just changing on your plans, I will do it tomorrow, later or next time. HOMIE SHAKE IT OFF!

Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into. In fact, according to researcher and speaker Piers Steel , 95 percent of us procrastinate to some degree. While it may be comforting to know that you’re not alone, it can be sobering to realize just how much it can hold you back.

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University of Washington, Managing Procastination. Photo: Nicole Pasia

Procastination is often confused with laziness, but they are very different. It is an active process – you choose to do something else instead of the task that you know you should be doing. In contrast, laziness  suggests apathy, inactivity and an unwillingness to act.
Procrastination usually involves ignoring an unpleasant, but likely more important task, in favor of one that is more enjoyable or easier. But giving in to this impulse can have serious consequences. For example, even minor episodes of procrastination can make us feel guilty or ashamed. It can lead to reduced productivity and cause us to miss out on achieving our goals.
If we procrastinate over a long period of time, we can become demotivated and disillusioned with our work, which can lead to depression and even job loss, in extreme cases.

The good thing is there are ways how procrastination can be overcome and do better in our planning and be organized. Below are some of the ways that can help us to overcome procrastination.

1.KEEP A TO DO LIST-This will prevent you from “conveniently” forgetting about those unpleasant or overwhelming tasks.

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To do list, tika.ai

2.PRIOTISE YOUR TO DO LIST using Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Principle . This will enable you to quickly identify the activities that you should focus on, as well as the ones you can ignore.

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Smead, Prioritizing What to Do Now vs. What to Do Later

3.BECOME A MASTER OF SCHEDULING AND PROJECT PLANNING.
If you have a big project or multiple projects on the go and you don’t know where to start, these tools can help you to plan your time effectively, and reduce your stress levels.

4.TACLE THE HARDEST TASKS AT YOUR PEAK TIMES
Do you work better in the morning or the afternoon? Identify when you’re most effective, and do the tasks that you find most difficult at these times.

5.SET YOURSELF TIME-BOUND GOALS
Setting yourself specific deadlines to complete tasks will keep you on track to achieve your goals, and will mean that you have no time for procrastination!

6.USE TASKS AND TIME MANAGEMENT APPS
There are numerous apps designed to help you to be more organized, such as Trello and Toggl, for example.
If you’re prone to delaying projects because you find them overwhelming, try breaking them down into more manageable chunks. Organize your projects into smaller tasks and focus on starting them, rather than on finishing them.

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Best Productivity Apps and Tools :By Frank Miller

This is how we can choose to win in this New Year of 2020. Let us get it straight. We all need change but not everyone is willing to to what it takes to change. Be part of the few who are going to make tremendous strides this yeare by shaking off Procastination. Have a great week!

2020 HERE WE GO!

I am so happy that you are reading this article because I know very well that you have made it in 2020. This is one big chance that God has trusted you with and you need to sit down and think of how you are going to spend the next 11 months and weeks ahead of you.

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If you have done that already big up to you and all the best, some people really wished to be part of this group and had such lovely and inspiring plans but did not make it because they kicked the bucket on the way.
It is the first week of the month and of course the expected 2020 and almost everyone is very busy planning on what to do with their lives while others it’s just like any other year and they are ready to go with the flow.
I believe each one of us have their own way of doing their things and I have come to realise that no matter what happens in life, planning is very important in every activity that you are doing.

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Chrome & Copper Design

Each and every year of the first month most people are very busy with setting goals and jotting them down and after 3 or 4 months it becomes a history or a wish. Even the bible in Habakkuk 2:2 encourages us to write down our goals and it also explains that the herald may run with it meaning that not all goals that have been written will come to pass but we need to focus and discipline ourselves on how best to run with the vision to get what we want to achieve.
The best part about life is that we all have the chance to change and do much better. I have decided to work extra harder to be much better than I am today and I know that won’t just come on a silver platter but I need to give up other habits in order to be a better version of me.
You can also make a decision to be the best version of you that people have never seen and they will be thrilled when that other better version of you will be birthed.
Nothing can never be impossible, If you started that bad habit there is also a possibility that you can change and be the that one thing you really want to be.
There are times you feel like it’s over and nothing can be done but only if you make a decision and focus trust me you will do it and you will win in 2020.
If you are planning of starting school in 2020 go ahead and plan well about it; if you are planning to start a business but you do not have cash as of now I encourage you to keep on because sometimes what we need is just faith to carry on.

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If you are just dreaming like me on planning on living a very good healthy life let’s do it. If you do not have money to pay at the gym, why not doing it at home, jog alone or with friends, eat well and have good sleep and be happy.
What I am trying to say is you are responsible for your life, plan and set goals for this beautiful year and cut off all the negativity that always kill your vibe and focus in 2020.
I believe you are going to be responsible and be focused. I wish you nothing but the best in the year ahead and let us win together, thanks for stopping by to read my article.
What are you planning to do or to change in this year?

IT FEELS GOOD TO BE PART OF NVAK MALAWI 2019 TEAM

A month ago one of my friends sent me a post about a certain organization that was circulating on social media. The post was all over, I mean in different WhatsApp groups and what I loved about it was the quote which said: “Come and learn to make your own music.”. I was like no way; make my own music?

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Our team, as participants for the training

I was so excited about it because music is my second home. Every time I sing, I feel good and I can relate to my own life when I listen to music from other artists. When I saw the post, I wanted to get more details so that I should be part of the team. I looked for the poster again and I found out that Nvak runs a free program to teach songwriting, production and music business. Instructors come from the United States and present local artists with a chance to get their music heard by record labels.
After finishing reading, I went straight to the corner of their poster where I saw how to apply. I also clicked a link that directed me to their website. On the site, they have a mission statement which says the following: Nvak is a nonprofit organization that recruits talented musicians in countries struggling from social, political and/or cultural difficulties and provides hyper-local, world-class music education and resources to help musicians create and distribute their own contemporary music worldwide.

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Some of the participants during one of the sessions

Their mission continued to say Nvak creates opportunities where there is none, using music as a tool for underserved teens and young adults to find their voices and amplify their stories beyond their countries borders. It also serves the western world by bringing previously absent stories into mainstream music and offering a unique perspective on global issues.
After reading their mission statement, I told myself that I needed to be part of this transformation and I applied. The next day I asked my friend, who is also a singer, if she applied. I was so excited and I eagerly expected to hear the names of the people who had been selected.
Three weeks passed and I received an email saying I had been selected to be part of the program which was to be hosted for two weeks. I was so excited because my best friend was also selected. I also saw that some few female artists that I know were also part of the team. One thing I loved about this team was that it was a team of ladies only. I was looking forward to meet different young women with the same passion that I have; which is music.
The first day it was very great because we spent the whole morning introducing ourselves and it was so great to know each other. We also got to know why each artist is so passionate about music. The stories I heard made me love the team more. Simply put, I love to be surrounded by different young people with inspiring stories.
And before I tell you more about my experience on this program, our music instructors were so amazing from the first day. We were so honored to have the founder of navak tamar, who came all the way from United States of America, to explain about the whole program. She did not come alone, she came with Halima who was our instructor, and trust me this girl is so amazing and I love her personality and also her style.

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We also had a photographer, Alex who was from South Africa. He was always taking photos, videos and interviews of us during the training.
Apart from the interaction with the female artists, what stood out for me was the learning of music production and also songwriting. I started writing songs when I was just 12 years of old. I have been writing different songs up to now. After the training, I realized that I was just naturally following the melody, but now I am able to write a full structure of a song. Apart from that I make sure that I should narrate the song well so that the fans should get to know what I am trying to say.
We also learnt music production, and it is one of the best thing that has happened to me this year. I now can record somebody or myself and produce a song because of this program. We were all using Logic Pro X and I can’t lie, it was fun. I never imagined myself producing a song, I thought it was a man’s job things have really changed. And I thank Nvak.
I was also inspired by few young women who have skill of playing different instruments. Now I have told myself that I should learn piano and I am so excited already.
During the first day of training, we were given an assignment to write a song and we had to present it during class time in front of everybody. So we had to write a song and sing it. Then we had to wait for our instructors, Halima and Tamar, to critique it.
I must say it was fun and at the same time frustrating because there was a moment I was blank; I couldn’t write a song. If the song was not well arranged, you were sent back to write it again. All of us did not like the idea of doing things over and over again but at the end of the day it was worth it. And I must say, it has helped me to come up with two songs right now. If it wasn’t for training, I would have zero songs right now.
Nvak experience has been challenging but it’s a one-time life changing event to me. Apart from the music production and songwriting, the interaction I had with the girls was so amazing. We had a chance of sharing our stories and I must say, it was so inspiring to hear how these powerful ladies overcame their challenges and used music to express themselves. After completing our songs, we all had to produce our songs ourselves. Everyone had to produce a song of someone else. I had a chance to produce Theresa’s demo called “show me your glory” and we had Paul, who is also from Zathu Band, to play the piano. I must say it was beautiful and enjoyed every moment.
It did not end there but we all had to performe our originals songs at Latitude 13 hotels. We had to finalize our songs and rehearsals to prepare for the open mic. I must say two days before my performance, my song was not done but thanks to Nandi, Luki and Maggie who helped me up with a melody and good rhythm. I remember sleeping late at home and the next morning calling my friend to help me out with my lyrics and he sent me 4 bars to add to my first verse. I finished with second verse then boom i song was done.
Everyone was excited and also nervous at the same time but it was amazing and I really had fun. I wish I could explain everything from the food, to the group photos but what I can say is, thanks to Nvak foundation for choosing Malawi and introducing this program. I should also everyone that sponsored this event to happen. We have benefited and personally I have been enlightened. Many thanks should also go to Kim of Diamonds who was running up and down to make sure we are on time and not forgetting Kingsly Tembenu who was playing us the acoustic guitar during the rehearsals and also the performance day on the 13 of November.
After the workshop I would love to sharpen my skills on producing and also give good music to my fans by writing well-structured songs and well narrated ones.
Nvak is one of the best things that has happened to me in 2019 and will always be forever grateful always. In one sentence I would say Nvak means to me: “A once in a lifetime opportunity I need to value and change my life.”