The forgotten strivers

A lady carrying 3 young children, and firewood, while balancing a bucket on her head – all while riding a bicycle.

Every now and again, I return to this theme. It’s one of those things I’m unable to escape from.

Pictures like the above force me to do so. Here, as a background, I’ve had this picture since November 2020, and have probably used it in other posts in the past. Anyhow, this morning while browsing and clearing old pictures from my phone, I happened upon it yet again.

It reminded me of a story I recently heard from an acquaintance – about a woman who was being harassed by creditors, because of a debt of K5,000 she was failing to pay. Yes, K5,000 Malawi kwacha. That’s about GBP £5. ..!

That, dear readers, is the level of deprivation in Malawi. It’s extremely sad. And when you see the scale of corruption in government, it’s demoralising.

And yet most such Malawians still continue to work hard. They wake up every morning, get ready and head off to their trade; be it selling produce, working as a maid or odd jobs like labouring in fields (tilling, planting, weeding or harvesting) on a freelance basis. They’re not lazy. They are without doubt the unsung heroes of our rural areas.

When Malawian leaders make policy, the striving actions of our rural populations shouldn’t go unnoticed. These people need to be rewarded, for fighting against all odds. For holding their families together when they’re often faced by so many challenges.

Policy makers shouldn’t only think about suited folks in boardrooms, rich investors or those wealthy and politically connected families. They shouldn’t only think of what would appeal to the immediate electors of their political bosses.

May I suggest that we, as Malawians, should do more for our strivers, and those who for all sorts of reasons find themselves struggling against poverty and deprivation. These are the kind of people who given the resources would do wonders for our economy!

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