Once upon a time, the wording of Ecclesiastes 3 played out to full effect in one country as if the author of the wording had that country in his or her mind as he committed his pen to paper.
The wording partly runs as follows:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.”
In the context of the country in question, there is indeed time for everything and a season for every activity under heavens.
A time to be born and a time to die or a time to plant and a time to uproot can be considered in the same breath in terms of meaning.
Today Malawi finds itself in that season where activities of birth and death are the order of the day.
In a twist of fate, a day after losing her third child to a sudden death, Malawi delivered a fourth child – this time and for the first time in the motherhood, a beautiful bouncy healthy baby girl.
The arrival of this bundle of joy helped relieve her pain of loss.
It also ensured that the recovery from sorrow had to take place fast so that life must get back on its heels and continue its journey into the vestiges of the future.
There can no longer be time to waste. Mother Malawi faces a hard task ahead of raising her child to be a proud, joyful and an acceptable citizen of the world.
Malawi is cracking under the weight of a barrage of problems born under the negligent midwifery of her departed son.
Her image is battered and bruised to a disillusioned community of friends and neighbours. The economy has been forced to be helplessly on its knees. Human rights have been hemorrhaging through the holes of governance.
The result has been dehydrated gas stations and reserves parched out of forex. These problems capped a regime of power generation which remains intransigent in the habit of switching off with impunity, and water taps that choose to remain dry as if not taken through the outline of its terms of reference.
Puzzling has been the fact that while his mother suffered, the son was busy accumulating wealth, holding parties, and holidaying in sumptuous places of this world with his happy-go-lucky wife.
Today his sister was been born in a hospital lacking supplies and basic necessities. Even the deceased brother was taken to one of such hospital when he developed the illness that took his life.
There many things were in absolute disarray. Suffice it to say that his tragedy has confirmed, in an emphatic manner, the lack of capacity, expertise and preparedness besetting Malawi’s hospitals.
Had he survived at all, it was going to be virtually through sheer grace of God, not medical aptness at the hospital.
Basic medical equipment that the hospital needed to have to be able to deal with an emergency of the kind and size was not available.
If you have not heard of scandalous chaos read on. The hospital did not have any Adrenalin that could have been used to assist in any meaningful effort to revive this dead son.
It is outrageous as it is disgraceful to have medical staff scampering into the city to comb its lengths and breadths looking for the drug.
It is as if they had sealed a deal with death to wait for them to return from their medical hunt before it moved on the deceased.
The helplessness of a whole referral hospital also exposes the heartless and unfeeling habit of “senior” citizens in Malawi to fly out for medical care while neglecting and starving the local hospitals of correct personnel, equipment and drugs.
From this tragedy, it can only be hoped that lessons have been learnt, and the responsible authorities have already been given into action.
The baby girl shows some promise that Malawi has been looking for. She is intelligent, rolling before its time, inquisitive with eyes wide open alert and oriented for her age. A fast learner, she brings smiles and hope to those who have been wallowing in despair and despondency.
She comes across as Malawi’s pride and joy. This truth has been heralded by her friends and neighbours as already noted elsewhere in this article.
They are coming with gifts for the baby girl and pledges of assistance to her starved mother. The assistance must be used to bring value to the lives of everyone around her. It must be used to resuscitate and empower the nation.
Some of the gifts will be used to buy supplies for the hospitals and manage other institutions. Fuel donations will cover travel logistics for the brother’s funeral.
Malawi has been rendered destitute through the choices of her bigoted son. Besides being extravagant, he was obstinate and negligent of his mother. Malawi hopes that the baby girl will be able to clean up the mess.
It takes a village to raise a child. Malawi is banking on the village people to help raise this child so that she can grow up to be a responsible adult.
Some sadists would like to see her fail. Her choice of friends and foes will determine whether or not she will succeed in life.
The bad people of course have to be weeded out no question about that but how she treats the people too is very important.
Malawians need to be cautioned about praising her too much. It’s expected that they should be excited but there is a danger in telling a child over and over just how beautiful or smart he or she are.
Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to encourage a child or to motivate them when they embark on something but sometimes praising them too much is what makes them think they are too good to listen.
It will not be an easy task for her to take on the job left behind by the brother especially since his allies did not want her.
Life after pregnancy can be a relief. The job of raising the child with the help of the village will require that Malawi should use her resources wisely.
Then we all can say: Gone are the gloomy faces of the past 7 years. The birth has ushered in a sea of smiling faces full of hope and faith. Malawi will once again reclaim her youthful nature erasing all that she endured before the multiple childbirths.
Though disappointed with the past, now is not the time for revenge. It is time to rebuild Malawi.
She needs your help and mine so let us forge forward and do what is right by our mother.
“Malawi adzaphukira” [Malawi will bounce back]. Neglecting her now is not an option.
By most African standards a baby girl is not considered to be worthy but now is not the time to be looking at the child’s sex. What matters now is if the child will be able to perform the task at hand.