Inspirational Quotes for the WEEKEND

By Charles Leyman Kachitsa

Most nations have and are still grumbling with the correct balance of power, authority, nationhood and development. Even those nations already so called developed are still in doubt as to the balance between power and liberalism. This for scholars has also brought in the problem of a balance, in some cases trying to define whether liberalism is equal to democracy.

On the other hand there is the question as to how much a state’s leadership power is enough and where this power should be concentrated. The notion that a nation’s people have power is only true on one occasion which is when a vote is being cast after which they surrender their power though some may still believe they have it. Caution on this subject should be made that a leader with no power is no leader. All this points to the fact that a statement such as ‘reduction of power’ for a leader is a fallacy since they are there to exercise that power albert reasonably with no limit. Without any power a leader of any sort becomes redundant.

The world order like balances, there has to be a balance between power centrality and what may be construed as enough power. Perhaps we may stay here till time infinity in trying to find an acceptable balance of power. That balance usually is situational and it is in the judgement of those situations and the balancing of power thereof that great leaders are separated from the rest. However, you are welcome to stay here for ever trying to find the right balance of power.

The quotes this week are from a book that narrates what has been as a contributor perhaps of what is there currently narrowing it down to the country, Malawi. I am sure that the selected quotations below though on history, will enlighten you to two or one life lessons. Read and enjoy:


“Ruling a country well is impossible if there is no order or peace. And these things were still missing in the early years of the administration. The slave-trade was going on throughout the greater part of the country, and quite a number of Yao and Ngoni chiefs were not at all willing to submit to the British Administration or to stop slave-trading. Now Johnston, in the years between 1891 and 1895, first attacked the Yao chiefs in the South, like Makanjira, Kawinga, Jalasi, Matipwiri. Sometimes his forces were defeated but in the end all these chiefs had to give in. We have already seen that Jumbe at Nkhotakota had made an agreement with Johnston to stop slave-trading and to submit to the Queen of England.”

John Chilembwe baptising at Mbombwe.

There was another big change people experienced more and more, as a result of the coming of the Europeans: the use of money. Formerly people exchanged their products: ivory, iron, etc. for other goods like salt, beads, calico. No money was needed, first of all, to pay the tax, asked for by the Government. People were used to paying tribute to the chief, but now the big chief was the ruler in Zomba, the commissioner. And he could not help and protect the Africans and develop the country without money. One of the sources of that money was the tax, paid by the people. This was something quite new. Where was the money to come from? For the common people in the villages six shillings per year for each male person (poll tax) was a very large sum. Much too large. This was made clear to Johnston by the chiefs and missionaries who took to heart the interest of the people.”

“When we look at this organisation, we notice that the country was ruled directly, and only by Europeans. No Africans were taken into Government for about twenty years. Why not? Because, according to Johnston and others, a number of traditional chiefs were not competent to help in the administration while others had compromised themselves in the slave-trading. Furthermore there was no over-all African chief to represent all the people. And Johnston himself liked to solve problems more by force of arms than by discussion and agreement. ——- In the course of the years it became more and more obvious that it had been a big mistake not to take in Africans to administer the country. There were not enough European officials and they did not understand African society, law and customs. They could never take over the task of the traditional rulers. It was in 1912 before something was done. In that year the so-called District Ordinance came out.”

“In the course of the years Chilembwe founded a number of churches and schools and built a beautiful brick church at Mbombwe. He tried to stimulate his fellow Africans to buy land, to open shops and to take more part in the political, industrial and economic life. But he was far ahead of most of his people and the response was meagre. A small number of people, however, like John Gray Kufa followed him in this and they were among the ringleaders in the rising. John was very much respected by his people and in the beginning by the Government too. Many Africans came to him for help and advice, especially labourers from the adjacent estate of Mr. Bruce.”