There is a saying which goes; “heroes are not made but they are born”. This saying suits well with the story of Honourable Richard Msowoya who is the Speaker of the national assembly in Malawi.
Mr Richard is also the first vice president of the main opposition party in Malawi, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
The educational background of the famous leader in Malawi has a leaf to pluck off by most Malawians who have met different circumstances during their educational journeys and life as a whole.
His inspirational story starts with his early primary school days where he narrates how he repeated standards 1 to 4 at Nyungwe due to variety of reasons.
“I repeated standard 1 twice and standard 2 once because I missed the exam. I had gone to play with friends. My late friend Patrick Maxwell and Andrew Harvey both came from well to do families and had all sorts of toys to play with”, said Mr Msowoya.
Mr Msowoya decided to put much effort on his studies and managed to pass standard 3 at one go and moved on to standard 4.
While in Standard 4, a girl from Zimbabwe by the name Chrissie Mwazolokere joined them. Chrissie was very brilliant and upon joining their class no-one could reach her level of knowledge as she was always number one.
In those days, number one to three used to get gifts of pencils, books etc. from the teachers who were back then the local role models and were very highly regarded.
Chrissie’s brilliance made him and other boys to gang up and find out whats the secret behind her intellectual understanding in class.
It is at this time when their teacher, Mr. Majimaji Munthali allocated him in a reading group led by Chrissie who positively influenced him and he began to like reading those old books about Kalulu and other animals, Timve and Tsala.
This develpment paid off and in the second term of standard 4 he outsmarted other classmates and became a rival to Chrissie by passing number two while Chrissie was the first in class.
As a boy growing in rural areas, cattle-herding was still his favourite activity and he would even skip school to join fellow cattle-herders in the village.
During the final term in standard 4, Honourable Msowoya says he can’t remember if it was him who came first or Chrissie, but he remembers very well that there was another opponent in the classroom battle by the name Gibson Mwalweni who was a regular in the top three.
After passing standard 4, his brother Oliver who came for holidays saw some potential and playfulness in him and asked his father that he should go and live under his supervision.
They agreed and he did standard 5 and 6 under his brother’s supervision and then later went back to Karonga for standard 7.
It was at this point that he met Emily, his wife and they have been together since then.
Msowoya’s background and social interactions to this point predisposed him to having a fun-loving, outgoing nature, and he has always gravitated naturally towards activities that ignite the soul and stimulate the mind.
Msowoya quoted A.C Grayling; – “To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experiences and the fruits of many inquiries.”
Reading books of all kinds has been his best hobby – novels, autobiographies of people who have made a mark on life etc.
As a young boy, his favorite book was James Hardley Chase. The last James Hardley Chase novel that I read was “My laugh” which he quoted these words;
At the beginning of the story, the author asks,
“Do you know how they catch monkeys in Brazil?”
And then he explains:
“They put a nut in a bottle. When a monkey sees the nut, it inserts its hand to grab the nut.
“Grabbing the nut means that the monkey’s fingers ball up in a fist and hence, it cannot extract its hand.
“Even when the hunter comes, because of greed the monkey doesn’t let go. It gets caught and is eventually killed.”
From such books, he says he learnt a lot among other things, about some of the negative effects of greed.
Mr Richard Msowoya is urging all parents to do more than sending their children to school. Parents should also encourage our children to read widely.
His inspirational story opens the door to every person who wants to pursue his or her dreams. Working hard is the only way to achieve your desired goal in life.
He has also inspired those who have fallen in love or they those who are trying to find their partners that loving someone because of what he or she has is not true love, but love comes from deep down your heart. Adore the person you have, cherish good times and bad times together in so doing you are making a good and strong bond.
From the look of things, even though he was occupied by other things as a village boy, but he went through those circumstances and became the leader of all.
His advice, education is the foundation of everyone’s future. Work hard and attain that dream you have.