Zimbabwean singer Jah Prayzah’s shona hit song Mdhara Vachauya has been the most popular song in local pubs and night clubs on the local scene for sometime now. It depicts a man who has gone to war and left his wife at home, so he writes to her a letter, assuring her that he’ll be coming back. He eventually does to validate what he had promised.
And a few months ago, our athletes camped at a resthouse which is near a drinking joint in one of Lilongwe’s populous townships on the eve of their trip to Uganda for the International Athletics Associations’ Federation (IAAF) World Championship. And with the irresistable Mdhara Vachauya playing repeatedly at full blast as if the speakers were placed in the athletes’ rooms, they hardly slept and, worse still, ‘hybrid’ mosquitoes feasted on them all night, no wonder that by the time they arrived in Kampala for the global showcase, they were exhausted and had no motivation.
As expected, the results were disappointing with the ‘best’ performance coming from Cephas Chitsala who finished 55th. Now try counting up to 55, ladies and gentlemen, and see how long it takes. Just try asking a Standard Two pupil to count up to 50 in return for kamba puffs, and he or she will probably tell you kagwere naye uko kamba wakoyo and you realise how far behind we are in this sport.
And just last week, another athlete Ndachi Mcherenje took part at the IAAF Marathon in London where the results were literally the same—he finished 44th—and if you ask the dudes at Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM), they will probably tell you it was a big achievement.
So, while athletes from neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Tanzania won medals, all that Mcherenje will have to show off are selfies with world class superstars such as Usain Bolt. And as long as our athletes are not motivated and camp at resthouses where they are either disturbed by sounds of mdara vachauya or shrieks of pleasure during short ‘short-time sessions’, winning medals will remain a pipedream. Uloliwe, uloliwe wayidudula, nen’gsiza hah! (Oh yes, the train is pushing). Glory be to God. n