Last Sunday, the Anglican Diocese of the Southern Malawi consecrated Father Canon Alinafe Kalemba as the new bishop of the diocese. He has replaced Bishop James Tengatenga who resigned in July this year. But who is Bishop Kalemba? What is his vision for the diocese? Our reporter WATIPASO MZUNGU JNR chats with the new bishop over this and many other issues.
Can you briefly tell me about your background.
I was born Alinafe Kalemba from Msamala Village, Traditional Authority Mwadzama in Nkhotakota District. I was born on the 7th of May 1967. I did my primary education in Salima and NKhotakota. Then, I proceeded to Nkhotakota Secondary School from where I was selected to the Malawi Polytechnic to pursue engineering. However, I withdrew in my second year to pursue the ordained ministry in 1990. In the same year, I joined Zomba Theological College where I graduated in 1993 with a diploma in theology.
Where did the church send you after your graduation?
I served Thyolo Anglican Church for two years before returning to the classroom. This time, I enrolled with Chancellor College for a Bachelor of Arts (Theology) degree course. I graduated in 1998. In 1999, I went to Durham University in the United Kingdom where I did a Masters’ degree in theological studies and research in 2000.
How long have you served as a priest before ascending to your current position?
I have served for almost 20 years.
You have just been consecrated bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Southern Malawi. How do you feel?
I am very grateful to God. It is a big responsibility, very challenging but since it a calling, the one who has called me will be there for me.
What do you think was behind your success since we are told that there were a number of people nominated for the position?
There was nothing really behind this appointment apart from God’s grace, which is applicable to each one of us at our particular moments.
Now that you have been consecrated, what will be your first assignments at the diocese?
First, I need to familiarise myself with this high office, studying the systems of operations, knowing who is where and doing what, understanding why what is where and moving on from there.
Do you have any specific projects you wish to implement in the diocese before the expiry of your tenure?
Yes, I have a number of them. First, I would like to make the church be what it is from my office to the last person in the diocese; thus, enhancing our relationship with the creator. This is primarily through evangelistic campaigns and charity works. I also want to find ways of making the church self-sustaining. We need to grow up and mature. We have begged enough. I intend to implement projects aimed at providing social services such as education and health for human well-being and survival.