Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa has urged against complacency, urging young Malawians to emulate the burning desire of fallen writer Legson Kayira who endured a 4 800-kilometre walk in search of decent education overseas.
Mussa waxed lyrical of the country’s fallen Marco Polo, whose inextinguishable determination and perilous travels into a seemingly impossible future is immortalised in the award-winning autobiography I Will Try, when he opened Legson Kayira Memorial Centre at Chimphamba Village in Mchinji on Thursday.
Construction of the centre, comprising Kayira’s statue, clinic, school, a church and a poultry farm, was bankrolled by Youth of Malawi, a group of volunteers, including Kayira’s children—David, Natasha, Rose and Selina—who were present at the opening ceremony.
Tributes to the inspirational writer were profuse at the service happening just a day before his cremated remains were buried at Mpale Village in Wenya, Chitipa.
Kayira’s ash-to-ash entombment in the north-eastern hills of the border district faintly marked the final leg of a journey of three continents which dates back to the late 1950s.
Mussa asked the gathering in Mchinji not to bury the fond memories of the deceased’s burning desire to split dangerous bushes infested with vicious beasts.
He said: “Nobody can tell the story of this country without a mention of Legson Kayira. He will forever be cited as one of Malawian achievers and we all ought to be proud of his strides to achieve his dreams.
“His determination should inspire the youth not to wait for things to come their way, but to take bold steps to achieve their grand dreams.”
Mussa described the memorial centre as a timeless gift, saying it will serve even generations to come if run appropriately and cared for.
He hailed the junior school, saying such institutions are central to government’s new agenda to turn the youth into the engine room of national development by empowering them with quality education, relevant skills and decent jobs.
Volunteers from some of the wealthiest nations evoked Kayira’s rags-to-riches story—titled after the motto of his alma mater, the now closed Livingstonia Secondary School—saying it is possible to transform the country from a bastion of poverty to a league of rich nations.
“Let us make a new list of nations and place Malawi on the top. Let us be proud of Malawi and hopeful for its future. Let us try to do better every day and to meet the challenges head-on, with courage and strength and resolve.” n