Why not Mercy, Madonna? - The Nation Online

Why not Mercy, Madonna?

Good people, Madonna said nothing astonishing when she named her adoptive son, David, as the next President of Malawi.
This is how the Pop star rates the boy she has lifted from the doldrums since she plucked him from an orphanage in Mchinji.
Before the Material Girl flew in, David was an unknown child whose chance in life seemed shattered before it had begun.
Even then, his adoption birthed a fierce legal battle in which learned Goliaths—lawyers, activists and noisemakers–jumped to front to crash the little David’s only hope without offering any uplifting alternative.Thanks to the courts, David’s turnaround got underway and the father of the boy who found solace in a place meant for orphans was actually alive.
Clearly, Madonna has given David a shot at a promising future and she appears enthused and proud to ensure he achieves his potential.
Not long ago, she moved to Portugal where David is smoothing his soccer skills at Sporting Lisbon. On those shores, football is big business and those who play it well make billions they brink off for good.
Now, the talk of the next president may be a joke for the President Day in the US.
But the boy could be the next matchona to rule this country if he maintains his Malawian citizenship.
In the 1950s, some young Malawians, who sacrificed their best years in a fight against colonial rulers, sacrificed their stellar ambitions when they invited a British-trained medic, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, to take their struggle for self-rule to the finish line.
This is how Kamuzu became our first Malawian imported from overseas to rule this country.
The incumbent, Peter Mutharika, is another ‘wise man from overseas’. Just in 2014, his predecessor, Joyce Banda, hit out at this tag and bullied him to shed a green card he had obtained after an illustrious career in the US.
Someone may have whispered to Madonna that voters in Malawi have a penchant for matchona.
But I am curious to know why or how she settled for David as our next leader at the expense of his Malawian sisters, Mercy James, Esther and Stella.
Since the restoration of democracy in 1993, Malawians have been talking about gender equality and giving female citizens an equal chance to vie for public positions.
Given a boy and a girl of Malawian origin, Madonna has made the decision most Malawians make without asking themselves tough questions.
In this country, women keep lagging behind because most families elect to keep their sons to school while daughters drop out to marry.
Depriving girls a solid start and rewarding challenges their male counterparts enjoy has reduced their potential dream big dreams and accomplish what they will.
As Madonna takes sides with David, the nation has spanned 25 years of democracy without voting a woman to Kamuzu Palace.
What about Joyce Banda?
But she rode on the back of Bingu wa Mutharika and she only shot to the top when he died in April 2012.
When her face appeared on the ballot on May 20 2014, not many voted her.
Not that she deserved a re-election because she is a woman.
But this shows just why the country has Bingu and fate for the rise of its first female president.
Maybe JB was not ‘well-travelled’ like the two matchonas who consigned her to the third place in a defeat that forced her to announce a rerun before all votes were tallied.
But Madonna has our ‘well-travelled’ Mercy. Why does she think the girl, who spoke so fluently and intelligently at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital during the opening of a paediatric ward named after her, is not a befitting matchona to rule Malawians in future? What about Esther and Stella? n

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