By Charles Rex Gare

Isn’t it high time Malawians realized formal education is not the only means of achieving success and perhaps riches? True, education frees the mental slavery that most of us are in. However, it’s high time Malawian parents realized it isn’t the only gate-pass to success.

Need I mention that some of the planet’s filthy rich are college dropouts? Bill Gates, Aliko Dangote et al; have ever been in the corridors but never saw them through. But look at them now. Locally we have our own examples as well. The likes of Sidik Mia, Mike Chilewe, Dr Bakili Muluzi…the list is endless.

It is a common Malawian problem that every household becomes incomplete when none of them family members have ever stepped their feet across the corridors. Rather every household wants to see their sons/daughters turn to Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants you name it, sometimes without regard to what the child is capable of,formal education aside.

Think of a son from a rich home somewhere in the suburbs, his Malawi school Certificate of education has 45 points and completely goofed them international exams written in high schools. ‘‘A son of a Big shot can’t just stay doing nothing’’ meditates the son’s Father. So they proceed and find him a place in one of these well-known varsities.

Money talks and louder it talks when it’s too much. And so, the young lad is now a freshman, as usual he gets used to the environment. But see life in varsity isn’t as simple as it sounds; you have to work hard and play hard (of course). The freshman here is out pursuing one of the toughest courses I know, law. He is way too lazy to cope up with legal jargons…come the end of the semester. Your guess is better than mine. The rich kid couldn’t withstand the heat. He couldn’t see his way through to the sophomore year. He’s relieved of his status as an intelligentsia basing on poor class performance. One whole year wasted and almost millions blown in the wind.

The father still can’t give up like that no no no! He still insists in sending him to abroad varsities. But of what assurance does he have that his son will make it abroad? On the other hand, little sonnie here is very good in sports but ever since he was a kid he hasn’t been given the opportunity to play but to focus on school. Why not give him a shot and support in whatever he may need to showcase his passion for sports?

Most Malawian parents will be like ‘‘aagh mpira mungapite nawo kuti, Kuno nku Malawi?’’. Kind of mentality that is slowing us down as a nation. Why is it that we are the first ones to look down on ourselves before others do? Can’t a Malawian sportsman make living out of his inborn talent? Ask Gaba!

Lots of hidden talents in Malawi, mostly in the name of “putting education first” and forgetting about talents that they are useless fantasies and illusions in a country like ours. I say a big No to that! We the youths have lots of talents and wonders that can uplift our lives if you support us aside from education. Lots of money spent on some of us for school would be enough to help us come up with something useful using our talents.

We need education yes, but not necessarily all of us! Some of us must follow our instincts and some of them must learn to get there. We all learn by the way and we love learning, not necessarily in class but they do whilst we learn new techniques in our free worlds to unlock the doors of success through talent.



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