Malawians Abroad; Is this happening in Ireland?1 Comment

By Henry Mkumbira Phiri
Posted on 05 Dec 2015 at 11:01pm

Few years back, when sons and daughters of Malawi left for Ireland, it was a relief on an economically burdened Malawi and in some cases a relief to psychologically burdened parents whose children were but as good as nothing only to find Ireland a scrap yard for them.

malawian in irelandMany children left Malawi for Ireland during the days of economic downturns when major donors shut the main pipes of finances to capital hill. Going to Ireland was like heaven sake. Apparently, it was an alternative to an overcrowded South Africa that looked to be a no go zone for foreigners. An Author Milton Berle once said “If an opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door”. Building a door for Ireland in some cases was by choice depending on an individual calculation of survival and balance of choices. But in the same way, every single Malawian going to Ireland left on the ticket of study as it was the easiest way of disembarking at Dublin Airport. Whether you go for studies or not, was nobody’s business but what was more important was to get yourself there. In some cases, the self acclaimed students were reportedly to have forgotten names of their various institutions of higher learning and even their courses they intended to pursue upon arrival at Dublin airport. No wonder others were sent back and others got their luck despite the same mistake. Nonetheless, this wasn’t a big deal anyway, “for to Err is human”.

Down the line things begun to cook up. I remember my secondary school teacher once said “In every investment, there is an expectation of a return, whether positive or inverse. Research shows that, different people, from different backgrounds put in one house, the probability that you will pick a thief is half. But that doesn’t mean that everybody is a thief. Surprisingly, social media was crowded with nasty stories of the conduct of the Malawian community in Ireland. Impatient diplomatic parents started withdrawing their children whilst others declined their intentions to send or travel to Ireland. James Surowiecki, Author, once said that “in the business world, bad news is usually good news and sells more papers”. My Pastor, Shanks Kaunda, always say, “I don’t blame your English pronunciations, it all depends on who your teacher was”. This is a metaphor that some habits are in the blood. Nyasaland is well known of reporting and hearing bad news. And this scares investors and donors in particular. Anyway that’s not my point here.

Today, the same scrap yard for prostitutes, “cohabiters” and Mayweathers or sorry I mean street fighters has become a climbing ladder for a resourceful and visionary generation. An embattled, South African Malawian born Prophet, once said you can question 1 + 1 but you will never question the result 2. One of the daughters of a renowned former Inspector General of Malawi Police, Mercy Shanell Mukhito stands stall in the midst of a once called shameful Ireland as she leads a congregants of Malawian graduates on 4th December 2015, at the Radisson Blue Hotels in Dublin.

This looks to be just a starting point and it is projected that every year at least 10% of Malawian students in Dublin will be graduating from institutions of higher learning that are globally on map. This is exciting news to both Malawi government and a big relief to a lost but found parents who completely lost hope in their children. “Is this really happening in Ireland?


©henry mkumbira phiri