Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Journalist Taonga Tsabola recounts late Wambali Mkandawire’s spirit of excellency

The late Wambali Mkandawire
Somewhere around 2010, while working for AFJ Television, we were invited to cover an evening function at Mt. Soche. At the end of the function, as per the tradition in the media, it was time for interviews.
We interviewed a few prominent business executives who attended the event that night among them the late Prof. Mathews Chikaonda.
I then approached Mtebeti Wambali Mwandawire and politely introduced myself and the media house I was representing. After some good five minutes of explaining more about myself and the institution I was working for, Mte Wambali agreed to grant me an interview.
I told my colleague-turned-brother Mwai Mtumodzi to get organized for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. After all, was set, Mte asked me a question that would change my handling of things forever. “Is this a camera for a Television station? Stop wasting my time young man. Next time when you are ready and organized I will give you an exclusive interview. Here is my card, ok?” Off he left.
I looked at my colleagues including my boss Late Dr. Felix Zalimba. Their faces were down. I told them, “there is no need to wear frustrated faces. What Wambali has said is the truth. We should up our game. For the Tv station to make a breakthrough we need to attract serious-minded people like him, they are the ones who can bring us viewership as well as potential advertisers,” I fumed to my boss and colleagues.
Days after the ordeal, we saw Dr. Zalimba bringing three HD cameras. A month later, new equipment including state of art antennas were bought from Italy. The rest as they say remains history but It had to take one brave son of the soil from Mlowe to call mediocrity by its name.
To me, that brief interaction with the music icon was a game-changer in my life. From that fateful night, I learned to do things with standards and class even in moments when resources are limited.
Rest Mte, Rest!!
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