Gogo Nalikusika: a great woman who lived humbly

The time I worked for Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), yes the State Broadcaster- I spent six years there- was the time I knew President Bakili Muluzi's home, a distance from Liwonde, very hot and somewhere where facilities were sprouting up all the time. That was Kapoloma area near Nselema in Machinga. Alongside my colleague and best friends Chancy Muloza, we could spend Christmas week at Liwonde when President Muluzi would be on short leave and we could be waiting for any news.
President Muluzi's house at his home village has a small gate to the left opposite the parking lot. This gate faces a brick house he built for his mother and has a small cement pavement towards it from the house.
Whenever we were broke after enjoying Liwonde night outs, we could just drive to Kapoloma and strategically place ourselves around this area, for sure President Muluzi either in the morning or any part of day, would never miss to see his mother, now late Gogo Nalikusika. As he went he would great many of us, and if he identified you as MBC team for sure, an envelope would come our way, and of course our Christmas would continue to be merrier.
I have never seen a Head of State so close to his mother like Dr. Muluzi was all the time.
But this mother was equally special, many flocked to her, many had her ear and many benefited morally, financially and spiritually from this mother of a President.
No wonder during her final journey on earth, not even when her influential and only remain son Dr. Bakili Muluzi was not in attendance or his son Atupele, many including State Vice President Khumbo Kachali many saw it fit to bid farewell to such a mother.
As we sat outside the gate and facing her house, one of Dr. Muluzi's guards came and laughed how I have grown bug since the days we used to come and scout Kapoloma area. We spoke of the Love the Former President had on his mother, we spoke how she would supervise her homestead when she was strong and how she even knew some of the "many strangers" that visited her home.
When Sheikh Amani Matiya, Sheikh Dinala Chabulika and my ex-MBC workmate Sheikh Mustahab Ayami spoke during prayers, they touched on a very touching subject- the Gogo,a Presidents mother, never sought fame or prominence as many Queen Mothers would do.
She never sought to lead others, by led by example to many about giving and assisting those less privilaged.
She never sought a political office or power, but powerfully inspired and contributed to political growth of the UDF and many of its leaders.
She remained what she was, yet her works spoke volumes of how great she was.
She was buried by many, honouring her legacy, that includes giving birth to First democratic President, yet she lived an ordinary life.
I knew the Muluzi's through the Mitole's who were family friends in my childhood in Namiwawa, I later knew, Austin, now famously Atupele through a different platform. I knew Dr. Muluzi as a President and later as someone humble enough to call you and share his thoughts with ordinary citizen like some of us.
But I knew that woman from Kapoloma, Gogo Nalikusika when we visited her homestead and we never got afraid to chat and make noise near her home, because she was friendly even to us, workers serving her son.
Yesterday that hot afternoon of Mothers day made us see Dr. Jaffu, Patrick Mbewe, Leonard Mangulama, Nicholas Kachingwe and many old politicians and personalities converge at one place to pay respects to perhaps the country's "MOTHER OF FREEDOM MOVEMENT".
She befittingly went to her eternal rest on a Mothers Day after completing a worthy and noble journey on earth.
Her send off, was a lesson to all of us, that our works and character on earth will define our departure and legacy.
Rest in Peace Gogo+


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