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Malawi: Malawian Blogger Passes Away

January 18th, 2007 the Malawi blogosphere was robbed of one of its prominent bloggers, Mangaliso Jere (27), whose blog, Mangaliso’s World, covered different topics of interest including information technology in Malawi. The news was broken by a Malawian blogger Austin Madinga on his blog Austin Madinga’s Big Mouth, where he announced, “Mangaliso’s world is over”:

A good friend and fellow blogger, Mangaliso Jere, left this world today in Mzuzu! I really have no words to describe this brother only that he was a cheerful lad, a hardworking techie and one who loved his motherland. Rest in Peace Dear Brother!

The news quickly spread onto Malawian listservs, including IT Malawi, where Mangaliso was a frequent contributor. According to Boster Sibande, IT Malawi contibutor, Mangaliso, emailed his colleagues on Thursday morning telling them he would report late for work, as he had a doctor’s appointment that morning. He was scheduled for surgery to remove a growth from his nose. According to Boster Sibande, quoting Mangaliso’s workmates, Mangaliso never woke up from the surgery.

A comment on his blog questions the integrity and professionalism of the doctors who operated him:

It is sad that you had to be taken out of this world exactly seven days after posting this article. Unfortunately, its not the malaria that took you per se, if it wasnt for those careless medics at mzuzu central hospital who decided to operate on your sinus and convinced you it was a minor surgery. Where on earth can opening ones nostrils be categorised as minor surgery? am not a medic but lol.. i tend to doubt the integrity and professionalism of some of our medical practitioners considering my aunt was prescribed wrong medication for a different ailment at the same hospital which also almost cost her life. But am sure God is watching over you and its a matter of time that we shall be together in the heavenly glory.

I will miss your jokes now and forever more.
May your soul rest in eternal peace my bururu!

An anonymous reader demands an explanation:

somebody at mzuzu hospital need to explain why?? what on earth the so called doctor was thinking about, Russian agent or what??

Guilty>>> you are for killing such a young man who had full of life a head of him.

My he RIP

In order to keep Mangaliso's dreams alive, a UK based blogger, Nyumbazi, has started a new blog dedicated to him, Mangaliso's World 2. Her fist post is Mangaliso Jere Eulogy:

I will start with CEREBRATING your life.
You are A Ngoni who was proud of who you are, a man who had the heart to accommodate everybody, a man who found the meaning of life at very young age, a man who found a purpose for his life, a man who realised his potential very well ahead of most the people I know, a man who loved wisdom and knowledge, a man who brought me laughter, a Manchester United Fun, a gentle man, a man who was informed about currents affairs, a man who had big dreams, a man who has gone through tough experiences in life at a very young age, a man who came out shoulders high a against all odds, you embraced the seasons of change in your life integrity beyond your age. I can go on and on.

Still in shock about his death, Nyumbazi writes:

Dear Mangaliso
Your voice still fresh in my ears when we spoke to eachother about you going for surgery.
Can't understand what went wrong during your op.

The son of a former Malawi High Court Judge and a retired Senior Matron at the Kamuzu Central Hospital, Malawi’s second largest hospital, Mangaliso started his blog in July 2005, and posted his last entry on January 14th, 2007. Mangaliso was a man of diverse interets, as evidenced in his posts. He was very proud to call himself a Malawian and an African, and wrote on topics as wide ranging as debt relief, Malawian politics, world football, and events in his work life. But his greatest passion was technology and the Internet in Malawi.

In one of his posts, he blogged about Internet café rates in Malawi, noting that the price of bandwidth in the Malawi’s northern city of Mzuzu, where he had moved just months prior, were going down.

Mangaliso worked as assistant network engineer for the Malawi Sustainable Development Network Programme (SDNP), one of Malawi’s biggest Internet service providers. Mangaliso worked in SDNP’s office in Mzuzu, Malawi’s third largest and youngest city. According to SDNP’s website, Mangaliso’s academic and professional qualifications included a Diploma in Information Technology obtained from the University of Malawi in 2001; and an ACCA Accounting Technician Diploma.

Mangaliso was experienced in user support, leased connections, wireless, mstreams data lines, and dial-up Internet services, and networks. As a student at the University of Malawi, Mangaliso was a member of the Polytechnic Student Union Council, according to Dr. Matthews Mtumbuka’s post in MalawiTalk, a Malawian email listserv. Dr. Mtumbuka served as president of the students’ union council there at the time Mangaliso was a member.

Messages have been appearing on Mangaliso’s World from friends and colleagues, expressing shock at his unexpected death, and noting that he did not even fall sick, as he had been sending routine text messages to friends only the day before. Mangaliso leaves behind a mother, a brother and two sisters, according to close family friend Bonaventure Mkandawire. One reader left this message on his blog:

Anemwechi! as we fondly used to call each other,
Exactly four days after posting this comment, you decided to answer Gods call to go and be with him, leaving behind your dream of meeting Keith Wallis.

If atleast you told me you were going for surgery in that last SMS you sent me a day just prior to thet fateful afternoon, i would have discouraged it in the strongest terms. I called too late to be told you are in a ward and that guy couldnt let me talk to you.

I really feel guilty for not having called in time to hear your plans.
God will forgive all the misdeeds am sure.
Rest In Eternal Peace captain.

He is going to be missed by not only his close family and friends, but also fellow IT specialists in Malawi, and fellow Malawian bloggers.

This is probably the second time the African blogosphere loses one of its own. Last August, Kachumbari, a Kenyan village blogger, was killed in a car accident in Nairobi, Kenya. Kachumbari started to blog in January 2006 and quickly added a rare voice in the African blogosphere, that of an African villager. According to a post in his memory on Kenya Unlimited site, his work did not go unnoticed. His blog was featured in the Daily Nation of Kenya in March, 2006 and on BBC in June, 2006:

Kachumbari joined KBW in February 2006 but his blog had been in existence for at least a month before. His entry of January 13, 2006 entitled Karibuni Shaggs (trans. Welcome to the Village) aside from giving some insight into the man behind the blog, established Kachumbari as one of the few bloggers blogging from a Kenyan village. His unique perspective did not go unnoticed and in March 2006 his blog was featured in a Daily Nation article on Kenyan Bloggers. In his inimitable style, Kachumbari cited the frequent use of newspapers ‘to wrap meat at the butchers’ and the fact that ‘some villages see only the Sunday paper, the Kiswahili one- Taifa Jumapili’ as part of the reason why it took him almost two months to obtain a copy of the article.

8 comments

  • […] Global Voices Online ? Blog Archive ? Malawi: Malawian Blogger Passes Away Steve Sharra’s excellent overview of blogosphere reactions to the death of Malawian blogger Austin Madinga. RIP, Austin. (tags: malawi africa blogosphere globalvoices) […]

  • […] Huzuni. Mwanablogu Mangaliso Jere wa Malawi ametutoka kama Kachumbari, mwanakijiji aliyekuwa akiblogu nchini Kenya, alivyotutoka mwaka jana. Ni huzuni. Bonyeza hapa usome habari hii. […]

  • I am deeply pained to hear Mangaliso’s death. We briefly conencted a while ago with his post on Interent Cafes in Malawi just a few weeks ago. I was amazed to read his excitment and drive to do for his country in bridging the digital divide, unaware his little body was struggling to survive but he showed great hope. It a great loss for Malawi & all of us.

  • I miss you Mangaliso. He was the first blogger based in Northern Malawi and his posts and presence on the blogosphere made me feel at home. May God of all comfort us all.

  • […] Another Malawian blogger, Nyumbazi, reminds us on her blog Mangaliso’s World 2, a blog dedicated to Mangaliso Jere, the Malawian blogger who passed away on January 18th this year, that this week would have been the 26th birthday for the late Mangaliso: […]

  • Komani Lungu

    I am sitting in the doctors room in theatre at Kamuzu Central Hospital waiting to operate on a child who has been refered from Dedza having fallen on a tree stump there by spliting his abdomen and came across this posting about Mangalitso. Its indeed a tragedy that this happened and I may not know what exactly happened. I just would like to condole all that have posted their concerns here. The world of surgery is not an easy one and it littered with mishaps. We go into it knowing fully well our limitations. Sometimes we win but some times we do not.
    The system is kept arrive by a few brave men and women who dispite the difficult conditions they work under they still turn up for work. I pray to God that our failures be few and our successes many.
    To Mangalitsos’s family and friends and to others who this system fails on a daily basis I say we are sorry. We can only lamely promise to do better in future. I am sure this death will be investigated and we will learn from it.
    Komani

  • I am so happy to see a blog put to this use, to encourage people in Africa and the African diaspora to generate funds for projects such as these. Let us encourage supporting William and others like him, via this medium. Provided this is a secure medium for sending money, I will participate soon.

    Angeline Bandon-Bibum, author of Sojourner’s Dream

  • mwabhi chisiza

    am deeply pained to hear Mangaliso’s death. We briefly conencted a while ago with his post on Interent Cafes in Malawi just a few weeks ago. I was amazed to read his excitment and drive to do for his country in bridging the digital divide, unaware his little body was struggling to survive but he showed great hope. It a great loss for Malawi & all of us.
    mwabhi chisiza sa

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