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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A day Malawi was robbed of a dedicated Blogger - RIP

Feb 05,2007 by Editor, Nyasatimes


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!

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 cafĂ© 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:

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