Monday, July 31, 2017

This blog has moved to

Hey, thanks for visiting Austin Madinga's Big Mouth. I have since moved to a better blog at Hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Someone has taken note of Mangochi... finally!

It took decades but it has finally happened. Mangochi has been elevated from a district to a town by President Joyce Banda, a step aimed at making the lakeshore town a bustling tourist city. I recently argued that former president Mutharika’s priority of Nsanje as a city may not have been a well thought out one.

Malawihas for the past few years been talking about finding an alternative foreign exchange earner to tobacco and tourism has been top of those alternatives. However there was very little work on the ground to show that efforts were being made to grow that industry. Many tourism facilities are not really up to international standard but not because that there has not been some sort of effort. In the past decade or so the road network has been greatly improved as has the recent hotel grading seen an improvement in lodging facilities. There have also been efforts by the Department of Tourism to market the country albeit not at the same level of quality as our neighbours. There is a lot more that has to be done however and I think this declaration is a first positive sign.

It is my hope that government will throw as much money and effort towards upgrading Mangochi, maybe even more, as it did towards Nsanje to make the district and town world class. Perhaps sooner rather than later the area will be a gateway to the other tourist attractions Malawi has to offer and at the same time attract the much needed investment and visitors the country needs to boost its ever dwindling foreign exchange reserves.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

African leaders, you are also human!

Death has today taken the life of another African leader, the six in 36 months. While the illness of Guinea-Bissau's President Malam Bacai Sanha seemed to have been in the public domain and as was that of Ghana's President John Atta Mills the same can not be said of the other leaders who passed on. There was a suspicious secrecy around the illness of Zambia's President Levi Mwanawasa, Nigeria's President Umaru Yar'Adua and more recently Ethiopia's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. It got even more sinister when authorities tried to conceal, without much luck, the death of our very own President Bingu wa Mutharika for a good two days.

African leaders are humans not gods. Illness and death is a part of human life. Lets learn to deal with that. Once leaders come to terms with those facts maybe they will also realise that they need to fix the broken health systems they avoid once they fall sick.

Client experiences

Over a week ago I decided to jot down my experiences with clients of my web and graphic design business. I had just received an 11th hour request to complete a project in an impossible time frame. Requests like these come in all the time in different shapes and sizes so I thought it would be good to start collecting these stories for compilation later into a journal. And boy did this particular project take me through a roller coaster!

I get so easily distracted so am hoping I actually get to finish this journal some day soon. Perhaps I should take a day or two off to actually compile old stories that are still very vivid. I also need to document the many errors and mistakes I made and too often never learned from them.

Freelancing in Malawi - you just have to love it!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

To bundle or not to bundle

“WIN a NEW SAMSUNG S3! Use K300 on Airtel Internet a week. Use more to increase your chances of winning.”

This is an sms I have received a couple of times over the past few weeks from my mobile operator. I love a good competition and by Malawian standard this is one. What I find difficult to understand though is why Airtel would want us to access internet at just over K4 per Mb when they could encourage us to purchase bundles which will cost us anywhere K3.33 to K1.20 per mb depending on the bundle size.

Some may argue they want to make more money off unsuspecting customers who have never heard about bundles, and there are plenty ignorant ones out there. But I would argue that by promoting bundles firstly they are helping their customers save, one ingredient for a happy and loyal customer. Secondly they would most likely get more customers because according to my research Airtel Data Bundles are amongst the cheaper internet options available. Thirdly they will be taking more cash from more customers for bigger (monthly) bundles which I think should make for better cash flow.

But then again, Airtel has their reasons for not promoting bundles. That now leaves me in a dilemma as to how to access internet – bundleless or bundles. Because the reviews of that Samsung are gooood!

Friday, August 3, 2012

So my neighbour had said it but I thought it was just some overzealous traffic cops wanting to make a quick buck or two. Today I confirmed the worst, the Lilongwe - Mchinji road has a maximum speed limit of 80 km/h outside of the trading areas. This ridiculous limit is on a road as well maintained (maybe even better) and probably with five times less traffic as the M1 yet the M1 has a 100 km/h maximum limit.

The authorities are most definitely not in a hurry, and they are slowing down the whole nation with them!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Dilemma of Mzimba South East Constituents

There is a saying, 'You get what you deserve'. Not very sure if Mzimba South East constituency deserves their member of parliament though. The Nation Newspaper today reports that the MP for the area Rabson Shaba has returned to the Democratic Progressive Party saying he earlier defected to the People's Party because' he was confused during Bingu's funeral'.

There is a place for people of his calibre and it's called a circus. His constituency don't deserve to have a clown representing them, like many other constituents whose parliamentarians are equally 'confused' hopping from one party to another under the guise of confusion, wanting development or whatever other nonsensical excuse.

Some circus is missing it's clowns!