A few minutes past 15hrs, his casket was opened and there he was, dressed in a black suit,white shirt and a marching Savoy Tailors Guild black tie.It cant be real,I thought.
But when I saw the bishop coming to conduct a service,and when he started mentioning the future, when he started saying all those prayers of hope and peace, my senses came to reality that this was indeed the last time we were seeing the a humble man with a giant spirit-the spirit of love care,fairness and patriotism.Our high commissioner Dr Moto was there.
He spoke passionately.He had come to represent the government of Malawi,the people of Malawi and himself.
"On behalf of the Malawi government,on behalf of the Malawi people and on behalf of the Malawi mission office in UK,I would like first of all to express sincere condolences to Mrs. Nyirenda,for the loss of her husband Mr. Hardy Nyirenda" he said."We have come together to pause to remember and reflect, upon the terrible devastation to the Malawian UK society and Nation at large.
So much has been said and written about Mr. Nyirenda. It has brought unbelievable, unbearable grief to so many people here and at home.We think of this Day of Mourning and Reflection We also think though, of the wonderful response of mankind to this terrible loss.
I learned about Hardy,in the late 80s whilst here when some one smuggled a copy of Chilunga news letter to me[in the UK] where his poem come-come and mend was featured.I have also spent some considerable time to read expressions of sympathies from people around the world on the internet and one safe conclusion I could make and continue to make is that
" it is not the number of days with which we live that matters but what we do during our life time that matters most"
Hardy it seems was already a graduate before coming to the UK.But he felt a calling from within to pursue a particular course in media law so he could go back home to contribute to the development of his country.
He did great things for his country,and he was going to do great things to others.
THE PEOPLE OF MALAWI HAVE LOST A GREAT SON"
Mr. Nsembe Gondwe a close friend of hardy and his family gave us a brief back ground of Mr. Hardy."Hardy was born on 10th october 1965, went to Rumphi secondary school where he was selected to to go to chancellor college.He'd worked briefly for Sky links travel at the time of his suspension and joined the democrat news papers and GTZ before coming to the UK.At the time of his death, he had just finished his batchelor's degree in media law.
He was planning to go home in 2/3 months time"
I have never said anything to a mourning public ever since I was born except singing and when I was asked to say a few words, I felt both terrified and concerned at my own inadequacy to such a task.
But when I reflect, however, on the encouragement in particular the way in which Hardy's acts dissolved barriers, that people have been helped irrespective of their religion, of their tribe, of their region of origin, of their political beliefs, as evident from the sympathies that we have seen over the past few days, a spontaneous coming forward of that great common humanity that we all share, I paused for a moment and told myself :
" it is an occasion like this that serves to remind all of the peoples of the world of what they have in common, and of the things that they have in common, and that the things that unite them are always stronger and more important than the things that divide us"
We have seen how a man born in 1965 changed the history of an institution that was established in 1965.
Like I said in one of my other writings, " When I was a kid, I fell in love with one primary school poem which had the following words.
IF ALL THE TREES WERE ONE TREES, WHAT A GREAT TREE THAT WOULD BE.
IF ALL THE LAKES WERE ONE LAKE, WHAT A GREAT LAKE THAT WOULD BE.
IF ALL MALAWIANS WERE AS KIND-HEARTED,COMPASSIONATE,COURAGEOUS AND CARING AS HARDY NYIRENDA, WHAT A GREAT NATION MALAWI WOULD BE"
Over the past few days our memories were taken back to some scenes of unbelievable sadness and tragedy, but we have also been inspired by the response and courageous acts of one great son from Rumphi -Hardy Nyirenda.
As Malawians we can all be immensely proud of the response of our own nation.It has been a response not only of the government through the high commissioner Dr Moto, but also a response of all of the friends and family members of the UK malawi community,the responses of the press in Malawi who for the first time in the history of post independence and post democratic struggle have decided to honor a man who spent all what he had to defend his colleagues and the contributions and the sharing, as best as we can in our own ways, of the grief that Mrs. Nyirenda and her two kids have suffered, is a demonstration to the world of the good heart and the decency and the humanity, that resides within the Malawian people.
But more need to be done.We need to share the responsibility Mrs. Nyirenda[new in this country] has.
There still remain some bills that needs to be settled.The courageous and bravery acts of their late beloved one Hardy Nyirenda affected their finances.She will be going back home to face untold challenges.Where they had home and savings,their loved one's quest to attain skills that would help him fight for the voiceless drained it all.
Lets reach out our pockets and offer whatever we can.Those who can please contact Mr. Mabaso on 07762006227 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hardy's body will leave heathrow airport on sunday via south africa and is expected to land at Kamuzu international airport on tuesday at 13:00 pm
IF ALL MALAWIANS WERE LIKE HARDY NYIRENDA, WHAT A GREAT NATION MALAWI WOULD BE
Bright Mac E Malopa