Kandawire legacy

Lerato Moeketse

Lerato Moeketse

Veteran radio announcer James Kandawire died on Monday aged 85.

Popularly known as Mvuthuza, Kandawire was born on September 22 1922 in what is now Malawi.

In 1941 he was called up to serve in the Second World War. After the war, and in a quest to secure a better life, he trekked on foot to South Africa, surviving wild animals along the way. Nine out of every ten people who embarked on this journey never made it here alive, Kandawire always said.

He worked for Anglo Alpha Cement for 20 years. He was later recruited by Radio Swahili, which was part of the SABC's external services and broadcast throughout Africa.

Kandawire was instrumental in recruiting other Malawians to the radio station where he worked until his retirement in 1992.

He was a charismatic announcer who always exuded confidence and inspired communities across the continent with his sense of humour and wisdom.

Kandawire was also instrumental in establishing the Malawian Burial Society in 1950 for his countrymen who had settled in this country.

He instilled a sense of family values, humility and respect in his children, family and friends.

He is survived by nine children, 34 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and a great-great grandchild.

His funeral service will be held at the Meadowlands Community Hall tomorrow from 8am before the procession leaves for Lenasia Crematorium at 11am.

His was a life well-lived and he inspired both young and old alike.