1. Can you introduce yourself?
I am Patrick Kumbukani Bwanali, the fourth born child in a family of eight. I come from Thyolo district. I am married with two daughters, Neema and Nancy. I celebrate my birthday on the 15th of March each year. I am now 35 years old.
2. Your Education background
Currently, I am a holder of a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Mass Communication which I obtained from ShareWorld Open University in Blantyre.
3. Tell us about your work experience?
I worked with Montfort Media for 12 years before I joined Andiamo Education Institutions. During that period, I was a Lithographer and later a Sub-Editor of Together Youth magazine.
4. Now you are a Coordinator of Andiamo Education Institutions (AEI), what can you say about the place, have you met any challenges?
AEI is a nice place one MUST like at all cost. It is a place to live and grow. I wouldn’t call what I have met as challenges per se but a test of my growth as an individual and as an institution.
5. What made you switch your career from being a journalist to a teacher?
To be honest, I don’t know what made me change. All I can say is that I am happy here. In my first job I was writing for people who could read and write. Now I must make other people read and write.
6. What could be the role of teachers in improving education standard in the country?
As teachers, we have a duty to make sure that we produce the best out of the meagre resources that we have as a country. As Fr. Mario once told me, it is no longer a job but a mission. We should try as much as we can, to be role models. Students should be able to see in us more the services we provide first than the money we get at the end of the month.
7. Being in a position of a Coordinator now, do you think you will bring a change in education sector with your past experience as a journalist?
If I start thinking of myself as a change, I feel that I am going to fail. WE are the change. Together, we shall make AEI light of this part of Malawi and indeed the whole of Malawi.
8. How did you feel when you got the news that all the Form 2s had passed exams at Andiamo Secondary School?Honestly, I felt humbled. I thought of all people who made this possible. I am talking of the owners of the school (Andiamo Youth Cooperative Trust), volunteers from Italy, teachers, guardians and the students themselves. We wanted to have a school. We have one. A school is known for its results. Our first results have been good. I have a feeling that this is all what we wanted.
9. As the institutions have started with full capacity, what measures have been put in place to make sure the good reputation of the institution is maintained? (Any plans)
We are just here to fulfill the objectives of AYCT. You know that one of the pillars of AYCT is education. We must always try as much as possible to fulfill this objective of the cooperative. If we do better, Andiamo has fulfilled one of its objectives.
10. You were writing “Shokere” column in Mkwaso Newspaper which was popular among the readers of the news, are they going to continue enjoying it again?
“Shokere” was there to both entertain and educate. I think I entertained when I was writing that column. Unfortunately, because of other problems I cannot continue writing the column. On the education part, I still have the book. Those who want to learn something from the book, they can ask for one.
11. In 2010 you wrote a book “Shokere”, Should people expect another book in near future?
Shortly we shall embark on a big project to write a book about Andiamo. We are hopeful that the book will be out in 2014 when we shall be celebrating 30 years of AYCT. It is the dream of the founders of AYCT that the book should be in both English and Italian.
12. What is your secret for success?
I believe that a person is a person through other people. If I have succeeded, I believe it is because of other people. I have learned then that respecting other people is the only way to success.
13. What can you say to those who want to join teaching?
It is a call. It is fulfilling. Ask yourself if REALLY you want to become a teacher. If you REALLY want, you will enjoy. I have always wanted to become a teacher.