I was going for community facilitator volunteer training at the One Community Organisation in June 2016 at Mitengo Iwiri Lodge located at Andiamo in Balaka. Since it was the first day, we had to wait outside the gate for our trainers and anther trainee to come. I sat on a concrete slab outside with Chipiliro and Dadley, fellow trainees.

Chipiliro had found an advert for the 2016/2017 academic year intake’s application on Domasi College of Education’s official Facebook page on his phone.

“Guys have you seen this?” he asked.

Dadley, took the phone. “No. I don’t think I need this,” he said passing the phone to me.

After browsing through the page, “Yes…hmm but, I’m not applying for any college again. They have enough of my money — non-refundable application fee. I think it could have been capital for a notable small business, a rather good investment,” I stressed.

“Maybe you might be selected this time, just give it another try,” Dadley said, sounding optimistic.

“You never know, perhaps this is your time,” Chipiliro said, agreeing with him.

“But guys, do you know how many times I have tried?” I asked them.

“Does it matter?” they chorused in question.

“Are you sure? I have tried to apply for different colleges and universities but I’m always failing. University of Malawi was the first place that I applied for. Soon after completing my secondary school in 2012 I applied thrice, sat for their entrances twice before. In 2014 I had a chance with Natural Resource College. I was selected to pursue Bachelor of Sciences in food science nutrition and technology, after a successful aptitude test,” I paused, a little smile of pride surfacing on my face.

“So what happened?” Chipiliro asked, looking interested.

“Were you weeded or…” Dadley suggested in his mocking laugh.

I continued, “Unfortunately, I didn’t have funds to register for my studies. It was too expensive for me, so I had to look for government subsidised colleges.”

“Hmm, too bad,” they said, looking concerned.

“Last year March, I sat for the Malawi Colleges of Health Sciences entrances. I failed. In July I wrote the Domasi College of Education entrances, I failed. On 18th August I went for the Marine Training College interviews and I failed again,” I said. “Whether on wrong choice or aptitude test I can’t tell.”

There was a moment of silence until Dadley said, “Man, don’t give up, just try once more.”

I looked at him and said, “No I’m not.” I continued, “I was frustrated with last year’s Domasi results so I sent the officials a direct message on their official Facebook page stating my name, registration number for the aptitude test and subject combination, asking for my scores on the test. They never replied so I sent an emotional one. It said something along the lines of, I guess I’m not asking much. I am begging for mercy. So, please don’t make me feel like a stubborn fool. I just wanted to know my score at least, to laugh at my own misfortunes and show my relatives that I’m not that dull but fate has other plans. So, you can’t prove business when you can’t spend a minute sending my results, anyway thank you for your psychological torture, God bless you.”

“Did you really send that?” they both asked looking shocked.

“I was frustrated and it happened subconsciously, things I wouldn’t type ended up being typed, later only did I regret sending.” I said in low-toned voice.

The other trainees had come and by 8am the trainers arrived, so we had to go in.

I vowed not to apply but after urgings from family and friends I did. I applied for physical education and creative art, and after being shortlisted for an interview I sat for the aptitude test in early August 2016.

Every morning around 5am I cleaned around our compound. This particular morning of 19th October 2016 was no exception. My phone rang, checking the caller I picked it up.

“Hello, Precious!” I spoke softly.

“Hellooo, Isaac… congratulations! I have just seen Domasi’s selection list and I’m happy for you.”

“Thank you for the news,” I said, excitedly before the call went off.

It was a kind of relief though. I never knew my pastime could be part of my professional, now I’m happily pursuing sport and fine art.


Tell us: What do you think about Isaac’s determination to finish his studies?