Mail & Guardian

Malawi's men to shake off 'nice guy' image

04 Jan 2013 00:00 | Not the Mail & Guardian

Malawian men say they are tired of being known as friendly and reliable. (AFP)

Malawian men say they are tired of being known as friendly and reliable. (AFP)

"Everyone knows that girls only like bad men," said a spokesman. "Which is why the time has come for us to be a bit more gangsta. Although misspelling it like that really upsets us, so if you don't mind, sir, we'd like to spell it 'gangster'."

Speaking in a pleasant lilting accent and smiling frequently, spokesman Affable Kondwani said that many people in South Africa had "entirely the wrong image of Malawians".

"They think we are very nice people because of the Malawians they meet in Johannesburg and Cape Town," he said. "But those people, oh my goodness, those are our delinquents. They are our troubled youths, who have dabbled with strong language, obeyed their parents only grudgingly, or failed to achieve five distinctions in their A-levels. We banish them to South Africa."

He said that the men who remained in Malawi were "far too nice to attract girlfriends".

"We are red-blooded men, who have normal male urges, such as wanting to marry a girl, go to church with her, or hold her hand," he said, blushing. "But they won't even look at us. Which is why we need to be a little bit more bad-ass, or as we ­prefer to say, bad-rumped."

Asked what these strategies would entail, Kondwani said that he and his friends would probably "start splitting infinitives".

"We will also drive with our arm out of the window, as we have seen in a very edgy film that has just come on circuit in Blantyre. It is called Rebel without a Cause. Mr James Dean is terribly rude and surly towards his elders and betters, but the girls seem to like it."

He said that they would also try listening to "the rock music". "It is very animalistic and encourages thoughts of the flesh, especially when sung by wild, macho alpha males such as Mr Elton John," said Kondwani. "If Candle in the Wind can't rev their motors, nothing can."

View the original online publication here