Old age: a Sad tale of suffering


Being aged is a blessing from God and many youths wish to live longer but in Malawi many old people are destitute.

One such old person is Alfred Mlava from Mulanje district. He stays in a house that is not decent for human beings and eats once in a day, mainly porridge cooked with flour that sometimes well-wishers give to him.

Alfred Mlava out side his house.

With no relative around, Mlava has to fetch water for himself and clean two plates and a pot he owns for his kitchen.

“I have three daughters, they all stay in Phalombe, they visit me once in a while but for now I stay alone,” narrated Mlava.

He added that he lost his wife whom he married when he migrated from Mozambique to Malawi to work in tea estates in Mulanje.

The death of his wife was the genesis of the miserable life that Mlava live as he had to leave the village of the late wife and move to Kumwamba village for pieceworks.

“When he came here, the chief gave him a house that belonged to Mulanje district council as it was not being used for any other purpose,” said Nickson Mpangani who offered himself to look after Mlava.

Mpangani added that: “The council later decided to sell the house and that is the time Mlava was more desperate for a place to stay but he could not afford to have a house he could be paying rental bills”.

For years Mlava has been living settled in a dilapidated structure out of desperation, with no blankets to give him warmth at night from the cold weather of Mulanje.

Through their elderly service, members of the community of St Egidio in Mulanje came to know of Mlava recently.

St Egidio donating to Mlava

“When we came to visit him, we noted that Mlava needed a hand of help, he needed our love, he needed our support,” said Gloria Kavina one of the responsible persons from the Community St Egidio for Njeza in the district.

The members on Saturday donated assorted items to Mlava to avert some of the challenges faced by the old man.

The items that were donated include two bags of maize, mattresses, bed, blankets, kitchen utensils, relish in mentioning some but a few.

The members have also disclosed plans to rebuild the house for Mlava adding to the donation.

Meanwhile, the community of St Egidio is eying to help another elderly person Lucia Lyson by rebuilding her house. The works for the two houses will cost K1.8 million.



  1. Hi, I’m John Mwase sending from Cape Town South Africa. I feel so sorry to hear the story of the old man, I’m from Nkhata bay Kindly Contact me on +27613629680 Best Regards John Mwase.

  2. Thanks to God that the true life of good people who cares about others NOT Prostitutes Politicians who are just feeding themselves and their lovers

  3. There are lessons to be learned from this experience. This shows the evil of chikamwini culture. Again its not good when you go to work in another country to forget your home and marry in that country, The man is now missing the people he failed and forget to assist when he was a youth.

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