BY FOCUS MAGANGA
At the age of 23, Hon Fyness gathered guts to contest for a parliamentary race in her constituency. Well, she didn’t have to think twice to join politics at that age because of her deficiency in English language or any professional experience. She wanted it. She did it. She won.
There are many young people of her age group who have a strong command in English and a financial muscle with which they can ably contest. However, these young people either are afraid of politics or are not interested in it for reasons dictated by their convictions.
But the young lady fought for her own honorable title by having courage to take a path less taken. She was not appointed by some authority to enter into parliament because of her age, gender any other demographic characteristic. She was elected by her own people to present them. In fact, she had to beat contenders with some strengths she doesn’t possess.
And today, her grammatical mistakes seem to have haunted and hunted her down to steal her success. The fact, however, remains she is the youngest member of Malawian parliament.
And the clip that has gone viral should remind us language and communication are different. Language is the tool, and the mastery of it does not necessarily guarantee that one is an effective communicator. Communication is broader. It includes the confidence, nonverbal cues, control, authority etc that in the end when combined with language enhances effective communication.
So while some people might see gaps in grammar, I see a very confident honorable member of parliament who ably communicates and stamps authority deserving an honorable member of parley.
I guess this should encourage each one of us never to give up because of language, age, gender or whatsoever. Some communication scholars of communication do set body language as the most important component of effective communication (55%), followed by tone (38 percent) and words (which include grammar) trailing at a distant third with 7 percent.
I hope that clarifies why I think she is a great speaker even with verbal inadequacies bordering on grammar.