Blantyre-based philanthropist and serial entrepreneur Karim Batatawala says Malawians need to devote time to prayer for God to heal the country’s current socio-economic woes made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking at Bakili Mosque in Chindongo area of T/A Nankumba in Mangochi during the Eid ul Adha feast, Batatawala said the occasion gives both Muslims and Christians an opportunity to pray together and beg Allah to intercede on the country’s socio-economic challenges.
“The negative impact of Covid-19 on Malawi’s poor and vulnerable is huge as the pandemic has disrupted farming, business and most economic activity. I decided to come to Mangochi to give people here a special meal through slaughtering of goats and cows on this special religious occasasion,” he said.
The goats and cows slaughtered were shared by over 2,000 people in the area and beyond.
Batatawala said feeding the needy and hungry on the annual Eid ul Adha commemoration has been his family’s tradition for over 20 years.
He said that through this initiative the family collects data on people’s needs which leads to the family’s investments in corporate social responsibility undertakings later.
Chairman of the Bakili Mosque community Zagwa Imedi Zoya expressed gratitude to Batatawala for the gesture, saying it provided relief to many families in the area who survive on fishing. Many families in Mangochi live on fishing in Lake Malawi.
He said as a result of dwindling fish stocks in Lake Malawi, the fish mongering business has become precarious leading to loss of income for most households.
“Our fish business is no longer reliable. But it is pleasing to note that every year on Eid, the Batatawala family comes here to spend time and eat with us. It is pleasing to note that there is someone out there who always thinks about the plight of the needy in Mangochi. Times have been hard this year due to Covid-19, which has left most of us without enough food and capital for our small businesses,” said Zoya.