Chiza Lusungu Ngwira was a young Malawian born in 1945 at Chilumba Karonga who attained his tertiary education at Kumasini American college in Dar as salaam around the 60s. He furthered his education in Kenya and China in journalism by the help of his Uncle Giron Kambotoli Harawa from Chilumba who was a well-established businessman by the time, in Dar as Salaam.
Eventually Chiza Ngwira picked up a job at a Zambian National Newspaper as the chief Editor around 1974. By the year 1978 king Sobuza of Swaziland had established plans to open a Swazi National Newspaper. During agreements between Zambia and Swaziland on the matter, Chiza Ngwira was contracted to go to Manzini to head the Mission of establishing the national newspaper of Swaziland.
During this time the apartheid situation in neighboring South Africa was very critical for Black South African politicians. Some of them were being gunned down like animals once they try to cross into Swaziland, many were being captured and handed back to the white regime in South Africa. King Sobuza did not want to have problems with the white supremacy of South Africa, for fear of his kingdom being toppled.
It was a great risk for all Swazi people to harbour Black South African revolutionist. One evening when Chiza Ngwira and his team were about to test run their newspaper factory, they heard that there was chaos at one of the boundaries between South Africa and Swaziland. Authorities from the Swazi sidehad detained some ANC members and they were about to hand them over to the Whites who were demanding to shoot the so-called dissidents.
Chiza Ngwira and his crewmembers rushed to capture the scene as first national news on their page. Once they got to the area, Swaziland National police recognized them with respect as well known guests of the king who have come to the country to assist on the national newspaper establishment.
Having resided in Lusaka as chief editor for a while Chiza was familiar with the ANC struggle, he had previously met the Oliver Tambos plus many ANC members. President Kaunda helped many ANC refugees in Zambia, which prompted ANC headquarters to move to Lusaka at some point.
Chiza Ngwira recognised Jacob Zuma who was one of the captured members in the group. In his power he advise the security that he would love to take some of the captured ANC members into his Land Rover back to town for the newspaper story interview. He managed to convince the security forces after so much back checks and consultations.
To cut the story short, Jacob Zuma stayed in Chiza’s house for a while up until he got new papers to travel and meet his comrades in Zambia. After his newspaper mission in Zambia & Swaziland, Chiza Ngwira ended up in Zimbabwe where he took up a job as chief Editor of THE HERALD, and later Joined LONRHO.
His support mission never ended there, he even went further to assist many African labeled dissidents, from several African autocratic government: the likes of Kiir of Sudan, Nujoma of Namibia. Chakufwa Chihana of Malawi etc. Chiza Ngwira solicited so much
financial support, for emerging democratic political parties in Southern Africa through soft loans from LONRHO. Today Chiza is alive and enjoying his retirement in Harare.
How unfortunate it is today, that young South Africans do not know who assisted them during their struggle. The Bible also advises on the same. Do not hate a foreigner because you too were once foreigners in another man’s land.
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