By Chibamba Kanyama
The James Ndambo factor will be with us for some time to come for its various connotations, in most cases people coming up with own conclusions beyond the motivation of Ndambo himself.
Laura Miti shared an interesting piece that some have concluded was an attack on Mr. Ndambo. For me, that was not an attack but a valuable piece of information that should help Mr. Ndambo engage even much more profitably next time around.
Every after an event like the one we witnessed in Choma, wise people carry out an introspection, an assessment and review the process to ascertain if the objectives were met. The key take-away is ascertaining lessons to better the next outreach.
At the IMF, impact assessment after events like Spring and Annual Meetings is extensive. It comes by way of ‘dirty picture’, which is about reading all forms of public commentary including harsh criticism mainly by civil society who rarely have kind words about the institution. This feedback is summerised in a three pager take-away, including narratives critical to the event. Lessons learnt can be a harsh reality but that’s what big successful institutions do.
Laura Miti, in her usual interactive and liberal style of writing, gave valuable advice that Mr. Ndambo will appreciate more than the kudos he is receiving from some of us. She carefully poured out her opinion without malice.
What Laura shared is a lesson I learnt in 2012 when I lost a close relative in the village and I responded by funding the entire funeral, literally 100 percent. I thought I had helped a great deal and offered relief to my relatives until I got wind of complaints, ‘You mean that’s the way he can tell us he has money? We know we are poor, but he should have allowed us to buy even a goat so that the focus is shifted from him Mr.
Money to the community doing something jointly to support the funeral.’
These are some of the life lessons that change our stakeholder management strategies and I am 100 percent sure my dear elder brother will appreciate Laura because she has added incredible value to his philanthropic outreach. He is a smart businessman and he has progressed because he listens to honest feedback.
I personally learnt something from Miti’s post to the extent I invited her to join me in some corporate governance training engagements. This is because in such projects, you need individuals of solid intellectual calibre and integrity, able to communicate the hard truth to clients who have paid you huge sums of money!