Happy John Chilembwe Day!

14 January 2022

A joint statement from the SMP in Scotland and our Malawian sister network, MaSP.

The 15th of January marks the annual commemoration of the John Chilembwe Day in Malawi. Chilembwe’s legacy is that of an African Preachers’ struggle against inequality and colonialism. The fight against colonialism was all but won with the Independence of Malawi in 1964, however 58 years later, inequality in all its forms continues to rock our two nations and, in areas, the legacy of colonialism lives on.

It is in appreciation of the legacy left by Rev. John Chilembwe that we, MaSP and the SMP, as sister networks, renew our fight against inequality by ensuring that safeguarding and reducing inequalities is central to how we work and we align what we say to what we do. The fight against inequality rages on! Long live the Spirit of John Chilembwe!

Later this year Prof Samsun Kambalu’s statue ‘Antelope’, depicting a larger than life John Chilembwe and John Chorley, will be exhibited on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square in London for two years, literally sizing up the other statues and memorials celebrating imperial rule. As two national networks, we will continue to look for ways of celebrating Malawi’s history and its fight against colonial rule, while also actively looking for ways of fighting the continuing legacy of colonial rule, injustice and prejudice, through our shared work.

John Chilembwe Day