It did not rain in Blantyre on Tuesday, 24th January, 2023. But the tears were dripping as hundreds assembled in Malawi’s commercial hub of Blantyre, to pay their last respects to Stanley Mkwamba-an accomplished marketer turned business executive.
Mkwamba made his name as marketing manager for NBS bank, before joining Nedbank and later Finca as Chief Operations Officer where he served for three years.
It was his affable character that drew many to him, such that despite leaving Finca, tens of his former co-workers were at the funeral to say good bye.
“He had a child in him that made people laugh, that would diffuse any tough situation," said Finca Malawi CEO Dru Jayaratne.
On December 1, Mkwamba joined Vision Fund as CEO but he died suddenly on January 21 a month shy of his 50th birthday.
Mkwamba’s sons Benjamin and Thanthwe paid tribute to a man they said taught them to make hay while the sun shines.
“He used to repeat these words but we took them for granted. To those of you with loved ones appreciate them while they live.”
His friends, among them Khwesi Msusa, Frederick Changanya and other prominent marketers and business magnates, looking distraught, and struggling to fight back the tears, described Stan as man who only exuded friendly vibes.
“Stan sanayambanepo ndi munthu. He was down to earth, he never looked down on anyone, regardless of the position he held. He was a friend who became a brother in life, he will remain a brother in death," said a representative of his friends Penjani Kambula.
Representatives of family chided those social media for spreading what they called unverified rumours about his death. They asked to be allowed to mourn their departed father, husband, uncle, friend, cousin in peace.
After a church service at Blantyre Pentecostal Assemblies of God, Mkwamba's remains were interred at HHI cemetery in Blantyre.
Among those that sent cash condolences were Vice President Saulos Chilima, while Minister of Information Gospel Kazako attended the ceremony.