On the 2nd May, the larger than life “Grey Beard of African Adventure”, Kingsley Holgate, visited Cape Maclear. He and his entourage of volunteers are journeying north through Africa from South Africa to Uganda, taking in Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, as part of the United Against Malaria initiative, an umbrella partnership of many interested parties aiming to eradicate malaria in Africa.

This is one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Kingsley is coming to Chembe Village, Cape Maclear at the invitation of Kayak Africa, who arranged this visit and his previous visit in 2008 when he distributed nets and school materials to the Class 1’s at the local primary school.

One of the keenest sponsors of his journey is Nandos. They flew in eight of their franchise owners from Australia, and eight specially selected employees to meet Kingsley, to see Malawi and to witness the net distribution in Cape Maclear. For their entertainment and that of the villagers, local charity organisation, the Chembe Village Community Project Centre, organised a friendly soccer match and an art competition for school children (all equipment provided) on the theme of malaria prevention. They also oversaw the distribution of the mosquito nets, predominantly to pregnant women and to women with babies and toddlers, as they are most susceptible to the disease. Insecticide impregnated nets are shown to greatly reduce the incidence of malaria.

After this busy and exciting day, Kingsley, his volunteers and the Nandos team repaired to Mumbo Island for a night of rest, relaxation, and what Kingsley is famous for: long chats around a fire under the African night sky.