The Maravi Post Malawi Online news Resource
BLANTYRE--Stanley Edingtone Masauli, whose unsuccessful dalliances in politics didn’t overshadow his love for planes and flying, has died. He was 67.
"He complained of abdominal pains and we rushed him to (the southern district of) Thyolo where he died at Mwakwasa Hospital," said a family member.
Masauli, ever humble and humorous - no wonder he adored Bill Crosby! - was the first Malawian to show love for flying and planes. In his auto-biological book, My Life and My Aeroplanes
, Masauli writes about his obsession with planes:
"I can’t remember how old I was," he recalls in the book, "maybe five or six, when my father was working as a carpenter at a place called ‘The Three Monkeys Inn’. The inn was in Marondera in what was then Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and it had a private airstrip. My friends and I would hide behind the bushes on the edge of the strip and watch the mysterious flying machines as they came and went. We stayed well out of sight because we thought we might get arrested for looking at them as these men who flew in the machines looked very strange. They had white faces and peculiar masks – I didn’t know about goggles then!"
Masauli, now back in Malawi, actualised his love for planes by becoming Malawi's first black certified Flight Instructor/Examiner and owner of not one, not two but six aircrafts. However, he failed to obtain a license for commercial because of a combination of politics and bad luck. He even proposed a recovery plan for the ailing Air Malawi but got not even an acknowledgement for the powers-that-were.
But the world will never forget his quarter century contribution to aviation.
He joined politics with the former ruling Malawi Congress Party (MCP) from where he followed veteran politician Gwanda Chakuamba who founded the Republican Party (RP.) Masauli inherited RP when Chakuamba joined the late President Bingu wa Mutharika who left the former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) to found his own Democratic Progressive Party.
He actually contested the 2009 presidential election for RP and came third after Mutharika and John Tembo. He told this reporter ahead of the election: "My government policy will be to create wealth for the household first before grandiose national projects. If Malawians won't go for this then I'll quit politics because it will mean Malawians love poverty."
He is survived by wife Bethel Sandra Masauli. As evidence for his obsession with planes he named his second child Cessna. His first daughter was Anna, who has since passed on. But apart from Cessna (now Mrs. Chiseko) he is also survived by Stanley Jnr. and Nicole, a renowned radio DJ.
Stanley Snr. too had dalliances with the media having worked for the state-run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) in the sales department. He went on to join the insurance industry before his obsession with planes came to fruition.
He also loved keeping vintage cars.
Malawi's first and foremost plane lover may be dead now and might not have achieved what he hoped for both in aeronautics but he was a never-say-die fella. "Everything," he used to say, "happens for a reason".
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction without acknowledgment prohibited.