Highflying radio and TV journalist, Sister Fire had the world at her feet. A recognizable and respected member of the community, she beamed her inner convictions and moral principles across the FM airwaves from Limbe and on TV screens across the entire continent. As a presenter and host at POWER FM 101, she defined Malawi’s freedom generation, who took full advantage of freedom of speech in the post Kamuzu Banda democratic era. As an attractive face on M Net’s Studio 53, she took the world along with her to some of Africa’s choicest secrets and sources of pride. In September 2007, she was on such a mission, which in addition was of great personal significance.
It was the Ethiopian New Millennium and the whole world was present in Addis Ababa. The Tosh and Marley clans represented just a fraction of reggae royalty from all over the globe. Ethiopians resident outside of their home country returned for the mammoth celebrations. On a rest day, when the film crew where relaxing, Sister Fire decided to spend the day by herself walking around Haile Selassi’s capital. As a Rastafarian, she felt at home as she passed by the Palace gates to her father’s house. So when she later slipped and hurt her foot, she did not think much of what seemed like a minor inconvenience. She kept on walking, unaware of the long term damage she had initiated.
At the time of writing, she is making regular use of a wheelchair, although, the total paralysis of recent times has disappeared. Just months ago, she checked out of a Johannesburg hospital where she had undergone vigorous and relentless physio-therapy. More radiant than ever, her face and voice belie the turmoil and anguish that has come to define her daily life.
Travelling between Chirimba and Limbe, she faithfully goes about serving her community. If ever proof of her commitment to socio-economic issues was needed, this is it. Refusing to be on the receiving end of pity, she bravely fights back and overcomes personal obstacles in order to serve. As in the days of glamour and celebrity, she is an instant magnet to all who come near her as she floors people with her witty and sharp sense of humor. An air of regal authority almost forms an aura, as the look in her eyes confirm that she has been to hell and back. Working away diligently in obscurity and pain she fights a noble battle.
Tilitonse Children’s Rehabilitation Centre. Based in Dunduzu road, it is in the vicinity of her old work place. The physical distance is short, but the journey between the two places for Sister Fire has been epic. In 2010 hopes of accompanying fellow Rastafarian philanthropist Chiozo on an 18000 kilometer walk from “Cape Town To Cairo were crushed as the minor injury from Addis Ababa began to manifest its different complications. A period of darkness descended upon her life, as she was also burdened with caring for her sick father who was advanced in age. Her father eventually succumbed to a third and fatal stroke, and Sister Fire lost her true soul companion. The trauma left her paralyzed and all treatment in Malawi was abandoned in favor of South Africa. On her return to Malawi she continued the physio therapy regime that was started in Johannesburg. Discussions between herself and Monica her physiotherapist led to the establishment of Tilitonse.
The centre takes into account all the aspects that confront the victims of cerebral palsy in its many variations. As families and careers also are indirect victims, consideration of their needs and duties is also emphasized.
The dream is to offer training, space and a platform for holistic and comprehensive treatment. A meticulous perfectionist in all that she does, Sister Fire is keen to stress that what is visible is only the beginning. Hoping to get support from all her former contacts she eagerly awaits answers to requests she has put out. But this is not radio. This is not glamorous. This not as attractive. So for now she appears to be waiting in vain. However if her previous radio presentations and the dedicated fans she won are anything to go by, Malawi can expect that the talk of the past will become the burning issues and actions of the future with the inextinguishable Sister Fire setting consciences ablaze.
Tili Tonse childrens rehabilitation centre
P O box 51394 Limbe.
Cell: 0888357655 / 0999145920
Email : [email protected]