" had friends who I thought would take a bullet for me, but in the end, they were the bullets shooting at me". -Kelvin Sulungwe
Few weeks after i started a series of opening up in a bid to fight mental health and depression, my good friend Kelvin Sulugwe has taken the New Year Day as an opportunity to open up and share his never told story. This is what Kelvin shared on his Facebook Page.
It has been a journey. 2017 has been longest in my life. I have seen things and learnt things. Now am so much familiar with both sides of the coin. The month of May, my birth month wasn't really the best. From one fight to another, being drained and reduced to zero.
God is good and has been on my side. I thank people who have been there for me this year. To my friends, special mention to Lanken Nkhata Jnr, Hutley, Robie, Dennis So'Favoured Imaan, José Potani I salute and entire Friends Connect. There are others I cannot mention here for love to be my friends from afar while they hold me so dearly.
Special mention to John Nthakomwa for the opportunities you presented and the fatherly advise I enjoy from you time to time. You have been amazing and your support speaks for itself.
This is meant to be long, but I will cut it short. Life in 2017 has taught me one thing. Blood is thicker than water.
In matters of money, power and fame, don't just trust anyone. We learn everyday.
Few months ago, I made a decision that most of my close friends thought I was going mad, but like always, they supported me. I sold everything I had made in good times. From cars to clothes, not just for me, but everything including that for my wife and son.
The money we made, mostly I gave out to people and those things I would not sell, I gave freely to people and those who owed me millions, thousands and hundreds after purchasing what I sold, I later asked them not to pay, but rather use the money to help the poor in their communities.
I went back to zero, without a bed or a pot in my house. I left Malawi with just my passport and the new possessions I had managed to bring together. I trusted God for a new life, new beginning and new possessions. He never abandons, always there for you and me.
We started small and as I write now, he has been amazing. God has introduced new opportunities. New challenges and completely new life. The past has tried to come calling once and again in a while, but God has been amazing. We learn everyday. Am not perfect and if I said I was, then indeed, as the word of God says in John, then the truth is not in me.
This is my testimony. I have shared in these last few minutes of 2017 just to give a fraction of what my life has been in 2017.
Why did I let go of everything I had? And why loosing millions of kwachas just to hold nothing. Well, my life is not really as people see it on the outward. Those who have taken time to be with me have applauded and condemned where necessary. Money is not everything we should hold so dearly to. Our life is. And when this life is led by the truth and righteousness of God, you stay safeguarded in his Kingdom.
I talked of May. It was never good for me. Battles became too much. I remember being arrested in South Africa for no reason and spent 3 days at Kempton Park Police Station where I was being transferred between this station and Edenvale station.
I had just been arrested on the road. No one knew where I was, it took few friends including my brother from another Mother Fredokiss who searched for me from one police to another along side phone calls that my wife made to police stations. I was denied an opportunity to a phone call to alert my friends and family. If my wife and Fredokiss never made an effort, I don't know how I would have survived.
I appeared in court twice and issue took close to three months.
God intervened, I was acquitted by the court. On this final day for me to actually manage to be heard, it was this woman (lawyer) who approached me as I sat with my son and wife waiting for my time to enter court.
She liked my son, later asked why she had been seeing me there time and again. I told her what happened and why I couldn't afford a lawyer. She stood for me, free of charge and we made it. I still have her contacts, some day, I will repay the favour. But such a scenario begun to show me the hand of God at work. Its not everyday you get a free private lawyer very good at what they do.
Few days after winning the case, I was poisoned, suffered for a few days and many thanks to my Doctor friend who treated me in his house. I survived and still live up to this date.
As I made my way to Malawi, at the border, I was told that the immigration system showed that my passport was banned from South Africa. Why, she couldn't explain. It disturbed even the Immigration Officers and even the supervisor because I hold a valid permit for the country. She advised me to check with South African High commission in Lilongwe.
I did exactly that when I got to Malawi and the problem was sorted. As I suffered these things, I thought coming to Malawi would be a breather, but not. Using the systems, I have no idea how to explain this, but I lost a car again in Malawi.
As I write this, the bluebook of the car is in my name up to date but I don't own it I was challenged by individuals who bribed those they know. Through this, three of my friends were arrested, and the thief challenged me that it was either getting back my car or letting my friends go to prison. I chose to loose the car, I forgave the people in the conspiracy and moved on.
From time to time, thieves came at house in Mpemba Blantyre. God protected me and my family. I suffered in silence and continued to live until when I decided it was time to make sacrifices and start afresh. So dont ask me why I let go of everything.
You see dear friends, sometimes we feel like we know people. We judge them. We hate them, we loath them and kill them softly. Only of we knew what they really go through to give a smile and keep smiling like they just won an award, we would go back to the sources and start all over.
I am a free man and a testimony. I have no shame to admit this and I owe no one an excuse for my actions. God has protected me. 2017, as it ends, I am a happy man.
I had friends who I thought would take a bullet for me, but in the end, they were the bullets shooting at me. I have let go of most of them and forgave all of them. God blessed me. He will continue. I thank Him so much for my wife. This woman of mine, though young, she has withstood the test of life. She has seen things, been tempted and reduced to tears, but here she is, loving and caring than ever before.
If I shared everything today that has happened in my life in 2017, people would think that am exaggerating, others would cry, others smile as usual and others comfort me. There is no shame I have not suffered and no pain I have not endured. Newspapers have written about me, Facebook mercenaries have written about me. A lot has been said, but in all this, I have learnt to trust the Lord.
He is that God who judges the heart and not Facebook posts. We decrease for Him to increase. We disappear for Him to appear. My pact with God remains the same. Bye bye 2017. I welcome 2018 with a big smile saying I have made it. I believe we will be more for each other and embrace one another. Let me edit as you read. I wish you the best of 2018.
Any words for Kelvin?
Dennis Imaan is a Global Citizen born and currently staying in Malawi. He loves to share his experiences and lessons with others. Travel, Tourism, Innovations, Media and Youth development are close to his heart.