Meet Ndifanji Namacha (Dr)
Dr Ndifanji Namacha is a young Malawian medical doctor.
Ndifanji has trained in Malawian hospitals and worked as an assistant lecturer in Public Health at the University of Malawi, College of Medicine.
She has also undertook research as an intern with the malaria epidemiology group at the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme.
So, tell us a bit about yourself! Who is Ndifanji Namacha or Lioness.Ndifanji?
Ndifanji is a Lioness. Brave, ambitious, determined and very protective of everything under her care.
I love to hunt especially for things which society feels women can’t or shouldn’t do.
Contrary to what most people think, Ndifanji is actually more of an introvert than an extrovert and that reflects in my options for travel/leisure.
I focus more on internal feelings, self-approval, self-awareness more than external sources.
I am quiet sociable yet an introvert. It takes a bit of time to know who actually Ndifanji is, not who social media will tell you she is.
And because of that trait, I flourish more when I do things which allow me independence.
Tell us about your work as a Doctor, how did you get started?
(Chuckles……) Well, It started with getting good grades in high-school and then enrolling into medical school and committing to the long training.
How long have you been at it and where does your inspiration come from?
I graduated in May 2016, so it hasn’t been that long of a time in the profession.
My inspiration comes from seeing a better health system and policies at work resulting into improved health and well-being of Malawians.
In 2014 you were elected as the first female president of Medical Rights Watch, please tell us a little bit more about that?
That remains one of the highlights of medical school really.
Medical Rights Watch, which is under the Centre for Bioethics in Eastern and Southern Africa (CEBESA).
As president, I have led a movement to hold the state accountable for the right to health and this involving translating the Malawi health charter and educating the public on their health rights.
My greatest achievement as president was connecting MRW to IMFC (International Medical Students For Choice). I think, I’ve left a legacy with that there.
At the Malaria Summit London during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting In April 2018 you gave an impassioned key note speech, what inspired your speech?
Every 2 minutes a child dies from Malaria and according to UNICEF, worldwide 1200 children die everyday from Malaria.
If that doesn’t move you, I don’t know what would.
I was one of the key note speakers at the Malaria Summit and my speech was around Malaria, one of the oldest deadliest killers which I believe this generation has the chance and ability to end.
Zero Malaria is possible and it begins with me.
What is the bigger picture as far as your work in the medical field is concerned?
I think for me the bigger picture lies outside the patient bed-side.
The bigger picture for me has always been the socioeconomic and political determinants of health.
For me the bigger picture has always been beyond labelling and treating a disease.
What is your advice to other people who would like to follow in your footsteps as a Dr?
I always tell people who seek advise or send their children for mentoring that you have to think ‘beyond a white coat’.
You get good grades, society/family/passion drives you into medical school.
Second, you complete your training and get into the profession, and then what……?
I always ask people to ask themselves and then ‘what’?
When you have the ‘WHAT’, then you will have your purpose and this goes beyond medicine.
We have to stop moving and being driven by society forces, and move in-line with our purpose. That’s the only satisfaction you will get.
You grow and get to a point in life whereby, employment and a salary is not enough to cause you to wake-up in the morning.
How can they get started?
Find what you love and go for it. I think your purpose is in things which drive you. Then work hard and go for it.
Hard work and determination is key. Don’t give up because sometimes you will fail. Even when everyone around you thinks otherwise, just go for it.
Go for it. Keep a journal and document your journey. Give yourself time to reflect and build on that.
Write your goals and challenge yourself.
Not instagoals, but I mean real goals.
VM: Now that is inspiring and i hope other millennials are taking notes.
Now onto other matters. If it is okay, i’d like to chat about Malawi, Millennials and Innovation!
Where do you see Malawian Millennial’s in the next 10 years?
It’s an exciting time to be Malawian. There’s so much exposure to technology and a birth of innovations.
Problem solving sort of innovations. If we keep at it, I see millennials not seeking jobs but creating jobs.
I see a generation which is seeing money in natural resources like land-agriculture than a 9-5 job and that is good.
There’s an awakening and enlightenment of some sort and I am here for all that.
It’s a great time to come from the warm heart.
Do you feel Malawians and Malawi as a whole is developing in the right direction?
Yes it is. We are in the right path but we should really start thinking about the impact COVID-19 will have on development.
We can see the impact and effect of COVID-19 on Europe, and our donor partners.
Now the question we should ask is how will the economies of our donors affect us. Will Aid be affected? Will health priorities change?
There’s so much efforts to strengthen health systems globally but post COVID-19 what should we expect and not expect, those questions will help us develop further into the right direction.
If you could have one open door that could elevate your work, what would you wish and hope for?
This is a tough one……my dream is to work in a senior role in the UN system one day.
So if I can have that door opened. That’s a dream come-true.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?
I see myself having attained my spiritual, socioeconomic and physical climax.
In 10 years, I want to have attained financial freedom and independence. As I write this, I am 26 years old and I have my target as 40 years old.
I want to have attained and achieved all that I want (socially and financially) so that work will not be an essential thing that I need/must do.
However, I will work simply because I want to.
Financial Freedom/Independence is everything for me and in 10 years that’s all I see.
A financially independent/secure Ndifanji.
Now, a question others are dying to find out: Is Ndifanji Namacha single or taken?
Hahahahahah…………..the million dollar question.
And I wanna keep it at that million dollar value…..let me keep my readers/followers guessing and speculating.
VM: Fair enough lol
This is a travel blog after all so, lets get into something light and talk about travel and food
Tell us about your passion as a Food and Travel enthusiast?
I love gooood food. Everyone who knows me, knows I take a picture before I take a first bite.
I just don’t love good food, I enjoy cooking too. I am very particular about my food too.
Growing up, I enjoyed cooking for my family especially my dad. He was particular with his food just as I am.
I got so much satisfaction when he told me, my cooking was as good as his mum. He probably was just trying to flatter me….lol
But because of that flattery and positive reinforcement on my cooking. I always wanted to cook and try out new recipes.
In the end, I realized cooking not only made my loved ones happy which communicated LOVE in my own way but a good kitchen session also helped me distress and refocus my energy.
What is your favourite Malawian dish and what is your favourite international dish?
Nsima and chambo (stewed) with Okra is my favourite local dish.
Pork Ribs or prawns with a good greek salad ……key word good, lol for my favourite international dish.
Where in Malawi would you recommend for fine dining?
Honestly it depends!
Southern Region Lunch Date- Huntingdon House
Dinner Date- The Real Thyolo House
Lunch/Dinner with a colleague or friends- 21 Grill
Lunch/Dinner with the ladies on a budget- CasaMia
I have recently moved to the capital city-Lilongwe. So I am exploring new places and I have some favourites already.
A lunch/dinner date- Kumbali Country Lodge
Lunch/dinner on any day- Woodlands. I am yet to explore a bit more of the central and northern region.
With COVID-19 it’s slow but will make it happen and share my experiences
Which Malawian destination is your favourite vacation spot?
I love the sound and sight of the lake and nature but also love places which offer some exclusivity
1. Blue Zebra
2. Club Makokola Retreat
3. Mkulumadzi Lodge
4. Kaya Mawa
The hustle involved in getting to Kaya Mawa sort of drop it down the list for me, but with the presence of Ulendo Airlink, I think I will put it on 4 and plan a trip there.
How can people book you as a travel blogger, to review their hotel or food brands and maybe even become an ambassador for those brands?
I always get approached by people informally to give guidance on food and travel and even what to eat when they go to the spot.
Sometimes people check out my page before going on a date just to pick the right plate in-front of a guy….. Lol
I always laugh when I hear that because i would actually enjoy doing it officially and am happy to be a brand ambassador.
The hotels/restaurants just need to touch base, we draw a contract and am game.
But I am quite an honest person, so they should be prepared for some honest feedback.
I once spent a weekend at one of the 4-star hotels in the country, the manager who was an acquaintance told the chefs and everyone to make sure everything was on point as I blog about things honestly on social media…..lol.
I should say everything was on point and I really hope it is always like that.
Connect with Ndifanji Namacha
Last but not least how can people get in touch with you? (All your social media etc..)
On facebook: just type Ndifanji Namacha, I should show up. My name isn’t that common lol
LinkedIn : Ndifanji Melia Namacha
Thank you for visually taking us along into your world.
We’re grateful that you could chat with us.
It is so breathtaking to hear from a Malawian millennial go-getter!
We wish you all the best in all your endeavours.
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Photo credit : Mata Creatives Photography
Pictures taken at: Kumbali Country Lodge
Other Picture Sources: Google Images