JB with Abidah Mia


By Arnold Mnelemba


On April 12, 1951, a baby girl was born and named Joyce, Hilda Ntila.


On April 12, 2019, Joyce clocks 69, now married to justice Richard Banda, celebrates her birthday with a book to write about her.


Former President, family woman, party president, a rights activist, a business woman and the list is endless.


The former Malawi leader celebrated her  birthday in the village with People’s Party (PP) and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) women, Moslem women and Mvano women from CCAP, Anglican and Church of Christ.


The Mighty Ndilande Anglican Voices entertained the former Malawi leader who was once appointed honorary matron for the choir.


Justice Richard Banda was at it again, he gave JB, as she is popularly known, flowers as he has done in 35 years.


A day before, Dr. Banda celebrated her birthday with her household staff and family members.


Joyce Banda is a dedicated Malawian politician who was the President of Malawi from 7 April 2012 to 31 May 2014.


She is the founder and leader of the People’s Party, created in 2011.


An educator and grassroots women’s rights activist, she was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and Vice-President of Malawi from May 2009 to April 2012.

Former Malawi President JB celebrates her birthday with women


Banda took office as President following the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika. She was Malawi’s fourth president and its first female president.


Before becoming president, she served as the country’s first female vice-president.


She was a Member of Parliament and Minister for Gender, Children’s Affairs and Community Services.


Before her active politics she founded  the Joyce Banda Foundation International, JBFI, and she is the founder of the National Association of Business Women (NABW), Young Women Leaders Network and the Hunger Project.


In 2014, Forbes named President Banda as the 40th most powerful woman in the world and the most powerful woman in Africa.


She has authored a book ‘From Day 1’ that focuses on rural girls from zero to 10 years old.


She believes that discrimination and social norms that penalize girls and women do not start at adolescence, and by the time girls are 10, it is often too late to undo the damage that has already been done.


As an African woman leader who grew up on African soil, Dr. Joyce Banda has seen first hand how young rural girls face obstacles that shape the rest of their lives.


From day one, makes the case of how, if African girls are to realise their potential and become the leaders that their continent so badly needs, gender interventions should and can start from day one.


Banda is currently campaigning for Malawi Congress Party Leader Dr Lazarus Chakwera ahead of May 21, tripartite polls.