Malawian cyclist Mavuto Mussa, who was arrested in Chikwawa outside Blantyre for transporting nine pupils on his bicycle to a nursery school, received a tricycle on Tuesday, local media reported.
Independent newspaper The Nation reported on its Twitter account that well-wishers gave Mussa a tricycle after his story went viral on social media platforms following his arrest on Friday.
Pictures of him handcuffed in the back of a police van with his bicycle next to him went viral. Another picture of him riding a bicycle with nine children packed on it also flooded social media.
He was later released and warned to report at Chilomo Police Post on October 26 along with the parents of the pupils and the school committee for advice.
Respondents on social media called on the police to compensate him for loss of income after he was released, while others said the incident was a wake-up call for the government to realise that public transport was seriously needed.
Mussa was also showered with praise on social media platforms, with users stating he was a “hero” to the children.
I feel like God works in mysterious ways. The feedback I have received privately has inspired me to use my voice and platform to raise funds that will #EmpowerHeroes starting with this champ here. We're raising K2,500,000 to buy a small bus for him. More details next week! 🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/TUtbUzddFJ
— Quentin Quarantino (@ThirdEyeMalawi) October 24, 2020
Receiving the tricycle, Mussa said the trauma of last week had turned into a blessing.
“I was arrested by the police and released within an hour. I never knew I will be smiling today. I thank Mr Gerald Kampanikiza for coming to my rescue,” he told the Nation Online.
Kampanikiza, from Lilongwe, organised a social media funding campaign for Mussa.
WHEN PROBLEMS TURN INTO OPPORTUNITIES 👏
A WhatsApp group has raised funds and bought "Mavuto Mussa" a Tricycle 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/A1NaTymzVN
— Mikozi Network (@MikoziNetwork) October 26, 2020
“When I set up a Facebook group, the response was overwhelming and within an hour 250 000 kwacha (about US$330) was raised. Initially, we wanted to buy a motorcycle for him, but a sponsor suggested we buy a tricycle instead. We invited Mussa to Lilongwe and the sponsor bought him this tricycle,” he said.
African News Agency (ANA)