MEC set for Oct 17 by-elections

  The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has said registration for the long-awaited October 17 by-elections will take place from August 24 to 28. MEC commissioner Elvey Mtafu said this yesterday in Blantyre when she officially opened a two-day workshop on registration and nomination processes. “As MEC, we have done all the preparations for the forthcoming…

Malawian film nominated for FOA award

Peter Lungile Chidothi’s film We Are Able is among other African films shortlisted for the finals of the Nova Employment 2017 Focus On Ability (FOA) Short Film Awards of Australia. Chidothi’s film is a documentary of two feature stories of Ellias Chem’bwana, a shoe maker at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) campus…

Reviving theatre performances

Drama enthusiasts in the country are complaining about the scanty theatre performances in recent years. They cite a time when there used to be a lot of drama performances from theatre groups such as Wakhumba Ensemble Theatre, Kwathu Drama Group, Nanzikambe Arts Theatre and many others. Of late however, only a few groups are active—groups…

The beauty of dawn

After close to 30 years of founding president Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s autocratic single-party rule, the expectation was that democracy was going to be a panacea in a country that had slipped into the darkness of dictatorship. The last chapter of Tiyambe Zeleza’s Smouldering Charcoal points towards a new political era that was just around the…

The forbidden  Fruit explained

  One of the genres of arts that remain without much appreciation from the larger section of the Malawi society despite its long existence is visual arts. Visual art encompasses forms such as drawing, painting and sculpture. However, in spite of this little appreciation from the public, visual artists continue to hold exhibitions of their…

Writing from exile—part ii

Malawian literature from the diaspora is a mirror of the dark political age of founding president the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda under whose tyranny some of these writers fled the country they called home. The collective aspirations, hopes and dreams of the nationalist struggle were thwarted by the crop of leaders that came to power.…

Mr. Luc’s Library opens at QECH children’s ward

Jacaranda School for Orphans last Friday opened a Mr. Luc’s Library for paediatric ward patients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) in Blantyre. Speaking at the handover ceremony, Luc Deschamps, Jacaranda Foundation executive director and France Honorary Consul, said the school decided to give books to children at the hospital to improve their literacy and…

Cycling for health

Twenty-three-year-old Hunter Lambert, with her 19 American friends, will cycle across Malawi in three weeks, covering a distance of 1 367 kilometres in a fundraising initiative for Neno District Hospital out-patient wing. Back in the United States of America (USA) where she comes from, she read on the Internet that some volunteers were needed to…

Sweet golden oldies

There is a period in Malawi music history that was characterised by great compositions that reached sublime quality. This period that saw the golden generation of musicians and music bands runs from the early 1970s to mid 1990s. Music legends such as Robert Fumulani, Maurice Maulidi, Stonard Lungu, Bright Nkhata, Daniel Kachamba, Allan Namoko and…

Fears of MSCE exam leakage

There are fears that questions from some papers in this year’s Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations have leaked. Some of these questions are from English I and II, Agriculture I, Chichewa I and Geography II. For instance some students claimed they had questions 56 and 57 and knew a poem that was going…

Ntaja’s first love

  It is Saturday evening. There is a film premiere today. Elson Kambalu is showing his film, Mlandu wa Njinga at the M-Theatre in Blantyre. The attendance is modest but the premiere will go on, nevertheless. Don’t mind the poor patronage. It is just an indication of how long it will take for people to…

Police Arrest 9 in pupils’ fracas

Police in Chileka, Blantyre yesterday arrested nine people, including two pupils, for blocking the road to Chileka International Airport in protest against delayed payment of teachers’ leave grants. In an interview, Chileka Police Station spokesperson Grace Mwale said the nine will be charged with malicious damage to vehicles. She said: “What is happening is that…

Pupils riot: 23, including 9 pupils, arrested

Public primary school pupils in Blantyre City, Ntcheu and Balaka yesterday took to the streets to protest against their teachers’ continued strike over delayed payment of leave grants and other outstanding grievances. The pupils blocked roads, including the M1 Road stretch between Chingeni in Balaka and Bawi in Ntcheu. In Ntcheu, police arrested 23 people,…

Hardship allowance flops

  In 2010, government introduced hardship allowance to lure and retain teachers in rural primary schools. But trained teachers still shun remote localities in preference for urban schools although the top-up pay has doubled to K10 000. Head teachers in some rural schools say many teachers, especially newly recruited ones, are failing to adapt to…

Start from the top

  In April, the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs hosted a national anti-corruption conference which brought together representatives from various sectors. Our reporter AYAMI MKWANDA engages Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director general Lucas Kondowe on the way forward. Q : What were the main talking points at the conference? A :A lot of issues were…

Celebrities and lifestyle

A celebrity is a person who is well known in the public domain and commands a fair share of attention from other people and the media. The image a celebrity portrays in the public realm becomes a marketing brand—the very essence of the celebrity’s status. This ultimately becomes a symbol in public that is always…

An excursion into Muloza water project

Fifty-nine villages in Muloza area, under Traditional Authority (T/A) Njema in Mulanje District, lie scattered like broken china under the sun south-east of Mulanje Mountain. To the far-east stretches the sprawling lands of Mozambique while Muloza River descends the gigantic mountain to their north-west, cascading down in torrents of crystal-clear water, rumbling around the villages…

Unima’s unbundling fallacies, politics

The University of Malawi (Unima) is standing on the brink of splitting into separate college universities. If this happens, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda’s model of one university with several college campuses will be changed, argues AYAMI MKWANDA in this final part on Unima unbundling. Former president Kamuzu Banda had three dreams after his release from…

‘More Malawians want to publish books’

This week, our reporter Ayami Mkwanda engages Malawi Writer Union President MIKE sambalikagwa Mvona on a wide range of issues affecting writers in Malawi. Excerpts. Q : How much progress has the Malawi Writers Union made under your administration since being voted back to office in 2007? A : Since being voted back in 2007,…