Slums prone to disasters

  Disasters are no longer a rural phenomenon. Frequent floods, landslides and hailstorms in cities confirm urban localities are not exempted. The worst-hit settlements are slum towns, home to almost 2.5 million Malawians escaping poverty in rural areas live. On January 3 2015, James Chinthenga, 46, witnessed the fall of his mud house as torrents…

Rise of bursting slums

  In Lower BCA in Blantyre, we saw how slums are mushrooming in the country. From the clustered, low-lying settlement in the southeastern slopes of Blantyre, thousands of low-income city dwellers  look  uphill at a low-density location dominated with mansions, electric fences and paved roads. Such is the opulence of BCA Hill, whose residents include…

Step in the name of Lupanda

It is Friday afternoon here at Namuthakoni Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Mpama in Chiradzulu District. Assembled a few metres from an earth road are journalists from different media houses in the country. They are here courtesy of World Vision Malawi. Their mission is to see how the villagers prepare nutritious food using locally found ingredients…

Entertaining and informing

Television is an integral part of arts and entertainment in the modern day. With advances, television has become more than just entertainment. It is used to educate, inform and raise awareness of matters of public interest. It is also an effective tool for cultural preservation. In Malawi, a number of television service providers have sprouted…

Ending early marriages in Mulanje

Fifteen-year-old Bonisa Seyani, a Standard 5 learner at Monjole Primary School in group village head (GVH) Nsikita, Traditional Authority (T/A) Njema in Mulanje is  back  at school after spending over a year in marriage. The girl, who hails from Malunda Village, just five kilometres away from Mozambique border, says her marriage ended because of abuse…

Taking Madiba impresses fans

  A two-member cast play titled Taking Madiba by Dikamawoko Arts Troupe impressed fans last Saturday at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre with its brilliant story-line. In the play, Taonga Nkhonjera acted as Death while Constance Thyangathyanga was the Creator. What excited the audience was the clever mixture of scenes that ranged from social…

Green Belt Initiative: What has gone wrong?

Since the inception of Green Belt Initiative (GBI) nine years ago, there have been some stumbling blocks that have threatened its survival and success. According to the first national coordinator, Professor Kanyama Phiri, the initiative’s stumbling block has been land acquisition for the irrigation projects and schemes among many others. “The land to be used…

The lure of Pamajiga

There are a lot of radio plays, series and soap operas aired on our local radio stations that have excited listeners for many years. One of them is Pamajiga radio soap opera that is aired on Malawi Broadcasting Station (MBC). It continues to excite listeners every working day from 5:45 to 6:00 in the morning.…

Neno’s partner in health

When former president Bakili Muluzi split Neno from Mwanza in 2001, health facilities in the new district were few and far apart. Actually, some people in Neno, whose population is almost107 000, used to walk long distances to seek treatment at Mwanza District Hospital. The hilly district—which is only reached via bumpy, earth roads—had ancient…

Partners In Health  hands over 16 houses

  Partners In Health (PIH) on Thursday handed over 16 houses to people of Kayingirira Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Dambe in Neno District whose houses were destroyed by fire in September 2015. Speaking when he received the houses on behalf of the communities, Neno district commissioner (DC) Ali Phiri commended PIH for the initiative.…

Promoting tourism, culture through art

This week our reporter AYAMI MKWANDA had a conversation with Mike Chilemba, Visual Arts Association of Malawi (Vaam) president on various matters affecting visual arts in the country.  Q : What are the areas that visual arts cover? A : The visual arts are art forms such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts,…

No female teacher in sight

  Rhoda Moses, 12, has never been taught by a female teacher. She is in Standard Five  at Thundu Primary School in Mulanje, which has 12 male teachers. Here, Esther Rocki and Asiyileni Mukhomo were briefly taught by an open-distance learning (ODL) student on teaching practice. “When I hear about schools that have female teachers,…

Whither vernacular fiction

Once upon a time there were prolific writers in vernacular fiction in Malawi, but now all what is remaining are fond memories of that distant past. That time, literature in Malawian languages was celebrated through works of poetry, fiction, folktales and plays. Writers such as Josiah Nthala, John W Gwengwe, Jolly Ntaba, Willy Zingani, Whytone…

Miss Malawi hypes Africa Day

MultiChoice Africa yesterday joined the rest of the world in celebrating Africa Day which celebrates African success and diversity as well as its struggles and to highlight the cultural and economic potential. As part of the celebrations, MultiChoice officials paid a surprise visit to Nation Publications Limited (NPL) head office in Blantyre, along with Miss…

Tackling water woes

Mwakhiwa Village is tucked deep in the border strip of Muloza, almost 60 kilometres (km) from Mulanje Boma at the foot of Mount Mulanje. The rural community is situated almost 20km south-east of the massive mountain surrounded by sprawling tea fields. From the massif descends Muloza River which flows all year round, snaking past 59…

DPP’S needless battles

  What was supposed to be a solemn and dutiful undertaking of governing by the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has needlessly digressed to a mundane and needless war with the opposition despite being the party given the mandate to govern. Ironically, this is the party whose leader, President Peter Mutharika, promised to do business…

MCP: A house divided against itself

Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is embroiled in internal political strife. The force fanning the fire of dissension is not relenting. Perhaps the party is elated to war against itself. It would appear emerging from the 2014 Tripartite Elections as a major opposition political party which lost narrowly did not impress upon them a lesson to…

Where are women writers?

  When people talk about the dwindling reading culture in the country, they do not mentioning the writers. In the words of Nancy Phiri, chairperson of the Women’s Desk at Malawi Writers Union (Mawu), one cannot talk about the declining reading culture when writers are no longer writing and publishing their works.  “We are talking…

Senate ratifies Unima unbundling

  The University of Malawi (Unima) senate on Thursday ratified a decision to unbundle the institution at a meeting held in Lilongwe. According to The Nation sources who attended the meeting, all deans and principals from Unima constituent colleges of Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN), College of Medicine, Chancellor College, and The Polytechnic attended the…