Sorrows of an intersex’s mother

  Boy or girl? Future’s mother quickly discovered that having a baby who does not conform to either sex is a draining test of character. Fourteen years ago, the woman, from Traditional Authority (T/A) Kalonga in Salima, birthed a baby with a male organ sticking out above a female one. “When baby Future was born,…

Ivory factory busted, trafficker jailed

The Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court has jailed ivory trafficker Winston Humba in a case which has lifted the lid on a clandestine factory where tusks of endangered elephants were being reduced to bits for easy smuggle by air travel. The 38-year-old convict, from Ntcheu, was yesterday sentenced to seven years behind bars. Department of National Parks…

No safe home in slums

Today, Mzuzu hosts the International Day for Disaster Reduction commemorations. Last year’s disaster in the city exposed gaps in ensuring everyone has a safe home. As JOHN CHIRWA and JAMES CHAVULA write, reducing exposure and displacement remains a promise broken.   On a sunlit Tuesday in May last year, two most powerful politicians in the…

Good people, Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF)was back at its traditional venue in the commercial city at the weekend. Obviously, the three-day comeback series at the neglected Blantyre Cultural Centre was not just about ending a two-year hiatus. Two summers without the festival that once brought forth Zimbabwe’s mbira legend Oliver Mtukudzi, Mali’s Afro-jazz maestro Salif…

NGOs unite for green energy

Imagine a country where nine in every 10 people have no access to the grid and just a fifth of the haves uses electricity for cooking. This is not a fairytale for many Malawians, but a stark reality pushing them to raid forests for firewood and charcoal. As trees go up in smoke, with 90…

Ripples of KPMG scandal in SA

In 2001, South African musician Lucky Dube sang: “It takes a million people to build a reputation, but one stupid fool to destroy all they have built.” The lines from Teach the World aptly sums up the decline of KPMG in the fallen reggae singer’s homeland following revelations of its underhand dealings with the Guptas,…

Chilima warns CEOs: Innovate or be wiped out

They simply call him Saulos and he admittedly loves it that way. He was one of them and patiently queued with them during a tea break in Mangochi despite being the deputy in-charge of Brand Malawi. Having crossed to the political side of the divide, Vice-President Saulos Chilima has challenged corporate captains in the country…

Breast Care Fun Run attracts hundreds

Breast Care Malawi, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to provide help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer, on Sunday held a fun run. The event was highly patronised and its proceeds will be used to purchase laboratory and hospital consumables to help women in need of a breast biopsy or surgery…

Good people, “the street is ours” is a soundbite from defiant Catalans enduring a violent crackdown by Spain Police following the banned independence referendum in Catalonia. The protesters agitating for a breakaway from Spain have demonstrated that anyone can clog the streets to dial up a burning issue. But freedom of association and assembly in…

New door for at-risk men

A man hurried across a street in rush-hour traffic, pacing into a fenced office block in Nyambadwe low density residential area in Blantyre. The front doors of the building were open throughout the lunch break. Men, both young and old, kept dropping in to play pool, throw darts, lift weights and watch televised soccer matches as…

Kumchedwa wins Tusk Award

Director of National Parks and Wildlife Brighton Kumchedwa won the K19.5 million Tusk Award for Conservation in Africa on Wednesday. Kumchedwa shone the brightest in the £20 000 race against Nigerian Nachamada Geoffrey who leads anti-poaching raids in Yankari Game Reserve and Kenyan Serah Munguti who campaigns against land-grabs by agricultural tycoons in the biologically-rich Tana…

Being a lesbian’s mother

Three years ago, she was jovial, calm and eager to assist. But the secretary has been edgy and introverted lately. During a recent visit to her workplace in the Northern Region, she left her leather armchair, paced across her executive office and stopped by a louvred window. Gazing through slit curtains at pine forests that…

Joys of family planning

Miriam Adam was 16 when she had her firstborn in 2001. “I was angry with myself,” the mother-of-two recalls. “It was not easy to carry an unintended pregnancy at a tender age.  I was safer in school. After giving birth, I started taking contraceptive pills. I didn’t want to have another baby.” Now 32, Adam…

Good people, former Norwergian  Ambassador Asborn Eidhammer’s book must convict Malawian scribes previledged with skills and abundant insights into our country. As Malawian journalists, creative writers and politicians were  snoring on their laurels or pretending to be too busy to write books, the envoy from Norway came, spent eight years and penned Malawi: A Place…

It’s Safe Abortion Day, but…

  Sluggish law review makes the International Safe Abortion Day a remembrance of preventable pain and deaths of women, our Features Editor JAMES CHAVULA writes.   What is sticky about unsafe abortions among health workers in rural areas where many Malawians live? “Nothing is more painful than seeing a patient weeping in agony when you…

Rewriting teen mothers’ tales

  At 18, Zione Josophat has a four-year-old baby. The teenager, who quit school in Standard Five at Chisombe in Salima, personifies the plight of half of the girls’ population nationwide. “I wanted to be a nurse, but my dream collapsed. I dropped out too early. I cannot read or write. All I have is…

Kutumbiza marked my turnaround

  At 20, Tabia Saidi has two children. It is not uncommon for girls in Mangochi, a tourism hotspot along Lake Malawi shores, to become mothers by their 13th birthday. The main cultural shock in her rural setting is that she gave birth in quick succession—with her firstborn aged seven and the second six. “I…

Once bitten, no contraception

  Men bite! This is a familiar soundbyte to warn girls against premarital sex. But it turns out that some women in wedlock are literally living with scars of their husbands’ bites. Some men in the country are taking their resistance to family planning to bizarre levels by chewing off their wives’ muscles to get…

Good people, it was amazing Jacaranda Cultural Centre honoured veteran author and columnist Desmond Dudwa Phiri, widely known as DD Phiri, by mounting an exhibition of his journey to the top. Like credible awards, exhibitions and talks confer status on deserving achievers. DD Phiri is doing wonderful work towards constructing an informed nation. To avid…

It wasn’t easy

It’s done deal, but Sipho gave Great Angels some conditions   The Great Angels Choir have revealed it was not easy to catch Big Fish—Sipho Makhabane. The choir also spoke of massive corporate support for their September 29 concert featuring the South African gospel star in Lilongwe. This is the second time for Makhabane to…