Enhancing Chichewa stories

Lawrence Kadzitche is one prolific writer. He has written short stories in local and international publications. But he is better known for his Katakwe adventures published in Tamvani Supplement Weekend Nation. KONDWANI KAMIYALA talked to him. Excerpts:

Kadzitche: I literally make up Katakwe stories

Q: Who is Lawrence Kadzitche?

A

:I am a writer who likes to write about fiction. I did not attend any writing school but I believe my interest in writing grew because of the folktales my mother used to tell us when we were young. I was born and raised in a family of nine children and my father was a forester, which meant a number of transfers.  My mother’s stories were meant to entertain us, as we used to stay in remote areas, with low populations. My father used to bring books, magazines like Moni and the Police Magazine, not forgetting newspapers. There arose my niche for creative writing.

Q

:Give us more about your education background.

A

:I was born on 20 November 1970, and I am the third born. I went to several primary schools, before I was selected to Magawa Secondary School in Mchinji. I then proceeded to The Polytechnic where I graduated in 1995 with a bachelor of business administration degree. I have worked for several companies and organisations but I am now working with the Blantyre Water Board as human resources and administration manager.

Q

: When did you start writing Katakwe series?

A

: I started writing Katakwe in 1991. Actually, I was motivated to start writing Katakwe because of fiction stories titled Bob K that were written by Jolly Max Ntaba. These stories were published in Moni magazines and I loved them very much.

Q

: How do you develop Katakwe stories?

A

: I literally make up Katakwe stories. But they are related to our everyday experiences. There are lessons in whatever we go through daily. It may be marital issues, religious issues, cultural issues and others. My aim is to help others learn from these stories and I aim at writing them in such a way that those reading them should feel like these are real and not fictions.

Q

: We know Katakwe as a mischievous character. Maybe you write based on your own character?

A

: [Laughs]. No, not at all. I am not a mischievous character like Katakwe. I am actually a very reserved guy and those who have met me in person are usually surprised to know that I am the one behind Katakwe.

Q

: Some say writing in Chichewa is easy, what do you say about that?

A

: That is not true. There is a different between writing stories and narrating a story. Writing takes more skill and expression than oral narrations.

Q

: What does the future hold for Katakwe?

A

: Katakwe has a bright future. He is your every day guy, very relevant. He moves with the times therefore he is always appealing. From the newspapers, he has a huge following. This just goes on to show that he is not going anywhere anytime soon. He is here to stay.n

 

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