Take a break from your noiseless, portable computers and smartphones!
Is it not time to take a minute of silence in memory of a typewriter’s keystrokes and all the bells at the end of the line?
Those deeply steeped in the digital era may think the good ole click-click typing machine is extinct like dinosaurs in a world where glowing mobile gadgets have become trendy.
But lovers of books and history will really love this: The typewriter that churned out the late Addson Harry Mphonda’s Miyambi Yatsopano, the bible of Malawian sayings once taught in school, is not dead yet.
This may be the stuff of museums and departments of antiquities, but the author’s son Kena Mphonda has announced via twitter that the historic machine is going for repairs in Britain.
Just when the typewriter strokes and bells blare no more, the tweet to 1 018 followers of @mphondak, now Malawi High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, confirms the whereabouts of his famous father’s machine from the 1960s—and it is not dead and buried.
The tweet reads: “An Oliver courier typewriter (bought early 60s) which produced the manuscript for Miyambi Yatsopano, a #Malawi secondary #school #education #textbook for earlier years, going for restoration. Book first published in 1965. Author is my late #father, Addson Harry.”
This has sparked excitement from a generation that subsisted on the book which offers deeper stories behind the A-Z of Malawian proverbs, from akulu ndi mdambo mozimila moto to nzeru zayekha anaviika nsima mmadzi.
The envoy disclosed that he does not have the manuscript, but it was brought to his attention that the book “was being reprinted last year for schools”.
“Not sure what came out of it,” he writes, adding his dad benefitted from the book.
He shared “tough times” he experienced in classrooms where Miyambi Yatsopano was an examinable Chichewa Literature Book textbook for Junior Certificate of Education (JCE).
“A Chichewa teacher repeatedly embarrassed me with questions regarding the stories in the book as if I was the author. [This is] more the reason I am writing my own book. Watch this space,” he explains.