A new movement

 From gospel hip- hop to Nyambo About two decades ago, Stix was a household name in urban hip hop circles as the youngest member of pioneering hip hop group Real Elements. Initially called Linguistix, Jerome Kalirani shortened his stage name to Stix, but this did not trim the dexterity in his witty lyrical delivery. Together…

Gulewamkulu faces football

  That gulewamkulu among the Chewa is a serious matter is beyond debate. Gulewamkulu is a heritage dance which mimics wild animals in every aspect. The other aspect that sets it apart is that it is a very secretive dance. To make its membership, one has to perform certain rites at a clandestine location, usually…

‘People had own expectations after polls’

  Leader of the House FRANCIS KASAILA, who is also Minister of Transport and Public Works, speaks to our reporter BONIFACE PHIRI about how government has handled business in Parliament and others issues surrounding his ministry. Excerpts: Q Opposition MPs have complained that government bulldozed the passing of bills and that you curtailed debate prematurely…

Cycling for Falesi’s future

  Afete Kadewere is used to being insulted as if he were a circus nut for carrying her 17-year-old disabled daughter on a bicycle. But, he says, he “will never be reconciled to it”. Kadewere says this is what you face as a parent to a child with special needs in an intolerant society. “When…

Gospel goes secular

Something highly unusual and meriting attention is taking place during the regularly organised gospel music shows in the country. These shows are enjoying mammoth patronage. It all starts with highly catchy advertisements on radios, televisions, public announcement systems mounted on vehicles and posters pinned against trees or walls in locations. The shows, it must be…

Should pastors who charge for prayers   Be  taxed?

Nowadays, men of God, especially Pentecostal ones, are affluent. They have amassed a lot of wealth using resources acquired mostly from poor congregants who give with the hope of receiving miracles or getting spiritual satisfaction. It is beyond doubt that the survival of organised religion depends on the open-handedness of its flock. However, when men…

‘APM has right to respond’

Government has lately been under fire from opposition parties and civil society organisations on several pressing issues. Our reporter BONIFACE PHIRI caught up with Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education, who is also government spokesperson, JAPPIE MHANGO, who explains government’s side. Excerpts:   QYou have been accusing Parliament of financial extravagance, yet as we…

Whither Malawian videos?

  Amusic video is a strong conduit that can propel local artists to smash through the international market and attract universal appreciation and an innovative production has a huge potential to elevate how an artist is envisaged including their personality and it can yield monumental excitement and curiosity within the audience. Critics have said this…

‘People wanted an action-packed speech’

On Monday, ULADI MUSSA, People’s Party (PP) leader in Parliament, made an emotionally charged speech in response to President Peter Mutharika’s statement during the opening of the Budget Review meeting last Friday. Our reporter BONIFACE PHIRI caught up with Mussa to clarify some of the points he raised. Excerpts: Q What was your initial reaction…

‘Owning land in Malawi is easy’

BURTON KAFUNDA, economic governance expert for Centre for Social Concern (CfSC), speaks our reporter BONIFACE PHIRI on matters concerning customary land in the country.   Q1 A lot of foreigners own land in Malawi. What do you think is the problem? A1 Much as people would blame chiefs, but I believe the major problem is…

 ‘Activists are pro-opposition’ 

Our reporter Boniface Phiri engaged Mavuto Bamusi—presidential advisor of civil society and NGOs—on matters surrounding the recent counter-demonstrations and the sour relationship between government and CSOs. Excerpts:  Do you think it was prudent for government, through your office, to fund and support a demonstration to counter another organised by some civil society organisations (CSOs) taking…

Fish farmers cry for feed subsidy

Fish farmers in the country have asked government to subsidise fish feeds, as the prices are prohibitive for local farmers in the country. This came out during a three-day Innovative Fish Farmers Network Trust (IFFNT) strategic plan conference held at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) at the weekend.IFFNT board chairperson Lucky…

‘Government is lying’

Government has accused Speaker of the National Assembly RICHARD MSOWOYA of extravagance for buying expensive four-wheel drive top-of-the-range vehicles for himself, his two deputies and Leader of Opposition Lazarus Chakwera. Msowoya speaks to our reporter BONIFACE PHIRI about this and other matters. Excerpts: Why did you find it necessary to buy new four-wheel-drive vehicles for…

Not just another art

For over a decade now, Wesley Denis Chimganda has meticulously devoted his skill in the pursuance of brilliance in metal bottle caps craft. He is a regular sight at Lilongwe’s ziboliboli (curios) market outside Lilongwe Post Office. He makes objects from the round and rough-edges of bottle caps with such intimacy that they draw admiration…

Should expectant women be incentivized to deliver at hospitals?

In a poor country such as Malawi, achieving desired maternal and neonatal standards has always been problematic despite several interventions by both government and the private sector. Obviously, poverty, poor infrastructure, inaccessibility of health care services, traditional beliefs and practices are some of the major reasons for the high levels of maternal and neo-natal mortality…

‘Housing subsidy scheme has boosted local economies’

Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Atupele Muluzi speaks with our reporter Boniface Phiri on issues surrounding the Decent and Affordable Housing Subsidy Programme (DAHSP). How have you addressed issues surrounding alleged favouritism in DAHSP, especially regarding identification of beneficiaries and the awarding of tenders to suppliers of iron sheets? There has not been…

Commercial farming is way to go

  FELIX JUMBE, chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, shares his views, with our reporter BONIFACE PHIRI, on suggestions to subsidise large scale agricultural production. Q1 Is large scale commercial agricultural production the solution to the country’s food security challenges? A1 Commercial scale agricultural production, coupled with proper policies, can be the ultimate solution…

Academics must lead democratic discourse’

  The University of Malawi (Unima) celebrated its Golden Jubilee last week when Norwegian ambassador KIKKAN HAUGEN, who was guest of honour, challenged lecturers to champion the democratic and development discourse. Haugen spoke to our reporter BONIFACE PHIRI to explain what he meant. Q How can the country’s universities help initiate tangible development because Malawi…

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