May be because of lack of financial resources, many Malawians do not venture far beyond their places of origin. Their knowledge of the world, therefore, is limited by what they know of their homes. If you ask somebody from Waliranji in Mchinji about Nyezelera in Phalombe, for example, chances are they will be blank. Very…

History is replete with individuals who have achieved great things but, almost without exception, with the help of others. If anybody thinks they are so good that they will make great accomplishments on their own, they deceive themselves. A great Chichewa proverb goes, Tiri tiwiri n’tianthu, kalikokha n’kanyama (You are somebody when you are surrounded,…

Recently, I travelled by coach from Lilongwe to Blantyre. As is my habit, I had a book with me as my companion. I had just buried myself deep into Nelson Mandela’s biography when I noticed, on lifting my eyes, that two young people sitting on the seat opposite mine, across the aisle, had an iPad. They kept rolling the…

When I first met Mjura Mkandawire (1926 – 2013) in the 1980s, he came across to me as a humble, fatherly and well-mannered personality. I was then a student in Zomba. Mjura had come to Zomba to record our choral group for MBC’s A Chorus for Sunday. After recording one song, he politely suggested that we…

I once was on a team that visited Ntcheu on church business. One member of the team decided to call her son in Blantyre to tell him that if anybody would come home or call, he should inform them that his mother was in Ntcheu. “Where, mum?” the young man asked. She repeated the name…