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15 minutes chat with Twaya Sanudi

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A debate ensued on social media two months ago on the welfare of renowned versatile actor and musician Baba Twaya Sanudi, who some quarters felt had been dumped since he was brought home from South Africa.

With the situation he is in, some people have suggested that those who initiated his comeback should have immediately taken him to medical attention facility.

The veteran actor, who since his return has been going to Chichiri Museum in Blantyre to read, now spends his time at Civic Centre.

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Students also use this spot to study.

On my way from a press conference organised by Superior Events Management on Tuesday at Chichiri Museum, I decided to check on the veteran theatre maestro.

I did not find it difficult to spot him since he sits close to the small tarmac path which people use.

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He was resting on a small blanket. He had a two litre bottle of water, some two glasses which he uses in looking at his face, a wooded flute, a bible and a novel and in it were papers.

I greeted him in English but he responded in Tumbuka saying “Tili makora kwali imwe.”

“Who are you?” he asked.

I told him to guess because I was not going to tell him.

He told me it has been a long time and that he could not remember but after some time he guessed it: “You are Sam Banda Jnr right You have changed, it’s been long.”

“Are you still with The Daily Times? Is Caroline Somanje still there, what about Luciano (Emmanuel)?” Twaya asked.

I told him they were all around but not with The Daily Times but with Nation Publications Limited.

“Please greet Caroline Somanje for me. What about Paliani (Penelope)?” he asked again.

I told him Penelope was around but no longer with The Daily Times.

He went on to tell me that he comes every morning to the place and leaves at 5pm.

“I have been out for a longtime so here I come because I am writing a book and again I am trying to connect with the earth. Some people think I am ‘crazy’ but I am not,” Twaya said.

The veteran actor, who has kept his grey beard, might have a mental problem and needs help, but he surely is able to communicate normally and not all is lost.

Actually some of the people around who saw me chatting with him were probably wondering what I was doing as many think he is “crazy.”

I told him I now have a son by the name of Lionel and he was excited.

Mwakula tsopano (you have grown up now). Thanks for popping up and if you have time to come and chat with me please do so,” he said with joy.

Some people have said he turns vocal sometimes but on this day it was an exciting and normal chat with him and I enjoyed it.

I actually reminded him about some of his plays and performances at Blantyre Cultural Centre, formerly French Cultural Centre.

Twaya starred in several productions with Du Chisiza Jnr and taught several actors and actresses. He also had a group known as Alabama Theatre.

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