Creative players brainstorm on bringing Twaya Sanudi home


Versatile actor and musician Baba Twaya Sanudi, who disappeared from the scene and forced fellow artists to start searching for him, has finally been found in South Africa.

The news was broken by Bilimakhwe Arts’ Kate Stafford, who has directed several productions with Nanzikambe Arts.

Twaya, who starred with late Du Chisiza Jr and also mentored several actors in the country, disappeared nine years ago forcing people to start searching for him and appeals were made for information.


It was said he had a breakdown and went to South Africa, but he could not be found.

A team of actors was sent to South Africa at some point to search for and bring him back but they failed to trace him.

But according to Stafford, Twaya is alive and that they are making efforts to bring him home.


Meanwhile arts players have been brainstorming through the social media on the move to bring him back.

Dramatist Smith Likongwe, who is also a lecturer at the University of Malawi – Chancellor College recalled that some years back, they contributed a little something to enable a team of two or three to go to South Africa to fetch Twaya and that at that time, it was understood that he was not in his right frame of mind.

“The team came back without success because they could not trace him in the area he was reported to have been frequenting. We now need a proper strategy to bring him back,” Likongwe said.

Likongwe added: “He needs to be convinced that even here at home in Malawi, he can continue writing the book he is said to be writing. He also needs to be convinced that home is best. It is also crucial to trace his relatives here and work out where he is going to stay upon arrival.”

He also said that it should be worked out how he is going to travel back home stressing that those leading his repatriation also should seek assistance and advice of the Malawi consulate in Johannesburg.

Stafford commended Likongwe for the points saying they were crucial and that there was a team working on this citing among others TJ Bless and a young woman, who found him as well as Samuel Mwale, who is based in Johannesburg.

Mzuzu University drama lecturer Misheck Mzumara said it was good news that Twaya has now been found after efforts to locate him previously have been futile.

“He travelled to South Africa just as many would wish to – for greener pastures. The arts in South seem to be vibrant but to a foreigner? It’s vibrant in Malawi for sure, but one cannot survive on art alone. Companies would want your talent for a very minimal fee,” Mzumara said.

Stafford said he has many times regretted that she could not contact him.

“I originally wanted him to be in And Crocodiles Are Hungry at Night. Unfortunately, ,the opportunities for artists in Malawi are so few. One job from me, just a few weeks work, would not be enough to keep a wolf from the door in the long term and I completely understand when some of our most talented actors give up and move away or take an NGO or teaching job,” said Stafford.

She however, said Twaya does not have a place to stay and that he is living rough.

“This should not be the fate of a respected senior artist. I am just so relieved to hear that he is alive,” Stafford said.

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