By Sam Banda Jnr:
This is an early Christmas present to the people, according to writer Ekari Mbvundula, as they are set to close the 2018 storytelling session with readings from six writers including legendary Desmond Dudwa Phiri popularly known as DD Phiri.
Mbvundula, who is one of the founders of the storytelling sessions, said Wednesday they were privileged to have DD Phiri at the last session for 2018.
“We just had to have him because he is the history of writing in the country and the grandfather of writing. He continues to inspire a lot of up and coming writers and at his age, he still continues to write,” Mbvundula said.
It has been a lively year for storytelling sessions, which have kept people entertained moving between the original home Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre and Story Club in Lilongwe.
JCC, as the original home, will host the last session Friday.
This will also be the first time for DD Phiri, a renowned author, historian and economist to star at the storytelling session which has offered writers a chance to read out their works.
He will follow the steps of another veteran writer and poet Benedicto Wokoma-atani Malunga, who also read his work at one of the sessions this year.
Mbvundula called on people to come in large numbers, describing DD Phiri’s presence as special.
“DD Phiri will read an award-winning short story, and for the first time ever it has been translated to English from its original Tumbuka,” she said.
At 86 years, DD Phiri, who has travelled a long journey to be where he is, he is very strong and remains a regular contributor to the country’s national newspapers.
A London University trained economist, DD Phiri, runs DD Phiri Forum in The Nation and DD Phiri Insight in The Daily Times.
Some of these essays have been collected in a book published by Society of Malawi – Malawi Our Future, Our Choice.
In 1968, DD Phiri’s first book, The Chief’s Bride was published under Evans African plays, an imprint of Evans Brothers Limited.
He published a second play, Let Us Fight For Africa in 2007 with Kachere Series.
The veteran author has written six biographies – I See You-Clement Kadalie, Let Us Die For Africa – John Chilembwe, and under Malawians To Remember – Inkosi Gomani, James Frederick Sangala, Charles Chidongo Chinula and Dunduzu Kaluli Chisiza.
His novels include Diniwe in Dreamland and novelettes in indigenous languages include Mankhwala Pa Ntchito, Kanakazi Kayaya, Ku Msika Wa Vyawaka and Ulanda wa Mavunika.
DD Phiri’s other books are From Nguni to Ngoni, History of the Tumbuka, History of Malawi to 1915, Hints to Private Students, and What Achievers Teach About Success.
Mbvundula said: “People should come and be part of the gathering and get to enjoy and share stories. Again people should bring their friends.”
Mbvundula will also read her work No Room for the Dead.
The other works people will get to sample are Sith by Havel Dambula, The Special TV by Noor Sacranie, My Dream Restaurant by Aisha Sacranie and Melodies from Within by Beatus Msamange.
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