By Chris Loka & Sam Banda Jnr:
Robert Chiwamba, famed for poems such as ‘Uzafa Imfa Yowawa’ and ‘Flames Siyizamva,’is now Poetry Association of Malawi (Pam) President following his election on Saturday.
The Blantyre-based poet has succeeded Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa, real name Chisomo Mdalla, who did not contest, while his vice is Daniel Zabuloni Dama.
Chiwamba shrugged off competition from Felix Njonjonjo Katsoka, Michael Benjala and Hudson Chamasowa during hotly contested virtual elections which saw several new faces ushered into the new executive.
He praised God for the triumph on his Facebook page.
“This is huge. I will need helping hands from all of you. Special thanks go to the outgoing committee, which was led by my role model and friend Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa, and to my campaign team led by Andrew Pilliot. I will always be grateful for this opportunity,” he said.
Several poets and poetry lovers have welcomed Chiwamba’s election and called upon him to walk the talk and uplift the association.
The versatile poet, with albums such as Kwa Mayi Chiwamba and Chanco Munthawi Yanga, has since promised to put the welfare of poets at heart.
“I will try my best to, among other things, create partnerships with other associations both local and international, lobby Cosoma to have poets receive royalties, put up proper structures for Pam and look at having workshops to improve our craft,” Chiwamba said.
Nyamalikiti with his outgoing committee promised to assist the new executive wherever necessary for the growth of the association.
“We congratulate the new executive and we will always be there to give support when needed,” Nyamalikiti, who served only one term, said.
The other members of the new executive are Patwell Phiri (general secretary), Joseph Kadzakumanja (treasurer), Chikumbutso Kaliati (vice secretary) and Ross Kampaundi (events organiser).