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Four Malawian poems translated into French

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Four Malawian poems by four Malawian writers have featured in a French literary magazine Florilege for December 2019.

The four poems are from renowned writers Willie Zingani, Zangaphee, Felix Munthali and Ndongolera Mwangupili, who is the Vice President of the Malawi Union of Academic and Non- Fiction Authors (Muana).

The poems were written in English but have been translated in French.

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The four poems are “Silent Speech” by the late Zangaphee Joshua Chizeze, “Neo-colonialism” by Felix Mnthali, “Genesis” by Mwangupili and “African Mfiti Flight No 1” by Zingani.

“It’s exciting to have your work in such a magazine and more so translated in another language. Having one work in one language limits readership. Actually, that is the context and the targeted audience,” Mwangupili said yesterday.

He further said that having the poems translated into another language meant that the work was universal and that it speaks to more than the targeted audience.

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“This spreads Malawian literature to the spheres unthought of. As writers, we really have to sell our works beyond our borders and languages in so doing we are telling the history of our country beyond our borders,”Mwangupili said.

He said that the four poems also appear in different poetry anthologies published originally in English.

“All of them also appear in The Time Traveller of Maravi: New Poetry from Malawi. The publishers of the magazine simply got them from their English versions and translated them into French. In so doing making available Malawian poetry to a French redeasrship,” Mwangupili said.

Nthanda Review Editor and writer, Beaton Galafa, said Wednesday, said it was good for the country to have its writers featured in such a magazine.

Florilege is a literary magazine, a quarterly, it publishes poetry and other literary articles from France and around the world. I first came into contact with one of the magazine’s contributors (the one who did the translations) after I emailed him about an article I was doing online,” Galafa said.

He said the review contains a brief background about Malawi in which towards the end he (the contributor) mentions their encounter and the article Galafa did for the online journal, Nthanda Review before bringing in the poetry.

“He translated the works of the four writers. The author is Florent Boucharel and blogs at www.florentboucharel. com,” Galafa said.

Florilege was founded in 1974 in Paris, France.

Some of the country’s writers have also managed to feature in other international magazines and journals and they include Benedicto Wokoma-atani Malunga, whose works have featured in Ufahamu Journal in United States of America.

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