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Malawi Writers Union hails government

Malawi Writers Union (Mawu) has thanked government through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology for selecting more Malawian books on the secondary school syllabus.

Mawu President Sambalikagwa Mvona said in an interview, yesterday, that they have been lobbying government to have more Malawian books on secondary school syllabus but nothing came up.

“This year, we are extremely happy as Mawu that finally more Malawian books have been picked and we have to appreciate this. Of course they have not only selected Malawian books but there are also foreign books too but the fact that they have selected more is good news to us as writers,” Mvona said.

He said that the development was good for literature in the country adding that it would help motivate writers.

“Students will now be able to read material from Malawians which they would understand better but also at the same time reading culture will surely improve. As writers, we also need to dig deeper and come up with quality work if our books are to earn selection,” said the writers’ body president.

He then revealed that some of Mawu’s works which have been included in the secondary school syllabus are The Conductress and Other Stories, which is a short story anthology, Time Traveller of Malavi, a poetry anthology and Kusintha Maganizo ndi Nkhani Zina which is also a short story anthology.

“All the three books are for senior secondary school and it is a must that students use them. But whilst we are over the

moon as a writers’ body with this development, let me also call upon the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to help us by buying these local books,” he said.

In a related development, veteran poet and writer Benedicto Wokoma-atani Malunga’s works have also been included on the secondary school syllabus.

The two books are Kuimba Kwa Mlakatuli and Mawu Koma Awa.

“These are my two poetry anthologies and I am happy that they have been included on the secondary syllabus. Sometime back it was Ndidzakutengera ku Nyanja Ligineti which was on syllabus,” Wokoma-atani said.

According to him, Kuimba Kwa Mlakatuli was published in the early 1990s by Claim Mabuku while Mawu Koma Awa was released by Chancellor College Publications.

“Both books deal with a wide range of themes of human interest. When I wrote them, I attempted to conform to the rules of Chichewa poetry while at the same time maintaining my poetic signature as a writer,” said the veteran poet.

He said this will also motivate him to write more adding that the news has come at a time when local poetry is gaining momentum in the country.

“I am glad to see that secondary school students that are interested in becoming poets will have tools with which to hone their skills. I am also happy for my publishers Chancellor College Publications and Claim Mabuku because they will now have an opportunity to make a bit more money,” he said.

Wokoma-atani said as a writer the royalties to be realised will go a long way towards assisting him in managing his personal life financially.

He said he is hopeful that “the joy I delighted from assembling my works will translate into the pleasure readers will have when they study them.”

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