‘Malawian audience taken for granted’


Poetry has gained inroads of late attracting huge audiences but despite this veteran poet Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga says some of the poems that are making rounds leave a lot to be desired.

In an exclusive interview with the veteran poet famed for poems such as ‘Siananso Awa,’ and ‘Ndizakutengela Kunyanja Ligineti,’ Malunga said a lot is being produced in the country in terms of poetry but it is half-baked.

He said many of the poems on the ground are hurriedly produced.


“A lot needs to be done if we are to do well in poetry. Poems are hurriedly produced, jokes are interwoven and passed across to the audience,” said Malunga.

He said much as the country has a lot of poets on the ground, the poets are not taking their time in composing the poems and at the same time schooling themselves.

“The audience needs to be treated to real good poetry. The major apprehension as a writer is that Malawian public has been taken for granted hence it is accepting everything that is deemed as poetry,” he said.


Malunga said the danger at the moment is that the audience will remain ignorant and accept everything that comes up and miss out on good poetry.

“To become a good poet requires quite a lot. For instance I have never been satisfied with what I write hence I re-examine what I write,” said the veteran poet.

Now with Siananso Awa album to his credit, Malunga said he does not want to rush into producing another album as he is taking his time.

“I have largely been reading and composing. Actually I have lost count of how many poems I have generated. I am just waiting for the time next year to sit down and choose the best,” he said.

He said with the new album coming up, he wants to demonstrate that he has grown from his Siananso Awa album.

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