Rally round our martyrs


I am on my way to the Island of Wonders they fondly call Likoma and Chizumulu Islands. I am at this once popular jetty in Nkhata Bay. Waiting for the MV Ilala which, I am told, is undergoing some routine maintenance.

Right here at the historic jetty, our people were butchered and shot in cold blood by colonial forces. Our people were unarmed. Our people were innocent civilians, yet they were targets of the colonial forces.

Pakupoka wanangwa


Yeah country folks, I am looking at the epitaph on the memorial tower. I am looking at the tributes showered on our martyrs. I am looking at the lake too. I see the waters of this calendar lake in all its glory. I am looking at the people. I am listening to this song Pakupoka wanangwa by Mjura Mkandawire coming from deep down the fresh waters of this lake of stars.

I am listening to this song as I look at this jetty which is now in desolate state and looks like another piece of history.

Pakupokwa wanangwa resonates with new meaning now here at this jetty as I wait for the MV Ilala, the lifeline of the people of the lake. I wonder how this song could sound on the MV Ilala now which has sailed over all these years and is as old as our independence itself.


Yeah country folks, the song keeps on rising in tempo as the waves seem to respond to its meaning. I wonder whether the new generation understands the fruits of freedom we are enjoying now. I wonder whether the elders in our villages and cities teach this generation the true history of our motherland.


Yeah country folks, I would not like to blame our local artists as of now. I would not blame them for not coming up with more songs on our martyrs. I would not blame them as of now, for the history of the motherland is not known to these young artists. I do now want to blame them for composing useless songs with explicit lyrics instead of coming up with touching pieces of our heritage. I would not blame them for most of them are just part of the new generation that is losing its roots.


Yeah country folks, the blame lies in politicians. These politicians and our honourable members of Parliament; the honorable members of Parliament who do not speak about us the people! Those who do not want history to be told as it is.

Yeah country folks, history is history. Some people play politics. Some people dance politics to achieve their goals. Some people would also like to distort our history by following politics of divide and rule. Some politicians have sold the motherland for pieces of silver and gold!


Yeah country folks, I am hearing Pakupoka wanangwa right here at the jetty in Nkhata Bay. I am looking at the graves of our martyrs. These are graves of innocent people of the motherland whose only crime was to raise their voices for freedom.

These voices will continue to rise on the motherland until total liberation. These voices are the voices of the innocent children who dream dreams. These voices are of the mothers who walk distances to fetch water and firewood. These voices are of the youth who would like to be independent and enjoy the modern life of prosperity.

As for me, here at the jetty, I am still waiting for the MV Ilala to sail to the Island of Wonders Likoma and Chizumulu to meditate at Fundwe under the mango tree shrine.

Aluta continua…

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