We need to do better as a country, says writer Muti


Writer and academic Muti Michael Phoya said on Friday that the country needs to do better, mobilise its resources and take a sense of pride into what is ours.

Muti said this at La Caverna in Blantyre during a book chat for his book titled Madonna is Our Mother: Notes from Malawi.

“Some of the things that we are praising others for doing for us can be done by ourselves. We are capable,” he said.


The title of the book grabbed the attention of the people recently before its launch in Lilongwe recently.

“The title for sure got a few remarks from people, it is a chick title but as an author, you want to be read. I am happy it grabbed attention for in the days of social media, you need that visibility,” Muti said.

He said the title came from the remarks that were made by a high profile person and that as an author; he just quoted what was said.


“People need to read the book to understand it better and not make conclusions from the title,” Muti said of the book which has been listed by Brittle Paper as one of the most anticipated African books in 2023.

The book gives some thoughts on Malawi as a country, where we are as a country, what we are doing to get where we want to be.

“I have tried as much as possible to take the side of an outsider looking into Malawi with a bird’s view,” Muti said.

During his chat at La Caverna, Muti read some extracts from the book and also responded to some of the questions from the audience.

He said he was excited to engage people in book chats and also get them to buy the book.

Apart from La Caverna, Muti also held book chats at Kwa Haraba Art Gallery and Café in Blantyre on Saturday before moving to Zomba City Festival at Heritage Centre on Sunday.

Muti also said he brought the book chats to Blantyre as most of the essays in the book are informed by the Blantyre landscape.

According to, in this collection of essays, Muti reflects on the shifting character of post-colonial Malawi.

The book focuses mainly on the land and memory and it also paints a picture of a modern African country through its fascinating history.

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