Veteran poet Benedicto Wokoma-atani Malunga has used his artistry in poetry to stitch poems in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.
Wokoma-atani said Wednesday he decided to release poems because he was concerned by the devastating effects of Covid 19 pandemic.
The poet famed for poems such as ‘Ndizakutengela Kunyanja Ligineti’ and ‘Siananso Awa’, said the three poems he has released on the pandemic, were all about using his art to safeguard the lives of people.
The veteran poet in partnership with his son Sintekeseka, cum-producer, has taken advantage of his current isolation, to help people appreciate the dangers unleashed by Covid 19 pandemic on humanity and the possible responses that can restore hope amidst panic and desperation , drawing lessons from global and local occurrences.
His first poem Chili Kukhosiku Malawi’, captures the tragedy coronavirus has caused in the bigger economies of the Middle East, United States of America (USA) and South Africa where strong health systems are almost crumbling, as they struggle to cope with the pressure exerted by the wrath of the pandemic.
Wokoma-atani points out that Malawi, could avoid this situation by religiously adhering to preventive measures public health experts, are regularly providing, in an attempt to ensure that all Malawians are shielded against the formidable scourge.
The second one ‘Kulilira Dziko Langa’, is a lamentation about the carelessness and recklessness with which most Malawians are reacting to coronavirus at a time when small Lesotho has kept Covid-19 pandemic at bay with strict preventive measures.
The legendary poet offers a warning of what is to come if the cited laxity persists.
In the third poem titled ‘Kwatha Anthuku’, Wokoma-atani provides a global picture of what some of those that have died of the pandemic were carelessly ignored which could provide beneficial lessons to Malawians.
He then outlines interventions geared at facilitating desirable behavioural change as a panacea to the pandemic. He also restores hope by underlining that normalcy could return, depending on how citizens put to use ,the preventive information they are bombarded with from all angles.
“Covid-19 is real. I had to use my art to tackle the issue. The muse is with me,” Wokoma-atani said.
The poet said as an art form that is popular in the country, poetry can serve as an effective conduit for public health messages targeted at the pandemic.
“That is why I have personally invested so much time into the creation of Covid-19 poems. As a citizen, who is also an artist concerned by challenges unleashed by coronavirus, I have a duty to support our frontline health workers by passing on to fellow citizens critical messages that can keep all of us safe,” Wokoma-atani said.
The poet has also contributed Covid-19 pandemic poems in a book of poems from Malawi on the topic of Covid -19 pandemic.