Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF), which is held in the first week of October annually, serves as a double celebration for the country’s culture and birthday of its chairperson Alfred Msadala who was born on October 4, 1956. He just turned 59 last Sunday, the festival’s closing day.
Generally, when people are ageing, the impression is that they cease being pro-active or creative in their endeavours. But this is not the case with Msadala who has just announced the official release of his longest book titled War Drums Are Beating.
Msadala said: “As I grow older, the more I dream big. I am a hopeful person who is still dreaming big. I still have the feeling that I haven’t reached the pinnacle of my career. This is what drives me to write more and more.”
He said he will be officially releasing his 15th book on November 26 at Blantyre Sports Club, a confirmation that he was still going strong at 59.
Msadala described his new book as inspirational and the longest work he has ever produced.
“This is the longest book I have ever released in my career as a writer. At the same time, it is inspirational in the sense that I am writing about my fellow writers whose stories are inspirational,” said Msadala.
He said he was inspired by the fact that Malawi and Africa, as whole, was not free, hence wanting to discuss the work of different writers from across the world including Malawi.
“Are we really free or we are still colonised? The book is trying to answer this question through analysis and discussion of work done by different writers from around the world,” said Msadala.
Literature has power to liberate the people and stimulate their thinking. But what will Malawi benefit from Msadala’s War Drums Are Beating?
“Good literature is life because it mirrors real issues that can be related. Similarly, this book is important for both Malawi and international audiences that will see things from different perspectives,” said Msadala.
Msadala, who hails from Liwewe Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Malengachazi in Nkhotakota, began his writing journey in 1972 when he was in Form 2 at Robert Blake Secondary School in Dowa. His first artwork was a poem titled Dowa Hills, which appeared in his school’s magazine.
But now many years later, he has published over 13 books, contributed and edited several others.
A Ragged Portfolio of My Potrait, Destined For Great Things, Sprouts of Dowa Hills, Mangadzi Was Here and Other Stories, Neighbour’s Wife and Other Stories from Malawi, We Lost Track of Ausi and The Church of Christ The King at 50 are some of the popular books written by Msadala.