Veteran writer and media trainer Tito Banda died aged 64 at Mwaiwathu Private Hospital in Blantyre on Tuesday.
Banda, who was a lecturer in literature and language at Mzuzu University (Mzuni), will be remembered for his prowess as a journalist, creative writer and trainer who co-founded Pen Point School of Journalism which trained several journalists in the country.
According to Mzuni senior assistant registrar (administration) James Kwilimbe, the author of Sekani’s Solution, A Bitter Disapproval and The Luck Charm, succumbed to a brain tumour.
Kwilimbe said the academia will remember Banda for his significant contribution to the Department of Literature and Language where he authored Nyaviyuyi in Performance, an academic work that explores the richness of Malawian oral literature.
“He was a humble person. He related well with both students and members of staff. Mzuni will greatly miss his services. The library has stocks of his books,” said Kwilimbe of the fallen author and trainer who will be buried on Friday at Chigude Village in Traditional Authority (T/A) Kampingo Sibande, Mzimba where he grew up.
The Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa) paid tribute to Banda for pioneering journalism training in the country long before the Malawi Institute of Journalism and the University of Malawi’s Polytechnic Journalism and Media Studies Department came into being.
Misa-Malawi chapter president Anthony Kasunda said Banda was a great resource person who was until his death still active in steering the institute as an organisation that promotes freedom of expression and media freedom.
The statement reads in part: “It is undisputable that Tito helped in shaping the media in Malawi through initiatives such as KZT Services and Pen Point School of Journalism. Misa Malawi Chapter will miss Tito for his contribution towards the establishment of the chapter.”
A former student of Mzimba and Nkhata Bay secondary schools, Tito Banda did his higher education at the Messiah College of Liberal Arts and Temple University in the US.
He joined Mzuni in 2004 as an assistant lecturer and became senior lecturer in 2012 after obtaining a Masters Degree in Literature at the Chancellor College of the University of Malawi.
Born on October 29 1950, he is survived by a wife and four children.