Fellow Malawians, let’s set the record straight in memory of former Miss Malawi Faith Chibale, a beauty who graced these pages for ever-glowing reasons.
While early mourners have seemingly left no single memory unsaid for latecomers, let us pay homage to Khalidwe Wear, the hitherto unsung heroes who first spotted stars in Chibale and gave them a stage to shine.
As early as 2007, Khalidwe featured Chibale in its catalogues after the clothing line’s co-founder Wandumi Mwakisulu stumbled into her in the hustle-and-bustle at Chilomoni bus stage near Blantyre Metro Superstore and realised she was what the country’s modelling industry was waiting for.
For the streetwise, that bus stop was shutdown long before the cameras of Malawi News Model of the Year and lights of Miss Malawi came calling in 2008.
Thanks Khalidwe and all who had faith in Chibale. A flower has fallen.
…And I’m informed that some quarters mistook last week’s tribute to veteran author Tito Banda for a swipe on somebody who is knowingly or unknowingly messing up Malawian writing.
Ignore politicians, including the writers dying for deafening claps even from hands that know no pen.
This week, I read with keenness social anthropology student Yamikani Milanzi’s review of Malawi Writers’ Union (Mawu) president Sambalikagwa Mvona’s Arrow From Maraka.
His is another diagnosis of everything wrong with our writing: Authors’ tendency to think in Chichewa and write in English, unmanageable legions of useless characters, a disappearing storyline and alternating viewpoints.
The real tragedy is not that Mvona has been writing for over 20 years and reigned over a literary body longer than any State President in democratic Malawi.
But once again, the ears that ought to hear don’t seem to hear calls for sanity.
Instead of taking criticism from informed minds, Mvona and company appear contented with subjecting their works to dim-witted mobs shoving for free minibus rides on Machinjiri-Limbe Road.
But even these will praise any piece of paper if its the only way of saying: “Thanks, I can’t endure any more litter.”
Still, Malawian writing is on a sickbed being killed by those who are supposed to nurse and heal it.