Michael Benjala continues to surmount stereotypes and distinguish himself as a rare prodigy of Bunda College, releasing his second poetry album which entertains as well as questions stereotypes.
The college in Lilongwe is renowned for expert voices on crop and animal husbandry, but in Kusiyana kwa Mzungu ndi Munthu Wakuda, Benjala, 26, proves he is equally at home marrying words for public entertainment and enlightenment.
The album was recorded at G and G Studio in Malawiâ€™s capital Lilongwe and brings along 24 poems, including the good ole Zinsinsi za Yehova from his debut album, Zinsinsi za Yehova.
The latest release includes potential hits such as Dongosolo la Chauta in which he thanks the creator for putting things in order, wondering what terrible time women would have when carrying water pails if they were bald like men.
On Chani Chili Munthaka he muses about death. Why do people leave all the glories of the world and escape into the soil zone?
The theme of death reappears in Munachita Bwino Chauta in which he gives a thumb-up to the creator for not revealing the date of death to human beings. If it was known, he says, bachelors and spinsters would grab a mate before their time expires.
Benjala negotiates the familiar theme of God, life and death in a comic manner that makes it new and wins him admirers. However, he is likely to bruise the egos of afrocentric jingoists with the title track which credits mzungu (a non-racist term for whites) for everything that is good and pokes fun at Africans for wastefulness, dullness, idleness, drunkenness and everything deemed retrogressive.
â€œThe new album is a product of meditations and questions that have riddled my mind since the release of Zinsisi za Yehova in 2008,â€ said Benjala.
A regular performer at Chitsinde cha Ndakatulo festival and well known for his executive wear, the vernacular poet obtained a bachelorâ€™s degree in Forestry in 2010 and is now studying for a masterâ€™s in Integrated Soil Fertility at Bunda.
According to him, the release will be marketed by Joy FMâ€™s Patsinde programme presenter Evelyn Pangani and will be on shelves and on air this week.