The annual Warm Heart Poetry Festival will this year recognise and honour composer of the Malawi National Anthem late Michael Sauka.
One of the organisers Babangoni Chisale said Sauka’s recognition is in line with the objectives of the event which identifies some of the individuals who have made wonderful contributions to literary works.
He said: “We normally honour individuals who have contributed a lot, but died without any recognition.”
Scheduled for Blantyre this Sunday at Robin’s Park, a number of notable names in the poetry industry such as Sylvester Kalizang’oma, Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga, Hudson Chamasowa and Mada Nyambo,among others, will recite poetry inspired by the National Anthem.
The event celebrates the country’s cultural values, symbols and beliefs through positive thinking. This year, it will be celebrated under the theme Magic of Words and Power of Reasoning.
Sauka’s recognition will include a monetary reward.
Malunga said the moment is significant as it will send out a message to the nation to start appreciating patriots who have enriched human existence through their unique creativity.
“Civilised countries derive their pride from the accomplishments of their artists who use art to serve as the conscience of their nations. That is why even in death, the names of Shakespeare and Achebe still maintain greater global visibility and relevance,” he said.
The Malawi National Anthem, which is a prayer asking God to bless Malawi and help it deal with problems such as hunger, diseases and envy, was composed and adopted in 1964.
Originally, the song had six stanzas, but the other four verses were left out of the official song.
Sauka, originally a musician, emerged winner of a competition designed to select a song to serve as the country’s national anthem. He died on August 15 in 1990.