Chichewa Cultural Resources
Poetry & Fiction
Sapitwa Poetry: This website publishes audio recordings of Malawian poets reading their poetry. Not only is this a useful learning tool to increase auditory comprehension, but the poetry covers a breadth of political, social, and cultural topics relevant to the current context of Malawi today. Notable among the poets is Robert Chiwamba, an award-winning poet.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (2009): William Kamkwamba is a Malawian author who writes the true story of his youth in Malawi. This story illuminates the lived experiences of children and families growing up in rural Malawi.
Of Chameleons and Gods by Jack Mpanje (1981): This first collection of poetry by famous Malawian poet Jack Mpanje is a critique of Malawian government, which resulted in Mpanje’s arrest in 1987. This book will provide a historical lens into Malawian’s turbulent sociopolitical past, and an introduction to one of the country’s most famous writers and academics.
Nyasa Times: Malawi’s national newspaper is published in English. Look for articles written by Emily Mkamanga, one of Malawi’s few well-known female writers who is known for her social and political commentary.
Lifecycles :A Story of AIDS in Malawi (2003): This documentary film, directed by Sierra Bellows and Doug Karr, follows the lives of people in Malawi diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Malawi is one of the most-affected countries in the world by HIV/AIDS, so this documentary provides an important glimpse into the realities of the illness in the country.
The Last Fishing Boat (2014): Directed by Malawian film producer Charles Shemu Joyah, this film is one of the few Malawian-produced features to receive international acclaim. It tells the story of a fisherman on Lake Malawi whose life is transformed by the tourism industry, offering a critical look at the very real conflict between traditional lifestyles and globalization in Malawi.