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afrika aphukira



Midwiving the Afrikan rebirth. . . Views of Afrika and the world, on the path to the renaissance, from a social justice and an Afrikan epistemological perspective--uMunthu. Includes specific commentary on Malawi and Sub-Saharan Africa.



Updated: 2016-12-03T13:20:17.320-05:00

 



Literacy, Language and Power: Thoughts on International Literacy Day 2016

2016-09-08T16:46:59.758-04:00

It warms my heart that today, 8th September 2016, Malawi is celebrating the International Literacy Day on its designated day. More often than not, we are jolted into action after seeing what other parts of the world are doing on the day, and then we go “Ah! So today is International Literacy Day? Let us choose a day to commemorate it.” So we end up doing the commemoration in the latter part of



Ascent into the Ages: Mikelle Antoine, In Memoriam

2015-11-26T08:52:21.677-05:00

On Sunday 22nd November, Facebook reminded me of a picture I had posted six years ago, in 2009. In the picture is Mikelle Antoine, her husband, Nii, their two young children, and myself. The picture was taken on 21st November 2009, on the campus of the University of Ghana at Legon, in Accra. In the background is the Kwame Nkrumah Institute of African Studies. I had just arrived in Accra, to



Empowering teachers: Thoughts on World Teachers’ Day 2015

2015-10-05T08:36:03.713-04:00

When he officially opened Malawi’s newest teacher training college, Chiradzulu TTC, on 16th September, Malawi’s president Peter Mutharika said something that if he does not follow up on with action, might shadow his legacy in Malawian education. It is something I have decided not to cynically dismiss as one of those things presidents say and never mean it. Today is 5th October, the day the



Kicking away the JCE ladder

2015-10-05T08:27:24.467-04:00

Let me start with a disclaimer. I am not an expert in educational measurement, evaluation and assessment. These are highly specialised areas in educational research dealing with tests and examinations, and Malawi has quite a number of experts in the disciplines. My familiarity lies with curriculum, pedagogy, educational policy and teacher education. So my views in the ensuing discussion pertain



Malawi at Fifty One: The Education Legacies of Malawi's Presidents Hitherto

2015-07-06T04:28:19.099-04:00

It is a noteworthy paradox that while the seventy years Malawi was under colonial rule from 1894 to 1964 there was no university, within nine months of independence, Malawi had one (Cuthbert Kachale, 2015). In ensuring that Malawi got a university just months after independence, the founding president of the country, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda made clear the pioneering role that higher education



Towards Agenda 2063: Pan-Africanist Education and the African Renaissance

2015-07-04T15:15:15.650-04:00

The drama of the ICC’s determination to arrest Sudan’s president Omar Al Bashir played itself out exactly three weeks after the commemoration of this year’s Africa Day. That fact epitomises the thorny, rocky road Africa’s renewal will have to go through. Six weeks later, I am still basking in the after-glow of this year’s Africa Day commemorations, which was my first time to actually actively



In the Valley, a Genius Rests: Remembering Raphael Kinn L Tenthani

2015-05-19T10:33:08.679-04:00

Today, Tuesday 19th May 2015, Raphael Tenthani was supposed to be landing at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport, here in Gaborone, Botswana. He was coming to attend a stakeholders meeting of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which is going to run from tomorrow 20th to 21st May at the Gaborone Sun Hotel. I was going to welcome Ralph at the airport, and he was going to bring me



A new national consciousness: Agenda for the next 50 years

2014-12-27T17:01:06.464-05:00

We are winding down a year that marked two key milestones in our nation’s autobiography. We marked fifty years of independence, and we also marked twenty years of multiparty democracy and the end of one-party dictatorship. As we embark on another fifty years of national independence and another twenty of multiparty democracy, I want to ask a question: Do we as Malawians have a sense of national



Misdiagnosis: Mother Tongue Policy and Poor English in Malawian Schools

2014-09-17T04:49:14.430-04:00

There are good reasons why many Malawians are happy with the new policy for English to be the language of instruction in Malawian public schools. We Malawians use proficiency in spoken English as a product of a good education. If somebody speaks good English, they are seen as being educated. In many cases that is quite true. The more years one spends in Malawian schools beyond primary and



Malawi at 50: Song & Dance, Tears & Laughter

2014-09-18T04:30:49.955-04:00

These students had fun composing songs and dances improptu In June this year I accompanied a team of educationists visiting a school in the eastern part of Dedza. I observed a Standard 4 Expressive Arts lesson in which students composed and enacted an impromptu song and dance. I would have thought this impossible, but not the students, nor their teacher. It was clear from the



'Accountable to the people': Can President Mutharika be taken at his word?

2014-06-08T17:25:34.590-04:00

Malawians lining up to vote on 20th May, 2014 There is one statement in Professor Peter Mutharika’s inaugural speech that will be the ultimate test on which his term of office will be evaluated. Taking over the reins of power at the Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on 2nd June, the president said: “Today, we are launching a government that must be accountable to the people. The central principle



What the future may hold for Malawi beyond May 20th

2014-05-19T05:29:19.755-04:00

The person who wins this week’s election will need to thank Malawians for one thing: our capacity to forgive and give people a second chance. But if the Afrobarometer poll is anything to go by, it will be the weakest mandate a Malawian president has ever had. The Afrobarometer survey showed Peter Mutharika winning by just 27 percent of the vote. If that turns out to be accurate, it will mean



In solidarity with Malawian teachers: Labour Day thoughts

2014-05-02T17:47:38.190-04:00

This May Day (or Labour Day as we call it here) my thoughts are with Malawian teachers and their struggles. In particular my thoughts are with those teachers who defy the odds and make a difference in the lives of their students and in their communities. I would like to share a few stories on these teachers. In October 2012 I received a Facebook message from someone who introduced himself



Choosing a president: Intellect, character and Malawi’s leadership

2014-03-31T04:55:02.449-04:00

I have lived in the city of Lilongwe for close to three years now, and I have no idea who the MP of my area is. I do not even know the name of my constituency. Whoever is the MP here has never been to this area to talk to us the constituents in the three years I have lived here. If they have, I never heard about it. Now in addition to voting for an MP and a state president on 20th May, I will



In defense of Malawian languages: The case for multilingualism in our schools

2014-03-24T17:46:03.616-04:00

Thanks to students majoring in Education at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, the Ministry of Education’s decision for English to be the language of instruction starting from Standard One has become a national debate. I would like to congratulate the students for their active participation in a matter of national significance. The significance of this issue goes beyond the



Angry teachers: class and contempt in Malawian society

2014-03-24T17:44:55.690-04:00

One September morning in 2013 I was walking into my office building in Lilongwe when I noticed a huge crowd swarming around the notice board. My office is located inside a district education office, and teachers visit on a daily basis. But the young people crowding around the notice board on this day were not teachers.  They were prospective student teachers. They had applied for openings in



'Kudya Nawo': How Cashgate Became a Mindset

2014-02-16T14:08:41.654-05:00

A lot of Malawian pundits and commentators have pointed out that cashgate symbolises a larger malaise affecting Malawian society. To these commentators, cashgate happened because we are a “rotten” society ruled by corrupt leaders; because we have lost our moral compass as a nation. If this is true, does it not then follow that many of us, to some extent, have what we can term a “cashgate



What happened to creative writing in Malawi?

2014-02-16T13:28:33.189-05:00

The Nation newspaper has raised the alarm over the quality of creative writing in the country. Judges in several national writing competitions have pointed out the quality of entries is very poor it is clear something has happened to creative writing in Malawi. In order to find a more satisfactory answer to the question as to what has happened to Malawian creative writing, it would be a good



Reclaiming the Youth Space: The Next Agenda for Young Malawians

2014-02-16T12:10:35.490-05:00

Keynote address given at the Youth Consultative Forum's National Consultative Meeting and Annual General Meeting 6 February, 2014, Crown Hotel, Lilongwe Youth Consultative Forum annual general meeting6 Feb 2014, Crown Hotel, Lilongwe It is interestingly fitting that the Youth Consultative Forum is holding its Annual General Meeting exactly one week after Malawi hosted the BBC Africa



What's the matter with Malawian universities?

2014-01-20T15:23:25.450-05:00

When a university student performs poorly and is withdrawn, the problem is with the student. But when 132 students perform poorly and are withdrawn, then the problem is no longer with the student alone. The university itself has a problem. When it is two universities, then it is not just the universities that have a problem, it is the broader national educational system. It is instructive to



Where is the 'holy anger' over cashgate?

2014-01-11T13:06:26.214-05:00

A wide section of the Malawian punditry has been arguing that there has not been enough anger expressed over cashgate. Some are going as far as suggesting that there has not been any anger at all. I sympathise with the argument. However I wish these pundits could take the lead and demonstrate exactly how they would like Malawians to express their anger over the scandal. It is very possible that



How A Shooting Exposed The Plunder Of Malawi's Treasury

2014-01-11T12:51:24.705-05:00

On the night of Friday September 13, 2013,  Paul Mphwiyo, Budget Director in Malawi's Ministry of Finance, was shot. Armed men were lying in ambush just outside the gate to his home, and fired at the 37-year-old as he drove in. Mphwiyo's family rushed him to the Area 43 MASM Clinic. It was 11:30 p.m. I happened to be at the clinic at the same time with a family member who was hospitalised. I 



Why we should brace ourselves for more cashgates

2013-11-11T13:43:24.950-05:00

Regardless of what happens to President Joyce Banda in May 2014, she will go down in Malawi’s historical record as a president for whom lightning struck twice. The first time was on Saturday 7th April when she was suddenly and unexpectedly thrust onto the stage as the fourth president of the Republic of Malawi. The second was on Friday 13th September when the Malawi government’s Budget Director



What really caused cashgate?

2013-11-07T02:35:50.214-05:00

With over a month and a half now gone since the government financial scandal hashtagged #cashgate erupted, are we closer to understanding the underlying causes why it happened? We can classify the reasons why this happened from simplest to most complex. Going by the earliest statements that were offered in September, the simplest explanation can be caricatured as “IFMIS made me do it.” It came



Why I still believe in the African rebirth

2013-10-13T18:36:17.085-04:00

Text of my talk at TEDxLilongwe, 25th May, 2013 Watch the Youtube video here When I started blogging in 2005, I gave my blog a Chichewa name. Chichewa is my first language, spoken by more than 80 percent of Malawians. It’s also spoken in parts of Zambia, Mocambique and Zimbabwe. I gave my blog the name “Afrika Aphukira.” In Chichewa that translates as “Africa will have a rebirth.” It’s been