DYNAMIC AFRICA

Set up in 2010, Dynamic Africa is diverse multi-media curated blog with a Pan-African outlook that seeks to create an expressive platform for African experiences, stories and African cultures.



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Posts tagged "malawi"

Shot on the shores of Lake Malawi in Mangochi, Malawian film The Last Fishing Boat, written, directed and produced by Shemu Joyah, recently won yet another prize - this time at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival which took place in California - taking home the award for the Best Narrative Feature Film at the festival.

The film first won an award for the Best Soundtrack at the Africa Movie Academy Awards this year, where it received five nominations.

WOMEN’S MONTH ICONIC PHOTOGRAPH: Incumbent Malawian president Joyce Banda before being sworn in as president of the Republic of Malawi on Saturday, 7 April, 2012.

Banda became the first woman to hold this position, and the second woman president in Africa.

AUGUST: Highlighting African Women

DYNAMIC AFRICANS: I Love Southern Africa

This blog first caught my attention perhaps a little over a month, or so, ago, and it’s safe to say it was love at first sight.

Dedicated to representing a total of 12 countries, from Angola to Zambia, Madagascar to Lesotho, the individual behind the blog manages to take it all in stride shedding essential knowledge on each country, posting incredibly thorough, diverse and in-depth content that’s is beyond enriching.

Having a thorough appreciation of this blog, and thus it’s curator, it seemed only right to feature them in this series of Dynamic Africans on tumblr. My interview only made me even more of a fan and I’m left even more inspired by the person behind I Love Southern Africa.

In about five sentences or less, can you tell us a little about yourself. Who is the person behind the blog?

I’m a young woman from two of the countries I blog about, currently starting a new chapter in my life after having taken care of family for a while (the African immigrant’s story!). 

What are the main objectives of your blog? What led or inspired you to create it?

My main objective was to shine a light on everything time can permit to blog on Southern Africa.  Outside of the countries themselves, not much is known or spoken of Southern Africa other than HIV/AIDS, Robert Mugabe, Malawi as it pertains to Madonna, Namibia as it pertains to Angelina Jolie and Madagascar as it pertains to the animated movie of the same name. 

Southern Africa is also known primarily for our animals but not the people around them, their history, dreams etc.  It’s a region with a very rich and intense history which influences the vibrant culture and life today. 

Since starting this blog, what has kept you motivated and/or what new things have you learned along the way?

I must admit I also didn’t know too much about the whole region and I feel like I am blogging for myself at times when I get excited about finding something I had never known. 

I am essentially motivated by my own ignorance about the area and my love for it as well. 

Other African diaspora blogs also inspire me to keep digging, sharing and finding what I would’ve never thought to look for.  I’m still stunned by the incredible history and roles played by everyone in shaping the region then and today. 

What do you love most about Southern Africa/being from Southern Africa, and in what ways are you able to connect with Africans from other regions?

Like all folks in the diaspora I love my people, culture, history, politics and self deprecating humour to name a few! I love watching us Southern Africans expand our Pan-Africaness (if there is such a term?) even though we are still unfortunately closed off from the rest of the diaspora in some ways. 

I always thought it would be politics that unite all Africans but I see how our current youth culture, specifically music brings everyone together.  I love reading comments under Youtube videos from people all across the diaspora showing love to a musician whose lyrics they don’t understand but they feel the music. 

I’ve been a wanna-be die-hard Pan Africanist since my early teens and I still fall in love with everything from the fashion from other regions to the literature and political heroes.  Oh and the food - I can finally make Egusi without following instructions on Youtube!

Being an African in the diaspora, what has been the most difficult and/or inspiring element of this experience for you? 

The most inspiring element has also been the most difficult:  Digging in the crates for photographs, books etc is worth every late night and eye bags. 

However, realizing how much of my own history I was never taught, how much of it exists in foreign institutions and not our own and how much of our history was recorded by others while our own methods of recording our history were forcibly wiped out, drove me to tears a few times.  

I’m reassured by current and past artists, musicians, writers, bloggers etc of the diaspora who have and continue to express our souls.

Lastly, where else can you be found online?

Twitter: @SouthRnAfrika - but I am rarely there.  Stuck on Tumblr!

 

Malawian political activist, lawyer, and writer Vera Chirwa was an instrumental figure in the Malawi’s fight for independence, as well as a central leader in the country’s women’s rights movement. 

A co-founder, along with Rose Chibambo, of the Nyasaland African Women’s League, Chirwa trained as a lawyer and became the first woman in Nyasaland to hold qualifications to practice law.

Although a member of the Malawi Congress Party that fought to win the country’s independence, Chirwa campaigned against President Hastings Banda’s autocratic policies and closeness with the West. 

Chirwa’s protesting of Banda’s one-party state led to her being charged with treason, tried and sentenced to death by President Banda. Chirwa spent 12 years on death row were she was tortured and subject to other forms of brutality. Her husband Orton Chirwa was also arrested and imprisoned. He died at the age of 73 in 1992 whilst still detained.Three weeks before his death, the Chirwas were allowed to see each other for the first time in 8 years as part of an agreement reached through a campaign launched by Amnesty International.

Vera Chirwa was later pardoned and released for “humanitarian reasons” by President Banda in 1993 following the democratization of the country. Chirwa has founded an NGO in Malawi and still continues to remain active in human, civil and women’s rights movements. She has received numerous awards for her work. In 2007, her autobiography Fearless Fighter was published.

A prominent politician and activist in Nyasaland, during the years leading up to Malawi’s independence, who organized women in the country to rally alongside their menfolk in the fight for their nation’s independence, Rose Lomathinda Chibambo is one of the symbols of Malawi’s women in the country’s independence struggle.
Rose Chibambo was the first woman to hold a senior position in the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) serving as the party’s treasurer in 1953. Chibambo was also closely associated and collaborated with another prominent woman activist in the struggle, Vera Chirwa, who formed the Nyasaland African Women’s League and became the country’s first woman lawyer.
In 1959, Chibambo was arrested along with members of the Malawian Congress Party (MCP), a successor to the NAC, by British governor Robert Armitage. At this time, she was pregnant with her fifth child and was arrested shortly after she gave birth. Chibambo and the rest of the imprisoned MCP members were released in 1960, almost 12 months later.
Chibambo became the first woman minister under the country’s new cabinet in 1963 and served as the country’s Deputy Minister for Hospitals, Prisons and Social Welfare. However, after a falling out with President Hastings Banda, who she believed to have become increasingly autocratic with his policies and decision-making, in 1964 she went into exile fleeing to Zambia, only to return when the country became a multi-party democracy in 1994.
Prime Minister Bingu wa Mutharika honoured her in 2009, naming a street in Mzuzu City after her. In 2012 she was honoured again by the Malawian government and now features on the country’s 200 Kwacha banknote.

A prominent politician and activist in Nyasaland, during the years leading up to Malawi’s independence, who organized women in the country to rally alongside their menfolk in the fight for their nation’s independence, Rose Lomathinda Chibambo is one of the symbols of Malawi’s women in the country’s independence struggle.

Rose Chibambo was the first woman to hold a senior position in the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) serving as the party’s treasurer in 1953. Chibambo was also closely associated and collaborated with another prominent woman activist in the struggle, Vera Chirwa, who formed the Nyasaland African Women’s League and became the country’s first woman lawyer.

In 1959, Chibambo was arrested along with members of the Malawian Congress Party (MCP), a successor to the NAC, by British governor Robert Armitage. At this time, she was pregnant with her fifth child and was arrested shortly after she gave birth. Chibambo and the rest of the imprisoned MCP members were released in 1960, almost 12 months later.

Chibambo became the first woman minister under the country’s new cabinet in 1963 and served as the country’s Deputy Minister for Hospitals, Prisons and Social Welfare. However, after a falling out with President Hastings Banda, who she believed to have become increasingly autocratic with his policies and decision-making, in 1964 she went into exile fleeing to Zambia, only to return when the country became a multi-party democracy in 1994.

Prime Minister Bingu wa Mutharika honoured her in 2009, naming a street in Mzuzu City after her. In 2012 she was honoured again by the Malawian government and now features on the country’s 200 Kwacha banknote.

Happy Independence Day Malawi!

The southern African landlocked Republic of Malawi was colonised by the British in 1891 and up until July 6th, 1964, was known as ‘Nyasaland’.

The country’s independence was achieved largely through the efforts of the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) formed in 1944. Headed by Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, in 1958, who left his position as a medical practitioner in Ghana to dedicate himself to the cause of Malawi’s independence, Banda was elected president of the party. The NAC was banned by colonial authorities in 1959 and Banda was subsequently jailed for his political activities.

After his release in 1960, Banda formed the NAC’s successor, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), and became it’s first president. At this stage, Nyasaland had been merged with Northern and Southern Rhodesia by the British to form the semi-independent region known as the Central African Federation (CAF) - an entity that was still ruled largely by the dominant white European minority.

Opposing this fusion of separate states, Malawian nationalists began to gather local support and in 1961, Nyasaland held a Legislative Council Election that saw the MCP win the majority of the seats, above other local parties. As a result, the CAF was dissolved in 1963 with Banda becoming Prime Minister of Nyasaland, and in 1964, he became President of Malawi.

Banda turned Malawi into a one-party state and remained President of the country until 1994 - almost 30 years - giving himself the title of ‘President for Life’ of MCP in 1970, and of Malawi in the following year. Despite his nationalist efforts towards Malawi’s independence, Banda was seen as a pro-Western leader, receiving aid from several Western states, and also maintained relations with South Africa’s Apartheid government. However, he also credited by some as being supportive of women’s rights, reforming Malawi’s education system, and improving the country’s economy and infrastructure. Malawi became a multi-party democratic state following a referendum in 1993.

The current President of the country and Africa’s second woman head of state, Joyce Banda (née Mtila), is of no relation to Dr. Banda.

Dark twisted form
Of shreds and cunning
Crawling with an inward twinkle
At the agonies of Africa.

Praying and pricing
Passers by
As in black and white
Jingle pennies past;

A hawk’s eye
Penetrates to the core
On a hot afternoon
To pick the victims
That with a mission
Dare not look at
This conflict.

A dollar drops,
An Indian sulk
Passively avoids-
I am stabbed to the core;
Pride rationally injured.

In the orbits of our experience
Our beggarness meets
With the clang of symbols,
Beggarly we understand
As naturally we both know
The Kampala beggar
Is wise-

"Kampala Beggar" by Malawian poet David Rubadiri

Al Jazeera South2North host Redi Tlhabi interviews some of Africa’s most influential and powerful women, including Malawian President Joyce Banda - Africa’s second woman president, and South Africa medical doctor, business woman, activist and politician Dr Mamphela Ramphele about their transformative and historical roles.

Powerful and interesting commentary.

iluvsouthernafrica:

Malawi:

Vintage photo of Chiefs from the Yao and Angoni ethnic groups, late 1930s in (then) Nyasaland

iluvsouthernafrica:

Malawi:
The Lake of Stars Project recently announced “City of Stars”, a brand new city-based festival and arts conference in Lilongwe, taking place 27 and 28 September 2013.  The festival is described as a two-day multi-venue arts festival and conference that will showcase the best in emerging and acclaimed talent from Malawi and beyond. 
Tickets will be on sale from July, with more acts, as well as the venues for the festival, being announced soon. For more info on the festival head over here.

iluvsouthernafrica:

Malawi:

The Lake of Stars Project recently announced “City of Stars”, a brand new city-based festival and arts conference in Lilongwe, taking place 27 and 28 September 2013.  The festival is described as a two-day multi-venue arts festival and conference that will showcase the best in emerging and acclaimed talent from Malawi and beyond. 

Tickets will be on sale from July, with more acts, as well as the venues for the festival, being announced soon. For more info on the festival head over here.

iluvsouthernafrica:

The Last Fishing Boat - Teaser (Malawi movie)

The Last Fishing Boat, a film by Shemu Joyah, is about the clash of cultures when a white tourist makes sexual overtures to a Malawian woman who is the third wife of an illiterate but highly proud fisherman”

 Posted by: Charles Shemu Joyah

*One of the movies highlighting Malawi’s burgeoning film industry, nicknamed Mollywood.

(via blackfilm)

Africans on TIME Magazines 2013 100 Most Influential People in the World List:

Joyce Banda, President of Malawi

Joyce Banda, Malawi’s first and Africa’s second female President, could not have come onto the stage at a better time, particularly since the African Union declared 2010 to 2020 African Women’s Decade. Together, she and I can talk about the situation in Africa and what can be done by all our countries, working together in strong partnership, to build bridges and democracies and get our institutions and economies strong again.

President Banda possesses the traits needed during this period of great challenges in Malawi’s, and Africa’s, history. Before her active career in politics, Joyce Banda established several nongovernmental and charitable foundations, all geared toward improving the lives of her compatriots, particularly women. Today Joyce and I have a collaborative program that focuses on improving the working conditions of market women. There have already been exchange visits between market women of our two countries.

President Banda is committed to using her position to improve the lives of women across the continent, not just in Malawi. She has great strength. I am delighted that I’m not alone in Africa anymore.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, Actor, singer, philanthropist

The world’s most productive English-language film industry is not Hollywood but Nollywood. The teeming Nigerian cinema grinds out some 2,500 movies a year, mostly direct-to-DVD quickies mixing melodrama, music and an evangelical Christian spin. (Think Bollywood via Tyler Perry.) Employing a million Nigerians, Nollywood enthralls millions more who come for the thrills, the uplift and the artful agitations of Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde — the Queen of Nollywood.

Called OmoSexy by her fans, she has made 300 or so features, from the 1996 Mortal Inheritance to the 2010 superproduction Ijé, shot partly on location in Los Angeles. Married to an airline pilot she wed on a flight from Lagos to Benin, Jalade-Ekeinde brings a juggler’s grace to her roles as actress, singer, reality-show star, mother of four and philanthropist (the Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme).

Success hasn’t spoiled Africa’s most renowned leading lady. Rather than going Hollywood, Omotola wants to stay Nollywood.

Moncef Marzouki, President of Tunisia

His power stems not from what he is — his office is ceremonial — but from who and where he is: a leftist liberal President appointed by an Islamist-dominated assembly in the nation where the Arab Spring first flowered. All the countries that followed Tunisia’s lead now face identical challenges. Marzouki recognizes that there are two Tunisias: one religiously conservative and anxious for socioeconomic improvement, the other secular and progressive and terrified of losing its freedoms. Marzouki’s job, he says, is to reassure both that they can coexist, by writing a new constitution that enshrines human rights while respecting Islam and ensuring that both Tunisias have a voice in the political process.

The best reassurance may be Marzouki himself: if he thrives, it will demonstrate that the Arab Spring states can build a pluralistic political environment.

Bassem Youssef, Satirist
My job is hard. I have to sift through pages of political- and media-themed satirical material from exceptional writers and figure out what amusing face I can make to accompany each jab. Then I must perform them, 22 minutes a day, four days a week, with only our caterer’s spread to sustain me. Bassem Youssef does my job in Egypt. The only real difference between him and me is that he performs his satire in a country still testing the limits of its hard-earned freedom, where those who speak out against the powerful still have much to fear. Yet even under these difficult circumstances, he manages to produce an incredible show: a hilarious blend of mimicry, confusion, outrage and bemusement, highlighting the absurdities and hypocrisies of his country’s rebirth, all wielded with the precision of a scalpel, which, by the way, he should know how to wield because he’s a former heart surgeon. Yeah. And his family is beautiful and he’s a kind and generous friend. I am an American satirist, and Bassem Youssef is my hero.

NOTABLE AFRICANS: Reverend John Chilembwe

John Chilembwe was a Baptist educator and political leader who organized an uprising against British colonial rule in Nyasaland (today Malawi). Though details about Chilembwe’s early life are largely undocumented, it is believed that he was born in the Chiradzulu region of Nyasaland sometime around 1871 to a Yao father and a Mang’anja slave. The Mang’anja were the traditional ethnic group of the area but fell victim to enslavement by Arab and Yao slave traders; the Yao, originally from northern Mozambique, fled famine in their native country and served as middlemen for the Arab slave-raiders. Chilembwe, a mix of the two ethnic groups, embodied the plight of both. He grew up under the prevailing atmosphere of insecurity of the southern Nyasa regions. When the British colonized the area in 1891, naming it Nyasaland, they established newly organized governance and missions, and sought to control the indigenous people of the region.

In the autumn of 1892 Chilembwe met the Baptist missionary Joseph Booth, who had recently established the Zembesi Industrial Mission as an alternative to the older Scottish Presbyterian missions that exploited the indigenous population. Though Chilembwe initially applied to be Booth’s cook, he quickly became a close friend and ally of Booth and took care of Booth’s daughter. The missionary educated Chilembwe on his egalitarian philosophy and baptized him on July 17, 1893.

The pair traveled to the United States in 1897 to fundraise for the Mission. There, Chilembwe was plunged into a milieu that was highly critical of whites. He met and was influenced by the radical Zulu missionary John L. Dube from South Africa, Dr. Lewis Garnett Jordan of the Negro National Baptist Convention and many other African American preachers and radicals. Staying behind in the United States as Booth returned to Nyasaland, Chilembwe attended Virginia Theological Seminary and College at Lynchburg, Virginia in 1898 and 1899. In the United States, Chilembwe gained an increasingly global perspective on the struggle of people of African descent against injustice and white supremacy. He took these newly acquired political ideas back to Nyasaland in 1900, returning as an ordained Baptist minister.

Once returned, Chilembwe founded the Providence Industrial Mission with aid from the American National Baptist Convention. By 1912, he had established a chain of independent African schools, constructed a brick church and planted crops of cotton, tea, and coffee. His attempts to uplift the local population, however, were undercut by continuing exploitation of Africans by the British. Triggered by British mistreatment of famine refugees from Mozambique as well as the conscription of natives to fight the Germans in Tanzania during World War I, Chilembwe invoked the name of the American abolitionist John Brown and organized a rebellion against the British.

He and 200 followers staged an uprising on January 23, 1915 with the aim to kill all male Europeans. The revolutionaries killed three British subjects, including a particularly corrupt plantation owner named William J. Livingston, a descendant of failed Scottish missionary David Livingstone, who they beheaded in front of his wife and daughter.

When the uprising failed to gain local support, Chilembwe fled to Mozambique, where he was killed by African soldiers on February 3, 1915. Though his rebellion was ultimately unsuccessful, Malawi, which gained independence in 1964, celebrates John Chilembwe Day on January 15th as his uprising is viewed as the beginning of the Malawi independence struggle. 

Further reading:

(source)

Malawi has accused US singer Madonna of “bullying state officials” after she reportedly complained about her treatment on a visit to the country.

Madonna - who has adopted two Malawian-born children - recently visited 10 primary schools funded by her charity.

The government said the star appeared to believe she deserved to be treated better than other celebrity visitors.

It accused her of exaggerating her charity’s contribution and said she should concentrate on playing music.

In a statement to the BBC, Madonna’s manager accused Malawi’s government of financial mismanagement and spoke of a “grudge” against the singer’s charity, Raising Malawi.

Madonna was said to have been angered that she and her entourage were stripped of their VIP status on their way out of the country, the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported.

They had to line up with other passengers at the airport and were frisked by security officials, the report said.

The change in status was said to be the result of a public spat about her charitable work in Malawi.

A harshly-worded statement issued by the office of President Joyce Banda on Wednesday accused Madonna of wanting Malawi “to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude”.

"Granted, Madonna is a famed international musician. But that does not impose an injunction of obligation on any government under whose territory Madonna finds herself, including Malawi, to give her state treatment. Such treatment, even if she deserved it, is discretionary not obligatory,” said the statement.

It accused her of being “a musician who desperately thinks she must generate recognition by bullying state officials instead of playing decent music on the stage”.

It added: “Among the many things that Madonna needs to learn as a matter of urgency is the decency of telling the truth.

"For her to tell the whole world that she is building schools in Malawi when she has actually only contributed to the construction of classrooms is not compatible with manners of someone who thinks she deserves to be revered with state grandeur."

Madonna’s manager Trevor Neilson said buildOn, the non-profit group that partnered with Raising Malawi to construct the schools, was “mystified” by the claims about school building.

They went through every step of every process required to build a school in Malawi, and the schools were built in the model of schools all across the country,” Mr Neilson told the BBC.

He went on to accuse the Malawian government of financial mismanagement of school project funds, and of “harassing organisations that Raising Malawi has donated to”.

Mr Neilson said: “Madonna is the largest individual philanthropist in Malawi. We will continue to fund programmes that support children in Malawi.”