oa Alternation - Malawi's marginalisation of indigenous languages in literary publications

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



For more than forty years now Malawian political history has largely been determined by the policies that the former head of state. Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, instituted. followed and enforced. His dictatorial rule (1964 -1994) was characterised by promoting Chewa1 matrilineal social structures which he saw as crucial for the control of land and inheritance. He claimed that his was a social structure that had suffered from benign neglect under the British rule. He revived the concept and institution of the mbumba2 and appointed himself as nkhoswe3 number one. Dr. Banda became the anointed 'brother' who assumed the role of a mediator between sisters and brothers, and the one who took over the responsibility for his sisters and especially daughters. The Chewa concept of motherhood, further, formed the base of the 'four comer stones' of his rule: Unity, Loyalty, Obedience and Discipline. It bears noting that his views and this approach was purely for egotistical reasons - to boost and advance his own image and aspirations.

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