Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Lake Malawi Safari 2008

Lake Malawi

NTV investigates in Malawi marijuana farms

Wangari Maathai: Money Alone Won't Help Africa

Monday, November 29, 2010

Protest Politics and Culture: Beautiful Malawi

Protest Politics and Culture: Beautiful Malawi: "scuba diving is available at Nkhatabay beautiful unpoluted beaches at Chintheche and Chikale in Nkhatabay graet time... come enjoy. ..."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Protest Politics and Culture: Beautiful Malawi

Protest Politics and Culture: Beautiful Malawi: "scuba diving is available at Nkhatabay beautiful unpoluted beaches at Chintheche and Chikale in Nkhatabay graet time... come enjoy. ..."

Beautiful Malawi

scuba diving is available at Nkhatabay

beautiful unpoluted beaches at Chintheche and Chikale in Nkhatabay

graet time... come enjoy. picture taken at Club Mayoka(Nkhatabay)

Good roads

happy people...captured at a soccer match

great culture and comradeship among the locals

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Quick language guide to Northern Malawi: The Survival Phrases

ChiTumbuka is a language spoken in some parts of Northern Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. I will not introduce you to the grammar of ChiTumbuka language but will go straight to sharing the few words and phrases a typical foreigner might need.

The ChiTumbuka alphabet:

A= [ah as in astound] e= [eh as in enter] I= [ee as in east] o= [oh as in open] u= [oo as in Utah with U sounding as in "woo"] = vowels (WHEREVER THESE VOWELS ARE SPOTTED THEY ARE TO SOUND AS DENOTED HERE)

Ba (as in bad) be- as in be, bi-as in bee, bo as in bold, bu- as in bully,

There is no independent "C" but always attached to "H" thus Cha che chi cho chu

Da- as in Dad

All "e" are pronounce as "eh" and does not stand alone

Fa as in Father

Gu- as in good

Hu-as in hooker

I is pronounced "eee" and doesn't stand alone

Jo- as in Job

Ko- as is cold

La le- as in left, li lo Lu (in classic ChiTumbuka "L" doesn't exist but the diluted form has incorporated it in words like "Chipatala" which are mostly borrowed and coined)

Mo- as in motto

Ni- as in Knee

"O" doesn't stand alone and is pronounced "oh"

Po-as in Pot

There is no "Q" in ChiTumbuka though the "Q" sound can be heard in words like "Kwiza" and "Kwacha"

Ri- as in Rinse (it's advisable to pronounce all "L" words in ChiTumbuka as "R" ones)

So- as in son

To-as in top


"U" doesn't stand alone but is pronounced as "oo" as in "ooze"

Vo -as in volume

Wa we wi (there is no word in the language that has "wu" or "wo" there are instead taken up by the use of "U" for "wu" and "o" for "Wo")

There is no "X" in the language

zu-as in zoo

Me= ine but note that the prefix N- and Nk- are also used to make a me meaning as in Nkhulya= am eating and as in n- + luta = naluta (am gone)

NB: you will notice that there is no ChiTumbuka word that ends without a vowel so its important to pronounce them as such.




Arrival: Kufika [coo-fee-ker]

Visitor: Mulendo [moo-leh-ndoh]

Going: Kuluta [koo-looter]

Coming: Kwiza [queezer]

Airport: Chibanja cha ndege [chee-wa-njer cher nde-ghe]

Money: Ndalama/ Makopara/ matambala [mah-koperer]

Man: Mwanalume [Mooneroomie]

Woman: Mwanakazi/ mwali/ msungwana/ swengha [moonerkerzie]

Child: Mwana

Car/ vehicle: Galimoto [ghalee-motor]

Plane: ndege


How are you/ hi/ hello: Monire [moo-woh-nilly]

Am fine and you: ndili makora kwalimwe

Thanks: yebo

Come here: zakuno

Am going to: Nkhuluta ku-

Am coming from: Nafuma ku-

Am looking for: nkhupenja-

Me: ine, n-, nkh-

You: iwe

I need change: nisithaniko makopara

Where is Chenda motel: Motelo ya Kwa Chenda yili Nkhu?

I want a taxi: nkhupenja Taxi

How much: Zilinga

I got little: Zachepa

Food: Chakulya

Chicken: Nkhuku

Beef: Nyama ya Ng'ombe

Pork: Nkhumba

Rice: Mpunga

Irish Potatoes: Katofyeni

Fish: somba

Lake: Nyanja

Bed: bedi

Sleep: gona (v)

To sleep: kugona

He/she is sleeping: wakugona

Sex (coition): kugundana (extremely taboo, better said in English)

I want sex with you: tiye tikagundane (extremely taboo, better said in English)

Condom: kondomu

Disease: nthenda

No: yayi

Prostitute: hule

Fool: chindere

Penis: nkhule (extremely taboo, better said in English)


Vagina: Choli (extremely taboo, better said in English)


Buttocks: matako

Head: mutu

Fire: moto

Arm: kawoko

Leg: kalundi

Snake: njoka

Medicine: munkhwala

Hospital: Chipatala

Church: tchalicthi

God: Chiuta

Jesus: Yesu

Paul: Paulos

River: Msinje

People: wanthu

Person: munthu

Hill: phiri

Animal: nyama

Mother: mama

Father: dada

His mother: wamama wake

His father: wadada wake

Your mother: wanyoko

Your father: wawuso

Aunt: wa nkhazi

Uncle: wa Sibweni

Son/ daughter: mwana (same with child)

Cigarette/ tobacco: hona

Beer/ wine: wine

Drugs: we got none available

Gun: futi

Rob: kwiba

Robber: munkhungu

I have been robbed: it will not happen to you here

I want a place to sleep: nkhupenja kwa kugona

Hire: hayala

One; limo

Two: viuwiri

Three: vitatu

Four: vinayi

Five vinkhonde

Six: vinkhonde na chimo

Seven: vinkhonde na viwiri

Eight: vinkhonde na vitatu

Nine: vinkhonde na vinayi

Ten: khumi

Eleven: khumi na chimo

20: makhumi ghawiri

55: makhumi ghankhonde na vinkhonde

1000: makhumi khumi khumi

Phone: foni

Email: internet

Internet: intaneti

My friend: mnyani

My wife: mwanakazi wane

Bye: paweme

Tree: khuni

Him: yula

Them: wala

Us: ise

You (plural): imwe

You (singular): iwe

Croc: ng'wina (whenever the apostrophe ' separates "Ng" and another word, it is pronounced as "ng" in 'running'

Weed: chamba

Police: polisi

Chief: fumu

Love: chitemwa

I love you: nkhukutemwa ("mwa" pronounced as the French "moi")

Ouch: ayo

It's delicious: yikunowa

Tea: tiyi

Restaurant: Restoranti

Spoon: spuni

Folk: foloku

Soup: msuni

Breakfast: tiyi

Canoe: wato

Paddle: nkhafi

Boat/ cruise: boti

Any form of hitch hiking: matola

Bus: basi

Time: nyengo

Night: usiku

Day: muhanya

It's getting dark: kukufipa

Hair: sisi

Eyes: maso

The Day my mother died

Today is the 13th Anniversary of my mother's death. I was a small kid when she passed (I actually thought the elders were pulling a stunt on me and that mum would return). Her death was surrounded in drama and I will try to recount it.

I am a sixth born in a family of six boys and two girls. My father and mother were secondary and primary school teachers respectively. When father died in 1994 or 5, we moved from the big secondary school houses to the tiny primary school houses at Homestead in Livingstonia, Rumphi, Malawi.

November- Before her death

Mama, Judith Chikoya Donaria Nyasulu, had been struggling with illness for years, she was on and off and her hospitalization no longer became surprising.

Every November or December was special to our family as a select few of us children were selected to go on Holiday at our Lakeshore village (Mlowe). The holiday was an event everyone wanted because there were mangoes, 5 hours of fresh water, sun basking and fishing to be enjoyed.

This particular November, I was left and made to stay with Mama as my closest siblings Paul and Peter went on the lake trip. I was determined to follow my brothers on this holiday.

I took advantage of my weak mother to trick one of the drivers she knew telling him that I needed to go to the village. When I arrived at the village, I was so happy that even the news that mother had been hospitalised never struck me. The lake felt my arrival and presence.

26th November

Meanwhile mother was getting seriously weak in the hospital and the house needed us boys to deal with wood chopping, and delivering food to the hospital so we were summoned via wireless message(there was no telephone, or these fancy gadgets you carry now). We had no transport money so we decided to travel on foot from Mlowe (village) to Livingstonia.

27th November

We rose up early and we hit the road: three minors trying to cover about 50 kilometres of mainly hills, I now know that we loved mother, all of us.

2 or 4 hours after we left the village, news that mother had died reached the village and as a custom the body was to be taken to the village-such that our going to Livingstonia was useless; we needed to turn back and wait for the body for burial...but we didn't know she was dead yet, so we moved on.

Wireless messages were exchanged and an aunt who lives enroute to Livingstonia was put on alert, "when you see the three boys, stop them their mother has just died," I suspect that is what they told her.

As we were passing, or did we drop in to drink water (Aunties house is really 20 meters from the main road at Luwuchi) we got our orders to go back to Mlowe.

Aunt lied that there was a car coming from Livingstonia to pick us up and that we had to go back 12 kilometres to wait for the car. Why couldn't we just wait for the car there? And did I saw a tear in Aunties eyes as she lied to us? I started sobbing.

"Why are you crying?" someone asked me and I told them that I was hungry, a perfect answer from an 11 year old me. Nobody gave me food and I wasn't hungry anyway, I don't know about my brothers but I knew that something was amiss.

And so we journeyed back 12 kilometres. And it was a quiet walk, we spoke little and we were in for a surprise.

To reach our home we had to go down a hill and cross a river and when we were at the highest point overlooking our village I heard the cries and nobody needed to tell me why people were crying.

What I remember when I reached the house is that the grey sofa had been moved to pave the way for mourners and we were brought into the midst as if to induce the people sympathy so that they should cry out more.

Every mourner that came sparked even a louder roar (just like at a football match, for those who haven't been to an African funeral). What I remember vividly is my blind grandmother who grabbed me and seemed to announce the funeral to me as she shook me vigorously.

"Your mother has knelt!" granny said repeatedly, "Donaria [my mother's village name], you have left us war."

I wonder what the war was but for the first time in my life I collapsed, week to the bones and the sight of Peter or Paul was even more defeating. But the infant in me still told me that mama was not gone forever. I was wrong; to grow up without a mother is torture. (To be continued...)

Friday, November 26, 2010

A walk through the ghetto

The smells that greet your buds

Make granite soft

Fresh, dry and rotten fish

Mangoes, potato peels transforming to soil

Scents for one endure


The sounds

Like an elephant step on a baby mushroom

Curses, babies, rap and genreless music

Bicycles cranks, religious and drunken choirs

Big Ben is smooth


Buy me a sight filter

To rid the faeces in my path

Breasts peeping and babies reaching for them

Babies with the slimmest nostrils

Cream houses, dusty and fake hair

Petticoats are not extinct?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What’s this tingling feeling?

May it be it love

That which I feel whenever I steal a glance at you

The colour of which like a snow-white dove

If it were fruit, mangoes she would be

That which lulls when I think over it

May it be love


May they rock

Those goods you have in store for me

Let them not suck

For that is what I seek of thee

You I will follow like wind the airport sock




Mutabaruka meets the name owner


Growing up in a family of eight siblings is not the best thing to happen to somebody but to me it has proven the best experience ever, of course excluding the fights, the scramble for food and the competition for attention for attention from our parents.


Very few people would lie that they grew up in the 1990's and never felt the effect of reggae music, well I did in fact something happen ed with the advent of democracy that saw an influx of reggae cassettes into Malawi: Culture, Israel Vibration, UB40-there were times when discos refused to end until some reggae numbers were played tunes like UB40 'stick by me' or 'dub of injustice' by Israel Vibration.


My sibling adopted different names of Jamaican artists one called himself 'Grandson' mimicking Peter Tot and I was among them all the time but not knowing which name to use as a nickname and for some reason I ended up being called Cocoa-Tea in my secondary schools days but deep in my heart my best artists remained Mutabaruka and Culture's lead singer Joseph Hill.


In 2004 I could not wait any longer, I started terming myself Mutabaruka and my form four at St. Peters secondary school cemented the name as people never knew what it meant and yet liked it.


Fast-forward to 2010 am doing my internships with Blantyre Newspaper Limited in Mzuzu and being in Mzuzu where the paper delays to come I gets a call in the morning from my sister asking me if I was going to grace the Mutabaruka show. I jump from the chair and my fear is confirmed via twitter what would I do as penniless as I was then?


By 5pm that day I had got 14 calls some who had just realised that the name Mutabaruka was not mine after all and some who said I should not miss the show, my Facebook chat also saw pop ups like "mutaba! You coming to see your friend?"


I am not the spending type especially with my sober habits and I had no will to go but I was starting to feel obliged to attend the show at French cultural Centre and it was priced just at K500 but still I had stories to write and I had not made a decision yet.


It was Thursday and the show was the next day as I sat writing a story I told myself that I heard Mutabaruka chanting and when I opened the day's paper the man had arrived in the country, I panicked. I talked to my boss and he granted me leave especially after I lied that there was a wedding…but the money?


It was around 3pm and if I were to attend the show I had to leave in the next three hours because it's a good 12 hours to Blantyre, as I sat wondering where the transport money would come from I remembered that I kept my sisters ATM since she lives in a very rural area, suddenly I was good to go.


Equipped with a K5000 fished from my sisters account and a K1000 I had put together in the morning I wore a confident face and when a pickup with a Blantyre address caught my eyes I knew I was a step from Mutabaruka-despite an inscription not to get passenger, I paid the driver of this other company a K1500 and by four in the morning I was in Blantyre.


Skip the details where I wait for dawn to buy the ticket and where I slept but just fast-forward to dusk where I go to the French cultural Centre and there was the man without security around him and when I inched closer I saw who he was arguing with and I nearly cried; it was my blood brother, 'Grandson!'


I had to talk to the man to, so I fished out my dig cam and came to him as a journalist I said excuse me but no one seemed to care and my brother came and whispered to me, "if you waan fi talk fi de man just chip in," I did and soon I was arguing with my namesake, my model and hero over the role of Hemp in Rastafarianism.


Before I could pass the five minute mark, the show was declared start and as guest of honour Mutabaruka was ushered towards one of the front seats, I felt a loss but something tingled and my stomach felt light I had seen a man I have idolised for over 14 years.


When I sat down I was surprised to see some friends who I am sure had come on my insistence of course some had dates but who cares there I was and I knew that if there was anyone in within a hundred meters that can talk about Mutabaruka, I was only second to my brother because it was him we competed on downloading the poets speeches on his cutting edge radio show, lyrics and songs.



When Muta took to the stage, I knew exactly what to expect, I recited after him verbatim and when he touched on sensitive issues in his interludes that saw some people walk out of the show and some flinch uncomfortably, I just smiled and across the yard I saw my brother-also reciting every word.


I had no money to buy Muta's CD's or books with his autograph but I just walk up to him and gave out my hand which he took in enearst and I said "Muta, this was bigger than your encounter with Ian Boyne," he opened his eyes wider and refused to let go of my hand and said, "you saw that on the web? Thanks." I know he knew that I was not an ordinary fan and I hope he will remember the meeting like I do.


Before I could start my journey back to Mzuzu I had one more Mutabaruka fanatic to meet,BBC's Raphael Tenthani. I was in the back of his car and despite Chachacha Munthali barking to him to start the car, Raphael was fumbling over a Mutabaruka disc he had just bought and he wanted it played right there before he could start the car.


"I wonder if his autograph is clear, the signature is on a dark spot…I am meeting him at Shire Highland Hotel tomorrow," said Tenthani


I just smiled at Tenthani's acts and the next day I was on the bus and despite it being a really old machine breaking down and delaying us in Chikangawa and a phone call that some people had been drinking in my house fighting and toppling over things, I knew they were peripherals, I had my memories.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Protest Politics and Culture: Adoption should end in Malawi - Chiefs

Protest Politics and Culture: Adoption should end in Malawi - Chiefs: " Some chiefs in the Northern Region recently called for the abolition of practice of adoption and expressed anger with the practice part..."

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Adoption should end in Malawi - Chiefs

Some chiefs in the Northern Region recently called for the abolition of practice of adoption and expressed anger with the practice particularly the provision in the adoption law that hands adopting parents complete ownership of the adoptees.

Mwamlowe: Assistance is enough

The chiefs expressed the anger in Mzuzu at a function organised by The Law Commission aimed at getting views from civil society on what should be included in the reviewed and Adoption Law which is being tailored ‘to reflect modern issues.’

“Adoption should end; it’s like selling a thing that does not speak. Orphans always have relatives and whatever law we implement, it will always bring us problems in the future,” said Inkosi Mtwalo of Mzimba.

T/A Mwakaboko of Karonga said he understood the idea of adoption but did not like the permanent ownership of by others rather than natural parents.

“Just look at Jumani [Johansson]. We are having problems now because his name was changed and his natural parents cut off,” said Mwakaboko.

He, however, said whoever puts his child for adoption should not demand tokens because assistance rendered to the child is enough for the parent to be thankful.

T/A Marlowe of Rumphi said he was against the permanent ownership phrase in the law and said those wishing to adopt should only assist in providing for the child. T/A Mkumpha 3 of Likoma and Chizumulu Islands shared the view.

Mwakaboko: didnt like the permanence phrase

However, Alan Chinula, a commissioner in the exercise, said the chiefs’ fears are baseless since the child can choose to go back to their parents after reaching maturity age.

He added that the new adoption law would make it tougher for foreigners to adopt in Malawi saying child shopping would end and that the matching process would be emphasised.

He asked government to adopt the Hague Convention which he said would be an additional tool in the adoption exercise as it centralises adoption and reinforces the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Social workers who attended the function accused chiefs of hypocrisy saying they were just defensive adding that they were not looking after the children in the villages.

The current Adoption of Children Act was enacted in 1929; a law which, chairperson of the Special Law Commission on the Adoption Act, Justice Esme Chombo, said is too old and doesn’t reflect issues like HIV, poverty and modernity.



Protest Politics and Culture: Are we even a country?

Protest Politics and Culture: Are we even a country?: "BBC's Eastenders star Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace) is on record to have said that in Malawi, a kid can be bought with £450. As much as that i..."

Are we even a country?

BBC's  Eastenders star Kat Moon (Jessie Wallace) is on record to have said that in Malawi, a kid can be bought with £450.

As much as that is painful and probably a script writer's slip of the pen, what does it say of our [Malawian] adòption and child care law?

Madonna came and adopted two children, the father never knew what adoption meant, now he is fighting to reverse "things."

Last month i interviewed all the powerful chìefs in Northern Malawi and they spoke harshly against adoption. . . .chiefs like T/A Mwakaboko (Karonga), Mwamlowe (Rumphì), Mkumpha 3 (Likoma) and Mtwalo (Mzimba)

The chiefs said adoption is bad and that if anyone wanted to help, they should just render their support and the kids/orphans would be taken care of by the next of kin.

One social worker said the chiefs were being hypocritic since there are kids loafing in their domains.

I ask, do we need adoption? do we know what it means? dò we have adoption law? and chiefly, are we a nation that can be rated higher than Kat Moon's musings?


Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Seventh Bend

It is usually a trend

That the seventh bend

Be presumed the journey’s end

On it

Sit not long

Your muscles may clamp

Your calves swell

On the rocks there dwell

Cold water from the well

Admire the shrubbery

But there might be snakes

As the locals tell

There still is a long way

Don’t sit and say

“With the journey I have done away”

It’s only the seventh bend

The tea-room is miles away

The remainder might dent your ego

But adopt the motto:

“I will try”

It’s the seventh bend

Rocky and steep

Fancy cars will boil over

The road suits a good Land Rover

Once past the seventh bend

Look for a place for your night

You have landed

The journey has ended

check where i have come from, the road in the background!


Wreaths, shared wealth and lost breath

Dirges, eulogies and tears


Quantifiable, contractible or written in heaven

Women labour with pregnancy

Women labour with diapers, noisy infants and boys and their toys

Death, yet comes to shatter all that was

In a split second no one can see it

Why do was he born only to die again?

Do we die so we can live again?

Then come myths, religion and tradition

This one wants a body burnt

That one the carcass naked

The other the body worshiped

Is it worthy?

Neglecting the sick

Yet when dead adorning with diamonds and tuxedos and caskets?

Do they hear the words we shower, the dead

Do they smell the roses we stash on the graves?

Do they blame us for their passing?

Is necropolis better than earth?

Is there class or caste

Is the good life the preacher promise really there?

What is there so that one should leave the cinemas?

The love and the internet of the world

To a life under thick trees?

O ye dead men and women

If only you posted on my page pictures form necropolis

How mysterious you are

Soon, if you can hear

I too will be arriving


Media should do even more on PMTCT-Experts

HIV experts on Friday challenged journalists to become more proactive in reporting and dealing with issues of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) of the HIV virus.

The experts were speaking at a meet organised by Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter and Journalist’s Association against Aids (JournAids) at St. John of God in Mzuzu. The meet was aimed at enlightening journalists on the relationship of PMTCT and Human Rights.

“Journalists, with all your travel and skills, you should do more than just concentrate on writing the story, be real stakeholders in this issue and bring out powerful ideas,” said Alex Namakhuwa, Mzuzu City Assembly’s Environmental health Officer and cordniator of the meeting.

“People listen and read a lot from media reports but the media can do more by reporting on critical issues,” said Margaret Msukwa, HIV Advisor for the NGO Development Technical Assistance Services (DETAS).

MISA Malawi Director, Aubrey Chikungwa, highlighted the usefulness of the media in the HIV fight. He said the media has the potential to set the agenda, to report on critical issues and to connect people with services.
Chikungwa, however acknowledged the difficulties that editors and journalists face in reporting HIV issues such as where sources fear stigma and demand anonymity rendering stories powerless.

Some of Mzuzu-based jornalist captured at an earlier function, with me sitting down!
Some of the seated journalists also called on the Hospitals and HIV stakeholders not to rely on the media only but to develop their own information dissemination strategies.

The stakeholders were also asked to simplify the jargon that they use in their reports, which the journalists said was sometimes difficult to translate and simplify for mass dissemination.

St. Johns Hospital HIV coordinator, Ella Nyirenda, ignited debate in her presentation when she asked whether some rights ought to be limited to allow PMTCT to take its course.

She highlighted some clashes of rights such as the right of a pregnant woman not to get HIV testing against rights of the unborn baby i.e. right to medical care and protection against disease. The right of the father to know and that of the mother to maintain her confidentiality on her HIV status were also listed as incompatible.

PMTCT is a family centered prevention pack where the HIV positive mother brings her husband, other children for HIV test and possible treatment [Neverapine] and support. The program was launched in 2003 and by June 2008 coverage was at 83% in the 544 PMTCT centers in the country.

8% of Malawi’s HIV infections occur from mother to child, the mother can infect the baby during birth, breastfeeding and when the baby in still in the uterus. Some of the favourable conditions of such infections are listed as low CD 4 count, new infections during pregnancy and invasive delivery procedures.

The program seeks to have an HIV free generation in the future and there are success stories across the country with HIV positive couples giving birth to HIV negative babies, the program is however threatened by stigma, accessibility problems and lack of expertise.

The workshop was funded by National Aids Commission (NAC) and was one in a trilogy of similar workshops across the big cities of Malawi where experts are engaged to drill and grill scribes on HIV issues.

Protest Politics and Cultural Blog: Stop the bad habits, people

Protest Politics and Cultural Blog: Stop the bad habits, people: "Confusing and nauseating Annoying and stinking It’s not tea without thunderous sips? Not a meal without finger licking? Your loud perfumes a..."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Teaching women how to win elections

The Women’s Forum on Wednesday equipped women candidates of the upcoming local government elections with various skills designed to give them an edge in the contest.

The 30 women, who were drawn from across the Northern Region, convened at Livingstonia Synods’ Conference Hall in Mzuzu.

Political Analyst and history lecture at Mzuzu University, Noel Mbowela, was the main speaker at the workshop. He stressed the need for the women to heed advice, respect chiefs and to avoid mudslinging in their campaign.

Mbowela (man) listens to a question from one of the ladies.

“Learn to point what is wrong and not who is wrong. If you are to win the election you should concentrate on critical issues like how you will bring electricity, water and fertilizer to the people. Also remember to separate politics from religion,” said Mbowela in summarising his lesson.

In a subsequent interview, Mbowela said the aim of the workshop was to equip the women with basic political skills with emphasis on contemporary issues such as the fertilizer subsidy program.

“We have taught them how to argue and answer tough questions that the public might ask during the campaign period,” he said.

One of the participants, Ethel Mwakalimi (Aford) from Yamba ward, Chitipa central constituency said she had gained a lot from the workshop.

Ethel Mwakalini(standing) makes her point

“I have learned that switching political allegiance anyhow brings dictatorship. I have also learned how to be a good leader. I am now confident to go and launch my campaign,” Mwakalimi said.

The workshop was funded by ActionAid through the Northern Region chapter of the Women Forum.

“This is just one of a series of sensitization workshops that we are involved in, we wanted to do the political workshops in each district but due to financial strains we decided just to invite some of the participating women,” said Lillian Kumwenda, Regional Administrative Secretary for Women’s Forum Northern Region Chapter.

Women’s Forum is an umbrella body for various girls and women organisation including HIV, farmers’, business and Political groupings.

Protest Politics and Cultural Blog: Stop the bad habits, people

Protest Politics and Cultural Blog: Stop the bad habits, people: "Confusing and nauseating Annoying and stinking It’s not tea without thunderous sips? Not a meal without finger licking? Your loud perfumes a..."

Pictures from around me...

The Largest clothes Market in Malawi, its called the Mataifa Market because 90% of the merchandise in it comes from Tanzania

a large untapped wasteland  has developed into a beatiful panorama with fish and alot of fauna breeding in the evergreens

Stop the bad habits, people

Confusing and nauseating

Annoying and stinking

It’s not tea without thunderous sips?

Not a meal without finger licking?

Your loud perfumes and phones on speakerphone

Maintain a distance with your skunky breath

Cut the bad habits, people

Serve me without touching my food

Don’t stare while I munch

My head throbs

Stomach turns

As you continue to do me no good

By continuing the infringing

Please cut the bad habits, people

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Africa needs African Renaissance, badly

An African Renaissance is ultimately the elixir for Africa’s stagnant and never ending ills, despite the criticism of the concept, it remains the only formulae available to Africa to tackle its ills which range from ill governance through the effects of climate change to perennial armed conflict.

In this discussion, the notion of African renaissance will be defined; its background laid bare an argument developed in support of the African Renaissance as a panacea for African protracted maladies.

The “African Renaissance” can be said of as a “concept that African nations can solve their problems and achieve cultural, social, technological and economic rebirth. ” the phrase was alluded to by Nelson Mandela in the early 90’s but it was clarified, expounded and publicized by Thabo Mbeki, the former president of South Africa.

Evidence is there that even Mbeki was only quoting from history because the term was spoken of by the likes of Pixley Seme in as early as 1906.

To others it’s a philosophical and political movement to end elitism, violence, corruption and poverty which Mbeki sees being attained by encouraging education, reversing brain drain and developing pride in African heritage .

These are closely linked to those aims laid out in The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). Of course some see it as an extension of Ali Mazrui’s call to end Afro-pessimism and still some see it as a desperate attempt for Africa to have a formula of its own especially since none has been in Africa since Independence while formulas like the Marshall Plan have been successfully implemented elsewhere.

The notion has reportedly been induced by some events in history chief among which are: the 1957 independence of Ghana; the 1989 collapse of Socialist states; the end of the cold war and the dawn and crave for democracy that hit the pinnacle with the 1994 restoration of majority rule in South Africa .

Mbeki laid out the elements and goals of the concept and listed them as the attainment of social cohesion, attainment of democracy, attainment of economic rebuilding and growth, establishing of Africa as a global player in geo-politics with an aim of breaking the debt trap that Africa is ensnared in .

The climax of the move came in 1999 with the establishment of the African Renaissance Institute with its secretariat in Gaborone and which focuses on development of African Human Resources, Science and Technology, Agriculture, nutrition, culture, business, peace and good governance .

The term has since lost its glamour and the hype it generated but it has been accepted by many a leader who continue to use it in their party manifestos (African National Congress) and use it in their various speeches. These include the likes of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Abdullahi Wade of Senegal, and it has even been alluded to by the likes of Bill Clinton.

The argument offered by the pro-African Renaissance group led by Mbeki is not only plausible but powerful as well. It is by far the most effectively coordinated action plan since Africa’s independence, so at least it’s the devil Africa knows as there is no Angel in sight yet.

If one looks into the history vista, it is clear to see that the colonizers cannot be trusted in solving African problems, for example Muhammad Ali of Egypt tried to engage the Britons in his development plan but they only managed to colonize and plunder Egypt.

Along came the Partition which saw the likes of Leopold 2 personally owning pockets in Africa, even in Post -Independence times, the North has continued to undermine African problems with its Washington Consensus ideologies that are harming the continent. Exploitation aside, the North continues to pollute the environment and atmosphere that leave Africa even more disabled. Is it not time to search within Africa for a sustainable cure?

Some criticize the champions of the notion as betraying the core values of the renaissance. They cite Mugabe, Wade and Gadaffi, who cling to power and their rule is quasi dictatorial. This, if closely analyzed, is not the reason for rejecting a good idea that will outlive any dynasty. Would the renaissance only benefit Zimbabwe?

What about Botswana where democracy thrives? Should they wait for a Western Messiah? In the interest of many Africans who have been let down by the West, the need for the elixir of the African Renaissance outweighs the criticism of the few bad men in the proposing side of the debate. This is what the Jamaican poet Mutabaruka asks in one of his poems “if not us who? For they have killed and plundered us for 400 years… ”

Some critics say the violence across Africa has rendered the move towards an African Renaissance futile. These people cite cases of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Nigeria and others. They can be best be summed up in Wole Sionka’s statement that “there can be no renaissance in slaughter. ” this is a naïve and pessimistic way of looking at Africa.

According to William Rostow the Development theorist, every society passes through stages and where Africa is now is where Europe was when the likes of Alexander, the-so-called-great lived, the wars are just a stage in the long road Africa has to travel to achieve prosperity.

It doesn’t follow that because a continent is plagued by war and strife then there should be no action plan. The Marshall plan was called for at a time like this and by far there has been no action plan developed so far that truly speaks of preserving the Africanness while advancing it technologically, even Rostow never said that.

Critics of the concept see it as a myth and lie or what George Orwell would call “doublespeak.” Alick Shahadah has had this to say about it: “the phrase was promoted by then president Thabo Mbeki, a typically Western educated and influenced African leader. And when your entire centre of knowledge is European, it forces the mind in an attempt to feel valid to assert the African reality based within the cultural context of Europe. [Sic] ”

NEPAD, another of Mbeki’s drives, has faced the same criticism of playing the game according to the Washington Consensus prescriptions . Sad as the picture might appear, it is the right thing to do.

There is one undeniable fact that no one cannot ignore: Africa needs the North. And since the North is partly responsible for Africa’s ills and since it has the finances to fund some of the things outlined in the African Renaissance plan, it is only right and proper to seek it’s guidance after all they have been where Africa is and have the know-how.

Lastly critics of the notion say it is too idealistic and better left for the future. They argue that Africa is not ready to face such a bold move before it sheds its crises first. This idea seems to have been developed before looking at the contents of the NEPAD charter or the elements of the African Renaissance as laid by Mbeki.

It was clearly stated that the renaissance is aimed at ending the ills that the critics highlight. So how can War end first then a renaissance come later? Shouldn’t Africa use the renaissance to end those wars? The conclusion is easy to see for any logician.

In conclusion, the discussion has defended the idea that Africa needs a Renaissance as an elixir to its perennial maladies. This renaissance is best envisioned by the ideas of Thabo Mbeki and others plus those schools that support the idea of NEPAD and ARI.

The discussion has wavered off doubts by critics of the move and assured them that as far as the bleak horizon looks; the only flicker of hope is enshrined in the African Renaissance: a Panacea and Messiah of Africa.

Shahadah, 2010. History of Africa Restored. Article retrieved on 28/05/10 from: http://www.africanholocaust.net/news_ah/language%20reality.htm  

Myakayaka-Manzini (unknown year) quoted in Lotter, 2007. African Renaissance: The Renewal and Rebirth of a continent. (Online article) retrieved from: http://africanaffairs.suite101.com/article.cfm/african_renaissance . accessed 26/05/10

 ANC, « Statement of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress, Delivered by President Thabo Mbeki, on the occasion of the 88th Anniversary of the ANC », 8 January 2000

Shahadah, 2010. History of Africa Restored. Article retrieved on 28/05/10 from: http://www.africanholocaust.net/news_ah/language%20reality.htm

Mutabaruka (1993) “Check it” Album released by Tuff Gong Records.

Cliffe, L., quoted in William T.Z. & Frost D. (Editors) (2002) Africa in Crisis: New Challenges and possibilities. Pluto press: London.(passim)


Malawi awarded UNESCO prize for boosting Literacy

The Coalition of Women Farmers (COWFA) in Malawi was recently  awarded the 2010 Honourable Mention of the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy for its Women Land Rights Project (WOLAR).

The coalition was honoured for empowering women with skills to challenge discriminatory policies which hamper them from owning land. It also provides a forum for the women to share knowledge.

“The association has taught us to be self-reliant,” Evelyn Mwafulriwa, a COWFA member is quoted on UNESCO’s website. “There’s no difference between the women who are on their own and women with husbands.”

Thabo Chidimba, who is also part of the COWFA, adds “What I like most about this group is that we can share our technical knowledge. We support one another and, most importantly, grow enough food to eat.”

According to the submission form and the case studies sourced from ActionAid, a key partner in the project the project aimed at assisting 4,500 women in four districts of Malawi to gain ownership of land, increase their access to resources and services and government training courses, promote awareness of women’s rights and influence agricultural policies and legal frameworks in favour of women.

The project has seen 1125 women start reading and writing, increased awareness of women’s rights , influenced stakeholders to start granting support and grant them loans and seen women attending decision meetings at village, are and district level.

The project, which cost US $400,696, also boasts that even when it phases out, there will be sustainability since the women are from the same area and are determined and capacitated this not counting assurance from stakeholders and partners to continue supporting the women.

It has not been all rosy for the project as Kwanza and Marching were plagued by dry spells retarding its goals. The other challenge is lack of openness among members to share experiences a development blamed on illiteracy.

Testimonies from two women who managed to acquire farming land spiced up the application. The project is being run in Mzimba, Dowa, Machinga and Mwanza

According to UNESCO, despite 7 out of 10 farmers being women, the number of women with full access to land is insignificant. UNESCO said since women are the most hit by famine and Malawi being a country just recovering from a food crisis, it is very important to empower women.

“Investing in women’s literacy carries very high returns: it improves livelihoods, leads to better child and maternal health, and favours girl access to education. In short newly literate women have positive ripple effects on all development indicators.” UNESCO’s Director General, Irina Bokova said.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Protest Politics and Cultural Blog: Does God really hate Women?

Protest Politics and Cultural Blog: Does God really hate Women?: Paul wrote: “There is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are ..."

Does God really hate Women?


Paul wrote: “There is no difference between Jews and Gentiles, between slaves and free people, between men and women; you are all one in union with Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28). This call has, however, done little to check the unthinkable oppression and discrimination women have gone through for millennia.

Many may say illiteracy, poverty, culture and sheer male chauvinism are to blame. But does anyone suspect that the very scriptures and religions we trust are the culprits?

The Bible, Qur’an and other Holy Scriptures can be reduced to mere male-domination-strategy texts.

Despite Genesis 1:27 saying that God created man and woman as equals, the author quickly retracts the statement in the next chapter (Gen 2:18-25). Here, Eve is shown as created to patch Adam’s loneliness. Thus, a woman is objectified. If Adam never felt lonely, a woman would not have existed.

Next, Eve – who, if we look carefully, wasn’t there when God told Adam not to tamper with the knowledge tree (Gen 2:17) – is shown being tempted by the snake. Many have hated women from this verse but don’t know that God Himself had created the snake as the most intelligent animal (Gen 3:1).

God is all-knowing: He knew what He was doing and He had his reasons for not keeping the snake away or grabbing the fruit from Eve. Both Adam and Eve ate the fruit but it is Eve who got the worst punishment.

Woman was from then on cast into subservience. God said: “I will increase your trouble in pregnancy and pain in child birth. In spite of this, you will still have desire for your husband, yet you will be subject to him.” (Gen 3:16).

Genesis 3:16 equips man to rule over woman and one would argue that desire was thus made for women which is why in the mid 1800’s, the Church of England used Gen 3:16 to prevent use of chloroform as anaesthesia in childbirth as discovered by Young Simpson.


One Church father, Marcion of Sinope, suggested that the God of the Old Testament was cruel. He was criticised and his teachings are to this day deemed hearsay.

Jamaican poet Mutabaruka has also raised eyebrows on man’s motive in religion.

“They say God, the Father; God, the Son and God, the Holy spirit; no God, the Mother. Why?” he asked.

Mutabaruka’s argument can easily be revoked because of his Rastafarian status which most dismiss as hemp-motivated. A deeper look at the Bible would suffice, then.
Continued attacks

In Leviticus 12, for example, God tells Moses that when a woman gives birth to a boy, she shall be unclean for about 40 days. But when she gives birth to a daughter, she shall be unclean for 80 days. There should be something wrong with a daughter, then.

The author of Ecclesiastes also has a share of scorn as he said he had seen few trustworthy men but no woman. In fact, he suggests that death is the only other bitter thing apart from the woman (Eccl 7:26-29).

Many have since rejected the Old Testament and said the New Testament is the future of the modern world. However, unpacking the compilation reveals some disturbing verses cementing stereotypes against women.

Paul is responsible for the outlook of the church today. He wrote variously and some dogma he dictated still causes controversy today.

Take what he said in his first letter to Corinthians. He explicitly said husbands are supreme over wives: “... he [man] reflects the image and glory of God. But woman reflects the glory of man ... for man was not created for woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for woman’s sake, but woman for man’s sake.” (1 Cor. 11).

Probably the most questionable verses are 1 Cor. 14:34-36 which suggest that women should keep quite in the meetings. “...they are not allowed to speak; as the Jewish Law says, they must not be in charge...”

Is the Bible God’s word? If yes why does it hate? And why should the whole Christian church base on Jewish culture? And since culture is dynamic and the Bible static, what should the modern church do?

Paul prohibits women from wearing makeup, expensive clothing and jewels; he prohibits women having authority over men and says that women will be saved by having children (1 Tim. 2:8-15).

Paul argues that women should be subdued because they are the ones that broke God’s law and because they were created last (1 Tim. 2:13-14).

One wonders why one woman’s sin is carried across millennia when men have broken heinous records before, like the first murder (Cain), the first rape and incest (Lot) and drunkenness (Noah)?

The Qur’an is no better. It states that women are at par with men (74:38) but quickly contradicts itself. “And they [women] have rights similar to those [of men] over them, and men are a degree above them.” (2:228).

Many have accepted into their daily routine reading and interpreting scripture but they don’t want to question God’s word. And musicians, poets and philosophers have also developed their works based on the age-old injustice, further cementing man’s hegemony.

The message in Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Conscious man, for example, is that women are crooks. He sings: Solomon was wise, but he couldn’t see the secret of a woman; and Some strew are strewn ... by a woman.

And Samuel Butler, the English poet, wrote: “The souls of women are so small that some believe they've none at all.”

Such is the hypocrisy that goes about women. Many have spoken well of women but few have given them leadership roles. Tokenism and rhetoric continue to be used by modern leaders: political and apolitical.

It is time to critically look at religious texts not only as solutions to problems but also as causes. God never said He hates women. Writers say so. And the solution lies in rejecting or amending some of these teachings.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

God: is He Black or White?

Many people avoid the question saying it has got no faith value and that it is divisive, some will even say it is blasphemous but the protests don’t send the question away: is God’s race black or white?

Before the theologically initiated could speak on the issue, I talked to a group of wheelbarrow peddlers just outside Chenda Motel in Mzuzu, the question was the same: is God white or black? Two of the six saw the question as blasphemous, one abstained and the other three?

“I think God is a white man, just look at what the white man invents. The white man does a lot of things that put him at closer with God,” said Evance Gondwe.

“According to the Bible, Jesus was there before creation because it is written that the three agreed to create man in their image there is no statement that said he was of this colour thus to me God is colourless,” said Scot Neba.

“They say I was created in his image right? I am black, therefore God is black-simple,” said Kondwani Tembo.

The question is really a hot potato out of six people with similar traits there are more than three views? Well enough of the vendors how much do they know anyway? Maybe their leaders can suffice.

300 meters is the Islamic information Bureau headed by a sheik who doesn’t hide that he avoids journalists, I, however, managed to soften him into dialogue, the same raw question was asked.

“Black and white are not colours to term a human, this is white [plain paper] and this is black [phone charger], no creature has seen God it’s why we should not even say that God is a spirit because nobody has seen him,” said Sheik Ibrahim Fiqrah, Coordinator of the Mzuzu Islamic information bureau.

The other more radical view is held by many black consciousness sympathisers who argue that accepting a white God means that black people are second class. Two of the more outspoken people with these views include Jamaicans Allan Hope and Hubert Mackintosh.

“The view that the only son of God was a Jew means that his father is a Jew too and where does that leave a black man?” said Peter Tosh in a 1970’s interview.

Allan Hope disputes the portrayal by Catholics and Jehovah’s witnesses in which Jesus is shown as a Caucasian with flowing blonde hair and blue eyes. Hope says this perpetuates colour blindness among black people as they think that everything white is good and thus rejects their own history.

Another Jamaican (Macka B) quoted Revelation 1:14 and Daniel 7:9 where John and Daniel describe God as they saw him in their visions saying (Daniel) “...the ancient of days took his seat…the hair of his head was white like wool.” Many who argue for a black God quote this verse saying only black people have woollen hair.

A lot of people will take the view that God’s colour does not matter but one wonders whether the likes of Hitler and Constantine could have accepted God if they knew he was a black man.

Many also attribute the current wealth of the West to the use of a white God to subjugate black people by making them leave their religions to take up Christianity which also meant them submitting their land and confidence.

God himself has not made any statement that can be accepted by many warring parties in the debate and as people kill and quarrel in his name only one man’s words can sum the debate: “Time will tell,” sang Bob Marley.

University Students’ demonstrations, riots are always justified

(News that British students were rioting prompted me to publish this quasi-essay, which I wrote over a year ago. It is an apology for student’s riots.)

There has been a disproportionate amount of criticism over the last years of students not acting exemplarily, demonstrating and rioting over trivia and general barbarism. I do not agree with the mainstream view and I write to justify student ‘violence.’

Demonstrations have been a tool that many (students, politicians and society) have used extensively to change phenomena or even courses of history. Demonstrations do not just happen; they are usually the last resort after dialogue has failed or where the powerful party is very good at using their blind eye.

Recall how French students forced President Charles de Gaulle to call for new elections and reform the defunct educational system in the late 60’s?
Remember that it was students that brought Iran true sovereignty by holding those American hostages for 444 days teaching the then US president, Jimmy Carter, the meaning on the word “non-interference.”

Then we read about the students of The Rangoon Colleges in Burma, who managed to pressure Ne Win, Sein Lwin and force Maung Maung to move towards democracy in 1988.

Famous to many are the Soweto demonstrations against teaching using Afrikaans in public schools and the Tiananmen Square (China) demonstrations against communist rule in 1989. They are thus not a new thing, these demonstrations.

Students do not just go on the rampage, they are inspired by great men; Stephen Biko was a medical student when he started the Black Consciousness Movement; Nelson Mandela was booted out of Fort Hare University for organizing demonstrations.

Students are also exposed to the ideas of Karl Marx who teaches resistance to top-down decisions, Che Guevara, Islamic militancy and even radicals like Peter Macintosh who believed that “peace is the diploma one gets at the cemetery.”

Malawian students, to localise the debate a bit, take the model of the American Students for a Democratic Society (ASDS) where representative democracy is a farce and participatory democracy a virtue.

One Frenchman Daniel Cohn Bendt, another model and a student of sociology was once taunted by politicians for being “a nobody,” but his revolution rocked the whole of France with workers joining in.

Coming back to Malawi, one would surely look at university students as empty souls wanting to be filled with some kind of rightness. On the contrary, many students riot while sober and it is always after a general meeting where they vote on the best courses of action to take.

No one blames the university administration or government-and I know it’s because they only see the violence not the buildup.

Here is a cross section of some of the events that shook University of Malawi (UNIMA) earlier this millennium and notice the facts of the students’ cases.

In 2000 Mathews Chikaonda was appointed Minister of Finance and in his Ten Point Plan, he raised university fees from K1, 500 to K46, 000 arguing that university was a luxury and students should pay for it dearly.

It was strange coming from a man whose career as we know it today sprung from the same university consequently students protested. The so called school calendar started to be affected by this time. After a long war school fees was reduced to K25, 000. Who do we blame?

In December 2001, Fanikiso Phiri, an innocent student at Chancellor College, was shot by a trigger-happy police officer when students were demonstrating against the hiked maize prices, Evison Matafale’s death while in custody and the arrest of an opposition politician Nelson Shaba: all noble causes.

When students protested Fanikiso’s death, the colleges were closed and opened two months later with the calendar suffering badly. Who do we blame?

Come 2003, UDF party supporters marching in favour of the much detested third term bill hurled insults at Polytechnic students calling them names, the students retaliated and the police joined the UDF supporters to destroy property at the Poly including the precious DAF bus, who would not fight?

Surprisingly the then principal suspended all students. A legal battle ensued and classes resumed, but time had gone and the calendar suffered. Who do we blame?

In February 2004, a student died in his sleep instead of honouring him, administration allowed examinations to go ahead. Infuriated students rioted. The students were sent home only to be called in May to finish the exams, a thing that could have been settled by suspending exams until after the student’s burial. The calendar was not waiting and who do we blame again?

In 2007 UNIMA lecturers wanted 200% a pay hike, inspired by the high MP salaries; the ensuing strike affected the calendar by at least five weeks. Instead of closing on 13th November the schools closed on 23rd December. Even in 2009 the semester that was supposed to begin on March 8 was pushed to the 23rd. Do we still blame students?

Some people say the students should live by example, I ask, whose example: because even Jesus rebelled against the corrupt officials who turned the church into an agora. Patrick Chamaso, Malcolm X, both Martin Luther’s, Marcus Garvey, Mandela and their godfather Mahatma Gandhi didn’t believe in slavery of any kind.

Actually Mandela said: “To overcome oppression has been sanctioned by humanity and is the highest aspiration of every free man.”

Take for example the polytechnic administration who would rather build a fence costing more than K27 million when students stay in substandard hostels in the Chichiri area and there is no hot water for the majority of students.

Delaying stationery allowance for example is a thing that happens yearly, why can’t the administration sit down and hasten the process? Every year students have to submit identity photos and apply for the loan, why not make it electronic? Why not do there paper work when the students are on holiday?

The French students of 1968 rioted because the university running systems were archaic, staffed with aging octa- and nonagenarians, maybe it’s the same thing that is plaguing Malawi.
It seems the administrators think like in the Kamuzu era.
The philosophy that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow is a farce because it implies that the elders should be the leaders now. Some youths are as competent as everyone else and the administrators should learn to consult with the youths because it is them that know the pressures and prerequisites of modernity.

Society should also understand dynamics, the students especially the social science ones, understand that the media have power so if they block the highway, for example, the media will report the issue directly to the relevant authorities with veto powers over the usually stubborn university administrators.

Many folks also make a lot of noise of changing the image of the university, I ask which university? University is a den of havoc where ideas are discussed without emotion or religion. Whatever the students decide is carefully cooked with engineers, business managers and journalists, lawyers and teachers of tomorrow in the midst. The students didn’t create the havoc, the system created the havoc.

Some of those who speak against the student demonstrations have done them and they can’t understand their younger counterparts. It’s a pity how folks forget.

Some riots are not even for the students sake, take the section 65 issue, some DPP party gurus booked the students a bus to go to parliament to help in pushing the budget through, the politicians then betray them and call them barbarians?

Society should also remember that most youths are just past puberty when they reach university so a flash of private parts or obscene words is but a good thing after all it’s a celebration of freedom from the strict home.

When judging university students put yourself in their shoes: there are hormones rushing in their veins, there are ladies to impress and there is a little philosophy in their minds. They are like a goat just getting to terms with new horns.

Most of the folks that criticize have not been to college thus they posses no knowledge of what it is to be a university leader. The students are being trained to become leaders and if they are oppressed the oppression will trickle to the people they will oversee.

In 1968, for example, the Mexican president ignored the demands of the students and what followed was the creation and widening of the poor-rich gap.

The students are held together by the mutilated national anthem sentence and it’s not likely to go anytime soon it goes: “join together all hearts as one thus will be free from fear.” University demonstrations are justified indeed.