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M’malilime muli moyo

Alfred Msdala is a poet, critic, and currently the chairperson of PEN Malawi. During his term as chairperson, PEN Malawi has established a translation committee with the aim of translating important information material about equality, entrepreneurship, climate change, and health issues into Chichewa, one of the country’s main languages. As it now stands, most of the official information in Malawi is available only in English. Here we publish a poem by Msdala where he praises language diversity in Malawi.

Credits Text: Alfred Msadala October 25 2019

M’malilime muli moyo

Kuno kwathu nkokoma kukhala
komwe tagawidwa kuchoka kumpoto mpaka kumwera
aliyense nchirankhulo chake
chomwe chatipangitsa kudziwika m’mafuko
mom’muja zinaliri pa sanja ya Babel. Koma umodzi watiluzanitsa
moti pano tikuyimba mwanthetemya
m’zilankhulo zathu-zathu, zoluzanitsidwa
ndi tsinde la aBantu:
Ukava uyu, Chichewa
pamene winayu, Chiyao – komabe
uyo watalikirayo, Chitumbuka. Nanga
kumanzere kwanguku? Ndiyetu Chilhomwe.
Chingoni nacho, icho chiri apo.
Zilankhulo zakhathi, zokhuthala and zosangalatsa
chikoma chikhalidwe icho
m’ziyankhulo za makolo athu,
kungoti vuto
ndi atsogoleriwa: cholinga chawo sitichidziwa
tikubwelera m’mbuyo ndithu.

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