Canada through the eyes of an immigrant

Monday, March 30, 2009


Jasmine Coumbaya, a Canadian from Quebec City, never heard of Malawi before last week. She heard about the impoverished Sub-Saharan country when she met an exchange student at a University in Montreal.
This is a very common phenomenon especially in developed countries. The ignorance is among other things the result of the silent media. The Washington Post, the New York Times and other media giants have written about Madonna and her adoption saga, while not mentioning or concentrating on the problems affecting the Malawian population. At the time that the Queen of Pop is fighting with judges, Malawi is experiencing a political crisis that has even escalated to cases of violence. Mr. Bakili Muluzi, the ex Malawian President has been banned from competing in the upcoming May 19th General Elections. This has caused an uproar among his supporters who pledged an unflinching allegiance to their jailed leader. While UK's The Guardian presents a case study on Madonna adoptions; Malawi is mourning with Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) after 22 supporters died at a FIFA World Cup qualifying game in a stadium of Abidjan in a stampede. Malawi is still struggling with problems like gender inequality, high children mortality and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The only time that Malawi gets a window to expose itself to the world, Madonna takes the stage and all eyes unflinchingly focus on her without looking at the problems of the country. It is therefore not surprising that Madonna's adopted son David Banda is more popular than the country's President Mr. Bingu wa Mutharika or Mr. Kamuzu Banda, the Malawian first dictator.
Jasmine Coumbaya is not to blame for her ignorance on Malawi. The media should accept some of the blame. It is therefore not surprising to know that Coumbaya is already familiar with Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

C. Phiri (Lilongwe for Mmalawi)

(Home Page)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

AIDS in Africa:Caused by Britain and Colonisers?

In Malawi 14% of people are HIV positive. The rate of those infected by HIV/AIDS is very high in African countries colonized by Britain. According to the 2008 report from UNAIDS, Two-thirds of all people in the world with HIV/AIDS live in Sub-Saharan Africa. This translates into 67% of the global total of 32.9 million with HIV live in this region, and three quarters (75%) of all AIDS deaths in 2007 occurred there.
Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Swaziland,Namibia, Malawi and South Africa; the countries that compose Sub-Saharan Africa were all colonized by the British. The rates are alarming in the region, like in Swaziland where 25% of the population is HIV positive. In the neighboring French colonized island of Madagascar, only 1% of the population is infected. In Mozambique, DRC or in the Congo Republic, the infection rate is not as high.
Some have argued that high numbers are due to the shared beliefs on sex and promiscuity. This is not accurate because Sub-Saharan Africa is known for its diverse cultures, religions and tribes. The Republic of South Africa has more than 11 different tribes like the Xhosa, Zulu, Venda among others. Zimbabwe is home to the Shona and Ndebele. Malawi and Mozambique has the Yao, Chewa and Sena tribes. These are all very different and diverse tribes in terms of beliefs, customs and taboos. They were all forced to unite under the strong arm of the British Coloniser who taught them about his own way of seeing things. It is not surprising that the colonised adopted the way his coloniser behaved by objectifying women and using them as sex toys. The results are being reaped every day at countless funerals of AIDS victims.
Watch Malawi Videos

By Postera Tenthani (Mmalawi)
Malawi Current News

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Africa Most Watched Video:Malawi's "Very Best"

Watch video and download all album for free below.
Malawi's most viewed video of all times is Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit (Jointly known as "The Very Best") with their amazingly edited video "Kamphopo". The video filmed in Malawi has amassed more than 181,000 views even though it was posted less than 3 months ago on the video sharing website Youtube. The song emanates from Esau Mwamwaya's first album with Radioclit "The Very Best" which contained hit songs like Tengazako, a remix of M.I.A's Oscar award winning song "Paper Planes". In Kamphopo, Esau Mwamwaya declares his love for a girl whom he finds beautiful. Many viewers have expressed appreciation for the video and some feel drawn to the African continent through the video even if they have never gone there. After watching the Malawi video, Warlord0Dan, a Youtube viewer commented: "African people are great! look at them, most of them are probably poor but just watch how happy they are in this vid. I love their spirit and the music"
For the song, Esau Mwamwaya teamed up with the British duo DJs Radioclit and together they are working on an upcoming album which is anticipated by many. Mwamwaya sings in Chichewa, English, Tumbuka and Zulu. He has been called by many the Malawian Michael Jackson.
(Download, Unzip, Enjoy)
Mwamwaya was born in Mzuzu and he played for many years with the late African reggae legend; Evison Matafale.
Wach the video Kamphopo (Official Malawi Pride Video) The Very Best:

To read our earlier article on Radioclit and Esau Mwamwaya click here
To watch other Malawi Videos

Postera Tenthani (mmalawi Blog)
Malawi Current News

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Forget Madonna and her adoptions-Malawi deepens into Chaos

The media around the world is currently focusing on Madonna's second adoption. At the same time, Malawians are looking forward to exercise their rights on May 19th when they will democratically elect a president, only for the fourth time after their country's independence from the British Colonizers in 1964. Late Friday, the main contender in the elections; Mr. Bakili Muluzi has been rejected as a candidate because he was the first democratically elected president for 2 consecutive terms. According to the Malawian constitution, Mr Muluzi is not eligible to run again after two 5 year terms.
This has caused tension in the Malawian cities of Lilongwe and Blantyre. Many are fearing that this may turn into violence as Mr Muluzi has thousands of faithful supporters who have pledged their allegiance to him. The violence could also be sparked by the arrest of Mr. Muluzi late Thursday after finding him guilty of theft of monetary aid during his presidency. Mr Bingu wa Mutharika the current Malawian head of state claims that the arrest does not have any political motives.
The current tense situation reminds many of the last Kenyan elections that escalated into unprecedented violence.
While Malawi deepens into political chaos, the foreign media has fixed its unflinching attention on Madonna's ongoing adoption saga.

Postera Tenthani (Mmalawi Blog)
Malawi Current News

Friday, March 20, 2009

Is Madonna a Prostitute? Malawi Cousin of Banda asks

In the village of Chimala in Malawi, almost everybody knows Madonna. Chimala is the place where Malita; David Banda's late biological mother came from. A cousin of David Banda who has access to the internet and reads the whereabouts of Madonna has repeatedly asked his relatives: "Was it really a good idea to give to this woman our son? Isn't she (Madonna) a prostitute?" The concerns came after seeing the provocative images of Madonna's latest photo shoot of her album cover showing her wrapped and strapped in bandages. David's cousin who accepted to talk on condition of anonymity said that he was saddened when he read about "Madonna's adventures with baseball star Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod), model Jesus Luz and British film director Guy Ritchie while leaving David Banda, my cousin at home"
In Malawi, women are labeled as prostitutes when they wear revealing, tight or simply suggestive clothes as it is translated as advertising their bodies for sexual favors. Also in Malawi, having more than one "boyfriend" or partner is a sign of prostitution. This could apply to men or women.
David Banda's cousin who is currently in his last year of high school; believes that Madonna should do what is best for her "son" which according to him is to "return him to my uncle(Yohane Banda) with financial assistance in order for him to grow up in his own culture and speak Chichewa and not English"
Though not every Malawians agree with him, David Banda's cousin believes that if he saw a woman in Malawi, dressed up like Madonna and doing the things that she does; he will conclude that she is a prostitute because that is how sex workers are in Malawi. When asked if his views were not blinded by ignorance; he responded: "Malawians have lived for centuries by themselves, we should not be forced to see things the way the West sees them. If according to their culture what Madonna does is not prostitution, then that is their own business. But according to Malawian standards Madonna is a prostitute"

Chimwemwe T. Kamwendo in Lilongwe, Malawi (Mmalawi Blog)
Malawi Current News