Celebrated Malawi writer Legson Kayira dies at 70

Malawi’s renowned writer and scholar, Legson Kayira has died in London, UK aged 72.

Kayira was exiled by dictator Kamuzu Banda  at the age of 17 for satirizing his rule. At the time of his death, Kayira was a professor of Political Science at the University of Cambridge.

His novels;  The Looming Shadow, Jingala, The Civil Servant, I Will Try and The Detainee are said to have badly annoyed Banda’s administration.

Kayira: The novelist

“I am shocked to learn that Legson Kayira is dead,” Malawian writer Stanly Kenani posted on his Facebook page.

“ I met him once, when he came to see me at a Caine Prize Symposium at Birkbeck College in 2008 and he was such a great man and an inspiration. I am really sad,” said Kenani

His first book, Ulysses black ( I Will Try ) is autobiographical that ended up on the New York Times best seller list for 16 weeks.

It related to his  journey across the continent of Africa from Malawi to the Sudan, where he was to meet an American family who was captivated by his story of sacrifice to go to school in the United States.

Kayira  first novels portrayed the rural environment of Malawi. From public servant ( The Civil Servant ) his work begins to focus on social issues such as labor export to South Africa .

He studied at University of Washington and Cambridge University.

Kayira  is survived by four children and seven grandchildren.

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