Chichewa should be referred to as Chinyanja: Lost History Foundation petitions Malawi govt

Lost History Foundation has asked the Malawi government  that  Chichewa should be referred to as Chinyanja and declare all local languages as national languages as opposed to the current scenario where  ‘Chinyanja’ is taken as the main language.

Conleith Selenje : Lost History Foundation wants languages such as Yao, Lhomwe, Sena, Tonga, Lambya, Ngonde and Ngoni to be national languages and also says Chichewa should be referred to as Chinyanja.

The Foundation wants languages such as Yao, Lhomwe, Sena, Tonga, Lambya, Ngonde and Ngoni to be national languages.

This is contained in a petition  delivered to the Minister of  Civic Education and National Unity Timothy Mtambo.

“As you may agree, languages are integral to development of anynation. There is a huge chunk of cultural knowledge and values which can only be expressed through indigenous languages.

“This information is at the brink of extinction due to the suppression of other indigenous languages in Malawi,” reads in part the petition signed by the Foundation’s executive director Conleith Selenje.

The petition is asking the ministry to review the impact of Malawi government’s policy directive of 1968 on indigenous languages.

The Foundation says in its petition that after independence in 1964, the most common language in Malawi was chinyanja but four years later, government implemented a policy directive to change the name to become Chichewa and made it the only compulsory national language  in  schools.

“Indigenous languages spoken in Malawi should be officially recognised as national languages at par with Chichewa.

“They should be taught in schools and students should select among the subjects which languages to learn at school,” adds the petition.

Mtambo acknowledged the petition and  said the matter needs discussions, saying he will  have an audience with Lost History Malawi and let Malawians debate the issue.

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Moqtada Al Sadir
8 months ago

Any language spoken along the lake is Chinyanja? Nkhonde is Chinyanja. Tonga is Chinyanja. Kuganiza mobwerera.

Maga
Maga
8 months ago

I agree with him but HE must foot the bill for the process. Cant waste money on such useless proposals

Mwini muzi
8 months ago

I was one of the pupils that were taught chinyanja at school. It became easy to learn but when we were switched over to chichewa, it became so difficult to an extent that we were forced to learn about miyambo ndi maliro a achewa and when speaking, we had to pronounce words to ensure we sounded like real chewas. I had no problem with this but as I grew older, I realized that it happened at the expense of suppressing other tribal languages. I don’t support the reintroduction of chinyanja as it makes no sense for this fight but what… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Mwini muzi
Ndadabwa
Ndadabwa
8 months ago

Chichewa. Cha che chi cho chu. As we are going in reverse from chi chichewa should become chichecha not chinyanja

President Chisokonezo
8 months ago

We should change also name from Malawi to Nyasaland which is more historical

Chilungamo chafika
Chilungamo chafika
8 months ago

Zopanda ntchito.Any country has a main language.In China there are 52 tribes but speak Chinese.obviously, chichewa is spoken by many this will never be reversed.Fullstop.National language or main language is the one spoken by many.Declaring all languages national languages for what.

akweni
akweni
8 months ago

Minister Mtambo, I urge you not to waste your time on this, as it is only promoting tribalism. All other languages are spoken in their respective districts but chichewa unites us all. These guys just want to make a name for themselves. Hounerable Minister, crack your head on changing people’s mind set to stop being tribalistic – like these ones or to stop people relaying on Government to sort out all their problems out of laziness etc. I rest my case.

Joshua
Joshua
8 months ago
Reply to  akweni

Chichewa can’t be chinyanja unless u give us proper reasons

Donda wa Donda
Donda wa Donda
8 months ago

We also need to redefine many things in Chichewa or Chinyanja. For example, do we really have “R” or we simply have “L” only? Just thinking aloud.

ERUTU
ERUTU
8 months ago

There’s a lot of sense in this.

Students will be given a chance to study a language such as Sena or learn a language like Tumbuka as we do with French 💪🏿🇲🇼

akweni
akweni
8 months ago
Reply to  ERUTU

Is it a lot of sense or a lot of nonsense? Kenako this guy will tell you, you have lost your history because you are not leaving in a cave or yo are not wearing hides, nkhwamba, chingaa etc and you will agree blindly. There are better more pressing issues to do than this rubbish. All languages in Malawi are freely spoken.

Sikelo Gonani
Sikelo Gonani
8 months ago
Reply to  akweni

True

Moqtada Al Sadir
8 months ago

Zopusa basi. Who complains about this? The Chewas who migrated from the lake Districts which are Dedza and Salima to the south were referred to as Anyanja in districts they came. We can as well say that Chichawa should replace Chiyao. In 21st century people are still thinking backwards. Let’s be talking about development that was killed by DPP and udf. Have you seen complaining about being called Mchewa.

ARNOLD MAVUTULA
ARNOLD MAVUTULA
8 months ago

It’s not a matter of who complained but a matter of self realisation and imporwment..this helps build self values which coincides with development u mentioned…if u don’t know who u are u can’t reach ur highest potential..

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