One experienced Singapore writer Racquel narciso once said “When I write, I share a little piece of my soul, And nothing makes me happier than giving back to the world that has already given me so much”.The quote has greatly inspired University of Malawi’s Chancellor College drama and communication process lecture Smith Likongwe to spit his writing creativity in his newly published books where among others he is critiquing former leaders of this country, Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika, and Joyce Banda.
In the book titled the chiefs Blankets and other plays Likongwe is reflecting on Malawian culture and traditions while in the book titled Living play scripts: A trilogy which encompasses plays like Bakili’s wilt, the tragedy of Bingu and Amai’s turn he is reflecting on both bad and good sides of former heads of state.
Speaking during the launch of the two books at Chancellor College in Zomba on Sunday,Likongwe said as an artist he believes that history can only be kept on paper and he decided to come up with the books to reflect on Malawi’s culture and traditions and also taking back Malawians to reflect on old regimes.
“We thought that we should produce these books so as a way of preserving some of our culture so that something is there in print form because when works are not printed or published they tend to disappear. Shakespeare wrote many plays but he did not publish them he died in 1616, thanks to his colleagues, Henry Condell and john Heminges who in 1623 published most of Shakespeare’s works that we can access today. I am saying this to emphasize on the need of publishing”, he said
He added “in trilogy we are putting on records their public and personal lives and also conditions of people’s lives under their leadership and we reflected on how their policies affected people because we understand that all the presidents had shortcomings and their good sides. All these have been put together so that people can appreciate”.
Likongwe said the project has costed them over MK4.7 Million and taken him about one year to put together his ideas and he is optimistic that the books will be made available in all the bookshops in Malawi and even abroad.
He also appreciated the relentless effort of Chanco Travelling theatre in the course of authoring all the two books saying it has played a pivotal role in contributing ideas among others and also Hivos for financial support.
Further, Likongwe said he has always been inspired by the writing of Francis Moto and Zondiwe Mbano among others who has also contributed positively to his writing career.
According to Likongwe, some of the plays in the Chiefs Blanket were written by Linda mercy Tembo, Zondiwe Mbano, Wanangwa Magret Gondwe, Bennie Msuku and Wongie Mbano.
Wanangwa Gondwe said she was happy to be part of the project as she has acquired skills in as far as writing is concerned and Malawians should expect more works from her.
“I am excited because I have always wanted to write something big that Malawians can appreciate, so am proud of myself to be part of the game”, she said
The former Chancellor College student also urged the youth to buy the book and appreciate the creativity invested.
Renowned poet Benedicto Okomaatani Malunga has saluted Likongwe for his dedication and passion to put together his ideas so that it can be appreciated by all people in the country.
“I am filled with joy, pride and appreciation that a young man I knew long time ago has come forward and can begin to write plays that can be tough in the university and anywhere in the country and talking about content Malawians can relate to and this is how it would be in any vibrant academic institution.
“Students get more inspired when they are taught by professors who use the very books they have written to teach them because they demonstrate that it is possible and students of that hype when they publish their own books, they look back at those that inspired them to reach where they are and appreciate,”he said.
Malunga who also happens to be former lecture of Likongwe also described Likongwe as a passionate writer who has fought tooth and nail to reach where he is now and deserves nothing but the best for his commitment.
“Sometimes students think lectures are their heroes but in my case it is a reverse, smith is my hero. it was always a delight to listen to him on air and now to see him on print it is even a greater source of joy, during the time I was teaching him, I saw a great writer in him”, he added
Malunga further appealed to university students in the country to develop a tendency of leading locally produced books and appreciate the talent saying Malawi has creative writers worthy distinction and can sell their works across the boardes.
He then asked the copyright association of malawi to put much effort in making sure that writers works are protected at any cost saying it is always sad to note that artists are not benefiting a lot from their talents and their sweat is being consumed by bandits.
One of the professional actors Bright Tchayatchaya Commended Likongwe for coming up with up to standards plays saying it’s a huge relief for them as they will be able to have a wide of options from which they can pick and act upon which will largely reduce the heavly dependence on the foreign contents.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :