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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda and the Malawi Writers Group: the (un)making of a cultural tradition
Author:Mphande, LupengaISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Malawi
heads of State
About person:Hastings Kamuzu Banda (ca1906-1997)ISNI
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3820005
Abstract:In the African situation, and in many other colonial outposts, imperialism was mediated not just from the centre of the 'mother-country' to the periphery but also within the periphery itself, where subcentres reproduced the canonical cultural expressions of the mother-country. For the purpose of the present study, the origins and evolution of the Malawi Writers Group, formed by a handful of students at Chancellor College (Blantyre) in May 1969, serve as an example of the sort of independent and autonomous cultural and sociopolitical group that can emerge from the colonial experience, emerge, in effect, to interrogate the imperial foundations of a hegemonic politics of domination. On the other hand, a counterlocation is identified through and in Hastings Kamuzu Banda, former Life President of Malawi, who is presented here as the enigmatic cultural embodiment of a stifling subcentre of imperial gestures and structures. This article describes the efforts of the Malawi Writers Group not only to counter the Hastings Banda contract with the Western canon, but to establish a more liberating and distinctively Malawian literary tradition. It also describes the harsh measures the Banda regime took against any person or institution revealing dissenting views. Bibliogr.