Hazel Mak image via MTVBase

Six Malawians You Need to Know Right Now

So Malawi turned 52 today. I thought about the young people that are part of what makes Malawi beautiful and will make Malawi a wonderful country to live in one day. At this point I know, we all know, the country has massive problems, but its young people are not among them. Here, a list of just six young Malawians who make us proud. They’re doing big things in fashion, music, film and the literary arts.

Yes there are so many more, but six for the 6th of July, Malawi’s Independence Day. Here they are in no particular order:

Ekari Mbvundula is a fine young Malawian writer who placed 2nd in this year’s The Writer writing competition. Her words are inspiring, full of warmth and brilliance.

Lilly Alfonso is a talented and award-winning fashion designer with a big heart. Read more about her on MappAfrica.

To read Rowena Mondiwa’s blog post Invisible Immigrant is to experience a familiar voice (for those who are immigrants) while noting a unique ability to quickly learn and adapt. Check out her blog, it’s worth your time.

Filmmaker, founder and director of Dikamawoko Arts,  Tawonga Taddja Nkhonjera radiates talent and creativity. His film B’ella, about a young girl’s coming of age, has received positive reviews and been shown at film festivals around the world including the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

BEFFTA award-winning Limbani Kalilani a.k.a. Tay Grin is one of the best musical acts in Malawi and one of the country’s hottest rappers by far.

Check out this glorious video for Chipapapa.

Qabaniso ‘Q’ Malewezi is a spoken word poet. Listen to his amazing poem about Malawi. It makes me feel as though I’ve been running in the corridors of the mind of someone who thinks deeply and in a non-linear fashion.

I lied and said six. Honestly there are so many talented young Malawians. Here’s another: Hazel Mak. I love her song Liyaya and her very “carefree black girl” video for it, which was shot in Malawi. Her voice is like treacle, molasses and mango with PiliPili. Anyone who sings “ndine chipha’dzuwa” (I am “the girl who kills the sun”) is alright in my books.

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