Monday, July 3, 2017

Kannadasa Dasan writes


What does poetry mean? 
Lies or truths! 
Conclusions or confusions! 
What does fashion mean? 
Smokes or drinks? 
Dramas or realities!

What does the city mean? 
Hells or heavens! 
Diseases or medicines! 
What does the world mean? 
Oceans or lands! 
Freshness or oldness!

What does love mean? 
Flowers or thorns! 
Priceless or peaceless! 
What does life mean? 
Dreams or desires! 
Sorrows or happiness!

What does religion mean? 
Oneness or diversities! 
Intelligence or foolishness! 
What does God mean? 
Laziness or restlessness!
Birthless or deathless?
 Image result for flowers and thorns paintings
Nyasa Negress with Flowers of Thorns -- Francis Newton Souza


  1. The Maravi empire was founded by the Amaravi people on the southwestern shores of Lake Malawi in the late 15th century and eventually encompassed most of modern Malawi and parts of Mozambique and Zambia. The Amaravi were iron workers, and "maravi" meant "flames." They migrated from the Congo to escape unrest and disease and conquered and butchered the Akafula, who lived in small family clans without a unified system of protection. Eventually the Amaravi became known as the Chewa ("foreigner"). The head of the empire was the kalonga, who ruled from his capital in Mankhamba and appointed sub-chiefs to occupy and subdue new areas. In the 16th century the Portuguese Europeans came into contact with them, and the empire began to decline in the early 18th century when fighting among the sub-chiefs and the burgeoning slave trade weakened the kalonga's authority. In the 19th century the Ngoni people arrived from the Natal region of South Africa, part of the great migration (the mfecane) of people fleeing from Shaka Zulu's empire, and attacked the Chewa, recruiting young men into their army and killing or enslaving others. At the same time the Yao arrived from northern Mozambique, who had been major slavers and were the first, and for a long while, the only group to use firearms against other tribes (which they bought from Europeans and Arabs). Upon their arrval in the area, they allied with the Mang'anja against the the Kololo invaders from Botswana and with the Chewa against the Ngoni. The Ngoni and Yao destroyed the remnants of the Maravi empire.

  2. In 1859 the British missionary David Livingstone reached Lake Nyasa (the Chiyaoword for "lake") and invited bishop Frederick Mackenzie of the Universities Mission to Central Africa to convert the natives; Livingstone and Mackenzie allied with the Mang'anja against the Muslim Yao bit failed to establish Christianity. The Free Church of Scotland arrived in 1875 and in 1881 settled among the Tonga and Tumbuka, who were being terrorized by the Ngoni; the missionaries opened a station at Bandawe and introduced literacy to their charges. In 1878 the African Lakes Company Limited, working closely with the missions, was set up. In South Africa, Cecil Rhodes instigated the British conquests of the Zulu kingdom, the Pedi, the Ndebele of Zimbabwe, and the Lozi of Zambia. In 1883, a British consulate accredited to the "Kings and Chiefs of Central Africa" was established at Blantyre, founded by missionaries in 1876. In 1889 a British protectorate was proclaimed over the Shire Highlands, which was expanded in 1891 as the British Central Africa Protectorate; the same year Rhodes funded Harry Johnston's five-year war against the Yao. In 1907 the Central African Protectorate became the Nyasaland Protectorate. In 1915, John Chilembwe, a Millenarian pastor in southeastern Nyasaland, led an unsuccessful revolt against British rule.

  3. In 1944, the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC) emerged, inspired by the African National Congress' 1914 Peace Charter. In the 1953 Nyasaland was joined with Northern and Southern Rhodesia in 1953 to form the semi-independent Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (Central African Federation), which lasted a decade. In 1958, Hastings Banda, a European-trained physician working in Ghana, returned to the country and assumed leadership of the NAC. In 1959 he was sent to Gwelo Prison for his political activities but was released in 1960 to participate in a constitutional conference in London which gave Africans a majority in the colony's Legislative Council. In 1961 theMalawi Congress Party (the former NAC) won an overwhelming victory in the legislative elections elections and became the de facto rulers of the country. In a constitutional conference in London in November 1962, the British government agreed to give Nyasaland self-governing status the following year. Hastings became prime minister in 1963, three months before a new constitution took effect in May, providing for virtually complete internal one-party self-government. On 6 July 1964 the Republic of Malawi became a fully independent member of the British Commonwealth. Banda weathered a cabinet revolt in September and became president under a new constitution in 1966; in 1971 he was declared president for life. From 1985 Malawi became a haven for refugees from other African countries. Banda constructed a business empire that eventually produced 1/3-third of the country's gross domestic product and employed 10% of the wage-earning workforce. Though the money was invested in development projects, the people voted for a multi-party democracy in 1993; a presidential council was formed; the life presidency was abolished; and a new constitution was put into place. In 1994 Banda was defeated by one of his MCP colleagues, Bakili Muluzi. In 1996 the US government created the African Crisis Response Initiative force to enable timely response to humanitarian crises and empower peacekeeping missions on the African continent; Malawi was the first nation in southern Africa to receive peacekeeping training uner its auspices. In 2004 Dr. Bingu wa Mutharikabecame president. In 2005 he split with the United Democratic Front and began his own Democratic Progressive Party and in 2008 arrested five senior UDF members for corruption. In July 2011 protests over high costs of living, devolving foreign relations, poor governance, and a lack of foreign exchange reserves erupted, leaving protesters dead and at least 44 with gunshot wounds. In April 2012, Mutharika died of a heart attack and was succeeded by vice-president Joyce Banda, the founder of the People's Party created in 2011. She lost office to Mutharika's brother Arthur Peter Mutharika in 2014.


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