In June of 2015, four third-year students at the University of Malawi Chancellor College established an online alternative press. Several weeks ago they asked me to help them with both website design and content – a request that I happily granted!
The mission of the publication is to be a voice for the voiceless people ~ the people of Malawi whose issues and stories remain marginalized from mainstream media. Topics addressed include politics, sports, social issues, education, arts and entertainment, science & environment, and health. There is also an opinion column and a venue for both short stories and poetry.
Nthanda in Chichewa means “morning star.” This name is fitting given that Nthanda Times seeks to enable many people in Malawi to have their voices heard and publicized for the very first time. They’ve also constructed a Facebook site:
Meet these four socially conscious and motivated students with whom I had the pleasure of having in two of my classes this semester:
Working on Nthanda Times in the office at Chancellor College
Amadu is a Malawian who lives in Lilongwe. His parents come from the Mangochi District in the Southern Region of Malawi. After graduating from the Livimbo Community Day Secondary School in the District of Lilongwe, he enrolled at the University of Malawi Chancellor College to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Cultural Studies. After the initial venture of helping his three colleagues establish Nthanda Times, he now contributes his time to reporting and writing.
Aubrey was born during the civil war in Mozambique at Lurwe Health Centre in Nsanje district, situated a few kilometers from the frontiers. Having his house close to the boundary, the war forced his family to relocate. He is now a 3rd year student at the University of Malawi Chancellor College pursuing Communication and Cultural Studies. As a communicator, he is interested in studying the socio-cultural problems of postcolonial Africa and intends to be a community worker. His goal is to establish a local organization that would support youth education. He draws his inspiration from Nelson Mandela’s quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” and believes that education is the answer to all challenges pushing Africa backward.
Alarmson grew up in a remote village in the Northern part of Malawi, in the District of Nkhata Bay. At first, his ambition was to study nuclear physics, but when he began reading the works of Aristotle, Hegel, Nietzsche, and other philosophers, he thought he should first understand what it means to be a human being before venturing into the workings of the universe. He is now a Communication and Cultural Studies major at the University of Malawi Chancellor College.He believes that each human being can transcend the tendency to exploit others and become what Nietzsche calls an Übermensch, one who is capable of continually exploring new perspectives without needing to force that perspective on others. He says that this is the premise upon which Nthanda Times is built.
Sosten is a Malawian who was born to Malawian parents from Lilongwe. Currently, he is studying for his Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication and Cultural Studies at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. Born in 1996, Sosten developed an interest in media at the early age of nine. He did his primary education in Lilongwe and was selected to Mtendere Secondary School in Dedza in 2009. His admission into the University of Malawi in 2013 enabled him to pursue his career, and he started writing sports articles for the Britain based online publication (EPL BLOG) in 2014. He now writes for Nthanda Times.