By Steven Maseya
You might have watched their video clips on social media and TV or listened to them on radio speaking in Lhomwe accent and wondered who these young girls are.
The two are twins who have decided to defy the odds and come out to prove that one ought to be proud of who they are. They are popularly known as LindaMada Twins.
Linda and Madalitso Kumbuyo were born on January 06, 1996. They hail from Mpiyama village, TA Nchiramwela in Thyolo District. The only children in the family of Mr. and Mrs Kumbuyo.
Both Linda and Mada did their primary school at Nachipere F.P School, where they were selected to Mpinji CDSS but they decided to go to St. Anthony Henry Secondary School in the district where they did their form one and two in 2010 and in 2011 respectively. Later they enrolled with Kabadwa Pvt secondary school in Zomba.
After completing their Malawi School Certificate of Education at Kabadwa Pvt secondary school they proceeded to do Community Development at Soche Technical College in Blantyre.
Currently, both Linda and Mada are working as volunteers at Dream Community of St. Egidio Feeding Centre in Machinjiri in Blantyre while seeking for job opportunities.
Linda and Madalitso have in recent times attracted a lot of curiosity from a cross section of people for their jokes they usually crack in Lhomwe accent. They have so far become so popular on social media.
What stuns many people is that they are young and beautiful and not ashamed to express themselves in Lhomwe accent which is not the case with many young people of Lhomwe tribe.
They said that the journey started from childhood as the duo were fond of cracking jokes and making people laugh at home and they even joined a drama club during secondary school days. They participated in various school activities as comedians. Making people laugh and happy is what they love to do, so they say.
What is unique about the two is how they employ Lhomwe accent in their comedies. They say the idea came about because people used to make fun of their Lhomwe accent both in secondary and college.
At first, this made them feel bad and inferior. They then realised that most Lhomwes, especially young ones, are usually ashamed of their language and accent because people always think that Lhomwes sound primitive.
However, after coming to terms with the fact that they could not change who they were, they decided to accept and took the challenge against those who were making fun of them by starting acting openly in their mother accent.
They did this to inspire other Lhomwes to love their language and accept who they are and never to be despised and allow others to define who they are.
Linda and Madalitso said they are using the same accent as a weapon to fight against tribalism which was evident in the way people were mocking them.
They also realised that most Lhomwes cannot speak other languages like Chichewa properly. Nevertheless, they are compelled to speak it, thereby eroding their own identity in order to be accepted in society.
Linda and Madalitso invaded social media with comic video clips in October 2020 after a friend encouraged them to use social media to reach out to a wider audience.
Apart from fighting against negative perception for the Lhomwe tribe and the language, they say that they are also doing this in order to educate, entertain and motivate young Lhomwes to speak their language just like other tribes do in Malawi. They also say they act in order to probably make money through comedies which is becoming their passion.
Linda and Madalitso say they have received a lot of support and encouragement from a cross-section of people. They have been overwhelmed by the kind feedback they have received including from some media houses who have invited them to talk about their talent in different radio and TV programmes.
One of the first video clips that went viral on social media was the one the duo was seen greeting people in Lhomwe and trying to correct some who were failing to properly greet in the language but using humour.
However, despite being commended by many people, they also received ridicule from other people. All in all, they were not discouraged because they had already graduated from inferiority complex during school days.
Linda and Madalitso acknowledged that one of the people who is super excited about what they are doing is their grandmother.
Linda and Mada have since vowed to continue to teach their fellow young Lhomwe people who shun from speaking Lhomwe, how beautiful the Lhomwe culture and language is.
They two also plan to provide Lhomwe language lessons. They say one should be proud of his or her roots because people can never be people without a language. They are discouraging Lhomwe people from using borrowed languages because they lose their identity and their face in the process.
The two are since appealing to young Lhomwes to hurry and begin learning their language today. Being proud of speaking other languages is like being proud of borrowed clothes; there is no sense of belonging.
According to Linda and Madalitso, they want to become the greatest female comedians in Malawi. They are challenging a lot of young people that one can earn respect from others if you are proud of what you are.