Malawians say Cecilia Tamanda Kadzamira’s book, Mama of the Nation, glamourizes dictatorship.
The book has been launched today at University of Notre Dame, Indiana in the United States of America.
The website for the book describes Kadzamira as a trained nurse who worked for Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda in Nyasaland following the country’s independence.
“When Dr. Banda became president of the fledgling country, he asked her to help him build this newly independent nation. She served as Official Government Hostess of the Republic of Malawi, Africa from 1966 to 1994 and earned the respected title, “Mama of the Nation.” Her values continue to offer a legacy of love for children, youth, and adults in Malawi and throughout the world,” the website says.
But Malawians on social media say the book appears to be glamourizing the dictatorship under the leadership of Banda who had Kadzamira by his side.
“The book seems to be romanticizing dictatorship in some way because there is no way Cecilia Kadzamira should be considered a heroine in any way,” said Hasi Hasy.
While Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa said: “Not the Mama book we desired…. This is too PResque. And the website has all these tired tropes about Malawi.”
Contributors for the book include Phyllis Wezeman who an author/educator who has been working in Malawi for nearly 20 years, Stephanie Wezeman who is a former English teacher, Chrissy Kadzamira who is Mama’s s niece and David Blodgett who paints murals.