Companies using soldiers on Martyrs day posters face the wrath of Malawians


Companies in Malawi have faced condemnation for using soldiers on posters commemorating Martyrs Day which is a day for celebrating ordinary people who fought against colonial rule.

Today, 3rd March, Malawi commemorates Martyrs Day to honour Malawian people who gave their lives in the struggle against British colonialism and several companies have used soldiers in their posters for the day.

Journalist Jack McBrams has condemned the practice, saying ordinary people are the ones who were killed by armed soldiers in the events that led to the independence of Malawi from colonial rule.

He tweeted: “It seems companies in #Malawi don’t understand #martyrsday. It’s about celebrating ordinary people who rose against colonial forces in Nkhata Bay on March 3, 1959. Why then all these adverts with soldiers on them? Are we celebrating the soldiers that killed our people?…”

Some of the men and women regarded as heroes today were shot dead in cold blood on March 3rd, 1959, in August and September 1953, and between January and May, 1915.

Malawian Scholar Levi Manda wrote in an article on 3rd March, 2021 that founding President Kamuzu Banda chose 3rd March as Martyrs Day because the commotions and killings on 3rd March 1959 accelerated Malawi’s independence “which had previously appeared a decade away, and probably a far cry.”

“The British government thought that the Federation was there to stay. However, after that day’s they recognized that the Federation’s survival was doubtful and decided to abandon it altogether,” wrote Manda.

Commemoration of Matyrs Day today were held in Nkhata Bay at Kalambwe School grounds where President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera attended together with Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima.