Poet calls for concerted efforts to end child labour


One of Malawi’s poets, Tendai M Shaba, has called for concerted efforts if Malawi is really to win the fight against child labour.

Shaba told Malawi24 that it is very worrisome that Malawi continues to register more cases of child labour a thing which he said if not checked with urgency, will in the few years to come, see an increase in the country’s illiteracy rate.

As part of his advocacy against child labour in Malawi, Shaba said he thought of writing a poem which has been titled ‘Protecting The Future’ which he says is about reminding the general public on the need for concerted efforts to successfully fight child labour.

Shaba who is the author of ‘Moments to Cherish’ said he believes poetry can play a significant role in combating and eradicating cases of child labour in Malawi, hence his new release and he has since encouraged other artists to follow suit.

“The poem is a reminder of the dangers and circumstances of child labour and how it affects the future of our children and of the nation, and the significance of advocating against child labour. We need to get united as a country and fight together.

“There is need for more concerted efforts to keep Malawian children in schools and not child labour. The promotion of adequate education, health and basic freedoms for children is also essential,” said Shaba.

In ‘Protecting the Future’ poem, Shaba said if children are prevented from labour, the country should be assured of a sustainable tomorrow.

The poem reads:

‘I see a future so bright if

As did the eyes before mine

A future worth protecting

A future in the hands of the children

A hope for them becoming educated

And mentally strong children

This is their time to learn

To be nurtured and to grow

Mentally, physically and spiritually

To develop into responsible citizens

The right way, not the shortcut

A shortcut that only leads to jeopardy

Forced to work, overworked, enslaved

When we

Enslave our children we enslave our future

And their future

Let them help where there’s a need

Within their means and capacity

But let us not deprive them of their childhood

I see a future so bright

As did the eyes before mine

A future worth protecting

A future in the hands of the children’

This is coming as Malawi will on Sunday June 12, 2022 join the rest of the world in commemorating World Day Against Child Labour which was launched in 2002 to raise awareness and activism to prevent child labour.