Kamuzu Academy Classics Department

The Classical Tradition in Malawi

This page collects resources (texts and bibliographies) relating to the Classical tradition in Malawi. Links are provided where available.


Printed separately is the catalogue of books of Classical interest in the Ngwazi's library at Nguru-ya-Nawambe.

Part I - Texts

Two Classics dons at Kamuzu Academy (one current, one former) have written on the Classical tradition in Malawi in recent years.

Mr. Richard L. Hewitt


Mr. Richard L. Hewitt has taught the Greek and Latin Classics at Kamuzu Academy since 2004.

In 2011 he offered a paper on the Classical tradition in Malawi at the Biennial Conference of the Classical Association of South Africa at Rhodes University, Grahamstown.

The piece is less than current but it is reproduced here as delivered, in memory of a happy and congenial occasion.

It is hoped to bring it up to date and to publish in due course.


Prancing and Pranking and Proclaiming Caesar
Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda and the Classical Tradition in Malawi

MS 2011

Dr. Alexander Suebsaeng


Dr. Alexander Suebsaeng taught the Greek and Latin Classics at Kamuzu Academy from 2009 to 2011 before returning to the UK to qualify (in the high manner of the Ngwazi) as a medical doctor.

He has published on his time in Malawi. Most notably:


Homer in the Tropics

The New Criterion 2015 (Original)


An African Classicist Comes to Rome

The National Review 2014 (Original)


The Treasures of Banda's Palace

Think Africa Press 2011


His book-length work Goodbye, Dr. Banda is forthcoming (2020).

Part II(a) - Bibliography
Classics Dons at Kamuzu Academy

The following contains a selection of works (on any subject so long as they are published) by those who have taught in the Kamuzu Academy Classics Department.

GOODSON, A. G. D. (2011)

'Salimini's Chichewa', in S. PAAS. Johannes Rebmann: A Servant of God in Africa before the Rise of Western Colonialism (Nuremberg and Bonn: VTR)

GOODSON, A. G. D. (2015 - 2020)

a.k.a. 'Kanjuzi', Divers Articles and Contributions, Wikipedia

HEWITT, R. L. (2016)

'Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art', The Eye (March - May 2016) 8 - 14

HEWITT, R. L. and M. PROBERT et al. (2018)

'String Figures from Malawi including some from Rwanda, South Africa, and China', Bulletin of the International String Figure Association 25

JENNER, E. (2001)

'A Short History of the Department of Classics, Chancellor College, University of Malawi', Scholia: Studies in Classical Antiquity 10: 161 – 169

JENNER, E. (2014)

The Gold Leaves: Being an Account and Translation from the Ancient Greek of the so-called 'Orphic' Gold Tablets (Pokeno: Atuanui Press)

McKECHNIE, P. R. and S. J. KERN (1988)

Hellenica Oxyrynchia (Warminster: Aris and Phillips)

SUEBSAENG, A. (2011)

'The Treasures of Banda's Palace', Think Africa Press (22nd November 2011)

SUEBSAENG, A. (2014)

'An African Classicist Comes to Rome', The National Review (8th December 2014)

SUEBSAENG, A. (2015)

'Homer in the Tropics', The New Criterion (March 2015)

SUEBSAENG, A. (2018)

'Hee-Haw, Brave Wilderness!', The New Criterion (February 2018)

Part II(b) - Bibliography
The Classical Tradition in Malawi

The following contains a selection of works, i) of expressly classical interest, and ii) with a larger scope, which might be useful to set the Classical tradition in Malawi in context.


It consists currently in the bibliography for the 2011 CASA paper. It will be corrected, rationalised and brought up to date in due course.

ALEXANDER, C. (1991)

'An Ideal State', New Yorker, vol. 67 / 43 (Dec. 16, 1991), pp. 53 – 88


When Animals Sing and Spirits Dance: Gule Wamkulu: The Great Dance of the Chewa People of Malawi (Oxford: Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art)

BRODY, D. A. (1997)

'The Library of Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda', Daily Times (2nd December, 1997), p. 3

CHIMOMBO, S. (1996 - 2005)

The ‘Vipya’ Poem (Zomba), Epic of the Forest Creatures (Zomba) and Python! Python! An Epic of Mbona the Rainmaker (Zomba)

HEWITT, R. L. and A. C. SUEBSAENG (2011)

'Books of Classical Interest in the Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda Memorial Library, Nguru-ya-Nawambe Palace, Mount Kasungu', unpublished

JENNER, E. (2001)

'A Short History of the Department of Classics, Chancellor College, University of Malawi', Scholia: Studies in Classical Antiquity 10: 161 – 169

KAMBALU, S. (2008)

The Jive Talker, Or How to Get a British Passport (London)


Opening Speech, 21st November, 1981, MS (Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda Memorial Library)

LAMBERT, M. (2011)

The Classics and South African Identities (London and New York: Bloomsbury)

LWANDA, J. L. (2009)

Kamuzu Banda of Malawi: A Study in Promise, Power and Legacy: Malawi under Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1961 – 1994) (Zomba)


Opening Speech, 1st September, 1974

MAPANJE, J. (2002)

'Afterword. The Orality of Dictatorship: In Defence of My Country', in A Democracy of Chameleons: Politics and Culture in the New Malawi, ed. H. ENGLUND (Blantyre, 2002)

McKECHNIE, P. R. (1998)

Approaches to Learning Latin and Greek in Forms One and Two at Kamuzu Academy, MS (August, 1998)

MEIGGS, R. (1982)

'R. M. Ogilvie', Proceedings of the British Academy (1982) 627 – 636

MGAWI, K. J. (2005)

Tracing the Footsteps of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda (Blantyre)


The Frogs: An Adaptation of Aristophanes' The Frogs, MS (1st Performed 11 July 2009; 1st Written Draft 26 July 2009)

OGILVIE, R. M. (1979)

Classical Studies in Malawi: A Report made during a visit, June to July, 1979 [non vidi]

PHIRI, K. M. and K. R. ROSS (1998)

Democratization in Malawi – A Stocktaking (Blantyre)

POWER, J. (2010)

Political Culture and Nationalism in Malawi: Building Kwacha (Rochester, NY and Woodbridge)

SHORT, P. (1974)

Banda (London)

SIMANGO, C., H. SOMANJE and N. DAUSI (undated)

Kamuzu: Memories of the Father and Founder of the Malawi Nation (Blantyre)


[STATE ADDRESSES] on the State Opening of Parliament, 24th September, 1978, 13th November, 1979, 24th October, 1984 and 10th July, 1987


The Chancellor and the University: Address by Dr. David Kimble, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Malawi, to the Congregation held in Zomba on 27 October 1979

USHER, M. (2011)

'A Piggyback and Personal Account of Classics in Malawi', <http://www.chs-fellows.org/blog/languagesandliterature/a-piggyback-and-personal-account-of-classics-in-malawi-2/>, posted 4th February, 2011 (accessed May, 2011)

WATKINS, M. H. (1937)

A Grammar of Chichewa: A Bantu Language of British Central Africa (Pennsylvania)

Part III - The Library at Nguru-ya-Nawambe

Click here to read:


A Catalogue Raisonné of the Books of Classical Interest in the Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda Memorial Library, Nguru-ya-Nawambe Palace, Mount Kasungu

MS 2011


R. L. Hewitt and A. C. Suebsaeng