It is almost a year since I returned to Malawi and one thing I have realised during that time is that I have connected with people much more through my books than I ever did by being physically present. I am not sure whether to be flattered or humbled by this discovery!
A whole generation has grown up since my early days in Malawi in the 1980s and 1990s. My recurrent experience on being introduced to someone is to hear them respond, “Delighted to meet you. Of course, I have read your books.” Evidence for the veracity of this claim is found in the libraries where I find that my books have been borrowed dozens of times and are moving beyond the dog-eared to the falling-apart stage.
This has prompted a project for the coronavirus period when Colleges are closed and we are encouraged to work from home as much as possible. I doubt if I will ever have such a good opportunity to prepare reprints of books for which there is still demand.
One of them is an examination of Malawi’s transition from one-party rule to multi-party democracy, entitled Church, Law and Political Transition in Malawi 1992-94. This was the very first book in the Kachere Series which eventually produced more than a hundred titles as it pioneered theological publishing in Malawi.
Now Malawi is again in the throes of a significant political transition as last year’s Presidential election has been annulled by the courts and people will soon return to the polls. Along the way there has been a reassertion of the separation of powers and a reclaiming of Governmental accountability to the people. As the country finds its way through a potentially major political transition there can be value in looking at the last one. The modest reprint is offered in the hope that it can contribute to this.
How affirming for you Ken that the books you have written and contributed to have clearly been of worth to many readers. Knowledge is power as they say and great that you have been able to contribute to Malawians being able to understand and learn about their cultural, religious and political history and some of the rest of us outside of Malawi.