MUST students visit Mikuyu Prison, donate items


Posted By

James Mphande

Posted on

22nd Apr, 2024

By Shadreck Mweso & Success Chandawira 

Third and second year Language and Communication students from the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) on April 19, 2024 went to Mikuyu Young Offenders Rehabilitation Centre in Zomba for an education visit.

Apart from the lessons, they also donated some items to the inmates. The items included tablets of soap and some clothes. 

Led by their lecturer, Professor of Literature at University of Malawi, Nick Tembo, the students visited Mikuyu Prison to appreciate the realities of what they learnt in class, especially in relation to Jack Mapanje’s references in his poems such as “The Chattering Wagtails of Mikuyu Prison” and “You Caught Me Slipping off Your Shoulders Once”. 

Drawing inspiration from Mapanje’s intense expression of prisoners’ experience at Mikuyu Prison in his poems and the university’s outreach mission, the students decided to contribute and mobilize resources towards purchase of the items for donation at the juvenile inmates’ centre.

During the donation, Mikuyu Prison warder, Joseph Mayani, thanked the students for the visit and the donation.

“We are really thankful for the donation, especially that it is coming from students who also rely on others for support. We wish other people could emulate their good gesture because our prisoners lack things such as soap, relish, school materials, shoes, and clothes,” said Mayani.

Professor Tembo explained that the trip was organised to allow the students to appreciate that literature is not just a work of fiction but it also mirrors real-life situations that need to be addressed for the betterment of society. 

“I wanted my students to acknowledge that literature reflects on everyday life realities that need special attention for the greater good of society. This is why upon reading the poems, they decided to contribute towards the welfare of the inmates,” he said.

Second year student, Patumal Daudi expressed her happiness that she was able to relate what she learnt in class with what was on the ground at Mikuyu Prison.

Mikuyu Young Offenders Rehabilitation Centre has 318 inmates, 136 of them are primary school learners, while the rest are either into carpentry, barbering or tailoring.