Dr Atikonda Mkochi

Executive Dean



Dr Atikonda Akuzike Mtenje-Mkochi is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics and Communication and the Director of the Bingu School of Culture and Heritage (BISCH) at MUST. She is the first female to hold the position of Director at MUST.

She holds a PhD in Linguistics from University of Cape Town and an MA in Linguistics and BA Honours in Linguistics also from University of Cape Town. She also has a BA (Humanities) degree from University of Malawi and prior to her appointment as BISCH Director, she worked as Head of Department for Language and Communication Studies between 2018 and 2022. During this period, at different times, she also acted as head for African Musicology, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices, and Sports Sciences.

Prior to joining MUST, Dr Mtenje-Mkochi worked at Mzuzu University as a Linguistics lecturer and also served as Acting Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Her PhD work focused on the phonology and morpho-syntax of the minority language varieties of Cisukwa, Cindali and Cilambya. In 2014, Dr Mtenje-Mkochi was a visiting scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies of University of London. She is a recipient of the following scholarship awards: Lestrade scholarship, NRF grant holder award and the Harry Oppenheimer Institute scholarship.

Dr. Mtenje-Mkochi’s research interests are particularly in the structure of languages with emphasis on phonology, morpho-syntax and micro-variation of Bantu languages. She is also interested in how languages can be used for national, regional and global development in the sectors of health, education and environment and the role of the humanities, social sciences and culture in the 20th Century. She has published articles in several international and local journals in areas of her research interests.

Dr Mtenje-Mkochi has also published book chapters and two monographs, and has presented at various local and international fora in the areas of phonology, morpho-syntax and micro-variation of Bantu languages and sociolinguistic issues in Malawi.

She is currently working on a project which is reinventing Malawian folktales for environment and climate change communication. She is also co-investigator of a Medical Humanities project funded by Welcome Trust.

At MUST, Dr Mtenje-Mkochi has led initiatives such as the 2022 Girls Science Camp, the establishment of Advances in Sciences and Arts journal and the Organising Committee of the Bantu 9 International conference in Malawi in 2022.

Dr Mtenje-Mkochi also does consultancy work for institutions and organisations as a translator, editor, proof reader, transcriber and module developer.