While it’s not mentioned in the poem, but the prophecies made in the poem are directly related to what is happening in Malawi. The poet being a Malawian is likely to talk about issues about his local environment as argued by Ngugi (1938), that a writer will present things in ‘his’ environment. In this case Chimombo talks about the local environmental degradations that is happening in Malawi. The country continues to suffer from the effects of global warming and soil degradations that has resulted in floods and low crop yield and this is directly proportional to what is explained in the poem.
The fields will no longer be ravaged by locusts
because they’re radioactive.
Instead the army worm will invade
and eat away the hearts of the stalks.
Fake fertilizers will be fed to the soil
making fools wonder why there’s famine
For example it is on record that this year, 2019, over 1 million people will have no food to eat, yet the country planted maize in the last growing season. Furthermore, it is on record that there is depletion of fish in Lake Malawi and many other lakes and rivers in the country. This has been caused by soil erosion that has caused siltation of lakes and some water bodies that accommodate fish forcing some species to die. This explains what Mlauli predicted is indeed happening.
Furthermore, the persona narrates the economic imbalances that will happen in the country. He argues that the local man will suffer in business because local goods will not sell, because imported goods will beat the local goods in price and in the end the locals will create economic mileages for people in other countries. The poet being a Malawian presented what is happening in Malawi now. The Malawi market has been dominated by foreign goods and by implication Malawians are creating job opportunities in other countries. If the goods are foreign it means some people are cashing on them there.
For example, the government of Malawi started what is called “Buy Malawi Campaign” as a direct reaction to the dominance of foreign goods on the market. The government is trying to enlighten Malawians to buy and use local goods and services so that the transactions should help the local man and boost local economy. The “Buy Malawi” strategy has helped to bring a wave of understanding and appreciation of local products. However, Malawians are yet to feel the quality of local products which are most of the time expensive. In some multinational shops they even sell imported water, vegetables and fruits. As argued by Ngungi that a writer “registers, with varying degrees of accuracy and success, the conflicts and tensions in his changing society”. The writings in the poem have registered success because they have come to pass. The success goes together with realistic accuracy in as far Malawi is concern.
Tell us: Do you think the events that is described can apply to other countries?