John Lwanda

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John Lloyd Chipembere Lwanda (born 1949) is a Malawian medical doctor, writer, poet, researcher, publisher and music producer.[1][2] He is a published author and also a publisher of books and music.[3] He was an honorary senior lecturer at the University Glasgow University Department of Primary Care until 2005. Lwanda did his history and social science PhD at the University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies.[4]


Lwanda was educated in Zimbabwe (1956–1958), Malawi (1958–1969) and Scotland at Anglican, Catholic and Presbyterian schools and colleges. He spent a politically and musically influential elective in the USA in 1974. Though he had intended to pursue the arts, his father advised him to take up medicine. Graduating in medicine in 1976, he specialised in paediatrics before turning to adult general medicine.


He has worked as a Census Enumerator for the Malawi National Census 1966 and as a clerk in the Ministry of Education between 1967 and 1968 under Brian McLaughlin.[1] At the University of Malawi (1969–1970) he was a Senior Laboratory Assistant working under Professors Peter Mwanza and Margaret Kalk. He has studied and worked in Scotland since 1970 and, briefly, Malawi as a government doctor and lecturer at the College of Medicine. He has also worked in various medical fields since. He is currently a general medical practitioner in Lanarkshire.[1] Although his first article was published in Moni magazine in 1965, he began working as a Freelance writer and journalist from 1981. He, by default, became a Music and Book Researcher and Publisher in 1988.[1] Between 1991 and 1994 he was involved in the activism that led to a multiparty dispensation in Malawi[5] Lwanda describes music as his first love[6]

Publishing career[edit]


Pamtondo was set up in 1988 by John Lwanda and George Claver with the aim of recording and disseminating Malawi music.[7] It recorded and issued a number of releases of Malawi music.


Since 1994 Pamvision has been making Malawian music video recordings and films. The first recording was of Chief Chipoka Band (1994).[7] Over twenty five different acts, ranging from gospel through popular music to traditional, have been video recorded, mostly for academic research.

Dudu Nsomba Publications[edit]

Established in 1993,Dudu Nsomba Publications publishes books on Malawi and Africa. The first book, Kamuzu Banda of Malawi (1993).[7]

Books Edited and Published by Dudu Nsomba[edit]

Published Works[edit]


  • Kamuzu Banda of Malawi: Promise, Power and Legacy (Kachere Publishing)-2010
  • The Rhino’s Lament (Poetry, Dudu Nsomba) -2008. ISBN 978-0-9532396-4-1
  • Music, Culture and Orature: Reading the Malawi public sphere, 1949–2006. (Kachere Publishing)- 2008. ISBN 978-99908-87-33-4
  • Colour, class and culture: A preliminary communication into the creation of doctors in Malawi, 2008. Dudu Nsomba ISBN 0-9532396-8-3
  • Politics, Culture and Medicine in Malawi (Kachere)-2005. ISBN 978-99908-76-13-0
  • Promises, Power Politics and Poverty: Democratic Transition in Malawi, 1961-1999 (Dudu Nsomba)- 1996. ISBN 0-9522233-4-1
  • The second harvest (Novel, Dudu Nsomba)- 1994. ISBN 0-9522233-1-7
  • Black thoughts from the Diaspora (Poetry, Dudu Nsomba)- 1994. ISBN 0-9522233-2-5

Book Chapters[edit]

  • “Music and Social Protest (Malawi)”, In J. H. Downing (Editor) Encyclopaedia of Social Movement Media. Sage, 2010
  • “The informal and traditional: education for brain drain in Malawi’”In M. Beveridge, K. King, R. Palmer and R. Wedgewood (Eds) Reintegrating Education, skills and work in Africa: towards informal or knowledge economics?: Centre of African Studies, 2005.
  • “Changes in the Malawi Political landscape between 1994 and 2004: Nkhope ya Agalatia” in Ott, Immink and Bhatupe The power of the vote: Malawi’s 2004 parliamentary and presidential Elections, Zomba: Kachere, 2004.
  • “Historical ruptures and continuities in the HIV/Aids story” In Kalipeni, E; Craddock, S.; Oppong, J. and Ghosh, J. eds. HIV/AIDS in Africa: Beyond Epidemiology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2004.
  • “Tikutha: the political culture of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Malawi”. In Englund, H (Ed) A democracy of chameleons: politics and culture in the new Malawi. Uppsala: Nordic Africa Institute. Pages 151 – 165, 2004.
  • “Malawi: Sounds Afroma”. In World Music: the Rough Guide, London: Penguin, p 210 – 218, 2006.


  • "Doctoring the Brain Drain: Medical case of Malawi" - in Zeleza , P. T. and Vesey, C. R. (Eds) African Issues: The African "Brain Drain" to the North: Pitfalls and Possibilities, Vol. 30, No. 1, 2002 (Published by: African Studies Association)
  • ”The [in]visibility of HIV/AIDS in the Malawi public sphere” at