Mwangwego script

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Mwangwego alphabet)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
LanguagesChewa and other Bantu languages of Malawi
CreatorNolence Mwangwego
Time period

The Mwangwego script is an abugida developed for Malawian languages by Nolence Mwangwego.[1][2] It is one of several indigenous scripts invented for local language communities in Africa.[3]

The idea for a Malawian script came on November 10, 1977, in Paris, when he discovered that there are various writing systems in the world, and thought that words meaning "to write" in Malawian languages were evidence that they once had a script of their own.[1][4]


The Mwangwego script was created in 1979, with additional symbols created up to 1997 by Mwangwego.[1][5]

Usage and reception[edit]

The script was launched in 2003 but has only gained a small following within Malawi. Mwangwego continues to hold public lectures and exhibitions in academic institutions and teach the script. In 2003, the Minister of youth, sports and culture, Mr Kamangadazi Chambalo, was quoted as saying:

"Mwangwego script is in itself history in the making. Irrespective of how it is going to be received by the public nationwide, the script is bound to go in the annals of our history as a remarkable invention."[1]

The first person to learn the script was Mwandipa Chimaliro.[1] Ten other students that year learned the script as well who went on to teach others.[1]

In 2007 the Mwangwego Club was formed whose membership is open to those that have learned the script. As of 2012, there were about 395 people using it. Only one book has ever been published using the script. This was A Malawi Tili Pati by Mwangwego written in Chichewa.[6]

The script is not recognised by the ISO 15924 standard. However, the Script Encoding Initiative[7] is working to have it included and there is a proposal[8] to include it in Unicode.[9]

Nolence Mwangwego[edit]

Nolence Moses Mwangwego is a Zambian-born Malawian linguist. He was born on July 1, 1951 in Mwinilunga District of Zambia.[10] Mr Mwangwego comes from Yaphet Mwakasungula village, in the area of Paramount chief Kyungu in Karonga District.[10] Mr Mwangwego was, on December 29, 1997, installed village Headman Yaphet Mwakasungula IV. He speaks and writes Chewa, Tumbuka, Kyangonde, English, French, and Portuguese. He is currently working as teacher of French at the French Cultural Center, in Blantyre.[10]

He is married to Ellen Kalobekamo and has four children.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Mwangwego Script -History of the script". Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Unseth, Peter. Invention of scripts in West Africa for Ethnic Revitalization. In Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity vol. 2, edited by Joshua Fishman and Ofelia Garcia, 23-32. New York: Oxford University Press.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Sites on Scripts and Writing Systems". Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Mwangwego", Omniglot, retrieved 21 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Welcome to the Script Encoding Iniative", Script Encoding Initiative, retrieved 21 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Preliminary proposal to encode the Mwangwego script in the UCS", The Unicode Consortium, retrieved 21 June 2018.
  9. ^ "Mwangwego", ScriptSource, retrieved 21 June 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "Mwangwego Script -The Inventor". Retrieved 9 November 2014.