Exposing gender stereotypes in local Malawian music


Date: June 1, 2011
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In March 2011, Gender Links, in partnership with the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ), hosted a gender and media literacy course in Blantyre. In total, 24 citizens participated in the course. As part of the course, participants were required to undertake a short project. Joe Mlenga, a MIJ student, analysed blatant and subtle stereotypes in two local Malawian songs recorded more than a decade ago. The songs are still popular in drinking joints, on radio stations and in other places of entertainment.

The two songs are Choncho ndi Amunanga by Lucky Stars Band and Abambo Ache Boyi by the Mulimwa Brothers Band. The first song is an example of blatant stereotypes in music: a woman says she does not mind being a punching bag because her husband provides good food, a house and she has children. In the second song, women are depicted as not being able to make crucial decisions. They are encouraged to always be grateful for men’s providence. The research recommends that the gender and media literacy project be extended to music producers and musicians. To read the full project, click on the document below.


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