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Mwangwego alphabet

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

LanguagesChewa and other Bantu languages of Malawi
CreatorNolence Mwangwego
Time period

The Mwangwego alphabet 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 and is slowly gaining a following within Malawi.[dubious ] 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 about 10,000 Mwangwego students formed the Mwangwego Club whose membership is open to those that have learned the script.[citation needed]

Nolence Mwangwego[edit]

Nolence Moses Mwangwego is a Zambian-born Malawian linguist. He was born on July 1, 1951 in Mwinilunga District of Zambia.[6] Mr Mwangwego comes from Yaphet Mwakasungula village, in the area of Paramount chief Kyungu in Karonga District.[6] 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.[6]

He is married to Ellen Kalobekamo and has four children.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Mwangwego Script -History of the script". Mwangwego.com. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  2. http://www.kumatoo.com/nolence_mwangwego.html
  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. http://speakjhr.com/2010/11/the-politics-of-malawis-alphabet/
  5. "Sites on Scripts and Writing Systems". Scripts.sil.org. Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Mwangwego Script -The Inventor". Mwangwego.com. Retrieved 9 November 2014.

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