Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Empty People--By Ndongolera C. Mwangupili-- Malawi

The Empty People

We are the empty people
we are the void people
eating our own
stuff and nonsense.
our void cries reach
deaf ears of laughing hyenas.
but a hyena is a hyena.
even if it came down from the mountains
to dwell in the reeds along the lake,
it remains a hyena.

Solutions without love,
thanksgiving without gratitude;
but smiles of aversion.
and hatred forming a shapeless
hollow in us - may be – like the water
of nothingness… And we remain
the empty people,
the void people.

Ndongolera C. Mwangupili works as a Senior Inspector of Schools in Malawi. He has vast experience as a teacher of English and Bible Knowledge. Many of his short stories, poems and essays have been published in the Malawi News and Weekend Nation. His stories are anthologized in Modern Stories from Malawi and The Bachelor of Chikanda and Other Stories. His poem “The Genesis” was anthologized in The Time Traveller of Maravi: New Poetry from Malawi. His other poem “Letters to a Comrade” is published online in India on He believes that there is a thin line between fiction and reality. All that people write is a re-creation of what is already known to the writer and exists not only in the mind of the writer but also outside the writer, therefore, fiction is actually facts written as if they are not facts. He is married to Angella, and they have two daughters Mary Magdalena and Princess Cleopatra.


  1. A true reflection of these-selves of ours

  2. Thought provoking. A good piece! Thank you for sharing. Ralph

  3. Thank you for sharing your talent with this well written poem of the sad reality of the lives of many selfish souls, the laughing hyenas, in this world. May I never be found as such, though it is easy and a natural thing to think first of ones own needs and put aside the needs of others. In my book the question arises. What can fill the void we are all born with and try so hard to fill with the things of this world.? My solution is love, Christ like love; forgetting oneself and thinking of others.. Not that you were looking for an answer, just my thoughts and I appreciate the opportunity to ponder your words.

  4. Thanks for your comments. I find them quite inspiring. Yes, this themes disturbs me a lot. How do we think about the otherness vis-a-vis the selfness in our society today. Thanks for the comments.