Features

From machine, Mchini was born

A MAN taking a pig to Mchini market in Chipata. PICTURE: DARLINGTON MWENDABAI

DARLINGTON MWENDABAI, Chipata
FROM a loud siren (alarm) machine which was sounded at a tobacco company in the 1960s to wake up farm workers, came the name of a township, Mchini in Chipata, Eastern Province.
When the alarm was sounded, the locals, Tumbuka-speaking people in particular, would say ‘mchini yalila” (the siren is ringing).
At the time, white settlers had a tobacco company where they would summon their workers to work using a big siren, which members of the community simply called machine.
Trailing the source of the name Mchini reveals interesting narrations about the township’s history and life in general.
Dilika ward, where Mchini is found, has a population of 23,324 people – 11, 762 males and 11, 562 females – according to the 2010 Census of Population and Housing. The presiding councillor is Samuel Phiri of the Patriotic Front (PF).
A Mchini resident, Davison Chonde Mvula, 66, recalls how life was in the area in the early days.http://epaper.daily-mail.co.zm/

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