Malawian poet, academic and diplomat David Rubadiri, joins the ancestors

Another African statesman and fine gentleman, David Rubadiri, poet, academic and diplomat, has died at the age of 88.

I came across David Rubadiri’s poetry in my early years. ‘An African Thunderstorm’ and it stayed with me. He is more known for the collection Modern Poetry of Africa which he co-edited with David Cook. His poem, ‘An African Thunderstorm’ (which appears at the end of this post) is his most popular and a notable poem of the continent.DnJZ14eXoAAVtPG

I got the news only yesterday that he passed on from the fine website of James Murua. Excerpts from the post reads:

Poet, academic and diplomat David Rubadiri has passed on. The Malawian’s family announced that he had moved to the ancestral plane on September 15, 2018.

David Rubadiri was a Malawian diplomat, academic and poet, playwright and novelist ranked as one of Africa’s most widely anthologized and celebrated poets to emerge after his country’s independence. He was born in July 19, 1930, where his father served as a District Officer while his mother was a homemaker who took care of the children as his father worked across the border in Tanzania. Rubadiri crossed over to Uganda in search of better education and attended both primary and secondary education at King’s College, Budo, near Kampala From 1941 to 1950. He later joined the prestigious Makerere University between 1965 and 1975 for his bachelor’s degree in English literature and History before flying out to the University of London where he studied for a BA in Literature, History and Geography, and graduated with a first class honours degree. His MA in Literature was at Cambridge.

His only novel, No Bride Price, was published in 1967. It is in the poetry space where he shone editing, alongside David Cook, the 1963 anthology Modern Poetry of Africa (East African Publishers), and appeared in international publications including Transition, Black Orpheus and Présence Africaine.

Rubadiri, the former vice chancellor of the University of Malawi, was only a few months ago feted by his countrymen for his contributions to theirs and the continents literary scene.


To get the full details, check the post at


May his soul rest in peace.



An African Thunderstorm
By David Rubadiri

From the west
Clouds come hurrying with the wind
Turning sharply
Here and there
Like a plague of locusts
Tossing up things on its tail
Like a madman chasing nothing.

Pregnant clouds
Ride stately on its back,
Gathering to perch on hills
Like sinister dark wings;
The wind whistles by
And trees bend to let it pass.

In the village
Screams of delighted children,
Toss and turn
In the din of the whirling wind,
Babies clinging on their backs
Dart about
In and out
The wind whistles by
Whilst trees bend to let it pass.

Clothes wave like tattered flags
Flying off
To expose dangling breasts
As jagged blinding flashes
Rumble, tremble and crack
Amidst the smell of fired smoke
And the pelting march of the storm.



Some all-rounded writer with the wits to turn anything and everything to words with inspiration... cheering to glory and on...

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