Mrs Ruth Manda Jazinandi (Madam Manda) with her cooking pot

Jacqueline France
Production date
23 Sep 2014
Falkirk Music Pot project funded by Creative Places and Falkirk Community Trust. Visit to Bandawa Girls Secondary School, Malawi by Brian McNeill during project.
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Object detail

Production date
23 Sep 2014
Subject place
Subject notes
Madam Manda is in her 80s but does not know her precise age. Her cooking pot was brought to Malawi from Zambia by her grandfather – again, she cannot recall when.

Madam Manda lives near Bandawe. She is widowed and her husband was the local Tonga tribe chief, whose role is to look after the needs and interests of his community, similar to the Scottish clan system. Madam Manda is therefore treated with the respect afforded the equivalent of royalty.

The title and responsibility pass down to son, although it could also pass to daughter. Madam Manda’s granddaughter, Elizabeth, Malanda Phiri, works as assistant librarian at the nearby Bandawe Girls Secondary School. It is through her that Brian McNeill met Madam Manda. Brian was spending a week at the school as part of The Falkirk Music Pot project, working with the pupils on music and recording their wonderful harmony singing. Three of their songs can be found on the double CD of the project.

The cooking pot was used until recently, when it developed a small hole – much to Madam Manda’s distress. She was intrigued to learn that Brian is from Scotland and asked him if it was possible to obtain another! Elizabeth remembers cooking porridge in the pot each day when she was a girl.
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