November 10, 1977 is the birthday of the the idea in the mind of Mr. Nolence Moses Mwangwego to invent a writing system for Malawian languages. It was during his first six-week stay in Paris, France, that he discovered the existence of several different writing systems used in the world.
This was a puzzle to Nolence and, as time passed, he remembered the verbs KULEMBA and KUSIMBA which in Chichewa and Kyandonde, respectively, mean "to write". He felt convinced that the existence of the two verbs was enough evidence that people in Malawi used to write before the arrival of Europeans in the 19th century. He, therefore, decided to create a unique writing system meant for writing indigenous Malawian languages in place of the latin alphabet.
In April 1979, he created his first symbols which he modified, simplified and refined during the subsequent years. He finished the first part of the invention in 17 years' time and launched it on April 7, 1997. He completed the whole project in 2003, making a total of 24 years that he devoted to this invention.
During the launching ceremony the then 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 nation-wide, the script is bound to go in the annals of our history as a remarkable invention."
Soon after the launch , Mr Mwangwego experimented his invention by teaching 10 people. The first person to learn and master the script is Miss Mwandipa Chimaliro.
When he was satisfied with the results, he conducted a series of public lectures and exhibitions in some secondary schools and colleges in Blantyre, Zomba, Lilongwe and Mzuzu.
In October 2001 , Mr Mwangwego started teaching some people who are among the targeted 10,000 pioneers of Mwangwego script. And in January 2007, these pioneers formed the Mwangwego club whose membership is open only to those who have learned the Mwangwego script.