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This rich song by Peter Mawanga draws jointly from the beautiful cultural heritage of Malawi and from Habakkuk 1:2-5.

Habakkuk 1:2-5



Peter Mawanga


Written, Composed, Performed by Peter Mawanga

Curated by: 

Jonathon Roberts


Image by Giorgio Trovato

Primary Scripture

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The music is drawn from the Manganje beat which is commonly danced by the Lomwes from the Southern region of Malawi.

The words in the song are drawn from Habakkuk 1:2-5.

Habakkuk was complaining to God about the problems he was going through and the Lord answered him by promising Habakkuk that he was going to do something in his days‚ things that he would not believe.

The title of this song, NDAUPENYA, meaning "I have seen your greatness," is inspired by Habakkuk 3:1-4. This is a prayer from Habakkuk the prophet in shigionoth.

NDAUPENYA is a Chichewa word drawn from a verb PENYA which means "Look or Watch."

Spark Notes

The Artist's Reflection

Peter Mawanga has attracted worldwide acclaim with his music, the Nyanja vibes, performing on world stages in Africa, Europe and America. Not a stranger to the BBC and other media outlets, Mawanga has established himself as one of the living legends in Malawi and Africa.

Blending traditional instruments as the Nyanja’s visekese, malimba, and kaligo, with contemporary instruments, he produces music that is fondly described by many as therapeutic, drawing from the Nyanja’s core values of peace and calm. The Nyanja are the most peaceful people in Africa and their country Malawi, which has never been at war, be it civil or otherwise, is known as the warm heart of Africa. Their instruments are deliberately designed to produce sounds that appeal to different feelings that aim at calming the nerves, celebrating life, pleading for peace and mostly merrymaking. It is from this source that Peter birthed the aMaravi movement and the celebrated Nyanja afro-vibes which mainly took off when he produced the now world renown album, Mawu A Malawi (The Voice of Malawi), which featured stories of AIDS.

For seven months Peter and colleagues had collected narratives from twenty-six of the most inspiring people they had ever met. They shared their loss, pain, joy, courage, and wisdom. The result of the project was Mawu a Malawi. The album was launched at the University of North Carolina and Department of State, making Peter Mawanga the first African musician to perform at the office of the Secretary of State. Since then, Peter’s performances have been holistic, characterized by song, film, dance, talks and sometimes dramatic monologues.

His talks, among other things topics, are on:

  • Malawian traditional sounds; origins, use, relevance, relation to Africa and the world at large, the fusion with contemporary instruments, extinction, and preservation efforts.

  • Music and dance in Malawi, the interplay of music in the social setup. Issues of identity, music as a people’s movement and a catalyst for life. Dance and tribal heritage.

  • Talents of the Malawian Child Project Mawanga’s personal life (self-discovery) and involvement in projects for social change and economic empowerment.

Peter, just like the Nyanjas of Malawi, believes that music goes beyond the ear, reaching out into the inner person to produce a healing power. It is one of the keys to a peaceful mind.

Peter Mawanga

About the Artist


Nambala Wani


Peter Mawanga

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