A spirit possession song from the southern region of Malawi, sung in chiChewa and opening for the outsider a window on the sufferings of a society where children had, and have, only a 50% chance of surviving infancy. For women like Effie Musa from whom this song was recorded in August 1982, witchcraft practiced by one of her neighbours was the only plausible explanation.

Maize has a Market
Sorghum has a Market
Maize has a Market
What about my children?
My children’s market is the graveyard
What about my children?
My children’s market is the graveyard
You are a backbiter
You are a witch
You are a gossip
My children
You will kill them because of jealousy
My children
You will kill them because of jealousy.

from Magomero: Portrait of an African Village (1987),
Landeg White,
(Cambridge University Press, 1987).