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Nyapala is a 30-minute documentary that follows Byson Kaula, a Malawian man who was convicted of murdering his farm worker and sentenced to 23 years in a maximum-security prison before being released in 2015. It starts with a captivating account of how he was appointed the prison's senior 'Nyapala', a position of trust that made him the 'bridge between prisoners and the prison authorities.' The film then places us alongside Byson as he goes about his post release work with the Prison Fellowship Malawi, an organisation that works to improve the lives of prisoners suffering in the country's overcrowded prisons. Through Byson we understand many of the issues facing the criminal justice system in Malawi and the death penalty generally. We are taken into Byson's world as he recounts the horrors he endured on death row in the country's maximum-security prison, including the death of his wife, his attempt at suicide, and coming moments away from being executed by a machine that 'kills like a chicken' on two occasions. And we celebrate the relief his release brought his mother who tried all she could to get him out of prison.
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