A very Brief overview of Malawi

Malawi is a small country located in the south east of Africa, framed by the Great Rift Valley highlands in the North and almost a fifth of the country comprised of Lake Malawi to the east. North of Malawi is Tanzania, west Zambia and south is Mozambique. The capital city is Lilongwe in Central Malawi and Blantyre is in the south, but most Malawians live in rural areas.

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In colonial times, the territory was ruled by the British, under whose control it was known first as British Central Africa and later Nyasaland. It became part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. The country achieved full independence, as Malawi, in 1964. After independence, Malawi was ruled as a one-party state under Hastings Banda until 1994.

In 2001, the UDF held 96 seats in the National Assembly, while the AFORD held 30, and the MCP 61. Six seats were held by independents who represent the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) opposition group. The NDA was not recognised as an official political party at that time. The National Assembly had 193 members, of whom 17 were women, including one of the Deputy Speakers.

Malawi saw its very first transition between democratically elected presidents in May 2004, when the UDF's presidential candidate Bingu wa Mutharika defeated MCP candidate John Tembo and Gwanda Chakuamba, who was backed by a grouping of opposition parties. The UDF, however, did not win a majority of seats in Parliament, as it had done in 1994 and 1999 elections. It successfully secured a majority by forming a "government of national unity" with several opposition parties. Bingu wa Mutharika left the UDF party on 5 February 2005 citing differences with the UDF, particularly over his anti-corruption campaign. He won a second term outright in the 2009 election as the head of a newly founded party, the Democratic Progressive Party.

Young girls in Kangoma  JGauron, Snow on the Road

Young girls in Kangoma JGauron, Snow on the Road

Chichewa 101

Hello - Moni

Good morning - Mazuka Bwanji

How are you? - Muli Bwanji?

I am good (and you?) - Ndili bwino (kaya inu?)

See you later! - Tionana!

Thank you (very much)! - Zikomo (kwambiri)!

What is your name? -  Dzina lako ndi ndani?

My name is (Gloria) - Dzina langa ndi (Gloria)

Good - Chabwino

Sorry - Pepani