I’ve lived in Malawi for a little less than two months now, and despite the poverty that is usually emphasized, I can say it is a magnificent country. Since I arrived, everything to me is remarkable. It’s an absolutely different world From what I know, with peculiar habits and customs.
Things that caught my attention were the colorful clothing of the locals (which here is called chitenje); the great social interaction existing in their ways of working and living together (no matter who or where, if you’re in the street, you will always hear a ” Muli Bwanji”?), and of course, the receptivity when they welcomed me, besides the simplicity, cheerful and friendly way to greet . It caused for me a feeling of affection and instant admiration and made me feel ,somehow, special.
Poverty here is really big, and a good part of the population plant many types of food in their backyards, both for consumption and for sale. It is very common to walk in neighborhoods here and find shops that offer the same products, in addition to several others, from household appliances to electronic equipments. The owners of these stores are usually the dwellers themselves, who often have to help supplement the income of their families. And if there’s something here that draws attention, it is the creativity of these traders.
Here in Malawi, it is a tradition to use the titles of establishments and shops as means to honor, inform or simply entertain consumers. And believe me, they do it here in a masterly way. But some of them can be really bizarre.
Here are some iconic examples: