Malawi Culture

Malawi Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Malawi

The distribution of daily newspapers in Malawi is very small (less than 1 newspaper ex. Per 1000 residents, 2000). The only daily newspaper is The Daily Times, founded in 1895 and published in English with an edition of about 22,000 copies. Malawi News (about 30,000 copies) is published once a week in English and Chewa.

The state-run, semi-commercial company Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) broadcasts radio in English and chewa since 1964. Television company Television Malawi was founded in 1999. There are 499 radio and 3 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to ALLUNITCONVERTERS, the oral storytelling tradition is strong in Malawi. The first books were published in the 1930s and were written in the native languages ​​chewa and tumbuka.

In the 1960s, novels in English began to be published and several of them reflected societal problems such as prostitution, corruption and cultural contradictions. Nowadays most books are written in English. Jack Mapanje and Steve Chimombo are among the best known Malawian writers.
During the dictatorship 1964-1994, strict censorship prevailed. Different-thinking writers were driven into exile, which hampered the development of literature during that period. Today, cultural workers can operate largely freely.

The country’s artists work with various techniques, including batik, painting and wood and stone sculpture. A known name is Cuthy Mede.

Music and dance are important elements of social and religious life. Most folk groups have their own music and their own dances. Rattles, which are often tied around legs and arms, as well as drums and string instruments are common. There are a variety of xylophones and tump pianos (mbira). Popular music has strong influences from South Africa and Congo-Kinshasa.

Mass Media

In 1995, freedom of the press and opinion was written into the constitution, but since the turn of the millennium, the political climate has hardened and there are threats and violence against journalists.

Prosecution has been brought for slander and defamation in revealing corruption. Media whose content is considered to be contrary to the public interest may be closed by law.

Although the media lives under pressure in Malawi, the Reporters Without Borders organization believes that the situation is better than in neighboring countries.

Most newspapers in Malawi are privately owned. There are two newspapers: The Daily Times and The Nation. There are also a number of weekend magazines and weekly magazines as well as some that are published every two weeks. The biggest weekly newspaper is Malawi News.

For many people, radio is the main source of information. Few Malaysians can afford TV, and most people lack electricity. The more affluent have access to satellite TV from South Africa.


Percentage of the population using the internet

14 percent (2017)

Number of mobile subscriptions per 100 residents

39 (2018)



The Vice President in disgrace

Vice President Joyce Banda is forced to leave her post as deputy party leader in DPP.


Protests against pension proposals

Protests are being held against a proposal to raise the retirement age to between 55 and 60 years, higher than the expected life expectancy in the country.


Prison for same-sex wedding

A gay couple is sentenced to 14 years in prison for arranging their own wedding and breaking the law prohibiting gay acts. After sharp international protests, the men are later pardoned by the president and released from prison.

Malawi Culture

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