Speak Magazine

Malawi

Malawi minibus adventures

June 24, 2011 with 1 Comment

Children in charge

Chikondi is crying again. She’s terrified of my camera lens—and of me, for that matter. Her brother’s broad hands land on her..

June 22, 2011 with 0 Comments

On issue-based journalism in Malawi

Text by Jenny Vaughan, video by Sarah Berman For Ghanaian-born journalist Edem Djokotoe, the best fodder for stories doesn’t come from..

June 22, 2011 with 0 Comments

Malawians could be big winners

In Canada, it’s not uncommon for people to believe lottery companies play on people’s fantasies, encouraging them to hand over money..

June 22, 2011 with 0 Comments

Managing democracy on Malawi’s airwaves

Al Osman has been in media his whole life—as managing editor of publications in southern Africa, as press officer for the Botswana..

June 21, 2011 with 0 Comments

The merits of sunscreen

June 17, 2011 with 0 Comments

Living with garbage

“What day is garbage day?” I asked my landlord upon arriving in Malawi four months ago. Expecting her to mention a day of the week, or..

June 16, 2011 with 1 Comment

The environmental cost of charcoal

Charcoal is ubiquitous in Malawi; it’s sold on the side of the road and used by most to cook. Trees harvested for charcoal are..

June 15, 2011 with 0 Comments

Where village life meets suburbia

In the northern village of Chako Ntchako, Chimphamba Kataghala guides me from one relative’s house to another as we do the customary..

June 7, 2011 with 0 Comments

The plight of the condom

“Nyimbo imodzi sachezelela gule.” (One song won’t keep you dancing throughout the night.) As this Malawian proverb suggests, just one..

May 26, 2011 with 0 Comments

Postcard from Malawi: Making your vote count

May 24, 2011 with 0 Comments

Deforestation on Malawi’s Mulanje mountain

“Why am I doing this again?” I ask myself as I stand at the bottom of Malawi’s Mulanje mountain, staring up at my pinprick..

May 23, 2011 with 0 Comments

Deforestation on Malawi's Mulanje mountain

“Why am I doing this again?” I ask myself as I stand at the bottom of Malawi’s Mulanje mountain, staring up at my pinprick..

May 23, 2011 with 0 Comments

A royal row

The bride has finally arrived. In one swift movement, she slips out of a Rolls-Royce and gingerly readjusts her dress. It’s the moment..

May 20, 2011 with 0 Comments

Youth migration: Child labour in Malawi

Video and text by Denis Calnan In Malawi today, jobs for children are shifting; traditionally, underage youth were employed on tea and..

May 9, 2011 with 0 Comments

Too few teachers: Crammed classrooms in Malawi

Recently, the Malawian Ministry of Education announced its intention to improve the average teacher-to-student ratio in the country from..

April 21, 2011 with 0 Comments

Prison over prejudice

By Philippa Croome I don’t know what I expected from my visit to a Malawian prison. Stern and menacing guards, perhaps, brandishing..

April 19, 2011 with 0 Comments

Rallying for academic freedom across Malawi

It began with a lecture. At Chancellor College in Zomba, political science professor Dr. Blessings Chinsinga told his public policy class..

March 30, 2011 with 1 Comment

Malawi's urban squeeze

Walking around Blantyre, one of Malawi’s largest cities, is a relaxing endeavour. You can traverse its downtown core in only 30 minutes,..

March 25, 2011 with 1 Comment

Malawi’s urban squeeze

Walking around Blantyre, one of Malawi’s largest cities, is a relaxing endeavour. You can traverse its downtown core in only 30 minutes,..

March 25, 2011 with 1 Comment

Stone ‘babies’ and fertility shame

On a cool July evening in Malawi in 2009, 20-year-old Agnes Musolo went into labor. She was only 24 weeks pregnant and, after having..

March 23, 2011 with 0 Comments

Fast food, Malawi-style

Every morning, the Daily Times newspaper feeds the minds of more than 15,000 people across Malawi. But what feeds Daily Times employees? A..

March 22, 2011 with 0 Comments

From culprits to catalysts: Girls’ initiation in Malawi

In their respective villages, Cecelia Muliya and Esitere Chabwera are regarded as cultural leaders. The two have worked in girls’..

March 16, 2011 with 0 Comments

From culprits to catalysts: Girls' initiation in Malawi

In their respective villages, Cecelia Muliya and Esitere Chabwera are regarded as cultural leaders. The two have worked in girls’..

March 16, 2011 with 0 Comments

Women’s rights in the bedroom

By Sarah Feldbloom and Jacquiline Zulu “Look at my face. Maybe you can see me as 35-years-old but I’m 29. All of that is because of..

March 15, 2011 with 0 Comments

Women's rights in the bedroom

By Sarah Feldbloom and Jacquiline Zulu “Look at my face. Maybe you can see me as 35-years-old but I’m 29. All of that is because of..

March 15, 2011 with 0 Comments

A closer look at the ‘grassroots’

Once a week, about 80 men, women, and youth throng the streets of Nkolokoti, an area just outside Blantyre. By sweeping the roadsides,..

March 8, 2011 with 0 Comments

Crashing the boy’s club

By Katie Lin In the middle of Blantyre’s densely-populated township, Ndirande, sits Spencer Video Centre. It’s big, bright blue and..

March 8, 2011 with 0 Comments

Crashing the boy's club

By Katie Lin In the middle of Blantyre’s densely-populated township, Ndirande, sits Spencer Video Centre. It’s big, bright blue and..

March 8, 2011 with 0 Comments

The food security paradox

Following a famine in 2002, in which thousands died and three million people were relying on food aid, Malawi has turned itself around and..

March 5, 2011 with 0 Comments

Malawi’s national addiction

“There’s no food if there’s no nsima.” Or so I learned from a former colleague as he stared disapprovingly at my grilled cheese..

March 1, 2011 with 0 Comments

Malawi's national addiction

“There’s no food if there’s no nsima.” Or so I learned from a former colleague as he stared disapprovingly at my grilled cheese..

March 1, 2011 with 0 Comments

“Farting law” causing stink, while democratic crisis hits Malawi

Malawi is starting to look more like it did during the days of dictatorship-rule, say human rights activists in the country. While recent..

February 28, 2011 with 0 Comments

Malawi's theatre for social change

From the minibus to the newsroom, life in Malawi can be pretty dramatic. “Everything in Malawi is theatre,” explains playwright Tawonga..

February 24, 2011 with 0 Comments

Malawi’s theatre for social change

From the minibus to the newsroom, life in Malawi can be pretty dramatic. “Everything in Malawi is theatre,” explains playwright Tawonga..

February 24, 2011 with 0 Comments

Meet our new interns in Ghana and Malawi

In January 2011, Journalists for Human Rights sent 10 Canadian journalists to Ghana and Malawi, where they will spend the next six months..

February 8, 2011 with 1 Comment

Malawian Media Say New Law a Threat to Democracy

Journalists and media companies in Malawi are mobilizing to decide how best to deal with the government’s potential threat to their..

February 3, 2011 with 1 Comment

Local politics meet gender politics in Malawi’s municipal elections

Beauty Pillow is a rare woman in Malawi—she can afford to run for office. “I don’t have any donors but I use the little my husband..

January 31, 2011 with 0 Comments

Poaching in Tanzania’s game parks

With cameras in tow and binoculars ready, I embrace the Tanzanian tourist trap I fell into and peer out the roof of our truck to admire two..

January 28, 2011 with 0 Comments

Chiefs struggle to find role in Malawi’s democracy

Chiefs in Malawi have a lot of sway. In rural areas, they solve customary disputes and are the connection for residents to governing..

December 15, 2010 with 0 Comments

Does Size Really Matter?

“I like your shirt,” I say to a student after her visit to the jhr office at the Malawi Institute of Journalism. “Thanks,” she says..

December 2, 2010 with 1 Comment

Turning into a Hypochondriac in Malawi

The H1N1 Virus hit Canada just before I traveled to Uganda last summer and my younger brother pointed out the supposed irony of “going to..

December 1, 2010 with 0 Comments

The Politics of Malawi's Alphabet

The Latin alphabet is so familiar that few of us pause to question its use. But its application to a number of non-European languages is in..

November 26, 2010 with 0 Comments

The Politics of Malawi’s Alphabet

The Latin alphabet is so familiar that few of us pause to question its use. But its application to a number of non-European languages is in..

November 26, 2010 with 0 Comments

Touring Colonial Quelimane

Following a minibus breakdown in the middle of nowhere and two transport truck rides in the dark packed with strangers, a road sign reading..

November 12, 2010 with 0 Comments

Queuing for Fuel in Malawi-again

The fuel merchants carrying jerry cans on the backs of their bikes lead me and a colleague down a dirt road outside the town of..

November 11, 2010 with 0 Comments

Living Without Water

I loathe the groaning echo that comes from my shower on the mornings we have no water. Having a shower is not longer predictable or..

November 9, 2010 with 0 Comments

Mob (In)justice

    “I was driving right behind the car when I saw it all happen,” my roommate tells me. “An old man was on his bike coming out of..

October 25, 2010 with 0 Comments

The Future of Malawian Journalism

In an effort to relaunch the dormant online publication, The Weekend Express, at the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ), jhr recently..

October 18, 2010 with 1 Comment

Malawi Soccer: Underpaid and Overplayed

Clad in black and red with vuvuzelas in tow, droves of soccer fans dawn their team’s colours and flood Blantyre’s Kamuzu Stadium to..

October 18, 2010 with 0 Comments

Crossing the Threshold: A Middle Class Canadian in Upper Class Malawi

Being a middle-class Canadian typically means associating with other middle-class Canadians. Back home, I rarely intermingle with those who..

October 13, 2010 with 2 Comments

Designer Brain Drain in Malawi

“Are you packing any heels?” my friend asked me months ago as I filled my suitcase for Malawi. The question was intended to be a joke...

October 13, 2010 with 0 Comments

Mobile Development

If you’re a cell phone owner in Malawi, you probably have not one, but two mobiles—one each for the country’s only networks, Zain and..

October 12, 2010 with 0 Comments

Malawi’s Runaway Trolley

Would you take one life in order to save ten others? It’s a classic ethical dilemma, often exemplified with the runaway..

October 9, 2010 with 0 Comments

Love and Marriage in Modern Malawi

There’s a running joke in my newsroom that our resident arts reporter denies being married. Like a lot of 28-year-olds, Sam Banda Jr...

October 8, 2010 with 0 Comments

Building Homegrown Health Care, Brick by Brick

Thousands of freshly molded reddish-brown bricks lie baking under the hot Malawian sun. “Self-help project! Self-help project!” one..

September 30, 2010 with 0 Comments

Cash for Coverage: Malawian Media Ethics

Following a three-day training session about climate change reporting hosted by a local environmental NGO in Blantyre, Malawi, organizers..

September 29, 2010 with 1 Comment

Breaking Taboos Through Music

When Malawian musician Agorosso had no money for a guitar, he made one and taught himself how to play. “I just used a small metallic..

September 28, 2010 with 1 Comment

The Perils of Witchcraft

It’s been called a macabre mass suicide, a bizarre religious ritual, and hell on earth. Last week, the suicides of four and attempted..

September 24, 2010 with 0 Comments

Media Ethics in Malawi

“Is it true,” a journalism student asks me, “that if [a source] doesn’t want to comment we can say that we will just..

September 23, 2010

Breaking Down Barriers

It’s been known to cripple entire families, cut off economic productivity and destroy relationships. AIDS. In the past, the focus of NGOs..

September 22, 2010 with 0 Comments

A Written Rebellion

Without a print publication and a dormant online news source, students at the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) have created their own..

September 21, 2010 with 0 Comments

Suicide Criminals

The self-immolation of the Manda family in an impoverished Blantyre slum has been grabbing headlines in Malawi for weeks. Many commentators..

September 20, 2010 with 0 Comments

Journalists for Animal Rights?

“Stay away from dogs in Africa. They will bite you. You will get rabies. And you will die.” Sensible words of warning from Journalists..

September 8, 2010 with 0 Comments

See our World: Hear our Voice

I’m grateful. Simply put, I grew up in a world where opportunities to express myself, whether it be through sport, music, drama and or..

September 6, 2010 with 2 Comments

Tour de Malawi

As he cycled along the road from Blantyre from Zomba, Ryan Sanderson- Smith looked up and was faced with the sheer rock face of the Zomba..

September 6, 2010 with 1 Comment

Student Body Politics

At 11:52 a.m. there was a knock at the office door. It was the students informing me that they were ready to begin. On Wednesday, September..

September 3, 2010 with 2 Comments

A New Rulebook

“1,500 kwacha,” says the man in the market as we examine a second-hand tank top, which he priced at $10 CAD. I’ve avoided the market..

September 2, 2010 with 1 Comment

Creating a Sustainable Childhood

“I don’t want to grow up, I’m a Toys R Us kid”- does this jingle ring a bell? Sadly, for most children in Malawi, the opportunity..

September 1, 2010 with 0 Comments

Planes, Blame and Sedition too

In a single month, Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika has threatened to shut down “any newspaper that publishes lies,” faced..

August 31, 2010 with 0 Comments

Two-Child Policy

Chinese influence in Malawi is no longer restricted to restaurants and family businesses, as it was only a couple of years ago. In 1979,..

August 30, 2010 with 0 Comments

The Benefits of Weaving

The shelves of the weaving centre in Bangwe are filled with spools of brightly-colored yarns, making a colourful backdrop to what would..

August 26, 2010 with 2 Comments

A God-Fearing Nation

Last week I narrowly escaped a deadly encounter with a minibus. The last words I would have read would have been “Fear God” in flashing..

August 25, 2010 with 1 Comment

An Education in Child Labour

From under long stretches of fishing net that dry the tiny local fish, usipa, in the afternoon sun, we wait for the boats to come in from..

August 24, 2010 with 1 Comment

Politics at Play, Information Astray

Tuesday morning began like any other day. All of the reporters were gathered in Capital FM’s barebones newsroom discussing the top..

August 23, 2010 with 0 Comments

Shoulder-to-Shoulder

Imagine you live in a country the size of New Brunswick, but inhabited by half the population of Canada. The people are generally very..

August 20, 2010 with 0 Comments

Turning Over Top-Down

The paradox of development work is that in trying to empower people, we can conversely create dependency on outside help. Having witnessed..

August 19, 2010 with 0 Comments

Decentralization in Case of Emergency

If the World Bank calls decentralization a “fashionable” term in development circles, then Malawi must be its Marc Jacobs. The term is..

August 18, 2010 with 0 Comments

A Resourceful Bunch

“Is there anything further to discuss?” the Chairman of the editorial meeting asks. “Of course there is,” I think to myself. The..

August 18, 2010 with 0 Comments

Children are the Future

The sound of drumming and contagious laughter penetrates the skies above Jacaranda School in Chigumula, a picturesque township on the..

August 16, 2010 with 0 Comments

Students Protest at MIJ

An interesting dilemma has emerged at the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) this week as the results from last semester’s exams..

August 16, 2010 with 0 Comments

Wag the Flag

As a journalist, there is no need to chase news stories in Malawi: they confront you every day on the street. Poverty, AIDS, child labour,..

August 15, 2010 with 0 Comments

“Flash Me”

Since arriving in Malawi, I have flashed—and been flashed by—many people. Oddly enough, flashing one another is a crucial aspect to..

August 13, 2010 with 1 Comment

"Flash Me"

Since arriving in Malawi, I have flashed—and been flashed by—many people. Oddly enough, flashing one another is a crucial aspect to..

August 13, 2010 with 1 Comment

A Layered Rule of Law

A case to dominate Malawi’s media of late: expatriate couple, Dean and Hallen Van Schalhwal, allegedly set their five dogs loose on their..

August 10, 2010 with 0 Comments

Who Can Fight for Me?

A few days ago, fellow jhr intern Amy and I were sitting comfortably in our office at the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) when a..

August 10, 2010 with 2 Comments

Lighting up Labour Laws in Malawi

January 6, 2009 was a day that 11 employees at Sacha’s Bakery in Malawi will certainly never forget. According to local journalists,..

August 10, 2010 with 1 Comment

Malawi loses in Canada-US tobacco wars

Ottawa has, for the time-being, managed to muffle the international outcry over the proposed Bill C-32 – an act to amend the Canadian..

August 5, 2010 with 0 Comments

A Photographer’s Paradise

Blantyre is a photographer’s dream. The rolling hills, multi-coloured birds and salamanders, Lion King-style trees and bustling markets..

August 4, 2010 with 0 Comments

A Photographer's Paradise

Blantyre is a photographer’s dream. The rolling hills, multi-coloured birds and salamanders, Lion King-style trees and bustling markets..

August 4, 2010 with 0 Comments

Debating Silence

The caller on the other end of the line would only dance around the issue, never daring to explicitly state his purpose: “Are you the..

August 4, 2010 with 0 Comments

The Rural Rub

There are 16 villages in the area of Nancholi in Malawi and the nearest hospital is nearly 14 kilometers away. For 12-year-old Beatrice..

August 4, 2010 with 2 Comments

Achieving the Impossible: Bodily Autonomy for Malawian Women

“I told you we would be fighting fire”–convoluted words uttered by 23-year-old Joseph Mwale, one of Captial FM’s most..

August 2, 2010 with 1 Comment

Not a Culture of Numbers

Daily Times features editor Clifton Kawanga: In Malawi, journalists need to fight for the right to stats A visit to the local police..

July 29, 2010 with 0 Comments

Skirting the Rape Issue: A Heated Debate

Objectivity in journalism means writing articles that represent all sides of a story evenly, regardless of personal beliefs. This is the..

July 29, 2010

The Death of Newspapers, Africa-style

Well before I left for Ghana in June, I was tired of all the talk of all the talk of the death of newspapers in Canada. As a young..

July 25, 2010 with 0 Comments

Land is Life

What I see is deceptively peaceful: the green rolling fields of the Chitakale tea estate, set to the majestic backdrop of Malawi’s..

July 23, 2010 with 1 Comment

Discovering success at MIJ

Two years ago, Simona Siad began her jhr internship at The Daily Times in Blantyre, Malawi. After a few months, her efforts extended beyond..

July 23, 2010 with 4 Comments

An Educated Sale?

At first glance, St. Paul’s Secondary School appears to have the best location in Malawi, quietly tucked away amongst the rolling hills..

July 22, 2010 with 1 Comment

Political Fascination in Malawi

“President Bingu wa Mutharika…” is the most common opening lines of Malawian news stories. You can’t mistake his image or his..

July 21, 2010 with 0 Comments