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Wednesday, 9 March 2016


In 1859 British explorer David Livingstone discovered  Lake Malawi (then it was called Lake Nyasa) and thought that Shire Highlands to the south of the lake was a good place for Europeans to found a colony. Many British missions were done in the area in the 1860s and 1870s. In 1891 the area became a colony of the United Kingdom as the British Central Africa Protectorate.

1897 British Central Africa stamp issued by the United Kingdom
In 1907, the protectorate was renamed Nyasaland, a name it retained for the remainder of its time under British rule.

The Chilembwe uprising, a rebellion against British colonial rule in Nyasaland (modern-day Malawi), began in the evening of January 23, 1915, when rebels, incited by John Chilembwe, an American-educated black millenarian Christian minister attacked the A. L. Bruce plantation's headquarters at Magomero and killed three white colonists. Chilembwe was shot dead by a police patrol near the border on 3 February.

Although the rebellion did not itself achieve lasting success, the uprising is celebrated annually and is regarded as a key moment in the history of Malawi. Chilembwe himself is considered a national hero.

The last known photo of John Chilembwe (left), taken in 1914

Nyasaland became part of a semi-independent country called Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953.

On July 6, 1964, Nyasaland became independent from British rule and renamed itself Malawi.

Malawi became a republic on July 6, 1966 with Dr Hastings Banda as its first president.

Malawi's first Prime Minister and later President for Life, Dr. Hastings Banda (left), with Tanzania's President Nyerere. By The National Archives UK, Wikipedia Commons

The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area.

Lake Malawi has been called the Calendar Lake as it is 365 miles long and 52 miles wide. It  accounts for more than a third of Malawi’s total area and is the ninth largest lake in the world.

"The Lake of Stars" is the nickname for Lake Malawi coined by David Livingstone. This name came about due to lights from the lanterns of the fishermen in Malawi on their boats, that resemble, from a distance, stars in the sky.

Lake Malwai. By Stefan7 at the German language Wikipedia, 

Lake Malawi contains the largest number of fish species of any lake in the world, including about 1,000 cichlid species. The vast majority are endemic.

The chambo fish is only found in Malawi. Unfortunately it is eaten as a delicacy there and is now an endangered species.

Malawi is among the poorest countries in Africa. In 2013, President Joyce Banda sold the presidential jet and a fleet of 60 luxury cars to feed the poor and fight malnutrition.

In January 2015, southern Malawi was devastated by the worst floods in living memory, stranding at least 20,000 people. These floods affected more than a million people across the country, including 336,000 who were displaced.

Tobacco accounts for more than 50 per cent of Malawi’s exports. Tea makes up six per cent and sugar and coffee are also exported.

Thirty per cent of Malawians have the surname Chirwa, Banda, Piri or Manda.

Source Daily Express

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