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
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
Latest population statistics of Malawi, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
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.
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.
FACTS - MASS MEDIA
Percentage of the population using the
14 percent (2017)
Number of mobile subscriptions per 100
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