Her Excellency Madame Dr. Joyce BandaPresident: 7 April-PresentBorn: 12 April 1950
His Excellency Ngwazi Prof. Bingu Wa MutharikaPresident: 24 May 2004-5 April 2012 Born: 24 February 1934Died: 5 April 2012(aged 78)
His Excellency Dr. Bakili MuluziPresident: 24 May 1994-24 May 2004Born: 17 March 1943
His Excellency Ngwazi Dr. Hastings Kamuzu BandaPresident: 6 July 1966-24 May 1994Born: 15 February 1898Died: 25 November 1997(aged 99)
| About Malawi
Malawi's population is made up of the Chewa, Nyanja, Tumbuka, Yao, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni and Ngonde native ethnic groups, as well as populations of Asians and Europeans. Chichewa, an official language is spoken by over 57% of the country's population.
Approximately 80% of the population is Christian, with the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian making up the largest Christian groups and around 13% of the population is Muslim. Other religious groups within the country include Jews, Rastafarians, Hindus and Baha'is.
From 1964 to 2010, the Malawi national flag was made up of three equal horizontal stripes of black, red and green with a red rising sun superimposed in the center of the black stripe. The black stripe represented the African people, the red represented the blood of martyrs for African freedom, green represented Malawi's ever-green nature and the rising sun represented the dawn of freedom and hope for Africa.In 2010, the flag was changed, removing the red rising sun and adding a full white sun in the center as a symbol of Malawi's economic progress.
Malawi's climate is hot in the low-lying areas in the south of the country and temperate in the northern highlands. There are equatorial rains and thunderstorms from around November to somewhere in April.
The main agricultural products of Malawi include tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, tea, corn, potatoes, sorghum, cattle and goats.
Click here to watch (Youtube) one of the popular Chewa ethnic dances, fondly known as Gule wamkulu literally; big dance. The dancer is usually masked as people (usually mature women) clap and sing to the drum beats, although due to the speed and locality, the songs may be incomprehensible. The drums, ng'oma in vernacular, are made from animal skins, usually goat, cattle and other wild animals with a hard skin. For a perfect sound,the drums are slightly exposed to open flame and let to cool down shortly before every performance, it's just like tuning a guitar.
This dance is performed on Chewa traditional occasions such as weddings, initiation ceremonies, funeral and other celebrations and memorials, although rarely or absent in urban areas.
The dancing styles and costume vary from performer to performer, location to location with some more acrobatic than others.
Other dances include; Malipenga, m'ganda, ingoma, honara, beni and tchopa, all performed using locally made drums, and other instruments and costumes.