Malawi/Zambia: Remembering John Chilembwe, Debate Over Using Yahoo Messenger At Work and ICTs and Gender Based Violence

Malawian blogger Soyapi Mumba is excited about the introduction of Internet and Pay-Per-View TV services by Malawi Telecom (MTL):

Malawi's Internet infrastructure, especially to people's homes, is very poor and for MTL to provide these service, it means they will either drastically improve the current infrastructure, or introduce new alternatives mostly like wireless-based since it requires less setup and administrative costs. Either way, this is good news to consumers,


Looking at the US and Malawi's legacy of struggle for peace and justice, Steve Sharra reflects on the importance of 15th January to both USA and Malawi's history. On this day, the two nations celebrate two black leaders, John Chilembwe and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

In Malawi, January 15th is celebrated as Chilembwe Day, in honor of the Reverend John Chilembwe who in 1915 led the first ever uprising against white racism and colonialism in what was then known as Nyasaland. In the United States, January 15th is celebrated as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in honor of the man who led the civil rights struggle in the US, protesting racism, and fighting for the rights of Black people and other minorities in the United States. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, also protested against US imperial aggression, and its invasion of Vietnam.

Should chatting while at work being banned at a Christian radio station in Malawi? In a post titled, Debate over VOIP-Yahoo Messenger at the office, Ndagha writes,

To enchance maximum use of time/and ensure smooth performance of computers, staff were advised not to install software like yahoo voice messenger for chats and talks. Some staff had already installed some of these without persmission on the specific digital work stations but later they were warned that the administrator would uninstall such voip's. I sensed disatisfaction among staff and anger.

The debate continues as management felt/feel some staff spend quality productive time chatting which also affects affects the computer's performance. Staff feel this is unfair as the internet availability with voip's helps them connect with other people.

Malawi's journalist at the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) bemoans the lack of vision among young people. In his posting on “NEW YEAR AND CHANGES” Joe says:

Young men and women lack solid guidance these days and in the end make wrong decisions and mess up. There are problems of succession in organisations due to petty jealousy and lack of confidence among ageing superiors.

Local Innovation

Afrigadget has a story of a young Malawian man who has created a windmill out of spare parts. He managed to make a small windmill which generated electricity enough to light his dorm. Seeing its success, he planned for a bigger one so that his parents could benefit and some well-wishers gave him money to get some of the materials he needed.”

Malawian Blogger Dies

However, the year has also began with sad news of the departure of northern-Malawi Mzuzu-based blogger Mangaliso Jere who passed away on 18th January. Fellow blogger Austin mourns him in his post titled “Mangaliso's World is Over” as a

A good friend …. I really have no words to describe this brother only that he was a cheerful lad, a hardworking techie and one who loved his motherland. Rest in Peace Dear Brother!


Zambia blogger and journalist, Brenda Zulu, writes about the intersection of information and communication technologies and gender based violence. She writes about relevant incidents involving SMS, mobile phones, and email:

Ellen Musunga is a trainee journalist who is attached to the public broadcasting station. Her boy friend Chiti Mutale had been coming to pick her up from the news room every knock off time and this time it so happened that when he walked into the newsroom, Ellen was reading an e-mail from her another aspiring candidate who had sent her an e-mail expressing how he felt for her. Realising that Chiti had just walked in the newsroom Ellen just clicked X to log out and this made Chiti suspicious and he demanded to have her password.

Banda argues that when a man in Zambia buys a phone for a woman, the man still thinks that he owns it and has the right to see who has been calling her. This is what has lead to a sad incident like this one:

Charity Banda is not legally married to Gibson Banda who has been supporting and staying together with her and her five children she has from four different men. Charity recently took Banda to the police for assaulting her over answering a call from a male voice on her mobile phone bought for her by Banda. Charity that was five months pregnant with twines was kicked in her stomach by Banda who also beat her up and in the later had a miscarriage and lost the twines that died.

It is true that one can find any information on the Internet, writes Zambian blogger, waltboo, and adds: But looking for information on the Internet can be daunting. “Where to look? What to look for? And above all HOW TO?”

First I had to learn how to use the Internet. Oh I knew the “www” existed and what it could do but I never used it before. So I decided to learn fast. You can't learn any faster than taking the bull by its horns. And I did that. There is a shared computer in our shared office…and it has Internet connection. That was my target. I burnt hours that turned into days…that turned into weeks…and finally into months. And Voila!


  • […] and start covering blogs for Malawi and Zambia. So I joined Global Voices in December 2006 and my first post published was on 23rd January […]

  • […] Satria nonina tany Soedy aho tamin'izany fotoana izany, dia nanontany ny namako mpanao gazety Soedoa  izay toa efa naheno mikasika ny GV. Nandrisika ahy ny hirosoko izy ary hanomboka handrakotra am-bilaogy mikasika an'i Malaoi sy Zambia. Dia nirotsaka tamin'ny Global Voices aho tamin'ny Desambra 2006 ary tamin'ny 23 janoary 2007 no nivoaka ny lahatsoratro voalohany . […]

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