Guide to Blantyre

From green initiatives to excellent music and forgotten architecture, the city of Blantyre is a remarkably livable city – and it’s arguably got the best Fanta in the world. You can’t walk through the city for more than two minutes without seeing the minibuses ferrying people around. They leave only when they are full to…

The terrible toll of Malawi’s power cuts

Anger boiled over after a national blackout in December, which saw babies dying in incubators, yet outages are frequent—for the lucky 10 percent of people with electricity in Malawi. JOHN VIDAL recently visited Nambuma, Dowa and highlights the challenges people face due to erratic power supply. Rural health worker Patrick Kamzitu is relaxed about the…

‘Breastfeeding is one of the smartest investments’

The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has released new findings on the economic gains-besides the obvious health benefits-of breastfeeding. Hailing the practice as an investment that ought to be supported by governments, the UN estimates that 4.70 dollars can push up rates of breastfeeding to 50 percent by 2025. Currently, only 23 countries can claim…

Kenya presidential election cancelled by Supreme Court

Kenya’s Supreme Court has annulled the result of the last month’s presidential election. Citing irregularities, Chief Justice David Maraga said a new vote should be held within 60 days. The election commission had declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the election by a margin of 1.4 million votes. But the opposition argued that the…

Zimbabwe wins cosafa

  Zimbabwe overpowered their northern neighbours Zambia 3-1 to win the 2017 Cosafa Castle Cup yesterday and take a record fifth title. Knox Mutizwa, Talent Chawapiwa and Ocean Mushure all scored in a convincing victory for the Warriors, who took the trophy despite a rigorous schedule that saw them having to play six matches inside…

Juju beliefs and football

  Does the use of juju, voodoo or witchcraft help teams to win football matches? It is a question that has been around as long as football has been played on the continent. Stories abound of charms, amulets and even animals buried in the vicinity of stadiums in order to bring success on the pitch.…

Malawi to get first Malaria vaccine

The world’s first vaccine against malaria will be introduced in three countries – Ghana, Kenya and here in Malawi—starting in 2018. BBC reports: The RTS,S vaccine trains the immune system to attack the malaria parasite, which is spread by mosquito bites. The World Health Organisation (WHO) said the jab had the potential to save tens…

Murray beats Seppi at Wimbledon

Britain’s Andy Murray overcame a shoulder problem to beat Italy’s Andreas Seppi in four sets and secure a place in the second week of Wimbledon. Murray, seeded third, won 6-2 6-2 1-6 6-1 to set up a fourth-round match with Croatian 23rd seed Ivo Karlovic. There were worrying moments for the 2013 champion as he…

Mary Waya and the rise of the Malawi Queens

She is a trained electrical engineer, a widowed mother of two, and has endured ‘fat’ jibes from people watching her on court. Yet Mary Waya has inspired a nation of women in Malawi to pick up a netball. “People know her around the world just because of what she could do with the ball,” said…

Can couples really get stuck during sex?

It sounds like a scene from a trashy sex comedy. But stories of getting stuck during sex have been with us for centuries – and some of them might just be true. An emergency trip to hospital is never pleasant, but it’s certainly not something you would want to happen after sex. “It’s not the…

Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka said he did not believe he was good enough to win a Grand Slam. The Swiss, 28, beat world number one Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2 3-6 6-3 in Sunday’s final in Melbourne. He is the first man outside the ‘big four’ of Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray…

Hundreds of people walked past me as I made my way to where Nelson Mandela lay in a wood and glass coffin – all I could hear was the sound of my heart beating hard against my chest. There were two queues – one on either side of the coffin. Four men dressed in white…

South Africa’s Nelson Mandela dies

South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95. Mr Mandela led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison for his political activities. He had been receiving intensive medical care at home for a lung infection after spending three months…

The US Congress has passed a bill to reopen the government and raise the federal debt limit, with hours to spare before the nation risked default. The Democratic-controlled Senate’s bipartisan compromise won approval by 81 votes to 18. The deal was then passed by 285-144 in the House of Representatives, whose Republican leadership begrudgingly agreed…