Most Malawians will remember 2012 because of devaluation of the kwacha that eroded their disposable incomes, making it difficult to make ends meet.
But the year will also be remembered because of the abundance of small fish, bonya, that helped most Malawians to survive the economic meltdown.
Despite bonya being the cheapest delicacy in town, it can be cooked in several ways and still taste good.
Some like it boiled, others like it fried. And yet others, season it with groundnuts powder.
Most people think the bonya craze is only confined to Malawi, but businesspeople Pearson Solomon and Doyisi Kalumbi claimed in an interview last week that bonya is hot business in Zambia.
Solomon said a lot of Zambians come to Mchinji to buy the fish for resale in their country.
“Every two weeks, I go to Karonga to buy bonya for sale to Zambians who come to Mchinji to buy it,” he said.
He said an 80kg bag of bonya cost about K40 000 (about $117) in Karonga, but he could not disclose profits they make after reselling the fish only saying it is lucrative business.
“At first, we used to buy bonya from Nkhotakota and Salima, but we now go all the way to Karonga because bonya is scarce in the Central Region and it is found in large quantities in the Northern Region,” he said.
Kalumbi and his colleagues use trucks to transport the fish to Mchinji.
He said high transport cost is the major challenge they face in bonya business.
“To transport five bags of bonya from Karonga to Mchinji, we spend about K25 000 (about $73). This is too much,” he said.
Kalumbi said he has benefited a lot from bonya business.
“I bought a plot in Mchinji and soon I will start developing it,” he said.