Friday, 4 February 2011

To fart or not to fart: That's Malawi's burning question

Wow. And there are those that think Malawi is slightly backward when it comes to the rule of law and the local court system - well the doubters have sadly been proved right with the latest debacle going on in Malawi's parliament.

So what are the facts?

George Chaponda, Malawi's justice minister: George is aiming to pass a bill, part of which criminalises passing wind in public to protect Malawi's public standards.

Anthony Kamanga, Malawi's solicitor general: Anthony is completely opposed to farting, deeming the clause in the act as just covering 'pollution' rather than farting in public.

So how will they enforce it?

The plan is to hand over enforcement of this to local police chiefs, supposedly to be enforced alongside such acts as urinating in public.

What does Malawi think?

Malawi's people are divided. On the one hand they see an ebb of civil liberties being taken away from them. Other's are quoted from various sources as agreeing that the improvement in

What next?

Well, with this being argued about - the bill is supposed to pass next week - expect some potential delays!

I'd love to hear your thoughts - just post them below!!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

7 Names You're Likely to Hear in Malawi

I recently had an email through from from someone who was wanting to know a few ideas for Malawian names, this got me thinking about the names Malawians give their children, and so I thought I'd blog it! So here's my take on 7 names you'd be surprised to hear in Malawi.

1. Loveness
One of the stranger names I've heard, Loveness seems to be a derivation of loveliness. The lady who possessed this name was suitably lovely!

2. Chance
Pronounced 'Chancey', this is not a hugely common name, but one I've heard in my travels. Quite fun - you can only imagine the origins!

3. Charity
Quite a cute one, charity is a popular name in Malawi.

4. Blessings
Also quite a cute name, blessings is a popular name in Malawi. This is translated from the name 'Dalitso'.

5. Shame
The owner of this name was actually called John, but he was known as Shame - when asked why, there was no coherent answer, just something that he had always been called. I sensed there was another story there, but didn't manage to get to the bottom of it!

6. Happy
No, not a dwarf, but the name of someone I met in the Karonga Boma area, all his friends called him Happy - a really appropriate name for someone from Malawi, I'm sure you'd agree!

7. Chastity
Hmm...ok while some of the others I can understand, and think are quite cute - this is the most ironic name I've ever heard (you give your child the name Chastity) but then religion does play a big part in many Malawian people's lives so maybe it's a reflection of that!

So those are just a few names that I've picked up in Malawi - are there any I've missed? I'd love to hear your comments!