&      Fun Stuff: Games, Food  & Phrases


Say a few words in a tribal language, try a recipe or play a game! 



“The Warm  Heart of Africa


·                     CHICHEWA VOCAULARY WORDS

Practice on your friends!

Zikomo kwambiri                   Thank you very much!

Abwenzi                                  Friends

Moni                                       Hello

Muli bwanji                             How are you?

Tionana                                  See you later

Tsalani Bwino                         Stay well`


·                     NSIMA

The staple of meals in Malawi!

Cook some yourself!

INGREDIENTS: 1 cup Ufa (finely Ground Cornmeal or Cassava) and 2 ¾-3 cups Water.  Butter or Margarine is optional.


COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Heat water in a saucepan until lukewarm.  Mix a little ufa with the water, stirring well, using a wooden spoon to make sure no lumps form.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then lower the heat and let pot boil gently for a few minutes.  The mixture should look like thin, transparent porridge.  Sprinkle remaining ufa into the pot a little bit at a time, stirring constantly.  Keep stirring until nsima is smooth and well cooked.  A little butter or margarine may be stirred in at this point.  Serve in a dish accompanied by a relish such as pumpkin leaves or hot pepper sauce.  (This recipe serves 2)


CULTURAL NOTES: Nsima is served at most meals and may be the only thing served.  To eat nsima in the traditional way, use the fingers of your right hand to take a small portion of nsima and mold it into a ball about the size of a golf ball.  Make a small dent in the ball with your thumb.  Use the nsima as a spoon to scoop up the relish which is served from a communal bowl.  Do NOT “double dip”.


Before eating, everyone washes their hands in order of their family status: father or guests first, then the mother, and others follow according to age.  One of the younger children, a boy or girl, carries the water dish to each of the others so they may wash and dry their hands. 

·                     BAO

A traditional African game

Make your own board and play!

SUPPLIES NEEDED: One empty, standard sze (12 eggs) egg carton, sixty dried beans, large seeds, or stones, and two small cups.


SET-UP: (2 players)  Player A sits across from Player B.  Each player places five beans in each section of the egg carton.  Place a cup to the right of each player.  The cups are the goals.



OBJECT OF THE GAME: Get more beans in the cup than the opponent.


2.          Player A picks up all the beans from one of his/her hollows and drops one in each hollow, quickly moving clockwise along the row to the left.

3.          If the last bean falls in a hollow with other beans, the player picks up all the beans in the hollow and continues to drop these, moving clockwise.

4.          When a player reaches the end of the row closest to him/her, he/she drops the next bean in his/her goal and starts again at the beginning of the row farthest away from him/her.

5.          When the last bean is dropped into an empty hollow, the turn is over.

6.          Player B takes a turn playing.

7.          Game continues until there are no more beans in the twelve small hollows.

8.          The player with the most beans in his/her goal WINS.


·           DANCING!

There is always music in Malawi and where there is music, there is dancing!   If you go for a visit in Malawi, come prepared with a few songs to sing and a dance to share.  Join in with the locals and learn a traditional dance or song! 


Contributing to Africa's Literacy & Education with Books:

The CALEB Library Project

Feedback, submissions, ideas? Email



Let’s make CALEB Library Project a success!