Although it is a relatively small, landlocked country in the heart of Africa, Malawi has always shown itself to be open to receiving and welcoming the influences of many other cultures from all around the world.
It has also gained a reputation as being a safe haven for many thousands of refugees and other migrants from African countries including Mozambique and Rwanda. This, in turn, has helped to attract foreign aid from countries as diverse as the United States, Iceland, Sweden, and the UK.
So, it’s not surprising that the country embraces a great deal from the rest of the world in a number of different areas, and especially in the field of leisure and entertainment. The fact that English is our official language, alongside Chichewa, also means that culture drawn from around the world also finds a natural home in Malawi.
Tuning in to British radio
A prime example of this came with the announcement in March of this year by the British Council, that the Selector radio program was set to arrive in the country. The program is syndicated all over the world in 30 countries that include Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and China, and which has a total of around four million listeners in all.
To launch the new station, the well-known DJ Jamz Supernova paid a flying visit to the country. The presenter is a well-known name in the UK, and a leading broadcaster on the BBC’s youth music station, Radio 1 Extra. During her few days in the country, she participated in numerous presentations and discussions with leaders in the entertainment industry.
While the station will mainly play new music from UK artists, there will also be performances from other parts of the world – the only criteria being that it must be new and exciting.
Place your bets
Still, in the field of entertainment, another UK-influenced activity that is fast gaining popularity in Malawi is the online casino. In just a couple of decades, this sector has grown quickly to generate over £3 billion a year in revenue, a far higher amount than is raised by land-based casinos.
While players in Malawi don’t have as a wide a choice as is enjoyed in the UK, there is undoubtedly a good selection of online casinos available. A number of websites have sprung up to help would-be players choose the most appropriate ones for them. These also explain the various different bonuses available to new players, as well as a great deal of other information besides.
In terms of the options available, these range from popular slots to traditional table games like roulette, blackjack, and baccarat. Many also offer a “live casino” option in which action can be streamed directly, featuring real dealers, and creating the atmosphere of playing in a so-called brick-and-mortar casino.
A taste of tradition
Outside influences on the country even extend to the food and drink that many Malawians choose when they’re dining away from home. Blantyre is a real center for anyone looking to sample some traditional UK cuisine, and it even boasts a number of traditional British-style bars such as the Red Pub and Grub.
Not only is there are a selection of British bottled beers, every weekend many people head here for another tradition; the Sunday roast. Consisting of roast meat of some kind, often pork, chicken, or beef, vegetables like carrots and peas, and roast potatoes. It may be a tradition that is slowly fading back in the UK, but it’s still going strong in Malawi.
As the world becomes ever-smaller thanks to globalization, we can expect to see many more external influences arriving. From Hollywood film franchises, music, television, and literature, the entertainment industry in Malawi is continuing to become ever more diverse and expansive. And, just as we have in the past, we’ll continue to welcome them with open arms long into the future.