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Bwandilo (Market Day)

Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Billy Makombola

Whoever said “Mondays” are boring did not live in all corners of Malawi, especially some parts of Mzimba District. Here in my community, which is located in the southern part of Mzimba, Monday is always an exciting day of the week because it’s Bwandilo (Market day) at the most famous trading center known as Embangweni, which is just 40 minutes cycling from my site. To cut the story short, we always have Christmas every week. Some of the interesting things about Bwandilo are:

While the rest of the world hates Mondays, it’s actually loved by my community and other areas around Mzimba south because it’s when we get cheap food items such as, Tomatoes, Fish, Meat, Rice and all other farm produce. This is the day I usually go to buy food especially bonya (small fish). A 5-liter container of bonya goes at K2 500 (US$3.4), so what does a bachelor have to do to survive? Meat is even cheaper on this side as you know it’s a Ngoni (local tribe) territory and they value meat a lot.

Not only do we find cheap food on the Market day, but we also find clothes. Clothes are also very cheap on this day and some are even sold on auction. Imagine getting a nice Jacket at K300, a shirt at K150 and even trousers at below K500. What other day would you ask for?

This is also one of the day young people cherish the most as they look forward to looking nice and hanging out with friends at the market center. It reminds me of my college days when we used to have social weekends; making sure to spare some nice clothes to put on this day to impress the ladies, do you relate? If yes, this is how the day looks like here. I strongly believe that most crushes are born on this day because all the boys and girls look extra-adorable.

If you visit this place on Monday, you would think there is a social weekend or social engagement activity taking place. You would tell simply by looking at how congested the traffic gets. That’s how and where I spend most of my Mondays: at Embangweni trading center. Mondays are mostly like half holidays to us, and you know how Monday holidays feel.

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