Chichewa Lessons at Namizimu
Why learn Chichewa?

It is easy to live in Malawi and not learn the local language but the depth and breadth of your experiences here will be limited by that decision.  Malawi’s wealth is in its people, and the majority of its rural population is non-English speaking.  Learning the local language deepens all your future interactions.

Chichewa lessons at Namizimu Forest Retreat

Our resident language instructor, Richard Somba – fluent in Chichewa, ChiYao, Zulu, Sotho and English – offers lessons to both individuals and small groups based on his own experiences of speed learning Zulu and Sotho during his time in South Africa.  Teaching at both beginner and advanced levels, his insight into cultural subtleties that can be difficult to understand are valuable to students at any level.


Deep immersion lessons are available to residents at Namizimu Forest Retreat or at our private location on the Eastern shores of the Lake, in a relaxed and informal setting.  While you may want to have your lessons sitting in the shade of our main veranda, the outdoor classroom provided by our forest setting gives you a vast number of spectacular locations to choose from.  Feel free to take your books and questions up to the big viewing rock, to a clearing in the forest or on a walk of your choice.

Practical interactive sessions

It is possible to combine your lessons with interactive practice sessions of your choice.  Watching a football match in Chowe village – live, raw and free from the consumerism that has coloured much of modern sport – will give beginners ample opportunity to practice the many forms of greetings and introduction.  A trip to one of our local markets provides an opportunity to practice the language skills of buying and selling, and to transform your future shopping experiences.

Scope for combining Chichewa lessons with other courses

For those who like to get their hands dirty and let their imaginations run wild, our traditional pottery courses are a good way of integrating Chichewa lessons into a creative outlet.  Spending some time thinking about the different practical sessions that appeal to you and meet your specific learning needs, will result in Chichewa lessons that are fun, effective and catered to your individual needs. Your choice of practical interactive sessions is broad; with adequate warning, they can be integrated into drumming lessons, traditional dancing lessons or an afternoon on the water with fishermen in a dug-out canoe.  If you have any ideas that haven’t been listed here, we will strive to accommodate them.

To arrange your Chichewa lessons, e-mail or call
Richard on 0995423721.


Shopping in the market
Mangochi market - learning to shop in the local language will transform all your future shopping experiences.
Village football match
A community football match in Chowe Village, both players and spectators give everything they’ve got to the game.
Pottery making classes
For those who like to get their hands dirty and their imaginations run wild, our pottery courses are a good way of combining Chichewa language lessons with a creative outlet.

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