|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.
A List of Chichewa Learning Books and Courses