Blogging Lilongwe

Malawi is a small place. The blogging world of Malawi is even smaller, and it makes it all the more fun when the real world intersects the online one.

A few weeks ago a blog popped up on on my Lilongwe search written by Tyler and Anna Sparks, a couple that I had been running with as part of the Lilongwe Hash. The blog was squarely aimed for friends and family back in the US, but it is interesting for me to see how others are sharing their lives with people who might never set foot in a developing country. Last week Anna began a post about shopping in Lilongwe by explaining that there are no Benetton shops here, despite her friend's innocent question resulting from noticing that Benetton seems to be everywhere. Relating this post to other friends in Lilongwe makes people laugh out loud - we don't even have a movie theater here.

It was fun to tell Anna that I was reading her blog, but it doesn't compare to what happened Monday night. We were hanging out at a friends house after running, and the host mentioned something about her roommate, Geeta, and I immediately said, "I have to meet Geeta!" I explained to our group of about seven (most of which didn't know Geeta) that I had found Geeta's blog and related some of the stories from it. When Geeta came home half an hour later she kind of freaked out to realize we had all been talking about her blog. But what freaked me out was that she immediately knew who I was from my blog! In the course of the evening it was revealed that another person in our small group had also been blogging about her life in Malawi (more to come about her later). We stayed around for a long time, and it was really fun and it felt different than the usual Lilongwe social scene - probably because we were a bunch of young North Americans. Geeta also blogged about the evening.

The blogosphere has some great networkers, like Ethan Zuckerman, who participate in local meetings of bloggers all over the world. I think physical communities encourage virtual ones, and I believe that making sure Malawi has a voice in this strange new world of blogging is critical. Hence, I am throwing around the idea of getting all of the Malawian bloggers that I know together for lunch. It could be the start of something. If you know of any other regular Malawians blogs please add a comment below.

6 Response to Blogging Lilongwe

  1. Mike! Okay, you have me convinced. I'll start using a blog.... I've resisted doing so for a while now. When I first put up, I tried getting PHPNuke running on there. Not exactly a blog but good for similar sort of things. However the server I was running on had a "custom" install of PHP so it wouldn't run PHPNuke. I haven't really bothered since then, what with having two kids, a house, and a full time job, and several other side projects. I'll get a blog up there sometime soon. You guys are too cool.


    Jeff Lavezzo
    son-in-law to Fred and Suzanne Locke of Limbe

  2. Mike says:

    I can't recommend it enough! Wordpress is great and easy to setup.

  3. Geeta says:

    Hey Mike! Getting together with all the bloggers is a fantastic idea! I know some others who are starting blogs and will post links when the sites are set up.

  4. Hi Mike

    Just found your blog and others after searching technorati for Malawi/Lilongwe related blogs.

    I have a blog,, where I blog mostly about technology stuff.

    It'd be great meeting fellow Lilongwe/Malawi bloggers!

  5. Muli bwanji mamemba a LLz ( How u all LL people)

    Well guys i have just bin given this link by my pal Soyapi. I am justed awed by the fact that LL has such a number of Bloggers.

    Am goin to update my life in L-city soon so watch dis space.

  6. Mike, if you do get a bunch of Lilongwe bloggers together, I hope you'll share an account and pictures with us so we can feature it on Global Voices. Very exciting to see that people in Malawi are taking to blogs - for those of us fascinated by the country, but outside it, posts like your recent one about the cost of living are really useful - thanks for sharing with all of us.

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