Although we’d already been to one Malawian cultural village, “Donija Nkhoma”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/177196-review-donija-nkhoma-village, we visited a second one whilst staying at “Mvuu Lodge”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/177109-review-mvuu-wilderness-lodge. At “Njobvu Cultural Village”:http://www.njobvuvillage.org/ Febe welcomed us and provided a brief introduction to the village which has 900+ families each with between 5 to 7 children and appears to cover a vast area with two chiefs. Our ‘voluntary donation’ ($20 each) we were told, goes towards feeding the children.
We were shown the guest quarters where you can opt to stay. The small round mud hut had a mat on the floor, single mattress and mosquito net whilst in another roofless enclosed area, was the ‘bathroom’ – a bowl of water with a mug with holes in the bottom which you filled and rinsed with. The loo was another hut with a hole in the ground covered by a lid on and ashes beside it which prevents smells.
We visited the traditional doctor in a small dark tent where an elderly man, with lots of bags behind him, sat on a straw mat on the floor and we were invited to join him He had bark and other ‘medicines’ laid out in front of him and Febe translated what each was for – stomach problems, a Viagra, ash to make someone fall in love with you, etc. I’d have liked something for my swollen ankle but didn’t like to ask. He told us that he had inherited the role from his grandparents and was teaching his son to take over from him and he gets paid for his ministrations, often with a chicken or bag of maize.
In the kindergarten, for children under six, a young man and women were doing a sterling job trying to marshal around 10 young children into sitting in a row on the dusty concrete floor. They were asked questions and collectively shouted out the answers (e.g. spell window), letters of the alphabet, days of the week, and then each was asked to stand in turn to answer a question. One very bright spark was asked how many countries were in Africa and replied 55, which she was then asked to name: her answer ‘Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania and many more’. Others were asked to do a self-introduction with their name and where they were from and each was given a well-deserved round of applause.
The dancing then started with four men on drums and elderly women clad in bright yellow outfits who did very little as the four khaki clad men with whistles stole the show with their energetic gyrations. No one seemed to be able to tell us the meaning of the dance but at some points they appeared to be directing traffic. As the dancing went on, more crowds and children gathered. At the end, we asked if we could photograph the ladies who were most amused when shown the photo. All the children loved being shown their photographs.
Dancing over, so was our visit and we were invited to sign the visitors book, give an additional donation and view the inevitable gift shop which sold a range of carvings. You could say this visit was a little more whistle-stop than the previous one but still very interesting and enjoyable.