I just got off the phone with Omex, an impressive young man from Ndiwasa village where Dsenyo works with a group of HIV widows. Omex's mom is part of the Dsenyo producer group. I first met him while working in their village one summer about 4 years ago. He stood out as just a really impressive young man with drive and ambition. On top of that he's a proud Malawian which means he's friendly, gracious, helpful and incredibly welcoming. Dsenyo now supports Omex in-part as he pursues a business certificate program so he can find work outside the village.
I gave Omex a quick call this morning via Skype. He picked up his cell phone on the other end. He'd just gotten home from class. I was looking for a quick chichewa lesson on animal vocabulary. I'm working on new hang tags for the Dsenyo line of little friends, kids plushie stuffed animals. Each animal will have a name (a chichewa name) and a fun little story to go with.
So here we go, this is what I learned!
First, a quick reminder for the readers here. Chichewa breaks down as follows: "chi" meaning "language of" and "chewa" meaning "the chewa people". Therefore Chichewa is the language of the Chewa people. There are many other tribal languages spoken in Malawi (ex - Chitimbuka the language of the Timbuka people)
Animals: English to Chichewa Translation
- Bunny - Mbira (mmm-BEE-dah)
- Elephant - Njobvu (nnn-joe-BVOO)
- Lion - Mkango (mmm-KHA-nnn-GO)
- Hippo - Mvuu (mmm-BVOO)
- Zebra - Mbidzi (mmm-BEE-dzee)
- Monkey - Nyani (nnn-YAH-nee)