6 Malawian Traditions to Know Before Getting Married

malawian traditions to know before getting married

These Malawian traditions have existed for so long. After writing about the traditions Malawian moms should know after giving birth, I got a surprise phone call. My uncle had read it and thought it was missing other crucial information. He then shared some of the things that needed to be added.

I thought to share them for the third day of the Afroblogger WinterABC festival. This is the last post highlighting some stories from home. I hope you have enjoyed the entries so far.

6 Important Malawian Traditions to Know Before Getting Married

If you are married in Malawi, I am sure you might have heard some of these things. These traditions have been around for a while, only now are they losing value. An attribute would be the modernity of our lives now. Regardless, some maintain and believe in them.

Different people in our society advise these traditions from our grandmothers, aunts, and church advisers. They believe following the advice is what will help you keep a marriage, and have healthy children.

Some of these sound ridiculous, but it is important that we educate ourselves about our culture. Here goes…

1. Chicken Feet

malawian traditions: chicken feet

One piece of advice I find funny is this one. Ladies, it is important to know that our tradition asks us never to serve our men chicken feet. Elders will swear that you can give a man any other part of the chicken except chicken feet.

Giving a man chicken feet has the same issue as giving them shoes. Apparently, this is a subtle way of chasing your man away from the house. If they do not completely leave you for someone else, you are destined to so many heartbreaks because of his cheating.

I am unsure of how true this is, but it sounds like fiction.

2. Chicken Butt

malawian traditions: chicken butts

Did I say you could give a man any part of the chicken apart from feet? That was a mistake!

Another part a woman is asked never to serve her man is the chicken butt. Again, this is very funny to me. However, the thought is that men that are served chicken butts by their wives are bound to love other women’s butts.

Apparently, each butt that passes their way becomes art. Unfortunately, they do not just appreciate with the eyes, they get the urge to see the flesh. Basically, you would be buying yourself unnecessary heartbreak again.

3. Eating Boiled Eggs

Malawian traditions: boiled eggs

Another thing that is frowned upon is women eating boiled eggs when they are pregnant. Regardless of how much you crave for them, they advise you not to.

It is believed that eating boiled eggs while pregnant destines the child to baldness. As the child gets older, they start to look like the eggs, hairless. If you are bald or have a receding hairline, it is probably because your mothers could not resist having boiled eggs when they were expectant.

However, a more sound reason would be having gas issues. Being gassy while pregnant is annoying. I would assume that this is the actual reason, while the baldness was just something they used to troll others.


Catch up on my posts at the WinterABC festival


cont’: Malawian traditions to know before getting married

4. Never Trust the Maid

This point is heavily dwelled on. A maid, no matter how good they are, should never be trusted.

As a couple, you are advised to always keep an eye out. Maids should never be trusted to cook or dish up for a man. The fear is that they could put black medicine (kondaine) to make the man fall in love with them.

Be extra careful with the clothes, especially your husbands, they could take out a thread to be used for the same. If you take a male helper, women are asked not to form any relationship with them because they could be coxed to a relationship.

Sounds like so much work to me!

These Malawian traditions on marriage are somewhat funny, but again, they form our culture.

5. Sex in Presence of the Child

If you read 6 Malawian Traditions For Moms After Giving Birth, then you might have been shocked by the last point. It stated that one of the traditions requires couples to have sex in the presence of their newborn child. My uncle clarified another reason this is deemed important.

In his words, having sex in the presence of the baby stabilizes them and makes them strong. He pointed out that one way to know if one’s parent never did this is through their clumsiness. People that are clumsy and frail are the result of their parents having sex in a different room as them.

When asked about those that are raising the child on their own and are not intimate, I got the shock of my life. He said, in our tradition, a parent must take a child to any married couple they are close to. That couple should have sex in the presence of the baby, and return it the next day. It all yields the same results.

6. Cheating Husbands

Another shocker I had was on this. Couples are advised this, which is very insane.

In the event that a couple has a newborn and the lady is unable to have sex with their partner. If the man decides to cheat on the woman, it is important that he does the following. As he comes back home from his cheating ways, smelling of fresh sin and God’s disappointment.

Before he can do anything in the house, he ought to take one of his partner’s cloth and clean his hands on it. Mind you, it does not mean he has to wash his hands, NO! He is just to wipe clean his hands on the cloth she’s wearing.

This is done to make sure that the child does not end up barren later on in life. This is because our cultural belief is that a man should only have sex with his wife after she’s given birth. Being intimate with another person could result in the child’s barrenness.

Malawian traditions to know…

These are some of the traditions to know before you get married. In the last post, I received a lot of “I am a mom, how come I do not know about these things?”

Here’s my thought, you might not be exposed to the rural life or those elders that spill this kind of information.

Do not forget to comment your thoughts below.

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6 Comments

  1. No way you man these “traditions” are weird.

    I’m definitely not telling those to my kids. No thank you .

    Clumsiness and baldness huh

    Great read though.
    Well done Louisa

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