Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Other Football

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, I will tell you a bit about football in Malawi. In Malawi, as in most countries, the term "football" refers to the sport where you kick a black-and-white ball with your feet. Or as we call it in America, soccer.

Football is huge here. If there is a football match on a TV, you can be sure people are watching it. (Well, the men at least. The women are too busy hauling water and cooking nsima.) It will be shown on the TV in the banks, and in the pool halls and bars (so I have heard). Some people in my village have TVs, and people get together to watch the game at home too. So kind of like America, except I'm pretty sure they won't be serving hot wings and tortilla chips and dip!

Malawi's National football team is the Flames. They have never competed in the World Cup (which is held in even years), but they did reach the finals for the Africa Cup of Nations (which is held in odd years). (Thank you, Wikipedia)

There are football matches between schools and between villages too. I went to one my first day in the village during PST. We also had a couple matches between PCVs and the villagers during PST. I've only seen one match since I've been at site though. I guess they must play elsewhere. Interesting fact-- at the village level, most players play barefoot. Imagine running over dirt with rocks and thorns and sticks in bare feet. Malawians are tough.

We don't officially have sports teams at my school. Several footballs and other types of sports equipment was donated to my school, so sometimes the students use it during PE or afterschool, but it's pretty informal.

Okay, that's pretty much everything I know about football. I would kind of like to learn more about it because it is so big here, but there are only so many hours in the day. I will try to watch the Africa Cup of Nations this year, since I missed the World Cup last year.

Now go enjoy your American football! I'm not really a sports person, but at this point I want to hug everything that reminds me of America, and the Super Bowl qualifies for that. So I am down for a Super Bowl party in 2017! You supply the TV, I'll bring the nsima. Just kidding : )


  1. I'm not much of a sport person either, but I'll be watching and I'll think of you, Stacy. Hugs

  2. I hope you had fun watching the game! I kept checking for the score until I remembered the time difference so I had to wait a bit. Bummer for Seattle.