An African Worldview: the Muslim Amacinga Yawo of Southern Malawi
by Dr. Ian Dicks. Published by Kachere Press, 2012.
In this book Ian Dicks informs the reader about the ways in which the Yawo of Malawi view the world. The Yawo are predominantly Muslim, yet many maintain strong links with their traditional religion. They are a largely oral society, teaching and reinforcing their beliefs and practices using oral literature, which includes myths, proverbs, proverbial stories, songs of advice and prayers at various stages of the life cycle, particularly during initiation events.
Ian Dicks describes in detail the Yawo’s material world, customs, beliefs and rituals, and juxtaposes these with Yawo oral literature. He then examines them under six worldview categories, the result being a rich description of the way in which the Yawo see the world. This book is not an armchair study but has the feel of being written by an eyewitness, by someone who has had first-hand experience of the subject and who seeks to describe this in a manner which is sensitive to the Yawo and their culture.
Contact us to arrange payment and shipping at US$20 per copy. Can also be found through Malawian book stores including Central Africana, CLAIM, Kachere Press (Zomba), Lilongwe Book Centre, Maneno Book Shop (Lilongwe), etc.
A Practical Guide to Understanding Ciyawo
by Dr. Ian Dicks & Shawn Dollar. Published by Kachere Press, 2010.
Foreign visitors and Malawian nationals who don’t speak Ciyawo often struggle for years to understand the Yawo language, spoken by over 2 million people in Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. This book explains the Yawo language in detail and does so in a way that English speakers can understand.
This is a language book written specifically to help people who are not language experts, yet who want to understand and learn the Yawo language, Ciyawo.
The book is thorough going, yet easy to read and is a must for anyone who desires to learn Ciyawo, but who has never found the right guide to help them. Each chapter of this 175-page book explores one topic of the language and offers example sentences, methods on constructing different forms, and much more.
Written by Ian Dicks and Shawn Dollar, foreigners themselves who have spent many years immersed in Yawo areas as learners, practitioners and teachers of the Yawo language to others, this book is a groundbreaking resource that seeks to help anyone with initiative learn Ciyawo.
Contact us to arrange payment and shipping at US$10 per copy. Can also be found through Malawian book stores including Central Africana, CLAIM, Kachere Press (Zomba), Lilongwe Book Centre, Maneno Book Shop (Lilongwe), etc.
Wisdom of the Yawo People: Under the Elephants Belly You Can’t Pass Twice
by Dr. Ian Dicks. Published by Kachere Press, 2006.
Wisdom of the Yawo People: Under the Elephant’s Belly, You Can’t Pass Twice (Lunda lwa ŵandu ŵa Ciyawo) was published in 2006 and is unique in several ways, probably the most noticeable being that it is published in both the English and Ciyawo languages. The opening pages of this book explains just how it is that one should understand African proverbs and stories. Any Westerner who has tried to understand African thought can tell you it’s a different thing altogether! Collections of original paintings by renowned Malawian artist, the late Brian Hara, make the stories come to life.
Another unique aspect of this book is that it can be purchased as a stand-alone book, or with a set of 2 CDs professionally produced that read aloud each proverb in both English and Ciyawo, a perfect aid for anyone trying to learn the Ciyawo language. (Or listen to them online for free).
The publisher explains: Wisdom of the Yawo People is a collection of traditional proverbs and stories from the Yawo people of South Eastern Africa. The literature contains deep wisdom rooted in African soil, which will be applicable to people everywhere. The proverbs are told in both the Yawo language and English and reveal the end result of greed, laziness and pride. They also promote the value of welcoming strangers, belonging and being respectful. Each proverb and story is accompanied by a short interpretation, and illustration.
Google Books offers a generous preview of this book online, a great way to become introduced to this book before buying your own copy.
Yawo Proverbs: Mr. Hyena, Two Sadakas T-shirt. Choose your size and color here.
“Learn to Speak Ciyawo: Get a Yawo View of the World”
T-shirt. Choose your size and color here.
Cards & Art
High-quality Photographic Art at RedBubble
Print-on-demand cards, calendars & prints featuring the Yawo people of Malawi & Mozambique. Photography by Tim Cowley