Audio Bible

The Megavoice audio player
The Megavoice audio player

Listen to the Injil (New Testament) online or download your own copy for free. (From Faith Comes By Hearing).

The New Testament audio Bible in Yao is also available through “The Proclaimer” (sold by Bible Society of Malawi) or through dedicated mp3 players, pre-loaded microSD or SD cards, etc.

The Proclaimer

The chip will not erase or wear out from frequent playing. In using The Proclaimer, the battery that comes with this radio-like device will play for 15 hours and can be recharged enough times to play the entire New Testament more than 1,000 times. It uses a built-in generator and solar panel to charge the battery. The solar panel, in addition to charging the battery, will run The Proclaimer even without battery power as long as there is sunlight. The sound is digital quality and loud enough to be heard clearly by groups as large as 300.


Available from Gospel Recordings

(Wordless Booklets accompany audio recordings — The Living Christ Pic. 1-45, 46-78, 79-120) (see website)

  • Beginning with GOD
  • Mighty Men of God
  • Victory through God
  • Servants of GOD
  • On Trial for GOD
  • JESUS – Teacher & Healer
  • JESUS – Lord & Saviour
  • Acts of the HOLY SPIRIT
  • Songs I
  • Songs II
  • Words of Life
  • Words of Life for Children

Radio programs include:

  • “Words of Wisdom” series
  • “Come and Listen” series
  • “It’s Your Life” series
  • Family-related series
  • Heritage-related series
  • Scripture-related series
  • Youth-related series

Trans World Radio (TWR), a multinational evangelical Christian media distributor (the largest Christian media organization in the world) offers programming in the Yawo language throughout Malawi every day from 16:00 to 16:30 on the following frequencies:

Zomba tower: 106,4 | Ndendu tower: 106,2 | Dedza tower: 96,4 | Lilongwe tower: 106,5 | Blantyre tower: 89,1 | Thyolo tower: 101,7 | Mzimba tower: 106,4 | Nchinji tower: 98,9 | Dowa tower: 91,1 | Ntchisi tower: 98,7

Global Recordings Network offers online a series of children’s stories in Malawian Yao.

  • Riki and the Littlest Puppy
  • Riki and the Runaway Coins
  • Riki and the Sky Blue Cap
  • Riki Takes a Journey

Music & other recordings

massukos 2013

These days with cheap recording studios proliferating anywhere the Yawo have access to electricity and computers, every young man wants to be a rock star. A new resurgence of pop music has cropped up as a result throughout Yawoland. (Check out our Youtube playlist to see what I mean).

Yawo music seems to break down into the following categories: pop, folk, church, Islamic (traditional & Swahili-influenced), classic radio tunes, instructional songs used during initiation time with boys and girls and children’s play songs. Truly internationally recognized bands featuring Yawo music are rare though Massukos has done well for themselves with their quality recordings and true talent mixed with a penchant for passing along health-related information in their lyrics the mostly uneducated masses have picked up.

International Pop

Massukos is probably the best African band out there featuring several tracks on each of their albums using Ciyawo. Bumping is the second release by the talented Lichinga, Mozambique-based band “Massukos”. Non-Yawo songs included on their albums are in Chinyanja, Makua and Portuguese. Available for download after purchase online through iTunes, or in person from the Estamos NGO office in Lichinga, Niassa Province. Sample some songs here. Their other albums are titled Canções da Nossa Terra and Kuimba Kwa Massuko.


Most Yawo do not adhere to the Christian faith, though there is a segment based mostly around Blantyre who are traditionally Christian. Anglican churches based in Yawo areas have a number of talented choirs that sing in Ciyawo as do other denominations.

These women from Chanika, Madimba, Mozambique sing sikili at syala events
These women from Chanika, Madimba, Mozambique sing sikili at syala events


A popular form of Islamic music is known as sikili performed by both men and women.

Chiwena, Namwera sikili singers




















Radio Islam, a Limbe, Malawi-based production facility offers numerous programs in Ciyawo. They also regularly broadcast sikili and other Yao materials. Other radio stations that broadcast in Ciyawo include Radio Maria of Mangochi, Malawi; Radio Yako;  Far East Broadcasting (FEBA)Trans World Radio (TWR); Rádio Comunitária de Mandimba; Rádio Comunitária de Ngauma (Massangulo, Niassa Province, Mozambique); Malawian Broadcasting Corp. (headquartered in Blantyre, Malawi); Radio Chiunjota (Chiconono, Mozambique) and Rádio Esperança (community station in Lichinga, Niassa Province, Mozambique).

Classic Yawo Musicians

… include Tambala Chitenje, Wilson Makawa, Gides Chalamanda and Moris Maulidi

Yawo Proverbs

listen to these professionally-recorded Yawo proverbs courtesy of Ian Dicks, author of Wisdom of the Yawo (see below)

Introduction [English | Ciyawo]

#3 Aci kunong’a, aci kunong’a, citumbili cagwile pasi

This is nice, this is nice, the monkey fell down [English| Ciyawo]

#4 Acisuŵi kunondiya ya ajawo, nambo yawo akutenda kuwuta

The leopard belittles what his friend gets, but his own he drags along. [English | Ciyawo]

#9 Akasam’wona ndindi unandi, mandanda gakwe aga

Don’t see the warbler bird’s smallness, these are its eggs. [English | Ciyawo]

#13 Andape andape, ŵalinyelanjile manyi m’katonga

Praise me, praise me, soiled his underpants. [English | Ciyawo]

#31 Canasa cawuleje ce Ngwale

Mercy killed Mr. Partridge. [English | Ciyawo]

#32 Cangamtuma, cangasala

That for which you have not been sent, is not to be told. [English | Ciyawo]

#33 Cangapikana ŵacitelecele mwiponda

The one who didn’t listen was cooked with the leaf vegetables. [English | Ciyawo]

#38 Ce Litunu ŵakanile mbalika

Mr. Hyena denied the castor seeds. [English | Ciyawo]

#39 Ce Litunu wakanice Usilamu

Mr. Hyena failed to be a Muslim. [English | Ciyawo]

#42 Ce Mtimbanje kwawuleje konjecesya

Mr. Mtimbanje was killed by adding more. [English | Ciyawo]

#53 Jikajikape jangawuma mbili

Alone, alone, one cannot produce history. [English | Ciyawo]

#61 Kangapumula ŵakakamwile ŵanace

Little never-rest was caught by children. [English | Ciyawo]

#63 Koca tuŵili, kamo kutinika

Roasting two, one gets burnt. [English | Ciyawo]

#66 Kondoganya pagalenjele mesi

To stir where the water is clear. [English | Ciyawo]

#74 Kumtenda kalibu ngasimkana

To welcome you! Don’t refuse. [English | Ciyawo]

#77 Kupasyoŵela, ce Tombolombo ŵapile mcila

To be used to; Mr. Dragonfly’s tail burnt. [English | Ciyawo]

#94 Lelope jino waŵilile mnamba

Today only, dirtied the forktailed drongo. [English | Ciyawo]

#108 Liwuto lya kalunga lyakusile ni ‘Kwalole!’

The sleeping place of the rabbit grew with, ‘Come and see!’ [English | Ciyawo]

#110 Lusulo lwangali mesi, ngasimgona

The river without water, you should not sleep. [English | Ciyawo]

Do you know some Yawo proverbs?

Add your own. Get in touch.

Wisdom of the Yawo People: Under the Elephant’s Belly, You Can’t Pass Twice

Lunda lwa ŵandu ŵa Ciyawo

Wisdom of the Yawo
Wisdom of the Yawo

This charming book by Australian anthropologist Ian Dicks was published in 2006 by Kachere Press, Zomba, Malawi. This collection of Yawo thought, quips and worldview is unique in several ways, probably the most noticable being that it is published in both the English and Ciyawo language.

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 is best used with professionally recorded selections of proverbs offered in both English and Ciyawo, a perfect aid for anyone trying to learn the Ciyawo language.

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.

Want your own copy? We are selling them for $10. Use our Contact page to let us know.