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Thyolo Market
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Date of reg.: 26.06.2018
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Welcome to Thyolo BOMA Modern Market

     The word "BOMA" means "British Overseas Management Administration". Malawi was a British colony, the British administration has been gone for a long time, but the word has remained. In the modern sense, "BOMA" means "legal, controlled by the administration of the district". Local residents also use the word "BOMA", indicating a district center, a place in the district, a village or a small town, where administrative offices and infrastructure are concentrated.

Thyolo Market in Malawi

     In Malawi there is no customary in other countries subdivision of rural territory into villages. It is difficult to get an answer to the question, what is the main village of the district called. It's not called, the whole district is a village, and the addresses here are mailboxes, or rather, postal bags. The market, by which we will walk today, has the postal address Malawi, Thyolo, Private Bag 5. Do not look for the ZIP postal code, there are no ZIP codes in Malawi.

     When in the Northern Hemisphere summer, in the Southern Hemisphere - winter. In Malawi, winter is the most favorable season for the cultivation of agricultural products. In winter, rains are frequent in Malawi, which can not be said for the dry summer. But the temperature never falls below 0 degrees Celsius even in winter. The Malawian winter feeds whole year, we were on the market in Thiolo in the midst of June, and, according to the season, many vegetables are now sold here.

sweet potatoes

     The usual potatoes are called "Irish" here. Locals do not really like Irish potatoes. Malawians prefer sweet potato, which are a lot on the market now. Potatoes, though Irish, though sweet, like everywhere in the world, on the market in Thyolo are sold in buckets. Malawians also count potato one by one and ask for 300 kwachas per dozen, which is about 40 cents US. For reference, now, in June 2018, 1.3 dollars = 1000 kwacha.

     Many Malawians consume sweet potatoes daily - for breakfast, and for lunch. Sweet potatoes are boiled with a little water, adding salt. Tea is served as a drink for sweet potatoes. Sweet potato in Malawi is the staple food. And tea just is grown here.


     Cabbage is available in June, it ripens this month, there are a lot of it on the market, it is very cheap - 50 kwacha for one cabbage (6 cents).

     Other vegetables are also sold per piece. Tomatoes are relatively expensive, the same 50 kwacha for one tomato. The cabbage is large, the tomato is small, price is the same.

Thyolo Market in Malawi

     Cereals, nuts (peas, beans, peanuts) cost 400 kwacha per kilogram. Vegetable oil, depending on the brand, costs from 1 to 3 dollars per liter.

     Chicken egg goes 100 kwacha per piece. But locals buy badly chicken eggs. They believe that these eggs are artificial. As an argument they refer to their bad taste. The fear of Chinese synthetic food reached the rural areas of Malawi.

Thyolo Market in Malawi

     In the photo below the Malawian guy sells charcoal. In Malawi, many people use charcoal for cooking. The government does not encourage the use of charcoal because of the cutting down of trees, but the population still prefers coal than electricity. Electricity is more expensive. A bag of charcoal, as we see in the picture, costs 3000 kwacha, or 4 dollars. One bag for a large family is enough for 3 weeks, a lonely man, having bought a bag of coal, will provide himself with fuel for a period of one and a half months.

the charcoal seller

     Household chemistry, cosmetics, plastic cans and buckets, plastic bags, flashlights, bicycles and spare parts for them - all this can be bought on the market in Thyolo.

Thyolo Market in Malawi

Thyolo Market in Malawi

Thyolo Market in Malawi

     Shoes, jeans and shirts do not have a fixed price, the price depends on the quality. New shoes can cost 6 dollars, while second hand - at least 1 dollar. Jeans cost $ 7 for new, second hand - $ 2. Most T-shirts and shirts are second hand, costing $ 2 apiece each.

Thyolo Market in Malawi

Thyolo Market in Malawi

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