Mganda – Traditional Malawian Dance


‘Mganda’ which is also known as ‘Malipenga is a traditional dance that is common in central and northern Malawi.

Mganda has its origins in the system of military parades and musical bands introduced to Nyasaland (now Malawi) by British officers of the Kings’ African Rifles (KAR) during the colonial period.

Synchronized to the sound of louder and more powerful drums, they perform vigorous, dazzling movements similar to those of military training, and swing with the traditional African rhythms.

The dancers carry small flags or baja made of gourds, accentuated by whistles and smooth choreography.

Dancers usually form groups of 6-20 or more in two to five rows and play drums while facing the audience.

All dancers face the same direction and they must be clean and neatly dressed.

They are judged by the public and the audience on their cleanliness, grooming and how well their uniform is ironed.