Area 3 in Lilongwe, Malawi

Malawi is a country rich in cultural diversity and one way in which this is showcased is through curios that are sold in many cities of the country as well as in various hotels and resorts. Moving around these places, one is able to appreciate the beauty of Malawi through culture and no wonder these places are congested with tourists who come to admire and appreciate these attractive objects. A place where all of this can be enjoyed is Area 3 in the heart of Lilongwe city.

This area captures tourist’s attention because of its beautiful scenery. During day the place is flooded with different curios owned by local people, some people are from around the area while others come from distant places just to sell their curios. Some of the artifacts of sold at the curios complex are wooden spoons, necklaces, paintings, drums, various sculptures, bags and wrap-around made from local cloths and different types of curios depicting animals e.g. Rhinos, hippos, frogs, and elephants.

Curio making is a major livelihood in Malawi.
Image: kmclark2 on Flickr

The business of curios has been a source of employment to many Malawians. Speaking to Gracious, one of the sellers, he expressed his enthusiasm as he elaborated that, he makes more money through this wonderful business and that he is able to pay for this children’s school fees and live in a decent house. In addition to that, it has led to skill development and a secure livelihood among those engaged in it.

The crafts engaged with often depict the wildlife that is found endemically.
Image: Wikimedia

It is therefore an open secret that this form of viable entrepreneurship that contribute towards social and economic livelihoods directly and indirectly. Apart from that, it also promotes and conserves culture since they normally depict cultural aspects of different ethnic groups. This entrepreneurship has therefore led to social, economic and cultural development of Malawi. It has also promoted international relationship through attraction of tourist who interacts with native individuals as they purchase and appreciate these curios.

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