The Spirit of Malawi

Susan Dalgety

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Edition: Paperback

ISBN 9781913025465

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About the Book: 

Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries, where the majority of its 18 million population live on less than £323 a year, one million people have HIV/AIDS and more than half of children don’t even finish primary school.

In The Spirit of Malawi, Susan Dalgety explores contemporary Malawi through the voices of its people, like Homba Mbkeani’s granddaughter, Busi, who cared for her at home after a stroke, Wezi Mzumara, who dreams of Malawi becoming the fashion capital of Africa and Alexander Galimoto, wrongfully imprisoned in the country’s most notorious prison.

Beautifully observed, this book looks behind the well-worn clichés of sub-Saharan Africa and explores how people really live, from the joy – and pain – of childbirth, to old age and death. Ultimately, Malawi’s story is a story of hope.


In her attempt to capture the spirit of the “warm heart of Africa,” Susan Dalgety makes the wise decision to tell its story through the voices of the people who live there. The Scotsman

Susan Dalgety was there in May 2005. She has been a driving force for the partnership ever since. Her love for Malawi and Malawians has driven her to write this book. Susan believes in the people, and her friends in Malawi believe in her. Enjoy the pictures she draws, the stories she tells and the lessons she draws. The Warm Heart of Africa is ready to welcome you too. LORD JACK McCONNELL of Glenscorrodale, First Minister of Scotland, 2001–07

As you read this book, you will be exposed to the other side of Malawi not yet discovered, the real stories of real people… the spirit of Malawi. VERA KAMTUKULE, Deputy Minister, Government of Malawi

About the Author:

SUSAN DALGETY and her husband, an economic researcher, spent six months in Malawi from May 2019, interviewing scores of people and researching the country’s history and its future prospects. During her stay, she filed a weekly ‘Letter from Malawi’ for The Scotsman. As the former head of communications for Lord McConnell, when he was First Minister of Scotland (2001-06), her first trip to Malawi was to set up the first official visit by the Scottish government, and help develop a bi-lateral co-operation agreement between the two countries, which remains in place today. She was previously chief writer on the Edinburgh Evening News, deputy leader of Edinburgh City Council and Director of Communication for Scottish Labour, as well as editor of the Wester Hailes Sentinel – Scotland’s ground-breaking community newspaper during the 1980s and ’90s This is her first book.