When Bingu wa Mutharika was hospitalised in April it was at first extremely difficult to find reliable information about either his personal condition or the high drama of political theatre that was unfolding. By far the best place to go for this turned out to be Twitter, where a number of Malawian reporters posted live updates as the situation developed. Twitter can be relied upon to be the very first place where Malawi’s breaking news is broken, and useful links are shared, such as to Al Jazeera’s live online coverage of President Joyce Banda’s swearing in or to Zodiak Radio’s daring live reporting from inside Kamuzu Central Hospital as Mutharika was admitted. Last month I wondered aloud on AIAC’s own twitter page as to who our followers would recommend from within the bulging Malawian “Twittersphere”. Be warned, it’s not a gentle place. As Sean remarked the other day: “The Malawians really go at it.”

Here are some of the suggestions we received. Post your own below the line.

  • Mabvuto Banda (blogs here) ~ one of Malawi’s pre-eminent journalists, Banda currently works for Reuters and the New Internationalist and can be relied upon to keep you abreast of all major Malawian news stories. I love when he posts pictures too, like the one above of Jeff Sachs boring Madonna, or when he’s stuck in his car waiting for the presidential convoy to emerge
  • Jimmy Kainja (blogs here) ~ always eloquent and insightful analyst of Malawian politics and social affairs, writes columns for the Nation newspaper
  • Agnes Dumi Mizere (blogs here) ~ journalist and frequent tweeter with a special focus on health and gender issues
  • Kondwani Munthali (blogs here) ~ prolific journalist and blogger with the Malawi Nation. Tweets a lot about God
  • Thandika Mkandawire ~ Chair in African Development at the London School of Economics and Olof Palme Professor for Peace with the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm. Seismic thoughts on geopolitics leavened by instagrams of his potted plants
  • Mbachi Joyce Ng’oma (blogs here) social and political activist focused on women’s rights
  • Nathan Chiume ~ New York based observer of Malawian and Tanzanian affairs. Son of the late Kanyama Chiume, a hero of the independence struggle and Malawi’s first Minister of Education
  • Luso Mnthali ~ talented Malawian writer based in Cape Town
  • Steve Sharra (blogs here) ~ always lively stuff from Sharra, a writer and academic
  • Malawi Elections 2014 ~ impressive and popular social media project aimed at promoting democracy and debate in Malawi ahead of the next electoral cycle. An excellent source on daily developments in national politics
  • Pilirani Semu-Banda (blogs at The Skirt) ~ insightful blogger on health, gender, politics, and inequality, Pilirani deserves a bigger following
  • Kim Yi Dionne (blogs here) ~ political scientist with a focus on Malawi based at Texas A&M University. Has good sources in Malawi.

Who’d we miss?

(BTW, this is the start of an occasional series of posts finding the most vocal tweeters in and on various African countries.)