One head cannot hold up the roof - Mutu umodzi, susenza ndenga

Madonna and Federer are in town!

Analysis by Office Intern, Farida Matumula

Malawi is known as the Warm Heart of Africa and across the country you’ll find a fantastic welcoming spirit, which will undoubtedly feature in any travel review of this country.

It’s not only tourists who are under Malawi’s spell

Recent news from two remarkably famous faces has put Malawi on the map.


On Tuesday the 11th of July 2017, Madonna opened her new paediatric centre and intensive care unit at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. This is the first state of the art unit and is expected to save the lives of many children across the country. Positive vibes are abundant across the nation following this event.

Madonna, together with multiple donors, and hugely dedicated local doctor, Dr Borgstein, have turned Malawi, and Madonna’s, dream into reality.

Her first two Malawian adopted children were both sick when she visited them in their orphanages. Could this be what inspired her to get involved in this enormous project?

Over the years Madonna has funded various different projects within Malawi. And whatever we all think about Madonna’s various projects in Africa, nobody can deny that she’s put Malawi on the map.


Following Madonna’s visit, another celebrity graced the country with exciting news on the opening of his 81st nursery school opening in Malawi. The world renowned tennis star Roger Federer who started his initiative in the country in 2011, through the Roger Federer Foundation together with Action Aid, has aimed to have 81 childhood learning centres in Malawi in different areas by 2020.

The project aims to educate children from a tender age

With the right materials, trained teachers and a good standard of education that supports them as they transition into primary school. Roger Federer’s funds go some way in filling the gap from lack of government resources.

But what really drives these icons to make a change and develop strategies to overcome big challenges such as these in Malawi?

It's not only a developing global tour destination, but it's also home to warm hearted, cheerful and welcoming citizens - one of the reasons that has earned its beautiful slogan as the “Warm Heart of Africa.” Could this be why Madonna and Federer are so invested in improving the situation for children in Malawi? Or is it the bright smiles, rocking dance moves and unique poses that continue to give winning points to the nation and inspires the next person to do something better for them, to ensure that they have a chance at a better life, and to harness their potential.

These projects, including many others in the country indeed bring forth a positive change for it’s people, and we at Orbis Expeditions and the Responsible Safari Company, are happy to see that many of us, in one way or another, are taking an initiative in empowering and improving the lives of the younger children locally and globally.

To quote one of our guides, Ozzie

“We should not take for granted the things which we have, because to some it is of great value, and what we experience in our daily lives in Malawi, is a life changing experience to visitors from abroad.”

However, do not fret, you absolutely do not have to be an international famous star to create change!

It is down to all of us to “hold up the roof”! Passion and dedication have got us this far and these are core values that can change any situation! Our model of collaboration between local and international actors has proven successful and is proof that we can all make a significant and positive change in the country of Malawi. 

What change can you bring to the table? In what ways can you help develop your community? And what motivates you to do more for the next person? Be inspired by the stars, come and get involved, get stuck in and learn more about yourself and the world!

Be part of something... get in touch here to find out more about our expeditions

Join us on social media - Facebook  Twitter  Instagram  Pinterest  YouTube  and keep up to date with news and developments across our projects in Malawi.

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