Natasha’s comments on Malawi “hyena” culture earn her the wrath of Malawians

Natasha Annie Tonthola

Malawians have questioned the credibility of former Malawi Big Brother Africa representative Natasha Tonthola’s comments regarding Malawi’s “hyena” culture.

This follows Natasha’s interview with BBC radio few days ago where she spoke about the abuses she suffered due to Malawi’s traditional beliefs.

Natasha Annie Tonthola
Natasha Annie Tonthola has sparkled debate.

She said at her early tender age she was taken to initiation ceremony where women teach girls how to have sex with their future husbands. She added that she and other initiates were blindfolded and the ‘hyena’ (older man) came and sexually abused them.

She said it was very uncomfortable for her during sex time but when the men were done, women came and congratulated the girls saying they had passed the test to womanhood.

Natasha also told the radio that she was married to an abusive husband.

But Malawians who listened to her comments were not amused and labeled her a bad person for “selling lies” and trying “to gain cheap fame.”

Some Malawians took to social media saying there is no truth in Natasha’s story and they asked her to go back home and do another research since “she has little knowledge on Malawi’s cultural practices as she spend most  of her time in South Africa.”

Others accused her of twisting her story so that she could get funding for an organisation she founded called Mama Africa foundation.

But there were also Malawians who agreed with her saying the issues she talked about really happen.

“What part is she lying about? That these practices never happened?  I remember reading about these practices in one of the Form 3 Chichewa literature books and Madonna’s documentary “I am because we are” also mentioned this hyena culture. I was not surprised listening to the BBC expose. While these incidents are isolated and not representative of Malawi culture it is an injustice to the victims when we deny that these practices still exist,” said one the Malawians.

Malawi’s hyena culture got headlines on the international scene after the BBC interviewed a Malawian man who admitted to have slept with over 100 girls and young women.




  1. Those things do happen here in Malawi for Sure..But she just used the opportunity to sell her own agend but to say the truth she didnt have such an experience herself

  2. Can bbc help to curb this evil? Natasha used wrong channel to air her views. BBC is good at talking bad things of other nations, leaving its shameful tree lions

  3. Just because iyeyo anadusa motelo doesn’t mean we all did. I went to mzoonda too but to my surprise all this things of kuuikidwa zira or kuchosa fumbi l never experienced it. And that was about 20 yrs ago. I wonder if it’s even true that such thing did happen or its just a myth

    1. They do, i attended Umhlangano, the Maseko Ngoni cultural festival last September where i saw women dressed like that.

      That the Ngoni came from Zululand much you know. What does that make them but Zulus. By the way, we have a place known as Lizulu in Ntcheu. Lizulu is a short form for ‘Lizwe lamazulu’ meaning land of the Zulu.

      Let me emphasise: those who came from Zululand are Zulus.

  4. I listened to the whole interview but it was horrific she produced a straight forward language on what happens at kuchotsa fumbi, and claimed all Malawian women went thru the same , just because its tradition I asked some women I work with but they totally refused saying we Christians we don’t go for kuchosa fumbi.

    1. if she said all Malawian women went through that, then l am questioning the credibility of the whole interview because its not true that we all went through that. l never did. Or was she bought to lie so???

  5. …..Ndati Don’t forget kuNzondo where by young ladies’s genitals are removed, then amatenga hot egg of a duck and enters in girls genitals,…… ndiyetu nkumadabwa kuti kodi mulungu pomwe ananakuti kukhale mdulidwe anatanthauza ndi atsikanaomwe…? is this not a crime against humanity? do government through its intelligence know nothing about this abuse in the name of culture….? lets join hand and voice by SAY NO TO GIRL’S CIRCUMCISION…. ITS UNHUMAN & CRUELTY…..

    1. The govt is run by people from different villages across the country. They know what happens but don’t want to voice out, them being part of the nation, the participants. Everybody knew way back, jando, ku simba, kuvinidwa, kupita kufa, kudambwe, etc. We all waited for bbc then sprung into action; zombies, robots, that’s what africans are, especially malawians.

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  7. The right to her opinion can be respected in as far as her inferences and references are concerned in relation to her ordeal.

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