Poverty exposes kids to hell: 12 year -olds venture into usipa business

As poverty continue to trap Malawians under the knife, Malawi24 has discovered that kids as young as 12 are venturing into fresh usipa business for survival in Mzuzu.

These children supply fresh usipa in locations like Chibavi, Mchengautuba and Zolozolo on daily basis.

“We sell this for our bosses, who give us MK1000 after selling the whole basket,” said one of the kids.

Children fall to usipa business.
Children fall to usipa business.

According to the child, he ventured into the business for survival because his parents cannot manage to provide him with all necessary basic needs. He said his parents allowed him to start doing the business because they conceded failure to take care of him.

“My father is a watchman and my mother is a housewife. We are three children in our family, but our parents can’t take good care of us,” he added.

On a positive note, the child said he hasn’t dropped out of school and he still attends classes after doing the business.

He described school as a key to his future and his parents always encourage him to work hard in his studies.

“I am in standard 5 at Chibavi primary school. I can’t drop out of school and my parents would even kill me for making that decision. I report for classes after the business,” he added.

However, he was still uncertain on whether he will go further with his education owing to problems with school fees ahead of him.

“If fees will be there, I want to pursue a career in medicine but because my parents are poor, I’m not sure if my dream will be realised,” he stressed.

Mzuzu based social commentator Richard Soko feared this experience may live on if there will be lack of political will.

“From street kids to kid’s vendors? This is very unfortunate and we are not improving in anyway. The future of our children is being ruined here,” he said.

Minister of gender, disability, children and social welfare Jean Kalirani asked for more time to respond on the matter, saying she was not in the office.




  1. Tinene kute imwe amw22 mkamba haki kute mwazijiwa lero zinezi moti zaka zosi mwakhala mjiko muno simmajiwa kute ana ngakhale madodafe tuluvutika….ukhala kuno kwatho ku ;kk: tikanate ndimwi vilekwa

  2. Anawa sakulakwisa,chfkwa malawi panopa anayaka moto,akununkha ndpo anabvunda kalekale,our leaders are fools and they r so selfish angopanga za mmatumbo nd mmimba mwawo osaganizila anthu a mmidzife nde anawa akuyitha kip it up mafana,bravo muli bho…panopa dzkoli labvunda lili mmanja mwa agalu,asabvimbi,akabvalo ndamene akulamulira malawi..koma one day mulungu adzayankha osadanda.

  3. Mwanayu ali bho ndithu mkusiyana kumangoti boma lichitepo kathu momwe mumayakhulira mwachizolowezi amalawi keep it up than unakayamba kuba mphwanga

  4. Too expensive to buy for just one meal how can poverty end in Malawi when food s too expensive imagine one leaf of vegetable going for 20mk and one tomato at 200mk

  5. If American Kids were the ones doing such business we could see BBC, VOA and other big media outlets including our Malawian news papers, Radios and TVs applauding such kids for their contribution to the economy we could even head they are being sponsored by their government to fulfill their goals but since its Malawi where we believe in being funded and less hardworking we think what these children are doing is because of our own government’s failure “shame”, all you want is to see people who are struggling so you can well define Malawi as the poorest country, that’s being stupid and selfish, how many graduates do we have in Malawi that are roaming in our streets looking for jobs? Now you see someone making progress and you say Malawi is a failed state really?

  6. Wayitha aise kusiyana nkuti uzipita ku xool.Ntchito ku Malawi kuno kuribe paribe angakurembe.Zikamayenda chonde kumasunga ma profit mawa udzakhara umboni.Waganiza bwino kusiyana ndizitsiru zina zomwe zikumangokharira mowa, chamba komaso kupha azawo ku mzuzuko pofuna kupata.

  7. Are you surprised? is’nt that how we earn a living when we come from poor families.what aman have to do when he wake up with empty stomach?

    1. wakulu yes indeed but without going to school antha bwanji change nanga awerenga bwanji mkupanga stalk katundu??????

  8. Malawi is a failed state, up to this day we are still relying on donors yet we have a fertile land and abundant of water.

    1. I totally agree 100% Mr. Juma, on as your comment, that Malawi is a failure state to lead and govern its people.
      At about 53 yrs from colonial power, Malawi still fails to sustain her social and economic woes.
      Something somewhere is not matching the right combination.
      From Dr. Banda’s rule we thought in a democratic rule Malawi will grow her economic and social challenges, but things are worsening to a ticking bomb space to explode.
      Malawi is a poor country by it leadership plans, but Malawi has got rich resources to overcome her challenges if it got the right leader of sounding goals.
      Malawians are all over the world deserting their country where the is no war, that they register as asylum seekers, why and why?
      Leader ship empty mind ideas of just ripping Malawians resources to enrich themselves and their elite friends.

    2. What bothers me a lot is the fact we have a country which is peaceful but somehow we remain poor, the problem is our leaders who are in for themselves to the people who put them in power. The other problem we keep on recycling the same politicians, what new ideas are they going to bring when they were in the previous government that failed miserably?

    3. We Malawians ourselves are recycled minds of which by choosing a unique and responsible leader is a problem, that why we choose anyone from our province who don’t have merits and credits to leaderships credential.
      Malawi lost her choice of choosing a reasonable leader in 1953, by calling Dr Hestings Kamuzu Banda abroad.
      Mr. Muluzi also made a big blunder by endorsing Mtalika Bingu leaving prominent UDF gurus aside.
      Bingu himself made the same dirty mistake by endorsing the long diaspora brother leaving DPP elites minds who knows Malawi’s DO/DOES.
      Failure from these flop leaders we elect, or rigs votes to be Malawian leaders, those are the results Malawians are ripping the in done sins.
      Malawians are victims in their own lands as they immigrates to foreign lands for survivals.

  9. is that what you, i mean you ppo call it hell? come out here and see for yourself what children as young as 6yr old are facing as they strive to find something to put in their bellies, children who have never seen a chalkboard, etc and name their situation

      Malawi as a country has got everything in her disposal to invest in and build the social and economic strains.
      We need unique, merit, and dedicational leader with visionary growth plan not just calling him/ herself a Malawi president without service delivery to Malawians.

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