Namikango Mission

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Namikango Past

Jun 11, 2015

by Symon John Katete

The land where we now have the Bible School and the Maternity Clinic was at one time a tobacco farm, the Namikango Estate, owned by Thondwe Tobacco Company and later owned by a retired army officer - Major Metcalfe. Charles C. Metcalfe was born in 1880 in England. He arrived in Nyasaland (now Malawi) about 1910 with his wife Margaret. He served for some time with the Kings African Rifles (KAR), which was a collaboration of African military forces overseen by the British in southeastern Africa.

Looking ahead to his retirement, Mr. Metcalfe started planning for a place of permanent residence within Nyasaland. He found a very nice place on the road from Blantyre to Zomba at the small town of Thondwe.

The Metcalfes bought Namikango Estate on January 7, 1944, from the Thondwe Tobacco Company.

When the Second World War broke out, Charles and Margaret were unable to travel to England because it was unsafe to travel on the seas or in the air.

One of their daughters, Barbara French, managed the affairs of the estate on behalf of her aging parents.

Later, Margaret and Charles Metcalfe left Nyasaland because of Charles’ ill health and went back to England. In 1961 the 90-acres estate was sold to our first/founding missionaries Bros. Rolland Hayes and B. Shelburne.

The place then became known as the Namikango Mission. The name Namikango means “place of lions” in the local language, named after a stream that runs through the property. Since that time, the Mission has become a well-known and respected place in the Thondwe area and throughout Malawi.