Namikango Mission

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Prisoners Gain Notoriety

Mar 11, 2016

The only maximum-security prison in Malawi is located in Zomba, the town where Ben and Ryan Hayes and their families live. This prison, which is 10 miles from Namikango Mission, was built in 1935 intending to handle up to 340 hardened criminals. 20 years ago it was condemned as unfit for humans, yet it remains in continuous use. Instead of 340 prisoners, it is overcrowded today with 2,000 inmates – mostly men, but it also houses some women and their children.

Due to extremely unsanitary conditions and the fast spread of AIDS and TB, Zomba Prison loses 1 in 20 inmates annually. Our missionaries and Mission staff visit the prison from time to time with food and other help.

A spotlight was recently shone on this prison as it gained worldwide recognition. The attention came because of a musical band that the inmates formed. This band was noticed and recorded by a music producer and the album they produced has been submitted for a Grammy. A couple of the song titles are, "I have no everything," and, "Please don't kill my child.”

Malawian music is unique and natural.
Some clips of their music can be found at and