Chichewa, famously known as Chewa, is a language that is spoken in the East, Southeast, and Southern Africa. In the countries of Zambia and Malawi, Chichewa is the official language. However, in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, this language is established as a minority language. Previously, in Malawi, Chichewa was known as Chinyanja. However, in 1968 it was changed because President Hastings Kamuzu Banda insisted. The prefix ‘chi’ is used for languages. The word following the prefix is usually the ethnic group to which the language belongs.
There are around 12 million native speakers of Chichewa. It belongs to the language family of Niger-Congo. Interestingly, in Zambia, Chichewa is known by another name. It is either called “Nyanja” or “Chinyanja/Cinyanja”. In Melawi, it is the most spoken language and it is pretty popular among the natives too. It has also been established as one of the 7 official African languages of the Zambian region.