One of the most popular British heroes of the late 19th-century Victorian period was the Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone (1813-1873). On one of his expeditions he traversed the country we today know as Malawi. Blantyre, Malawi’s second city, is named after Livingstone’s birthplace in Scotland. In 1973 Malawi commemorated the 100th anniversary of his death with the stamps shown here.
In the periods of history where various parts of the African continent were claimed and divided amongst European countries and subsequent entities, postage stamps were produced by the interlopers. One such organisation representing Britain and keen to exploit the continent’s mineral wealth was the British South Africa Company which had much influence in what is now Malawi. Above we have a British South Africa Company stamp overprinted B.C.A. (British Central Africa) from 1891.
And here an example from British Central Africa issued in 1895.
The Nyasaland Protectorate was a British protectorate in Africa established in 1907 when the former British Central Africa Protectorate changed its name. Here we have a Blantyre overprinted King George V stamp from 1913.
This is a fine example of a 1938 King George VI Nyasaland Protectorate stamp with, below, a great unused definitive set from the same year.
For the stamp booklet collectors out there we have this item from 1954, replete with advertising.
In the early colonial period there was a massive loss of African communal lands. In January 1915, there was an attempted rebellion, led by the Reverend John Chilembwe in protest at discrimination against Africans and from the 1930s, a growing class of educated African elite, many educated in the United Kingdom, became increasingly politically active and vocal about gaining independence. In 1953 Nyasaland was forced into a Federation with Southern and Northern Rhodesia, causing a rise in civic unrest, as this was deeply unpopular among the people of the territory. In 1963 the Federation was dissolved and on the 6th of July 1964 Nyasaland became independent from Britain and was renamed Malawi. The stamp sheet above was produced in 1965 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Reverend John Chilembwe-led uprising.
In 1964 Malawi issued the above stamps to celebrate independence, incorporating a portrait of Hastings Banda, first President of the country.