Malawi – Dziwala

by Verdzekov Bernard

A lot of us may have eating insects or have seen some other people eat insects. This is real and it is food in Africa. I don’t know about Europe and the world at large but I know in Africa, we eat insects. I eat insects. This ranges from termites to grasshoppers and this insect have a particular season which the pass by or fly across. Some people say, it is manner from heaven some say it is God giving free food to everyone. Some will say how does this grasshopper’s taste? If you are a fan of shrimps or have ever tasted it, that is how the grasshopper taste. 

Termite come out during the raining season. They are common during the raining season because the earth is soft and which makes it easy for them to bust through it. Termite are said to be very destructive. Though they serve as food, they also are one of the highest destructive insects. Termite eat wood. That is why the carpenters often describe them as one their enemy. When wood is designed, for it to last long, there is a particular chemical that is usually robed on it. This is to help keep termites and other insects away. These insects are however not difficult to be caught. For termite, during the evenings, immediately after rainfall, or during shallow rains, that is they time they leave the earth to fly. So, to harvest, just take a bowl with water in it, and using your hands you can harvest so many. Be careful of the soldiers, they bite.

For the grasshopper, how do you harvest them? Just put outside your house a yellow bulb, a slanting Zinc and a big drum. When they grasshoppers fly and their tired, they will try to land. With the zinc being their only option since it is closest to the bulb, they will try to land on the zinc and as they do, they will fall into the drum. With the drum being dark, they will stay put thinking there are no lights as that is how you will come and pick them up. In one night, you can harvest half a drum of grasshoppers. That is why during this period, they are a lot of people that make their business with this. After spicing it well, they will tie them in small rappens and sell for 100-500frs. Some will even sell live grasshoppers. That is for those that don’t know how to harvest or to set the trap for them or those that don’t have time to do that but who love eating grasshoppers. This is food send by God and it is seasonal. Some people make their money during this period. This is lovable.

When I was a kid, my friends and I will put on short nicker and remain topless and run in the rain to catch this insect that fly and land on green leaves, walls of houses and on grass. It was fun and we loved It. I have more to say about this because It was part of me then. It was part of most children back then and we loved it. Thanks to God. 

To prepare your Dziwala, follow guide below;


  • Tomatoes
  • Onions 
  • Palm oil or Vegetable oil
  • Salt to taste 
  • Maggi 


  • Wash your grasshopper well. While you wash, remove the large high legs behind. Those are the legs it uses in jumping. Remove the wings. Cut off the antennas. Rinse again and drain. 
  • Boil your grasshoppers until they soft. 
  • Chop your onions and tomatoes. 
  • Heat up your oil. Fry your onions, add your tomatoes, fry until they are translucent. Add your grasshoppers. Fry together until you see your grasshoppers are well brown. Add your maggi and salt to taste. Stir well and remove. 
  • Serve with Fufu corn.


Note: They are people that won’t love to remove the wings. They just fry as it is. That is no problem. They are people that don’t even use tomatoes or onions. They just harvest, wash and fry with salt or maggi. Do as you wish. Do the style you prefer. 

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