Jobless queue grows as Malawi youth seek employment at hotel

With youth unemployment at record levels in Malawi, the capital city Lilongwe on Wednesday witnessed long queue  at Golden Peacock Hotel as youths search for jobs.

A line of hopefuls snaked around the hotel

A line of hopefuls snaked around the hotel

Thousands of job seekers queue for chance to work at Chinese hotel in Malawi's capital Lilongwe

Thousands of job seekers queue for chance to work at Chinese hotel in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe

A long winding queue at the hotel, situated just less than a kilometre away from Capital Hill, the seat of government surprised guests to the Chinese run hotel.

The Golden Peacock Hotel had run an advertisement weeks ago asking for applications for the jobs of waiters, waitresses, bartenders, cleaners, stewards, security guards, receptionists, food and supervisor supervisors and room and services officials.

The qualifications for all the position was just a mere Malawi School Certificate of Education, a qualification completely lowered by the mushrooming of many university and tertiary private institutions.  The  job seekers  were advised to bring their certificates  and CVs for interviews on Wednesday.

Thousands of job seekers queued for hours in a desperate attempt to nab one of the positions at hotel , a sign that there is untold high unemployment rate in Malawi due to harsh economic situation

The job hopefuls began queuing at 5am, despite the interviews not starting until 10am.

A University of Malawi graduate, who did not want to be named and joined the winding queue said: “I had to join the queue  because this can be my chance to get a job.”

Job-creation schemes for graduates are very low down in ministerial in-trays and it is a social problem, though a more deep-seated social problem than people perhaps realise.

‘It is hard for people who have no connection to the ruling elite like myself to get a job. I came for this  job  because you have to take what you can get, like I said, the opportunities are limited for the youth and those who have no one to back them up,” he said.

Civilian police from the police headquarters stood at strategic places to ensure that there was peace and calm at one of the newest hotel in Malawi.

Officials from the hotel refused to comment on why all interviewees were called one day same time saying they would respond after interviews.

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Finale wakaBaza:, ndaona kuti iwe ndi amene uli ndimutu mopanda zeru, Msowaya walankhula za mzeru powe ulipo ungatchulepo maziko a amalawi kumbali yothetsa umployment, ofcourse even ku AMERECA vutoli liliko koma kwathu kuno zanyanya,atsogoleri athu omwe ndi maa founders a dziko lino palibe zomwe anapanga. lets talk of John Chilembe, Kamuzu banda, anangothamangitsa ma foreign investors unkufuna kuti ife obwera mmbuyo mwao tisaone kuwala komwe iwo adaona ndi azungu omwewo, Bakili muluzi pali zomwe anapanga poitana ma foreigner investors to create a platform for employment, palibe, Muluzi was just selling zomanga kale ena basi, kunakhala kuti John Chilembe, Kamuzu ndi… Read more »

@Nabetha has written everything for me.This is sadness period. As a country we concentrate too much on politics. There’s a need to start motivating our youth from first year of University to start thinking about starting small businesses. We also need to introduce money management in standard one all the way to MSCE! Our Parliamentarians should also introduce a law on population growth. This could be a sensitive issue to many but we have scarce resources so we have to control babies being born. Say whatever you wonna say but life is money.

Winston Msowoya
The the line for job seekers,never failed to demolarise my morales after 52 years of independence.Banda’s leadership was a false start at best,he did not build a solid foundation from where to launch an aggressive economic and political programs for our people hence,we felt the sense of unfiltered patriotism.All of us lost moral compass and forthwith found ourselves followers of a misguided political cult singing ZONSE ZIMENE Ni ZA MALAWIAN MESSIAH instead of planning for our future and that of our children and the generations to come.We wasted our time hero worshipping the leader we had never known before.When late… Read more »
finale wa kabaza (cargo rider)

Winston Msowoya where do you come from, are you a Malawian for real? yours comment just shows how foolish and empty headed you are, typical of Tumbuka, always thinking like embeciles!

Dear my fellow Malawians, As a country we lost a plot in 1994, the UDF government failed to give this country a direction rather they took a policy with no knowledge of, PRIVATISATION and this lead to downfall of giant companies MDC, PEW David Whitehead. They promoted road transport which eventually killed rail and water transport without considering the consequences. They systematically promoted nepotism which is now deep rooted (you can prove this during elections). They promoted Kaunjika which brought down textile industry which eventually erased cotton farming. The list is endless. A way forward now, Lets all become patriotic… Read more »

On the other hand, I fault the hotels management for opting to conduct the interviews in this manner. Fairness demands that everyone who showed up needed to be attended to. I doubt if this was the case. Also to keep people standing in a queue for hours and hours amounts to abuse of one’s rights, regardless of the potential reward the few were eventually going to get. I hope lessons have been learnt and we will not witness such shameful scenes again in our Republic.


Why did a 3/ 4 star hotel call for interviews without even shortlisting – knowing that MSCE is just a basic certificate now. I bet very few here are qualified to be on those jobs, if merit, specialization (MIT certificate) and experience are anything to go by!

I wonder what would happen in the UK if someone advertised a job and invited everyone with a mere high school certificate to come. I bet you would get similar queues.

This system of inviting applicants should be discouraged. Taking into consideration that there is a high rate of unemployment in Malawi, someone needs to put control measures when inviting applications. Such control measures may include allowing applications to be submitted via emails or fax, no phone calls or submitting applications in person and in so doing the would be employer can avoid a large number of influx like the one we see on the picture above. Let say, 1000 applications were received in regard to the vacancy and you only need 40 people, 100 emails should be picked randomly without… Read more »

Mr. Analyst! How do u define unemployment? What are the indicators? As far as I’m concerned, this is enough to indicate the state of unemployment in the country. The long queue, and the presence of graduates (for those posts) notwithstanding the required qualifications should be enough to tell the degree of the problem in the country. Recall that this hotel is renown for poor working conditions but these people have put that aside to get try their luck! What more do we need to accept there is high unemployment in the country?


True we have a problem because the economy is not creating enough jobs. However we should not place the blame squarely on govt. Private citizens can also create jobs just as the founder of facebook, twitter etc have done in USA. We have many intelligent guys/girls in Malawi unfortunately even those with PhDs have not come up with any innovation worth discussing about. I agree with Henry Mintzberg in his book. Managers and not MBAs. Recently a govt ministry advertised for 70 posts out of which 5 demanded degrees. 550 graduates applied for the 5 posts.

The Analyst
O………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..O Smmify . . . That there is very high unemployment in the country; only Hetherwick Ntaba and Patricia Kaliati can dispute . . . . . . but to use the long queue seen at this particular interview (where MSCE was the requirement) as an eyeball measure of the same, may not be a good idea. And this; is all The Analyst is saying. . . . in modern times, MSCE is a paper which is only meant to help people achieve other goals in life, but finding a job, is not one of them. We therefore need to… Read more »

manje manje munenge mafanana nesu imi.

this is a terrible outcome. firstly, the hotel group is wrong to engage such recruitment tactics that risk the health and safety of citizens. people should not be subjected to such uncivilized humiliation as to be kept standing from 5 – 10 without water, food, etc. when they could quite easily have deposited cv’s and wait to hear from the hotel. secondly, politicians must wake up and stop the cheap talk about development and the economy. talk that the country is on course on economic recovery and yet such long lines of unemployed people points to the opposite. Nearly all… Read more »

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