The first people to settle in this country were people related to the San societies found in most parts of Southern Africa. Between the 1st and 4th A.D, the Bantu people migrated to the region and they were followed by another wave of Bantu migration in the 15th and 18th century and coalesced with the Moravi kingdom. Christianity began to spread in this country after the arrival of Doctor and missionary David Livingstone. The Presbyterian mission station was founded in 1873. Missionary activities, the threat of Portuguese expansion into the interior, and Cecil John Rhodes influence led to British colonisation of the territory as the Shire Highland Territory. It was renamed Nyasaland in 1907. The first political party named Nyasaland African Congress was formed in 1944. Initially, it was a moderate party. It only became radical after Kamuzu Banda had taken the reigns of the party. He renamed it Malawi Congress Party. In the 6 July 1964 the country gained independence and it was renamed the Republic of Malawi. Kamuzu Banda became the first president and in 1971 became president for life.
And for a broad overview of African independence go to our site's coverage of African Independence (chronology and history)
Other useful links
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0859442.html - to read a short history of Malawi.
http://sg.travel.yahoo.com/guide/africa/malawi/culture.html - to read more about the different cultures of Malawi.
http://www.malawiproject.org/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_ user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=39&MMN_position=99:87 - to read more about the economy of Malawi.
http://www.clubmak.com/mau-murals.htm - to view Malawian murals in Chamare Museum.
http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0806006.html -to read a short bio of Kamuzu Banda.
For a broad overview of African independence.