In Malawi and other parts of Africa, galimotos (push toys) are made by children out of anything that is handy, such as sticks, old telephone wire, clothes hangers, car parts, etc. This “galimoto” push-toy bicycle rider was made with wire that is wrapped with fabric. When you push the long handle, the figure pedals the bike. The word “galimoto” means “car” in Malawi.
Location: Southeast Africa
Main language: English, Chichewa
Currency: Malawian Kwacha
Construction: wire, corncobs, rags, tape
Height in Centimeters: 70
Height in Inches: 28
Reading Level: 4.10
My name is Kwana and I live in a small village in Malawi. My country is in the southeast part of Africa. We were ruled by England for many years. Since 1964, we have been independent.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. Our homes are very simple, with dirt floors. We do not have electricity or running water. My sisters fetch water from the river. We cook our food with fire.
My family grows potatoes and corn. I help in the field before and after I walk to school. At school, I am in a class with 60 students and one teacher. We don’t have computers or sports, but school is important for us.
When my chores and homework are finished, I make galimotos for my little brothers. A galimoto is a push toy. We make them with scraps of wire, cloth, and whatever we can find. The one I am working on now will be a boy in a small cart. I already have boy’s head and body carved out of a corncob. I’ll add some clothes by tying colorful rags around him. I made the cart by tying sticks together. Now I need wire for the wheels and handle.
Wire is very difficult to find in our village. We don’t have stores or cars. Luckily, I walk to the market with my dad once a week. The market is in a town 5 miles away. We go there to sell our crops and get money for food. If we have time, Dad says I can ask around for packing wire at the market. Or, perhaps I can search through the junkyard. It might take me awhile to finish the push care, but I know my brothers will enjoy having a toy to play with.