a republic in southern africa east of zambia. Its capital is lilongwe. It was formerly called nyasaland. This region was visited by livingstone in 1859. It became a british protectorate in 1891, part of the federation of rhodesia and nyasaland in 1953, and independent in 1964. It takes its name from the malavi people whose name means flames, possibly referring to the reflection of the rising sun on lake malawi. Its former name nyasaland is from the malawi word for lake.