Chewa Heritage disown arrested Gulewamkulu: Accuses Muslims of impersonating

Tempers flared on Friday in Lilongwe when Chewa Heritage Foundation (CHEFO) officials told a news conference which was also attended by the Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) and the Malawi Police Service that the people causing havoc while  disguising  themselves as Gulewamkulu, do not belong to them.

Chefo officials addressing  reporters

Chefo officials addressing reporters

Traditional Authority Kalumba spekaing to Nyasa Times

Traditional Authority Kalumba spekaing to Nyasa Times

Gulewamkulu has been causing problem in Lilongwe’s Area 36, Kaphiri, Mgona, Ngomani, Mtsiliza, and Kauma.

This prompted the Police unleash their special force who arrested four members in the process.

Irked by the reports CHEFO sent a special team which intercepted another grouping  “Gule wamkulu” dancers.

Addressing members of the media, CHEFO Sub-Committee Chairman for tradition and chiefs, Lysan Banda said he was not happy that people from other tribes are the ones tarnishing the image of the Gulewamkulu.

“For example there are four people in the custody at the moment, after asking them we have heard them speaking that they are not Chewas. There is Issa Hussen from Zomba who told us that he is a Yao and a devoted Moslem, and two other Yao people from Mangochi and the last one is Ganizani Chikhasu, a Ngoni from Ntcheu, by the look of things here you can see that people of other tribes are the ones bringing confusion by taking advantage over Gulewamkulu popularity,” said Banda.

Traditional Authority Kalumbu said it is indeed true that the Chewa tradition has clear guidelines on when should Gulewamkulu come out.

“We knew from the start that the Gulewamkulu which is causing problem in town is fake,” Banda said..

Statement by Banda and T/A Kalumba angered the Muslim officials who hit back at CHEFO officials.

MAM officials led by its chairperson for Lilongwe district, Sheikh Ibrahim Hackim Mussa gave all history over how genuine Gulewamkulu has been giving problems in the district.

“Was the group of Gulewamkulu dancers  from Kauma which stepped and  danced in the Kauma Mosque fake? Was the Gulewamkulu which caused havoc in Mitundu another fake?”he queried.

However, Mussa was quickly interrupted by the T/A Kalumba who said all the issues which the Sheikh was reciting were already dealt with and that they are water under the bridge.

But sheikh Mussa insisted that the problem in Malawi is that people fail to differentiate between a Yao and a Muslim.

“What Malawians must know is that being Yao does not mean that one is a Muslim,” Said Mussa who looked angry throughout the meeting.

Speaking during the news conference Police Public relations officer for Lilongwe Kingsley Dandaula appealed for decorum in the way how Gulewamkulu should be handled.

Dandaula also confirmed the arrest of the Gulewamkulu members.

“They are answering two charges first one is unlawful wounding and the other one is on breach of peace,” said Dandaula.

In September this year some sector of the society asked Government to declare the Gulewamulu a terrorist organisation after the same fake Gulewamkulu had hacked Chikondi Mbewe, 14, after chasing him for a while around their compound and when he and his friends ran into a neighbour’s house to hide, the Gulewamkulu invaded the house and beat up the boys and girls who had tried in vain to take refuge in different places in the house including under bed.

Many people in the locality, especially boys and girls, have been injured by Gulewamkulu as the community was preparing for the installation of village headman Chisuka who is within Area 36, under Traditional Authority (T/A) Tsabango.

The same Gulewamkulu has been found touching breasts of young girls.


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Concerned Zambian
Its good to read what people are saying about the issue. First and foremost everyone must realise that we all one people. We may belong to different tribes or religions and yet we are one people – whether in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique or other country. whenever a problem has arisen, ensure you concentrate on the main ingredients and not the matters that might simply anger others. For example, do not mention the tribe or religion of those that were involved in the confusion and harassment of innocent people. Just allow the law to take its course. We live in a… Read more »

Gulewamkulu wa ku town amapangidwa ndi mijomba thats why amakhala wachisawawa. Eni ake a gulefe sitingapange utsiru ngati umenewu. Nyau za jando ndi zimene zikusokoneza. Munamvako kudambo kukumveka maina oti “Hussein kapena Issa”? Achawa inu chonde chonde leave gulewamkulu for the Chewas!! Mukakamira muzingoyaluka nazo…..

Anthu amenewo ndi agule basi.Kaya kwao nku Zomba,Mangochi,oro Ntcheu.Bwanji simukana pometa athu kuti nza a Chewa okha okha? Vuto la open access to culture ndi limeneli.Mpaka mzungu (ati a Chisale,wansembe wa Katolika) anameta ku Mua,ku Mtakataka!Kufwala gule.Nyau is an esoteric tradition koma inu wautchipitsa mwambo uja. Inu a CHEFO mwachepa.Mumangotha kutolera ndalama zopitira ku Zambia kwa Gawa basi. Milandu ikagwa nthawi zonse mumangoti “si ife”. Si inudi.Inu mulibe dabwe.Inu si mfumu.Mafumu anu mu CHEFOmo ali patali ndi pa ground pomwe pakuchitika zinthu.Chalo Lukwa,Chalo Kaomba ali ku Kasungu,mlandu wachitika ku Lilongwe ayankhapo bwanji? Ayankhe aku LL omwewo. Free advice: CHEFO should… Read more »

Hahahah, chilombo chogwira mabere a azimayi. Koma zilombo zinazi.


Musalire apa za gule wankulu. This is a demonic dance and therefore anyone associated with it falls under the same influence of demons.


Kodi achewa mumakananso abale anu. Nonse ndi achewa basi nanga ku Zomba mtundu wao ndi chani? Munthu kukhala Isa Hasan ndekuti simchewa? Mesa bola amake ali a chewa basi. Sir name sinkhani pachikhalidwe cha achewa. Za achewa izi ndi abale awo opanda mtundu. Two tribes are well known in Malawi Tumbuka and Chewa well maybe Yaos too the rest are covered under major tribes. Ngakhale Bingu anayesela kutchukisa muthako wa alomwe but most lomwe cannot even speak their language and pravtice Chewa language and culture


Muslims are not Yaos and Yaos are not muslims. Umbuli ku Malawi too much. Ena amati amwenye achiyao meaning amwenye a chisilamu.

2016 welcome

Truth pains. Yes! Not all Yaos are Muslims but most Muslims in Malawi are Yaos. Fact. Again the same principle holds true: not all Muslims are terrorists but most terrorists are Muslims.


Islam isnt Yao and Yao isnt Islam,i know plenty yao christians,how does chefa knw if those guys are giving fakes names and home of origin if one of the guys is from ntcheu then probe these guys more.We have criminal minded pipo across all religions.

each creature in a mask isn’t gule wamkulj…..gulewamkulu is a traditional dance for the chewa which appears occasionally eg chizangala, maliro,ufumu and during political and many other developmental social gatherings…however….thieves, killers and other immoral pipo have taken advantage of the mask of gule wamkulu and would like to dent its immage…its defamatory to the greatest traditional practice for the chewa when some pipo use it in their own way…the gule wamkulu does not just come out without authority…when investigating this the police must ask who in terms pf a chief authorised the outing of the big dance…if it lacks backing… Read more »

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