Maseko Ngonis admit own culture trampling women rights

Some traditional beliefs and customs among the Maseko Ngoni continue to threaten rights of girls and women in the country, president of the Maseko Ngoni Heritage Mai Nakonyani has said.

Ngoni girls at the ceremony

Ngoni girls at the ceremony.-Photo by Lina

Mai Nakonyani consulting

Mai Nakonyani consulting.-Photo by Lina

Modern ngoni girls holding a calabash used for drinking beer, water

Modern ngoni girls holding a calabash used for drinking beer, water-Photo by Lina

“Most of our traditions are still old fashioned,” said Nakonyani. “Most of them are harmful to both girls and women.”

She cited early marriages among girls as one of such negative practices during the Maseko Ngoni annual festival held at M’buka Primary School in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe Sunday.

“They aggravate domestic violence and are hampering efforts to foster girl-child education,” she said.

The festival’s organizing chairperson, Mphatso Nkuonela, said the newly passed Marriage Law will help the girl-child and women in the tribe.

Nkuonela also said that their customs need to be tweaked to help fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

The Maseko Ngoni, like the rest of other Ngonis, trace their origins to the Zulu people of kwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

In Malawi the Maseko Ngoni are found in Dedza under Paramount Chief Kachindamoto and Kachere, in Ntcheu under Paramount Chief Ganya and in Thyolo under Paramount Chief Vumbwe. –Reporting by Lilongwe News Agency and Nyasa Times

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37 thoughts on “Maseko Ngonis admit own culture trampling women rights”

  1. Mtukwa Majaha Gwaza says:

    Maseko Ngoni are found in Dedza under Senior chief kachindamoto and kachere NOT paramount.In Ntcheu there are in Njolomole,Ganya,Phambala,Makwangwala,Kwataine ETC under Inkosi ya Makhosi Gomani.All maseko Ngosiz are under Inkosi Gomani.Jere Ngonis are under Inkosi Mbelwa.

  2. Noxy says:

    Never heard of Paramount Chief Ganya or Bvumbwe before– being someone from Ntcheu,the Paramount Chief we have under the Maseko Ngoni is Gomani.In fact, I must assume that the author has not done his research thoroughly before coming up with the above story.

  3. wawa says:

    kUCHINGONI AZIMAYI SANYAMULA CHISANGO BWANJI KODI izi nde zamakonodi….chishango and stick are for men and majaha

  4. ago says:

    Us the Tongas are too smart to put animal skins on our body. Proud Tonga and Yao.

  5. ago says:

    The ngoni culture has contributed to the depletion of wildlife especially baboons. Fifty years from now there will be no wildlife left as they use them for headgears shields and on drums please government should intervene this culture is not wildlife friendly ayambe kuweta anyani in their back yard. They also transfer ticks lice to humans. Humans are not animals leave the baboons alone.

  6. Andy Ndaonazino says:

    If there are Paramount Chiefs that have sold their people to politics then Mbelwa, Lundu and Kaomba deserve to be mentioned. The other ones are Kyungu, Karonga. Our Ngwenyama Gomani has always tried to distance himself from partisan politics. Now is politics part of the culture of the Ngoni of Mzimba??? The most backward district in Malawi is Mzimba. Governement suggested to divide it into five parts to help in the development of the area but Ngonis of Mzimba have always refused due to their backwardness. No wonder many young men have left for South Africa to look for piece works.

  7. “Chewa dominance tribe” my foot. Why did you loose lake Malawi to Yawos? Its true we speak Chichewa because of Kamuzu. If you talk of Ngonis from Mzimba then they are all fake. They are all proud Tumbukaz. They feel offended to call them Ngonis. Call a Yao I will I tell you kuti “Wangalusa” The first tribe to wear clothes. The first tribe own a gun.The first tribe to have a University Graduate”John Chilembwe”

  8. Mazaza says:

    The real ngonis are only from mzimba period you sometimes the spindulos and Tebulos are very funny u cant be a Ngoni if u are not like one practice hard maybe one day u will graduate to be a Ngoni, Bayethe Inkosi!!

  9. Khuth'upa o'Machemba says:

    Malawi Ngonis are no warriors. They were chased out of present day South Africa by Shaka, and they run, like crazy, tails between their legs. Shaka let them go, and they were lucky in that respect. Likewise, the Yao and aLhomwe also run away from Moz., but not necessarily from inter-tribal wars. And the Chewa: they must have also run away from something in central Africa. Migrations of that magnitude were never voluntary.
    So, we are all in this country for the same reasons. And we all have a right to live and thrive in this country.

  10. Hoitty says:

    The Ngoni in the central have been absorbed wholesome by Chewas. These are the weakest. They have nothing to identify them as true Ngoni. Even their names are Chewa. Pls if you cannot afford other customs mayb just maintain true Ngoni names. The inly ngoni names available is the Inkosi. zoberanso ku Mzimba. Weakest Ngonis in Africa

  11. Comment: Koma zinazi…maboma amene atchulidwa apawa zikugwirizana bwanji ndikukachitira msonkhano waukulu ngati umenewu ku lilongwe? osasankha boma limodzi komwe zopusazi zimachitika bwanji? cashgate iyi…

  12. Nyani wa ku Mwananyani says:

    Many contributors here seem to be Ngonis, and they all seem to assume fighting stance, albeit a verbal one, but nevertheless perpetuating the warrior-like mentality of the Ngonis of Shaka Zulu’s era. Too bad, because the Mai Nakonyani’s message is not about who is “real” Ngoni; who is practicing “real” Ngoni culture; who has “real” Ngoni name. Nor is it about which Ngoni group is superior.
    Mai Nakonyani’s message is about how Ngoni women are held back, by some archaic tribal beliefs and practices. Lobola/chikamwini or otherwise, it doesn’t matter. On this point, no tribe in Malawi is really innocent of this backward mentality, that essentially leads to men looking down on women.
    When are ordinary women in our country NOT going to just sit back and let men breathe in all the oxygen? When are ordinary women going to rise up against the extreme patriarchy we practice in this country? When are they going to rouse the hives?
    Some young women need to be brave, and pick up the baton from Akweni Kaliati and Ms. Kabwila-kapasula. No holds barred!

  13. bratusha says:

    The weakest Ngoni tribe in Malawi are those in Mzimba. They have been absorbed into Tumbuka in almost every respect. They even feel offended when one insults a Tumbuka. That is why we say the northern region had many tribes but they are all politically Tumbukas.

    1. indoda isizibonela, says:

      You are kidding,mzimba is where you find real ngonis,they even speak the language,what sort of a ngoni practices chikamwini?really?you must be out of your mind,

      1. Fake Ntcheu Ngoni says:

        All Ngonis in the central region are referred to as Chewa and they get offende when Chewas are insulted. Vumbwe is lomwe. Shame. Calling the Mzimba Ngoni weak is the biggest joke. You know it. The best way is to encouarage true Ngoni culture among the Dedza, Mchinji, Ntcheu kaya mukutinso Vumbwe through our Inkosis and paramounts. If you call yourself Ngoni just check your Chewa sirname. We can start slowly koma ziyenda. Osamanamizana zoona mngoni kumathamangitsidwa kuchikamwini akalimalima mkumanga nyumba. SHAME

  14. Ngiyakufisela ntcheu says:

    A kayedza Mphunda mwati achewa muli dominant m’Malawi. Nanga Alomwe akukulamulirani bwani? kupusatu. Ku Kasungu Achewa tho koma osavotera Mchewa nzanu Chakwera. Ndiye kuti ndinu makape? Mutiyankhe.

    Komanso article’yi ndi yonama. There is only one paramount chief among Ngoni Maseko and its Paramount Chief Gomani (currently Gomani V), the rest are Inkoses. Correct your erroneous article

  15. Mswachi says:

    I know one Paramount Chief for the Maseko Ngoni and its Gomani! When did Ganya, Bvumbe et al became paramount chiefs for the Maseko ngoni?

  16. mark chagwa says:

    ini lento baikhuma lapha kahlekahle.boma bazibiza kuthi obani? etyolo akekho amanguni tribe bakhuluma manga.

  17. golo says:

    I don’t understand a thing about Maseki Ngonis. What is their identity here in Malawi? They don’t speak Ngoni ……yet they call themselves Ngoni…..At least I have some respect for Lhomwes they have identified cultural norms and practices through their names and language. Tell me the real Ngoni from Maseko whom I can identify by name …..

  18. edda mwalweni says:

    Ngonis please school me. You have been rejecting mayi Malinki to take over chieftaincy for being a woman but allow Nakonyani to the position of president of the maseko Ngonis, what do you mean? Do you want to tell us that you have revisited your culture and now may maseko can lead you poor minded people? What ashame. When did these young chiefs promoted to position of paramount chiefs? Maseko ngoni, you are failed group of people. Shupiti….

  19. indoda isizibonela, says:

    Real ngonis in malawi are found in mzimba,period,no debate,if you cant pay lobola then forget of being ngoni,kumumva munthu ali my sirname is spindulo and they call themsekves ngoni? Cmon,you sold your i dentity to chewas and lomwes,ngonis we marry women and maintain our surnames and geneology,you can trace us up to our forefathers,chikamwini is not a ngoni culture,and you are the only people who practice chikamwini the whole africa,probably the whole world,this is abnormal,seriously,from today dont call yourselves ngoni if you practive chikamwini,real ngonis practice,lobola,mngenisokhaya,

  20. Alick Kalima says:

    Angoni mutibwezere ziweto zathu ndi akazi athu mudatilanda aja. Anthu amtopola inu

  21. Angoni Ngayongayo says:

    Angoni ndi angoni basi kaya ndi wa ku Mzimba, Mchinji, Dowa, Dedza, Ntchewu, Balaka, Mwanza, Neno, Thyolo, Chipata ndi Lundazi ku Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Swaziland ndi South Africa. Ngakhale tilankhule chilankhulo cha mtundu ulionse sitidzasintha ndife Angoni basi. Ndi zoona tikudziwa kuti mtundu wathu ndi osililika kwambiri ndipo ambiri anasintha mtundu nkusanduka Angoni kusiya mitundu yawo chifukwa cha kukoma kwa mtundu wathu. Enanu mukamanena zoipa za Angoni ife sitifuna kubwezera chifukwa mtundu wanu umadalila matsenga munthu akaunena. Ndife Angoni ndipo timanyadila kukhala Mngoni. Angoni tinachoka ku South Africa ndipo abale athu anatsala komweko pa zochitika timayendelana Alomwe ndi Ayawo anachoka ku Mozambique ndipo enanso anatsala komweko amayendelana nanga enanu munachoka nonse ku Zaire? Chilungamo nchakuti kulibe kumene munachokera.

  22. Wanenatu says:

    Kkkkkkkkkkk wanena zoona iwe kkkkk Makwangwala Kachindamoto Bvumbwe maina amenewa si achingoni. Anene bwino kkk

  23. chebuwa says:

    we feel the version presented on this page is not complete. Ngoni Maseko without Gomani is not true. please let us get the facts correct otherwise our children will get lost.

  24. namanyozela says:

    aphiri mwati musakazetu

  25. There is no way they can relinguish chewa culture coz we defeated them with our women(read your hisyory) and again the chewas had been in this country 400years before any tribe came came. The only pple we found were the Akafula. Whether you like it or not CHEWAS are the dominant single tribe not only in Malawi but in central Africa. Therefore there is no way you can ignore their infuence. An example the Ngoni cerebrations at Mpezeni H/Q in Zambia are done in Chichewa. Even events at Ngoni Maseko, Gomani and Chikuse is the similar case. Up north such events are done in Tumbuka and not Ngoni. Which means that second dorminant influence is that of the Tumbukas. You can be warriors yes, but not dorminant!! Love it or Hate it, this is a fact that will never change.

    1. Jozza says:

      U r very true Man chewas r dominant

  26. Kada says:

    Honestly, I see nothing Ngonish in the Masekos. On a serious note, do we really have Ngonis in Thyolo? Should you really call yourself a Ngoni when you have fully adopted Chitengwa? You cant even practice lobola? Our friends from Kwa Zulul Natal are laughing at us.

    Let us give respect to the Mzimba Ngoni’s. Those are genuine Ngoni’s. Even their surnames tell a story (Nkosi, Nhlane, Ndhlovu, Jere, Lungu, Qoto etc; osati za Kachindamoto, Makwagngwala, Phambala – for God’s sake these are Chewa names, they are not Ngoni names in anyway!). Even the names of places in Mzimba tell a story (Elangeni – a place of sunshine; Embangweni – a place of conflicts; Enyezini – a place of stars; Eswazini – a place of Swazi Ngoni’s; Emoyeni – a place of fresh air; etc etc; osati za Golomoti, Bvumbwe, Tsangano (may be it was meant to be M’hlangano – a meeting place)

    Even the Ngoni language itself is still being spoken in Emcisweni, Inkosi Mpherembe’s area.

    Maseko Ngoni , kkkkkk????

    1. Hoitty says:

      Even the district Mzimba the name is a ngoni word for body. Kumangosokosa ati Angoni za ziii. Weakest Ngonis in Africa are Maseko. Ati a Ngoni amakonda kutukwana kkk nde mayina awo Kaxhindamoto. seriously??? I’m sick of this fake Ngonis. These celebrations should be used to revive the true Ngonieism. Siyani za u Chewa izi

    2. kadamanja says:

      I like it, tell them these fonkong ngonis.

  27. brian says:

    The Maseko Ngoni in Dedza, Ntcheu, Mwanza, Thyolo etc are under Paramount Chief GOMANI osati zomwe mwalembazo. enawo ndi mafumu akulu chabe. Samamani mupalamula nazo kumangoni kwa Inkosi izi. Bayeteee Nkosi!!!

  28. Tman says:

    Why holding your ceremony in Lilongwe? Don’t you have your epicenter? Musatiseketse anthu ongomwa mowa basi mwati ndinu angoni. Go to Mchinji, Ndawambe or Mzura.

  29. ujeni says:

    These are the customs that are pulling us back. No forward thinking. Waste of time. Your friends are thinking of inventing a light bulb, mobile phone, plane, car, radio, Tv, camera, us all we think is drinking kachasu and dancing like zombies all the time.

  30. BOMA LA KUBA says:

    While what this lady is true it seems the organization has no solution to curb the problem. Please revisit your cultural practices and beliefs. Definitely there may be discontinuity and continuity. Do not just celebrate.

  31. Hoitty says:

    Za ungoni wa fake wa dzina chabe izi zimandikwana. Be real Ngonis like the rest of the Ngonis in Zambia, Zimbabwe, south Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania, Mzimba. Ati ndine mngoni ndimakonda nyama ndimavala zikopa. Chamba eti. Practice real Ngoni customs as all Ngonis such as Lobola, cattle ownership, patrilineal marital system. What are you proud of Maseko Ngonis as being true Ngoni apart from your Mulakho like celebration??? You have been chewalised in and out and you Maseko Ngoni men are so weak. Reliquished chewa customs and be real Ngoni

  32. brutsha says:

    At least this woman is sober enough to point out weaknesses of their culture. Other tribes or religions will defend everything even when such practices are detrimental to the health of certain section of their people.

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