MHRRC condemns night choir festivals: ‘Promotes immorality’

Malawi Human Right Resource Centre (MHRRC)  has strongly condemned tendencies by   churches in Chitipa District to  encourage  youths to engage in night  church activities which it says promotes  moral decay in the society.

Kaliya: Beware of immoral conducts

Kaliya: Beware of immoral conducts

Bishop Mtambo: Night choir festivals not good

Bishop Mtambo: Night choir festivals not good

Chief Mwenewenya: No tin favour on night choir festivals

Chief Mwenewenya: No tin favour on night choir festivals

The condemnation was made Thursday  by HMRRC  Programme Manager, Emma Kaliya during final review meeting for   Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE) project implemented in Chitipa District, held at  Butuzgo Motel, at the Chitipa Boma.

Kaliya singled out night choir festivals, which has become a common and cherished   practice  among the   youths which she said wields great potential to drive  the youths into promiscuity which will completely ruin their future .

She  then warned that if no intervention will be put in place  to scrap off  the practice,  efforts to fight early marriages, school dropouts, gender based violence  (GBV) and HIV  and AIDS    will be a farfetched dream and communities must be prepared to  continue languishing in dire poverty.

Night Choir festival is a favourite  activity , especially in rural  parts of  Chitipa.

Most times,  predominantly when the moon shines, as it strikes  6.30 pm Friday, youths, both out of school and school going, start off,  on foot, from their  church station  for   a   another church congregation, sometimes 70 km  apart, for a choir festival that takes them up to Sunday  and are back home early hours of Monday, very tied.

MHRRC has been implementing a three year GEWE  project in Chitipa District  with an objective of  promoting the rights of women and a girl child and to economically empower women to refrain from absolute dependency on men as bread winners, a syndrome, to a larger extent, blamed for rampant gender based violence (GBV), through execution of integrated  socioeconomic activities.

Kaliya, the country’s renowned  gender activist,  lamented  that  practices such as  night choir festivals and other nocturnal activities that expose the youths to prostitution and other  health hazards , will  undermine all the milestones registered  under    GEWE  project.

Said Kaliya: “ All the success stories achieved by GEWE project  in promoting the welfare of women and girls will be meaningless  because the challenges that the project was launched to address will re-surface  if some of the serious push factors to problems impinging on women and a girl child are deliberately given room to flourish.”

During the meeting, members from GEWE network and women groups reported that intensified advocacy to eliminate night choir festivals yielded no results  because church ministers and other people wielding influence in the community have been rendering  deaf ears to  calls to ban the practice.

Kaliya, however  observed that besides youths taking advantage of night choir festivals to relieve lust into each other, such activities also  provide excellent environment for adults who look innocent during day time, to  sexually abuse helpless  little  girls who can be wooed by slightest favour.

Some faith leaders ganged up with Kaliya in condemning   choir and other night activities involving the youths saying it was in sharp contrast with religious doctrines of instilling moral uprightness in    the youths.

The Chairperson for  Chitipa District Interfaith Association who is also Arch Bishop for   Ebenezer  Evangelical Assemblies of God Mission in Malawi, Silence Mtambo said it was a big mistake to allow the youths to roam about  at night in the name of choir festival.

Bishop Mtambo emphasized that  encouraging the youths to freely carry out church activities at night is tantamount to promoting immorality in the society which must be guarded against by all rightful thinking church ministers and elders.

He  said night choir festivals are different from night crusades where the youths involved in various activities  are under strict  surveillance of their parents and church  elders who closely monitor and check their movements.

Said Mtambo: “ Night choir festivals must be discouraged at all cost  because instead of spreading the word of God through songs, most of the youths  use   the forums  to make merry and love, which is total mockery to God.”

No faith leader who attend the meeting chipped in with a good reason as to why night choir festivals have to be encouraged.

But Kaliya blamed escalation of the practice on traditional leaders who have accepted to see the practice growing in their respective areas without taking action.

“As custodians of  cultures and people who shoulder influence over their subjects,  why can they not impose a ban on the practice which is threatening with the future of the youths and development in their areas”, queried Kaliya

Senior Chief Kameme and Chief  Mwenewenya admitted  that night choir festivals are rampant in their areas and quickly blamed the problem on self styled church leaders who do not respect chiefs as they call themselves Holy.

Kameme and Mwenewenya too described festivals  as bad ecclesiastic engagement  which give the youths ample time to engage in immoral behavior since there is no one to instill discipline in them,  especially at night when everyone is asleep.

Said Mwenewenya, “ The fact that choir festivals are done at night, in absence of church ministers, let a lone church  elders to monitor youths  movements, puts the group at a big risk of plunging itself into prostitution which has far reaching consequences to them  as well as the community large.”

Most of the victims of school dropouts, early marriages and unwanted pregnancies which lead to unsafe abortions  are youths who take active role in night activities, which is enough proof the activities have more harm than benefits to the youths  in the practice.

Chiefs, however, made strong assurance that social and cultural   practices such as night choir festivals will no longer be exercised when the just proposed by-laws become effective and operational, remarks Kaliya laughed off,  saying it was rare for a bad practice  to be given more time to inflict more harm on the people.

Senior Chief Kameme  implicated  Last Church and Pentecostal Churches as the ones promoting nocturnal church activities in his area while Mwenewenya said all churches in his area have fallen in love with the practice, even CCAP, known for taking  tough stand on anything perceived to have an element of immorality.

According to Mwenewenya’s observation, children of church elders and church ministers are not involved in nocturnal church activities, a development he says speaks volume of the negative impact of the activities to the youths.

Since GEWE was launched in Chitipa, three years ago, the welfare of women and dignity has been greatly  promoted. Women  now have the voice  and are able to enjoy their rights and make an alarm when their rights are violated. They freely  join village, savings and loan  ( VCS)  to engage in various small scale businesses to access household basic needs  without interference from their husbands.

There is  a sharp reduction in gender based violence as empowered  community members  hastily report to police once it occurs.  Defilement which was common has also reduced after police and the courts jailed without lenience all those accused of the crime. Parents are now able to pay fees for their girl children who were previously pushed into early marriages. With an intensified bring back to  school campaign, a  number of girls have been withdrawn from early and child marriages and re-enrolled  in schools, among other project achievements.

Meanwhile, Kaliya, who expressed happiness with successful implementation of the project and its positive impact on the lives of target beneficiaries, hailed members from GEWE networks for devising clear strategies on how to sustain activities  after the phase out of  the project .

The project  which is implemented in Chitipa and Dowa Districts, with funding from  UNPF,  phases out on 1st May, 2016, with GEWE networks  crying for its extension.

Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :

Please share this Article if you like Email This Post Email This Post

More From Nyasatimes

More From the World

11 thoughts on “MHRRC condemns night choir festivals: ‘Promotes immorality’”

  1. Charles says:

    There is everything of the devil out there at night choirs! Boys and girls and even the middl aed – men and women find their ways to meet each other and ….. do you know what they do here at night?? Oh, God forbid, STOP THESE SATANIC WORSHIPS.

  2. Mpando wa plastic says:

    Chief Mwenechanya well dressed but put on a plastic chair not matching the suit. Lesson, chitipa must buy good chairs

  3. Watereka says:

    These must never continue no matter what. Lets encourage our children never to be party to such bad things in the name a religion

  4. kenn says:

    I welcom the observation
    and has come at a late hour as many young girls and boys have destroyed their future in name of the holly night church activities.

  5. The Real Analyst says:

    Just ban them. Religion is the root of all evil…hatred, wars, racism, homophobia are all furled by religion

  6. Jeanford says:

    Mwana akapanda kuyang’aniridwa angathe kuchita zoipa ngakhale pamalo opatulika. Munamva pati m’baibulo kuti kunali mapemphero ausiku achinyamata. Night youth festivala are not approved by words of god? Stop them please before god intervene negatively

  7. Mwene, Nchanga says:

    In everything, if there is Jesus in that activity, victory will be seen. GEWE, is advocating for outside change of the human being, yet the human heart is the centre of all, gud or bad. Munthu asinthe kuyambira mkati kumapita kunja, sazabvutitsa anthu. If Jesus is not leading GEWE, you are waisting the UNFPA funds. If Jesus is not the centre of your discussions, Emma Kaliya, you are waisting your donors fund. Psa 127:1 If God does not build the house, he who builds, build in vain; If God do not guard the village, the guard it in vain. If the night choir festivals are spiritually benefitting the youth and giving glory to God, nobody will be able to stop them. Rom 8:31 Human Rights on its own is against God and the will of God. Emma Kalia, go to Lilongwe and deal with this woman who is trafficking girls to Kuwait,

  8. Mwene, Nchanga says:

    In everything, if there is Jesus in that activity, victory will be seen. GEWE, is advocating for outside change of the human being, yet the human heart is the centre of all, gud or bad. Munthu asinthe kuyambira mkati kumapita kunja, sazabvutitsa anthu. If Jesus is not leading GEWE, you are waisting the UNFPA funds. If Jesus is not the centre of your discussions, Emma Kaliya, you are waisting your donors fund. Psa 127:1 If God does not build the house, he who builds, build in vain; If God do not guard the village, the guard it in vain. If the night choir festivals are spiritually benefitting the youth and giving glory to God, nobody will be able to stop them. Rom 8:31 Human Rights on its own is against God and the will of God.

  9. chikopa says:

    The story is too long. Moral of the story is that kids wakukhumba kukugundana. Walekeni para wapulika uwemi. Let their parents teach the manners and not you bloody fucken bastard.

  10. Ze Roberto says:

    While I support the idea against the choir festivals especially those that do take place at night, my questions to GEWE project are, 1) did the it, at its beginning, consider taking on board community gatekeepers(stakeholders)? I am asking this because the article mentions traditional leaders,religious leaders to be the ones posing bottlenecks to the program imprementation.2) Did the project devise an effective social marketing strategy for desired behavioral change? Failure to consider the a fore mentioned project aspects usually leads to unsuccessful program implementation.

  11. sukutumpwelembwe says:

    Koma life tinanena kale kuti these Pentecostal Churches are useless and nobody understood us . kodi even kwa azunguko mudaonapo akupita ku ma choirs usiku ? Kodinso mudanbvapo kuti kuli ma prophets ?
    Anyway , this has been the greatest challenge with us Africans especially here in southern and only a bit in west Africa. That is why we have high levels of poverty because of this Stupidity and ignorance .
    lne ayii !!!!

Comments are closed.