Mulhako opens cultural schools: Chewa Heritage to grace carnival

The Chewa Heritage is expected to partake in this year’s Mulhako wa Alhomwe carnival set for this weekend at Chonde in Mulanje district, organizers have said.

Meanwhile, the ethnic grouping founded by late president Bingu wa Mutharika in 2008, has revealed plans to open up cultural schools in towns and districts, soon after the carnival, for people to learn Lhomwe language and culture.

Speaking to the media at the grouping’s base at Chonde, one of the Trustees, Edward Sawelengera said the Chewa Heritage representatives would be among the list of invited dignitaries.

However, Sawelengera said the Lhomwe Paramount Chief, Nkhumba would miss out this year’s carnival due to sickness.

Mulli smiling all the way to Mulhakho carnival

Mulli smiling all the way to Mulhakho carnival

“It’s sad that our paramount chief will not be able to be with us this year as it has been all these years, due to sickness. But we have invited a lot people including the Chewa Heritage who have since confirmed about their coming,” said Sawelengera.

While confirming that preparations for this year’s carnival were on final stage, Sawelengela said the grouping would start operating cultural schools in cities of Balntyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu as well as in the district in order to allow communities learn Lhomwe language.

He said the Lhomwe cultural schools would help to preserve the tribe’s heritage as it would allow young people learn more about their culture and language.

“There have been calls for us to open up cultural schools in districts and cities so that people will learn the language. It’s sad that only 20 to 30 percent of Lhomwe population could speak the language, we therefore want more people to learn and become masters of their language”.

According to Jean Mathanga, Secretary to the Board of Trustees, the cultural schools would be for free.

“In Lilongwe we have already started. We meet every weekend at Lilongwe LEA school, and we expect to extend to other townships and districts. It’s free of charge and it’s not mandatory,” she said.

Mathanga also revealed that meanwhile the Mulhako wa Alhomwe was in the process of opening a girls’ boarding secondary school at Chonde, come September 2014.

She said talks were on advanced stage with Ministry of Education with the grouping currently working on the budget of how much would it cost to establish the school, to be open to “all Malawians”.

“We want it to be a school of excellence that produces the cream. First, we will start with girls before entergrating boys. We won’t be teaching Lhomwe language at this school because it is meant for all Malawians,” she added.

Mulhako wa Alhomwe was established to, among other things, preserve the Lhomwe heritage.

This year’s carnival is set to cost close to K100 million with over 80 dances set for display.

The grouping also revealed to have brewed 50 drums of Masese beer and distilled 150 litres of Kachasu aside purchasing two truckloads of Chibuku opaque beer in readiness for the carnival.

Businessman, Leston Mulli has provided 12 buses and other 30 vehicles to ferry people to and from the carnival with over 3,000 Mulhako members coming from the northern region.

Mulhako wa Alhomwe was formed on October 25 2008 to provide exposure to cultural traditions of the Lhomwe tribe.

The group’s main focus is to expose children and people from other tribes and countries, to the ethnic customs such as dance, drumming, storytelling, poetry, tribal history, arts and crafts as a means of promoting self-esteem, creativity and preservation of the Lhomwe tribal customs.

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