Cultural heritage groups launch an association

As one way to promote, preserve and protect culture, eleven cultural groupings in the country on Saturday launched a Cultural Heritage Association (CHA) at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) in Lilongwe.

Minister Everton Chimlirenji speaking at the launch

Chairperson of Malawi Cultural Heritages Association (MACHA), Richard Mdyeseni

CHA include the cultural heritage groups such as Mngumano wa Asena ndi Amang’anja, Mulhako Wa Alhomwe, Chewa heritage foundation, Mzimba heritage association, Chiwanja cha Ayao, Tumbuka, Mdawuku Wa Tonga and Maseko Ngonis among others.

In an interview, Chairperson of Malawi Cultural Heritages Association (MACHA), Richard Mdyeseni said the Association was formed under the umbrella of Malawi Tourism Council (MTC) through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism.

“We want to spearhead culture as one of key tourism driving factor and lead from the front by bringing out hidden potential through promotion of Malawian cultural diversity and present it as one Malawi cultural blended tourism product,” he said.

Mdyeseni added that the association would coordinate festivals, develop heritage sites, achieve international collaboration, advocate, lobby and promote Malawi cultural tourism as a product similar to countries such as Swaziland.

He pointed out that there is a need to involve CHA in the government supported programmes in the tourism and culture sectors.

“This involves establishing links with departments and ministries through holding frequent meetings and participates in joint activities that aim at promoting tourism sectors in Malawi,” he said.

Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Common Development, Everton Chimlirenji encourages all institutions to utilize culture for economic purposes while being mindful of the need to protect the assets for posterity.

“Culture is a unifying factor at community level and is essential for successful implementation of communal initiatives that will add to national development,” he said.

Chimlirenji asked the Association not to involve youth in negative cultural practices that violet human rights of other people or those that propagate HIV that needs to be abolished in their society.

Chairperson for Tourism Council of Malawi (TCM), Ausward Bwemba observed that culture has come as a product of natural intermingling of different tribes and races over the years that became one nation before colonialism and before independence.

“We have been observed that culture and tourism in the country go in-tandem with the countries that are doing better economically,” he said.

The event was held under the theme “People and Culture a tourism product for sustainable development” and was spiced up by traditional dances and foods.

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