Malawi Chewas set for cultural pilgrimage Kulamba in Zambia August 27

Chairman of Malawi  Chewa Heritage Foundation (CHEFO) Professor George Kanyama Phiri says all is set for this year’s cultural pilgrimage Kulamba ceremony.

Professor Kanyama Phiri holding this year Kulamba program
Professor Kanyama Phiri holding this year Kulamba program

Phiri  told Nyasa Times that  Chewas from Malawi will  link up with millions of fellow Chewas from Mozambique and Zambia, in paying homage to the Gawa Undi, who reigns among the Chewas in the three countries, in a key annual ceremony called Kulamba to take place on 27 August 2016..

“Let me urge my fellow Chewas and non Chewas to go to  Zambia and attend this year’s ceremony,” said Professor Phiri.

“There are several cultural dances that Malawians will perform at this year’s event,” he added.

Chefo chair said Malawi’s traditional dances to be showcased at the Kulamba ceremony include gule wamkulu, chitelela and mganda.

Malawi is likely to maintain its tradition of having the largest delegation among travelling guests to the Kulamba ceremony, since all the 137 Chewa chiefs from Malawi are accompanied by large delegations.

Phiri has since thanked various people for coming and assist the ceremony.

Some of the well wishers included, Vice President Saulos Chilima, MCP President Lazarus Chakwera, PP president Uladi Mussa, South African based billionaire Sumbi who comes from Mchinji.

Kulamba is a Chewa Ceremony in which Chewa Chiefs honour Kalonga Gawa Undi, who is also known as Kamphambe or Mwini.

During the ceremony, the chiefs brief the King on the situations in their chiefdoms highlighting major issues and developments.

hewas from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia show their unity under their king, Kalonga Gawa Undi.

Assorted material and monetary gifts are presented to the king.

Kulamba is believed to have been started by Kalonga Mazizi who led the Chewa out of Congo to Malawi in search of a more peaceful environment in the 15th century.

They were fleeing from the brutality of King Mutanyamvi who started grabbing land and animals from his subjects to enrich himself.

The ceremony is held annually on the last Saturday of August at Mkaika in Katete District of Zambia at which the Chewa chiefs and their people from Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia and beyond meet.

Mkaika is now the official Chewa traditional headquarters.

The current Undi is number 26 in the successional sequence of Chewa kings. Different from other kings, he does not shake a hand unless he offers the hand himself. One is not even allowed to pat or touch him in any way.

It is a cultural routine that if you want to speak to the Kalonga, you attract his attention by clapping your hands and loudly speaking the words “yoo! Gawa”

Most of the times when in audience with Kalonga Gawa Undi, one sits on the floor unless Kalonga himself offers a chair. But if you are a Chewa, you are to insist sitting on the floor despite the chief offering you a chair.

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Bubu Leze
Bubu Leze
7 years ago

I feel slavery is still existing. How come one to sit down and other one whom they feel is paramount on the chair. That is total stupidity. Let us uprise and change things to the better. This type of life will make us timid and we can not develop in that way. We feel who is on top as our god. In such a way we cant oppose where we feel our leader is doing wrong thing. Let us have a good direction when we are doing things. That is why we are having human hyena in some of our… Read more »

chimpeni james
7 years ago

What a DEAD TRIBE indeed always NYAU..ndakuona ndakuona basi…cant shake a hand and sit on the floor, za utsiru basi..Kanyama is another stupid person like Malewezi..chewa fools.

7 years ago

I disagree with you Maunitsi. Look, does Malawi have any King? The answer is no but some tribes have tried hard to raise themselves that they have collectively revived their cultures. What I mean was that Chewas should have their mini Kulamba here. Do Chewas not have Chiefs with similar status as Maseko , Mbelwa, Khokholiwa or this Yao Chief.

7 years ago

I agree Phwisa with you but they are not stupid only that if you look at other tribes their Kings are here in Malawi. So unless Gawa decides on the empowerment Chewa Kings in the trio-countries will work out otherwise it is difficult according to their structure.In other ways Chewas are not split in this case united among the three countries.

7 years ago

Chewas are the most stupid tribe in Malawi and Kanyama Phiri is not worthy a Professor. Chewa the only tribe which does not have a national unification ceremony in Malawi. Ngonis, Yawos, Tumbukas, Lhomwes have their national tribal activities despite them coming from other countries just like Chewas. This Professor is brainwashing Chewa Chiefs in Malawi that they should remain fragmented despite the tribe being the only one found across the country with chiefs in almost every district in Malawi. We want our Kulamba right here in Malawi before the international Kulamba. Stupid Chewa chiefs, stupid Chewas.

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