The Maseko Ngoni of Ntcheu have started their revered Umhlangano cultural festive ahead of its climax on Saturday.
The annual cultural festive is underway at Nkorimbo in Ntcheu and Saturday it will be double celebration as their chief, Inkosi Gomani V will be wedding his South African bride.
The Umhlangano wa Gomani Maseko started with Nkhwisulo, a sacrifice offered in honour of the first paramount chief Gomani Chikuse who was killed by white colonists in 1896.
Chikuse Gomani challenged the whites over their oppression to the Ngonis as well as oppressive tax regimes the colonists used.
In the early hours of Friday, the ngonis killed a cow with an arrow to imitate what Gomani Chikuse was doing to show bravery.
The youthful king is venerated as ngwenyama (the lion) and gumede (the supreme authority) at his Lizwe la Zulu headquarters where he settled after the triumphant long walks.
The setting, often mispronounced as Lizulu, is the epicentre of Maseko Ngonis based in Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi who come together to celebrate Umhlangano every year.
Gomani envisions Umhlangano becoming a prime, enriching festival uniting the Ngonis from the three countries to share cultural values, beliefs and memories of their ancestors.
“Umhlangano means coming together, the reunion of people from different directions. Some called it Tsangano, a mispronunciation of this Zulu word. But the event is very important for us,” he said.
The ceremony reportedly seeks to restore the unity, cultural heritage and unique identity of the Ngoni.
The festival is marked by dances, worshipping Inkosi Nkulu Kulu (God) as well as sacrifices to their departed ancestors.
The homage to the dead comprises intercessions for peace and blessings. Standing by ancient tombs, the elders perform mkhwisulo prayers in honour of the spirits.
During the meeting of the living and the dead, they liberate two white doves to symbolise peace.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :