Some traditional beliefs and customs among the Maseko Ngoni continue to threaten rights of girls and women in the country, president of the Maseko Ngoni Heritage Mai Nakonyani has said.
“Most of our traditions are still old fashioned,” said Nakonyani. “Most of them are harmful to both girls and women.”
She cited early marriages among girls as one of such negative practices during the Maseko Ngoni annual festival held at M’buka Primary School in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe Sunday.
“They aggravate domestic violence and are hampering efforts to foster girl-child education,” she said.
The festival’s organizing chairperson, Mphatso Nkuonela, said the newly passed Marriage Law will help the girl-child and women in the tribe.
Nkuonela also said that their customs need to be tweaked to help fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The Maseko Ngoni, like the rest of other Ngonis, trace their origins to the Zulu people of kwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.
In Malawi the Maseko Ngoni are found in Dedza under Paramount Chief Kachindamoto and Kachere, in Ntcheu under Paramount Chief Ganya and in Thyolo under Paramount Chief Vumbwe. –Reporting by Lilongwe News Agency and Nyasa Times