Mulhako wa Alhomwe’s 5th anniversary to be run by Chiefs

Unperturbed by the death of its founding patron Bingu wa Mutharika, the Mulhako wa Alhomwe cultural heritage is set to celebrate five years of its existence.

The grouping which was established in order to provide exposure and preserve the Lhomwe cultural customs earmarked October 28 for the celebrations.

Speaking to local radio MIJ FM,  Mulhako’s Secretariat Administrator, Mutchana Nkhwaye, said the Lhomwes would use the opportunity to also pay homage to their fallen patron.

Soldering on

He therefore dispelled reports that the grouping is disintegrated following the death of Mutharika.

Mulhakho 's 'reed dance; Girls at last year's celebrations

“We are soldiering on…the movement was not established because of Bingu I think that is childish thinking. We were just lucky to have him in the organization. We can’t go into oblivion because the patron passed on that is way out of this world.

“Anyway this year’s celebrations have been slated for the 28th of October because it will be a Sunday. In previous years we have been holding the celebrations every 25th of October but this year that day falls on Thursday so we didn’t want to inconvenience people.

“All preparations are going on smoothly and we will also have patrons from other foreign countries like Mozambique,” explained Nkhwaye.

Change of strategy

Meanwhile, rumors have it that a bloodless coup has taken place within the organization as chiefs led by Paramount Chief Nkhumba are pushing for the non-involvement of politicians whom they accuse of turning the establishment into a political facet.

Some of the traditional chiefs Nyasa Times talked to contend that it is their desire to see the grouping achieving its intended purpose of reviving the Lhomwe culture and making it vibrant rather than being a political playground as has been the case in the past four years when Mutharika was in charge.

“We want to play a leading role in day to day running of the organization. Politicians should just be attending as mere members of Lhomwe tribe and we don’t want them to be setting any agenda regarding the future of the organization,” said one senior Chief from Mulanje who declined to be named.

On his part, Nkhwaye while admitting about the change of strategy where the chiefs would now be in forefront described the move as part of renewal for the organization to grow.

Added he: “As you are aware chiefs are custodians  of culture so we believe by allowing them to play leading role it will help to take the organization to new heights.”

The establishment of Mulhako wa Alhomwe brought animosity among non-Lhomwe Malawians who deemed the organization as an ’employment bureau’ aimed at catapulting the Lhomwes to influential positions in the Mutharika government.

However, the accusations were denied saying the Lhomwes came up with the grouping to follow the footsteps of what other tribes like Ngonis and Chewas are already doing in keeping their respective cultures alive.

The Lhomwes are largely found in Phalombe, Mulanje, Thyolo, Chiradzulu, Zomba and Machinga and they are identified according to their dialects namely Amihavan, Amanyawa, Amaratha, Alikhuku, Amarevoni, Amahito, Amakuwa, Anyamwello, Amuhipiti, Ameeto, Akhokhola, Amihekani, Amalokot, Anguru and Atakhwani.

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