Chief Kyungu reacts to British envoy’s tweet: ‘Stop interfering with Malawian culture’

Paramount Chief Kyungu of Karonga and Chitipa has asked the British High Commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett to stop interfering withculture  Malawian saying every country is well known by its cultural values.

Paramount Chief Kyungu with Vice President Chilima in Karonga

A woman gives a vote of thanks to Chilima the traditional way in Karonga

Kyungu’s reaction follows a twitter message that Tett wrote on her page Thursday after seeing a picture, in the local newspaper of a woman lying prostrate on the feet of Vice-President Dr Saulos Chilima thanking him for the relief items he had brought her and other flood victims in Karonga.

“This way of saying thanks “the traditional way” just doesn’t sit right with me. What’s wrong with the traditional way of just saying “thanks” and throwing in a smile for good measure?” reads Tett’s tweet with a screenshot of the picture.

The tweet immediately attracted reactions from some Malawians who condemned the message describing it as disrespectful to Malawi’s Ngonde culture.

When Kyungu got wind of the trending tweet, he sent a WhatsApp message Friday 9:53 am to this reporter, who serves as Karonga District Information Officer, to explain the woman’s gesture.

“Please inform the people of Malawi and the world especially the British High Commissioner that the woman in question was expressing our traditional and cultural sentiments of “thank you” to the government for its rapid response to assist those affected by floods in Karonga.

“We, as NGONDES, are proud of our tradition and culture and will continue with it for the rest of our lives and pass it on to the generations to come after us,” the Paramount Chief of the Ngonde wrote.

“The High Commissioner must be told in no uncertain terms to leave the Ngonde people to live their traditional and cultural way without outside interference.

“The woman in question said it all on behalf of the suffering flood victims to emphatically thank government through the Vice-President who represented the President to deliver the relief items.

“We, therefore, with due respect ask the High Commissioner to leave us alone,” Paramount Chief Kyungu who is also seen in the picture added.

Among the people who reacted to Tett’s twitter message include former British High Commission worker, Lewis Kulisewa.

“If I were Holly Tett I would realise that no culture is superior to the other. I would  recognise that demeaning other culture is not part of the diplomatic brief,” he tweeted.

Efforts to speak to the British High Commissioner to comment on Kyungu and other Malawians’ reaction to her tweet proved futile as communications officer Benson Linje did not respond to the questionnaire, he had asked for as we went to press.




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Amalawi, makamaka ma CSOs, mwaonatu mwano wa azungu. Chifukwa chake Bingu anawathamangitsa.
I am waiting for CSOs condemnation of the high commissioner’s remarks, if at all CSOs serve the interest of Malawians.
To our Paramount, I say thank you and I am extremely proud ou you.

Ndatopa Ine
Until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war. And until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation, until the colour of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes. And until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race, there is war. And until that day, the dream of lasting peace, world citizenship, rule of international morality, will remain but a fleeting illusion to be pursued, but never attained… now everywhere is… Read more »
This white person has gone beyond diplomatic duties . Why blaming our culture .In this case who blame their same sex marriage and kissing pets they think we African are so stupid because of our poverty we are human just like them we do things in our own way live us alone please .

Mmmmm Ngondes chimidzi too much, mpaka kunyantha phazi la Chilima mmmmmmmmm Ngondes wake up please. kkkkkk

ulumba boy

i see no problem here its our culture. full stop inenso zinachikira ku mzimba


dont let the whites tell us when to shit sleep or wake up ….they are here on diplomatic cause and shouldn’t try to change our way of life…..paja ndi a Malawi kungowona mzungu basi mutu kusiya kugwira

Makaranga Bozwell

Tett should know better than this given that in the UK there is the so called “courtesy” followed by undignified bow when thanking the Queen. Why can’t her subjects just shake her hand and get on? These white characters when they come to Malawi, and indeed other African countries, they think they are purveyors of civilised norms. What a joke. Civilised norms my foot!


We should acknowledge that the observation by British High Commissioner is correct. There is no added value to a woman kneeling before Chilima. It is degrading. Chilima is fu*ked up.


Our culture is one of the major factors that are pulling us backwards and making us fail to make progress. Kyungu as a custodian of culture should realise this. Unfortunately, he like Chilima can’t see this becaue culture blinds people. A woman kneeling before Chilima shows the silliness in our country because it enforces the stupid idea that women are second class citizens. Women are capable of making a living without depending on men and kneeling before men.

Ozisata Boboo

Know that not only women do that. Even MEN do that as a way of saying THANKS to anybody who has done something good.


Osawonetsa kuzindikila kwambiri.
The same civilised Caucasian culture displays young ladies COMPLETELY NAKED with ONLY their G-strings pole- dancing in front of multitude of people like hypocrite Tent seated watching live pornography.
What’s wrong with our mothers fully dressed up giving cultural respect like that.

winston msowoya
Mtemi Kyungu,the fact that the lady delivering the respect of thanks to the Vice-President Chilima in Nkhonde tradition,was not wrong only that the white lady was out of touch with the Nkhonde tradition.However,the scenario here is that to other traditions,our mama had over reacted with joy by over bending down instead of half-kneeling.Iam pretty sure that you did not criticize Hastings Banda when our people were turned into modern slaves by dancing for and ululating to their fake messiah for 50 years.Your reaction indicates that you had lost your temper,the white lady was for the first time to see such… Read more »

I think you don’t even understand the engine culture we don’t kneel half down my friend.that was the rightful way.try to tell Scottish men not to wear their dresses in their cuture.kyungu is right to defend our culture.


That is the way we do it with anyone it was not just because it was the VC

Ozisata Boboo

The woman did not over react. IT’S NGONDE’s way of saying thank you.


Mr,,, u r not a true ngonde so please close your proboscis. May I school you abit, their is no overreaction to what umama witu did to the VP. Its part and parcel of culture nkamu wangu coz one may bend down or may kneel down and not just half-kneeling. Ngusubila ukuti wapilikisha mama nkulu wangu.


Ama Wendi suzgo ma British kujikuzga wasokomo njuchi pa mulembwe she shouldn’t have dipped her tongue into cultural debates of Malawi our cultural diversity is our strength how does lady find it easy to speak disparagingly about us moreover in a function involving our second citizen? Etiquette is an elusive material to this so-called envoy God bless the bitch!!

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