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.
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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