Malawi’s President Mrs Joyce Banda says time has come for various tribes in Malawi to collect and document their history.
The President also encouraged tribes to locate their heritage sites which could be turned into tourism sites and earn the country the much needed forex.
“We should also not forget that Malawi exists within a global village with people with different cultures that’s were we must safeguard and understand the traditions of Malawi. We should also be keen to learn about cultures of other countries. In order to develop a great understanding of the world we live in,” she said.
Mrs Banda said this during the fifth annual uMthetwa festival, a Ngoni celebration held at Mount Hora in Mzimba district on Saturday. Mzimba Heritage Association has been organizing the celebrations since 2007.
Malawi’s Veep Khumbo Kachali in full Ngoni regalia, cabinet ministers, Mzimba Hora MP and DPP regional Governor for the north Reverend Christopher Mzomera Ngwira, a dance troupe from Kwazulu Natal and the South High Commissioner were among others dignitaries at the function.
“As we have already heard the Ngoni word Umthetho means tradition, custom, law and governance. I know that every tribe in Malawi has the equivalent of this concept of Umthetho.
“This concept embodies the values of love for each other, helping and respecting others, mutual understanding, the upholding of human dignity, positive attitude towards work that makes us distinct as Malawians. Therefore I urge all Malawians to uphold these values,” the President said.
She donated a cheque of MK1 million to the Mzimba Heritage Association saying the association had impressed her with its works.
The President, who expressed great passion for culture, said a people without culture are like a tree without roots.
“A few days ago I was in Ntcheu at the coronation of Inkhosi Gomani V and today am in Mzimba for the Ngoni cultural event. In a few days I will be at the Chewa Kulamba ceremony. All these events have taught me that a leader must be principled, fearless and must sacrifice,” she said.
And then in an emotional outburst and unrelated the President said “ I shall die for the people of Malawi. I shall die for the land of Malawi”
Mzimba Heritage Association Chairperson Professor Boston Soko said Umthetho is not only for dances but also a time for the Chief’s Council to reflect on Ngoni culture and various development challenges.
Professor Soko then asked government to consider reintroducing Chitumbuka language in Primary and Secondary schools.
Paramount Chief Mmbelwa IV took the occasion to refute what he call ‘bad words’ said about chiefs in Malawi.
“We have been accused of being greedy. We are not greedy. If yesterday we were there and today we are here its not greedy but its government law that Chiefs must work with the government of the day.
Minister of Local government and Rural Development Grace Maseko nearly turned the celebrations into another PP rally when she started campaigning for the party in forthcoming bye elections to be held on October 9 this year.
“When you vote in the Mzimba central and Mzimba South West bye elections just vote for the ruling party,” Maseko said.