Yaos to form Chiwanja cha Ayao group: Malawi Pres. Banda asked to be patron

Yao tribesmen are setting up a heritage grouping as a way of preserving their culture, Nyasa Times understands.

The group, which will be similar to what former Malawi president the late Bingu wa Mutharika, formed – Mulhako wa Alhomwe – will be called Chiwanja cha Ayao.

Quadria Muslim Association chairman Alhaj Likonde is chairman of the grouping while MBC TV journalist Catherine Kunje is the interim secretary general.

Both Likonde and Kunje confirmed the formation of the group in an interview.

“Yes we want to promote the Yao culture in Malawi,” said Likonde.

Catherine Kunje: Secretary of the group
Catherine Kunje: Secretary of the group

He also confirmed that Yao chiefs have proposed that President Joyce Banda should be the group’s patron.

The chiefs in the group include Traditional Authority Tambala of Dedza; Bibi Kaliwunda from Salima; Chimwala from Mangochi; Mlumbe of Zomba; Mpama of Chiradzulu; Amidu of Balaka and Machinjili of Blantyre.

Retired Agriculture Principal Secretary Andrew Daudi and academician Ronald Mangani were proposed as executive members.

The spokesman of the grouping is Idrissa Kalisinje of MBC radio.

The grouping, during a meeting in Liwonde Township, agreed to persuade President Banda, a Yao by tribe from Zomba, to be its patron.

It is not yet known if the President will accept the role.

But she is on record as calling on her Yao tribesmen to consider setting up their own heritage grouping as a way of preserving their culture.

Banda, during the annual uMthetho Cultural Festival for the Ngoni last year, called on Yaos to consider setting up their own heritage group.

Initially, the Yao’s formed Ndamo Sya Yao, but the group died a natural death.

It’s chairperson,  Steven Shabaan, said he was not aware of another heritage group of the Yaos being formed.

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