By Our Correspondent
The First Lady, Madame Callista Mutharika Saturday pledged to give K 1 million to the Chewa Heritage Foundation to help in the promotion of the Chewa tradition and culture.
The First Lady made the pledge at Civo Stadium in the administrative capital, Lilongwe during a Chewa Cultural Day which was organised by the Chewa Heritage Foundation with an aim of fundraising and displaying different Chewa dances.
Chairperson of the Organising Committee for Chewa Cultural Day, Mark Zilirakhasu said the money realised at the fundraising event would be used to cater for transport and accommodation expenses for chiefs and delegates attending this year’s Kulamba ceremony for Chewas at Kalonga Gawa Undi headquarters in Zambia.
Madame Mutharika appealed to all the Chewas to wisely use the money realised so that people attend the Kulamba ceremony every time it has been organised to pass the Chewa tradition from one generation to the other.
She also said she was very proud to be a Chewa and appealed to all Chewas to be proud of who they are following the function’s poor patronage.
“I’m not happy with the way Chewas have patronised this function. I’m therefore, appealing to everyone who belongs to this tribe to be forthcoming when functions like these are organised,” she said.
Concurring with the First Lady, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Anna Kachikho said this is a great day for Chewas as it is a time when they would see where they are coming from and reflect on where they are going.
Kachikho said she is also proud as a Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, to note that the Big Dance popularly known as Gule wa Mkulu is one of the dances that is recognised world wide, according to a declaration made by United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Senior Chief Mazengera said it is sad to note that most Malawians are not proud of who they are and that is why most if them follow what other people do in foreign countries.
Chairperson for Chewa Heritage Foundation and the country’s former vice president, Justine Malewezi appealed to all Malawians to be living in unity and harmony by not looking at their differences in culture and traditions.
“I also appeal to government to come with a day when all tribes from the country can come together and display their dances and traditions,” added Malewezi.
The First Lady advised chiefs to conduct initiation ceremonies for children during holidays so that their education should not be disturbed.
“Let me warn all chiefs who interfere with the school calendar by taking children to initiation camps that whoever will be found doing this malpractice, will be dealt with accordingly. This is in line with what His Excellency, Ngwazi Professor Bingu wa Mutharika and Chief Kalonga Gawa Undi have been saying that children should be going to school at the same time knowing their traditions and culture,” she said.
The First lady thanked all companies, organisations and well wishers who had donated to the Foundation either in cash or kind.
The Kulamba ceremony takes place every year in commemoration of all the Chewa chiefs that have been there ever since. It takes place in Zambia and it is patronised by all the Chewas from Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique-Malawi Digest.