Newly elected chairperson for Chancellor College based Chanco Heritage Wing of Achewa (Chewa) Society Justice Banda has appealed to Gulewamkulu dancers in the country most of who are young people to observe discipline and ensure peaceful coexistence with Malawians of other tribes within their dwelling communities.
Speaking on Thursday in a telephone interview a week after being elected into office Banda said he is shocked by media reports where Gulewamkulu dancers are said to be wreaking havoc in other parts of the country especially in the central region where they beat, harass and steal from people especially those who do not belong to the cult.
“As Chewas, Gulewamkulu is our major identity however, we would like to emphasize that culture is not a tool for infringing on other people’s rights. No culture is superior over others,” he said.
He said as an association they will venture into sensitisation campaigns among the dancers in order to effectively improve and mend the reputation of the Chewa people which has been tarnished by the vulgar dancers.
“Of course we will not be launching anything new since sensitisation messages have already been emphasised by our chief Kalonga Gawa Undi and a practical example is how Gulewamkulu carries out its activities at Kulamba ceremony.
It’s such a peaceful interaction and we want to see that extending to all our communities,” added Banda who said his society has preached the message of unity through conduct.
Banda also observed that cultural norms, values and traditions are slowly being eroded due to effects of modernisation in today’s highly digitalised world.
“Apparently everyone wants to become what they see on television such that immorality has eventually become an accepted standard way of life but we want to reverse that.
Since the university exposes students to different ways of life we would like to take a lead and motivate our fellow intellectuals to remain true to their identity,” he emphasised.
Asked on what people should expect in his term of office Banda said together with the new committee will strive to preach against the spirit of ethinism, nepotism and regionalism.
“We are planning to go beyond the obvious, we would like to define our culture in a broad way. If you trace the history you will find that our fore fathers lived in harmony with nature and we want to incorporate that into our culture that is why environmental conservation features broadly in our manifesto,” he stressed.
Reacting to the development writer Kasuzi Mbaluko also a Chancellor College alumnus hailed the Chewa society and called for students of other ethnic groups to emulate the good example.
“Without culture it’s the same as having no roots as such it is imperative for intellectuals to advocate preservation of culture. All countries that have developed have done it by championing their cultural values,” said Mbalu
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