By Tiyese Monjeza:
Deputy Director of Arts in the Department of Arts in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife MacDonald Maluwaya has called on people to value traditional dances.
Maluwaya, who has published a book on traditional dances with a focus on one of the country’s traditional dances Ingoma, said this on Sunday in Malosa, Zomba, where the ministry organised traditional dance sessions.
Maluwaya urged communities in the country to embrace the spirit of appreciating traditional dances.
‘‘We want to uplift traditional dances which Malawians are known for. Traditional dances help woe tourists who come to learn and understand the country’s culture. We want to bring back an interest in traditional dances amongst locals,’’ he said.
Maluwaya said the ministry has rolled out an initiative to reach out to all 193 constituencies where they will host traditional dance sessions and sensitise communities on the importance of preserving the culture.
‘‘The ministry met with parliamentarians where they brainstormed on how we can promote culture, arts and tourism and we agreed to embark on this initiative,” he said.
Maluwaya added that they want communities to be proud of their culture and ensure that they are generating income through arts and culture.
Zomba Malosa legislator Grace Kwelepeta said they want traditional dances and songs to be used not only for entertainment but also disseminating relevant information to the citizenry.
‘‘Traditional dances and songs can play a big role in passing on information related to HIV/Aids, cholera and other diseases and health programmes such as vaccination; so, we are in support of this initiative,” Kwelepeta said.
She said, through the initiative youth will also be kept busy and avoid engaging in unnecessary behaviours that can affect their future.
Some of the traditional dances that were showcased during the session included Masewe, Beni, Manganje, Litiwo and Kandiyandiya.
The top four groups received K137,500 each, with all the participating groups pocketing K20,000 each.