Editorial Comment

Government welcomes Khulubvi Festival


The government through Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife on Saturday saluted organisers of the inaugural three-day Khulubvi Cultural and Heritage Festival driven by Nyamithambo Arts Palace in conjunction with the community and Nsanje District Council

The festival, which failed to start last year due to Covid, attracted an impressive audience on the second day at Nsanje Prison Ground and saw people experiencing different activities, with music dominating.

Director of Museums and Monuments, Lovemore Mazibuko, who represented Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi, said the festival has come at the right time as the country matches forward to promote and preserve its culture.


“It is the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife’s wish to preserve and promote cultures of all ethnic groups here in Malawi as a way of achieving national pride, unity in diversity and cultural tourism. We realise that culture, if well preserved and promoted, can develop this country since cultures cultivate unity which is a necessary ingredient for national development,” Mazibuko said.

He said that the Lower Shire has suffered effects of disasters such as Tropical Storm Ana and that the festival’s celebration, which run under the theme ‘Counting Cost of Floods with Hope: Time for Soul Searching and Rebuilding,’ was enlightening and that it showed the resilience of the culture of the Mang’anja and Sena.

He then underscored the importance of Khulubvi shrines in Nsanje District and admitted that the country has not done enough to market them to the world.


“Let me say it here that, as government, we have plans to reach out to Unesco to put Khulubvi shrines on its list of items of intangible cultural heritage and once we start the process, we will need everyone to be involved,” Mazibuko said.

One of the members of the organising team Eric Trinta, who is also a musician, said he was happy that the festival has started its journey.

“There are gaps we will need to work on because it was not 100 percent perfect but we have made a beautiful step. Nsanje is blessed; this is where people can learn more about Mbona, a great spiritual leader, who set up Khulubvi,” Trinta said.

He also proposed a name change for the district, saying Nsanje (jealousy) does not embrace a positive vibe in its people, hence it should get the name Khulubvi or go back to its old name of Fort Johnston.

Traditional Authority Chimombo, who was the guest of honour, said he was happy with the festival and called upon the organisers, community and Nsanje District Council led by District Commissioner Medson Matchaya, who was present, to sustain the event and make it annual.

Apart from acrobatics and martial arts, music and traditional dances such as Chikudzire, Utse, Gule Wamkulu, Ulimba, people also sampled traditional food.

The event, which ended yesterday with a soccer match, attracted top artists that come from Lower Shire such as Lucky Stars Band, Nyandoro Nthenga, Agorosso, Kefasi and Lommie Mafunga.

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