Musician Lawi and Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Michael Usi alongside other players finally achieved a milestone over the weekend when they conquered Sapitwa, the highest peak on Mulanje Mountain, in a Voice of the Mountain expedition.
Lawi, who signed an agreement with Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT) as the Ambassador of Mulanje Mountain, said Monday that it was a great feeling for them to hit Sapitwa and back.
“We were successful in all our attempts to reach Sapitwa and we, as a united team, worked in synchrony to achieve the set goal. Being at Sapitwa with Dr Usi was a dream; he is the first sitting Cabinet minister to ever hike to Sapitwa for a cause as big as this one,” he said.
The ‘Phukira’ and ‘Zitsulo’ creator, who treated people to music during the hike, said the whole team was in great spirits the whole way and that they achieved a milestone by collectively sending messages to the world from Sapitwa.
“We are currently resting after three days of extreme body exercise and months of planning and strategising. We will be sharing our roadmap very soon but there is absolutely much work for us to do and now the real work has begun,” he said.
Lawi performed on the way with his acoustic guitar and even at Sapitwa Peak.
Usi also excited hikers when he actively participated in activities and even started a song at Sapitwa speaking about the beauty of Mulanje Mountain.
He said there was a feeling of excitement, joy and surprise when he made it to Sapitwa.
“I am saying surprise because I did not know that God created Mulanje Mountain the way it looks. It is so fascinating to get there and the only way to understand it better is to get there,” Usi said.
He maintained that this was not only about the hike but rather it acted as a voice to market Mulanje Mountain and give it a voice.
“I enjoyed being amongst people and participating in activities. I enjoyed music by Lawi; he is an amazing musician. The stories were positive and I learnt a lot. I was not very sure if I had the energy to conquer but I am happy I made it,” Usi said.
He, however, said, for one to successfully get to Sapitwa, there is need for discipline and that people who would want to hike there should get tips from those who have been there.
MMCT’s Kondwani Chamwala described the hike as fruitful and that they never expected such a positive outcome.
“We believe that the hike is a starting point of the conversation that will take issues to do with protecting Mulanje Mountain to another level. The key message we are sending out is that people should protect and appreciate the mountain as a tourism destination.
“They also need to understand that, though it is beneficial to people, it has also some threats which need action to be done and having Lawi and the minister and 50-plus people, we believe the voices will go far,” Chamwala said.
Musician Agorosso was also part of the hike and said he was happy to join Lawi to use art particularly music in protecting, preserving and promoting Mulanje Mountain.
One of the hikers Yangairo Yangairo from Paulendo Adventures said it was a great hike.
“Lawi and the minister led the way to Chisepo hut on the first day and to Sapitwa on the second day. We shared ideas on how we can protect Mulanje Mountain and it was great to see more people participating,” he said.