Cultural and traditional pomp marked the celebration of the fourth Umhlangano wa Maseko festival at Mkolimbo Village in Ntcheu District.
The festival, which started Friday through Saturday, was graced by many dignitaries that included Vice President, Saulos Chilima, himself a Ngoni Impi.
There were singing, dancing, eating and drinking in its plentiful, with the crescendo of the festival being sharing of wisdom through speeches by high dignitaries.
Chilima hailed the ceremony, saying it has helped bring together the Ngoni people of the Maseko clan, not only in Malawi but also Mozambique.
However, he challenged the Maseko Ngoni to put more concentration on reviving of the IsiNgoni language, saying it was regrettable that over the years, the Masekos have not been speaking their mother tongue.
“What has been showcased here culturally is excellent, we have done well; the only gap is language. There is need that we have to learn and speak in our [isiNgoni] language, because language is a key thing that identifies an ethnic grouping,” said Chilima, donning Ngoni regalia.
Chilima also stressed the importance of the Maseko Ngoni respecting their Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani, who he said deserved all the respect and support.
“There is only one Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani and he is Inkosi ya Makosi Gomani V. The one presiding over this event,” said the Veep.
For the first time, Gomani V donned an all leopard skin attire, which he said in an interview on the sidelines of the event, demonstrated the cultural and traditional core of the event.
Speaking to his subjects and invited guests, he thanked people for supporting the Umhlangano wa Maseko, which he said had helped bring unity within the people of the ethnic grouping, in Malawi and their counterparts in other countries.
“The ceremony has, over the years hatched a lot of positive results, one of which is the plan to have a cultural village at Mkolimbo, where we are, the base of Umhlangano,” said Gomani V, adding the design plans were ready and he and those involved in the project are now engaging a gear of fundraising.
Indeed, going by the merry-making, dancing and lots of activities at the festival, the Umhlangano wa Maseko continues to be one of the grand cultural festival of the country.
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