Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa V on Saturday hosted the sixth Jere Ngoni’s Umthetho Cultural Festival themed our culture and climate change.
Under the royal escort of the Impi (protectors of the King), M’mbelwa took to the podium at around 2pm where, apart from the theme, he also touched on several emerging issues including the killings and abductions of people with albinism
M’mbelwa said the theme was deliberately reached at after acknowledging that people are the major catalysts of environmental degradation which has consequently resulted in climate change.
He implored the gathering to desist from deforestation by finding alternative sources of energy instead of burning charcoal.
“The prolonged drought which is causing famine in Malawi today is because we have not taken care of our environment. Climate change is a serious problem, so it’s time to rethink our ways of life,” advised the chief who also asked people not to sell all their farm produce.
The royal leader then denounced some of the cultural practices which he called disgraceful because they fuel the spread of HIV and Aids.
M’mbelwa said it is high time people only isolated the good practices from their various customs and traditions since lives are being lost.
“I am not forcing you to abandon the cultures which our forefathers left us with but I want to encourage you that before getting into polygamy or inheriting a brother’s wife, be wise and seek voluntary counselling and testing to stay safe.”
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Kondwani Nankhumwa, called on Malawians to take pride in their respective cultures.
He said it is equally imperative for people in the country to understand and appreciate cultures from other nations since we are living in a global village.
“Every tribe in Malawi has an equivalent concept of Umthetho which embodies customs, values, traditions, law and governance. I urge everybody to uphold all this. Let us be keen to learn about other cultures so that we develop a greater understanding of the world we live in,” Nankhumwa said.
Umthetho Cultural Festival is an annual event where the legendary war tribe of the Ngoni spare sometime to showcase, celebrate and interpret their customs and traditions.
Some of the royal guests to this year’s event included Inkosi Zulu-Gama from Songea in Tanzania, Prince Peter Zwide from Zimbabwe and Professor Betra Mapunda from University of Dar -el- Salaam.
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