Ngoni chief speaks against polygamy


Senior Chief Mtwalo of Mzimba has asked his subjects to immediately stop the Ngoni culture of marrying more than one woman, arguing the culture is fuelling the spread of HIV among the Ngoni in the country.
The Ngoni are known for marrying many women apart from drinking traditional beer and eating meat.
History says pioneer missionaries approached Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa to allow Christianity in his kingdom, which he accepted but with reservations of letting men to marry more than one wife.
However, some churches started preaching against polygamy, a development some Ngonis argue is against their cultural belief.
But speaking in an interview at his residence, Senior Chief Mtwalo said it is high time the Ngoni under Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa changed some of the bad cultural values if the country is to win the battle against further HIV contraction.
“For the Ngoni, marrying more than one wife was not a crime but an indication that qualifies one to be a real Ngoni.
“However, we are saying such belief will not help us to preserve our culture as the Ngoni, but finish us all. Why should a man have many wives in HIV world we are living?” Mtwalo queried.
He then said this year’s Umthetho Cultural Festival to be held in first week of August will give room for chiefs to discuss the way followed of some of the cultural beliefs that are putting people at risk of contracting HIV.
He also said the festival will be different from the past events because it will start with prayers at late Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa IV’s grave at Edingeni, before actual celebrations at Hola on the following day.
“The world is changing and this means some of the things are supposed to be modified. Umthetho Cultural Festival unites us and several pertinent issues are set on the agenda for modification. Remember, this is the time all Ngoni chiefs meet and make decisions on relevant issues to our culture and the country at large,” Mtwalo added.
Malawi’s HIV prevalence is one of the highest in the world, with 10.6 percent of the adult population aged 15-64 living with the virus

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