I am here at Top Mandala Museum in the heart of the commercial city of Blantyre. This is the place to be on this simmering heat day as we witness the signing in ceremony of the Ambassadors Fund for cultural preservation from the US government to the people of Malawi.
This occasion is graced by the US Ambassador, Her Excellency Virginia Palmer and our own Minister of Culture Hon. Patricia Kaliati.
There are also scholars and journalists here ready to capture this historic event.
The most complex phenomenon of all is culture. This has been defined by varied scholars in different terms. People continue to discuss what culture is to date. Governments have failed to place the Cultural Department.
Yeah country folks, culture has moved from one ministry to another for so long a time. It has been under the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Local Government and Culture, Ministry of Sports and Culture, Ministry Information, Tourism and Culture among many other ministries.
Now the Department of Culture falls under a completely new ministry.
The brand new ministry has to live to the people’s expectations as government’s developmental agenda continues.
Yeah country folks, culture is the people’s total way of life. Culture is humanity itself. A people without their culture are like trees without roots. Dead.
Yeah country folks, under this October heat, the throbbing drums of Chichiri Cultural Troupe echo with new resolve as far as such traditional dances are concerned.
The safeguarding of Malawi’s culture among the Sena, Mang’anja, Yao and Chewa communities is the idea whose time has come. It may also be long overdue as such cultural systems are now faced with a lot of challenges in a world where humanity is at a loss of its values.
It is loud and clear from all the speakers here at Top Mandala Museum that we need to safeguard and protect our culture.
We, the people, have been witnesses to numerous challenges including lack of world peace as humanity fails to understand each other’s cultural values.
We, the people, have witnessed the invasion of innocent nations who have been weak under the most powerful.
We, the people, have witnessed the exploitation of the people as some have taken advantage of their poverty.
We, the povo, have witnessed some cultures trying to overshadow others under the veil of democracy.
The museums of Malawi are well placed for cultural documentation. This is the place where we as a people, will know our past where we are coming from, the present where we are now and the future where we are heading.
Humanity has failed to be a master of its destiny due to lack of knowledge. Humanity will continue to pick up arms and fight stupid wars as long as there is lack of understanding culture in all its diversity.
The documentation of culture at this Top Mandala Museum and all museums of the world should be a priority to nations.
As the convoy of Her Excellency the US envoy to Malawi Ambassador Palmer takes leave, I salute her government and the people of America for their support for cultural preservation and promotion.
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