Poems, music, drumming, dance and martial arts underlined the importance of diversity during an event at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre which was part of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination which is commemorated on March 21 every year and this year it was held under the theme ‘Voices for Action against Racism’.
Taskforce member for the organising team Abbas Panjwani described the programme as a success and that it was arranged and facilitated by a group of concerned Malawian individuals from various diverse ethnicities, who got together under the banner ‘Uniting Towards A Better Malawi’.
Panjwani said the organising committee included different people resonating with the slogan “the beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people”.
“There is beauty in diversity and that includes different talents, food, dressing and dances. With all this, you are able to appreciate and understand various people; so, this is why we had people from all walks of life which is rare,” Panjwani said.
He said they expect to hold such events regularly and that they were looking at reviving Centre for Harmony Amongst Racism in Malawi (Charm).
“One of the things to build is culture because culture identifies us and, through our different cultures, we are able to relate to each other”, Panjwani said.
Presidential Adviser on Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) Martha Kwataine, who was the guest of honour, hailed organisers for the event.
“It is very important to commemorate this day because there are some things we take for granted as a country. I have enjoyed the different displays this afternoon and it has taught us that, in any culture, there is something that another culture can learn and this is one way of promoting Ubuntu,” Kwataine said.
She said Malawi is the Warm Heart of Africa but of late it has been going off-track, hence it was important for the country to maintain its identity and that “each one of us has an obligation”.
“ In any country, there are overzealous people and these are the ones who mess up things, President Lazarus Chakwera does not support racism; he is a president for each one and the government does not support racism of any kind,” Kwataine said.
She said the country needed to value each other’s culture and, hence, condemned xenophobic attacks on some of the citizens citing the Asian community.