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Umhlangano Festival climaxes Saturday

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Umhlangano Cultural Festival which started Thursday gets to the apex Saturday with several cultural activities set to take place at Nkolimbo Village in Ntcheu District.

One of the members of the organising team Stain Singo said Thursday that among other activities, there will be Kudumisa, which is a cultural activity where Maseko Ngonis give final respect to the king before he departs to a venue of a meeting or when a Maseko Ngoni meeting finishes.

“When the king has not been present at Maseko Ngoni meeting, you still do Kudumisa but looking towards the direction of the king’s palace. You all seat on the floor or ground when doing this cultural activity with the chiefs (Inkosis) sitting in front and ladies kneeling.

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“The Inkosis go like Bayethe Inkosi ya Makhosi and thereafter women saying zimatha Maseko,” Singo said.

He said the climax Saturday will start with a ceremony called Mkhwisulo after 12 midnight at the place where the first Ngwenyama Inkosi ya Makhosi Chikuse Gomani is resting.

“A special cow without any defects is killed in a special way. The midnight function is only attended by Inkosis and elderly people and not every Jim and jack,” Singo said.

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He said the festival is apolitical hence people should not put on any party colour.

“We are selling the festival cloth and T-shirts that people can wear and so, we will not allow anyone to put on political colours. The festival is there to promote and preserve culture,” Singo said.

Ahead of the festival, organisers held a fundraising concert at Blantyre Sports Club which attracted performances from among others Soldier Lucius Banda and Zembani Band.

In its quest to promote and preserve culture in the country, Times Group on Wednesday donated K500,000 and 600 magazines highlighting the Maseko Ngonis culture and traditions.

Kandi Padambo, who is Maseko Ngoni Heritage Trust General Secretary, said this year’s Umhlangano Festival coincides with the 10-year anniversary of Inkosi Gomani V who was installed to the throne in August 2012.

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri last month also showed his respect and commitment to promote and preserve the country’s culture by donating K10 million towards this year’s Umhlangano Cultural Festival.

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