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Umthetho Festival climaxes Saturday

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Traditional dances and other activities are set to light Umthetho Cultural Festival as it climaxes today at Hora Mountain in Mzimba.

The four-day festival started on Wednesday with a conference for Amakhosi (Ngoni traditional authorities) and their wives (Amakhosikazi) at Mzimba Boma before a workshop for communities and youths at Hora Mountain followed Thursday.

And today, the Ngonis trek down to Mzalangwe where they will pay homage to Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa I before returning to Hora Mountain for sports activities such as hiking, football and netball.

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The climax of the annual event, which missed out in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic, is Saturday where various cultural activities will be on display.

Meanwhile, Vice president Saulos Chilima and Enlightened Christian Gathering founder Prophet Shepherd Bushiri have completed the list of high profile figures that have confirmed their attendance at Hora Mountain Saturday.

Leading the long list of high profile dignitaries in gracing the ceremony will be President Lazarus Chakwera who confirmed his attendance on Tuesday through Presidential Press Secretary Anthony Kasunda.

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This was followed by confirmations from both Chilima and Bushiri on Wednesday.

Director of Communications in the Office of the Vice President Pilirani Phiri said the second citizen is passionate about cultural issues.

“Umthetho is an important cultural event to the Vice President. Apart from its intrinsic value, it aims at revamping and sustaining the traditional values of the Ngoni people, among other factors,” Phiri said.

Bushiri’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo said the renowned prophet received an invitation to the ceremony and will honour it by travelling to Hora.

“He is a Ngoni himself and he values what this event stands for. He appreciates the fact that Umthetho aims at preserving culture. He has been attending this ceremony quite often,” Nyondo said.

Mzimba Heritage Association Secretary General Moses Mkandawire said they also expect guests from other countries such as South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania.

Another high profile cultural ceremony that is expected to catch Malawians’ attention later this month is the Chewa Kulamba ceremony scheduled for August 27 at Mkaika in Zambia.

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