President Peter Mutharika presided over the 2017 Umhlangano cultural celebrations for the Ngoni Maseko on Saturday at Nkolimbo Village in Ntcheu. During the festivities the President called on all Malawians to continue promoting peace and respect for one another in the country.
Mutharika said it was sad to note that Malawians do not love one another and continue castigating each other because of differences in political affiliations and ethnic groups.
“May I urge you my fellow Malawians to continue promoting peace and respect for one another if our country is to continue growing,” he said.
The President said it was important for Malawians to ensure that while there was freedom to promote and preserve their cultural values and beliefs, they should consider only those values that do not infringe on other people’s rights, especially women and children.
“We must understand that culture is a foundation for civilization. Therefore as a nation, we must ensure that we only promote those cultural values and beliefs that promote development and do not infringe on the rights of women and children,” Mutharika pointed out.
The President said that, “My Government is happy to see different ethnic groups in the country celebrating their culture. This does not only promote, preserve and protect culture, but also help in developing the country,”
Inkosi Ya Makhosi Gomani thanked Government for promoting and preserving cultural heritages in the country.
“We are privileged to have you our President as Guest of Honour. Your coming signifies the commitment Government has towards promotion and preservation of culture in the country,” he said.
The Ngoni Paramount Chief asked his subjects to continue preserving the environment by planting trees and ensuring the trees are cared for until they are fully grown.
“The problem with us Malawians is that we start something and not take time to continue caring for it. May I urge everyone to make sure that the trees we planted are well taken care of,” he said.
Paramount Chief Gomani took time to encourage people in the country to make sure they take part in sending children, especially girls to school.
Umhlangano is a Zulu word meaning the re-assembling or coming together of people from one or same ethnicity to share cultural beliefs and more importantly, to thank God for the blessings bestowed on them.
During the Umhlangano ceremony, President Mutharika together with Inkosi Ya Makhosi Gomani V, set free two white doves as a sign of peace.
According to Inkosi Gomani, this symbolizes that the Ngonis are peace-loving people.
Early in the morning of the Umhlangano celebrations, Maseko Ngonis assemble at the cenotaph of the Late Chikuse Gomani, who died in 1896; he paid homage to the dead and offer sacrifice to the late Chief in a ceremony called Kukhwisula.
During the Kukhwisula function, locally brewed masese beer is poured by one of the impis around the tomb of Chikuse Gomani, as a sacrifice and show of respect to the departed Chief.
At exactly ?5 am on Saturday morning, Maseko Ngonis from across the country assembled at the Late Chikuse Gomani’s cenotaph to pay homage to the first Ngoni Chief of the Maseko Ngoni in Malawi.
A bull was then slaughtered and its cooked blood or Uwende, was shared amongst those who gathered. This marked the final ceremony of the kukhwisula ceremony, which was initiated by the current Chief Gomani V in 2013.
Since his installation as the Maseko Ngoni Chief Gomani V on August 5, 2012 by the Late President Bingu WA Mutharika, the Paramount Chief has promoted his culture through this annual event.