Member of Parliament for Ntcheu Central Constituency, Malison Ndau over the weekend held a gulewamkulu bonanza at Gwaza Village in Traditional Authority Makwangwala in the district as one way of preserving culture.
Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA) during the festival’s performances on Sunday, Ndau said he conducted the bonanza as one way of promoting the Chewa Tradition in the district.
“Ntcheu is known to be home of Ngonis and its famous Ngoma Dance. The idea to hold this festival today was to promote other cultures like that of Chewa so that we promote peace and unity among different tribes,” he said.
Ndau added: “Culture and its heritage reflect and shape values, beliefs, and aspirations, thereby defining people’s national identity. It is important topreserve our culture, because it keeps our integrity as a nation,” said Ndau.
The parliamentarian dangled K350, 000 as prize money where the first winner was supposed to go away with K85, 000. However, the money was shared equally among the participating groups because the judges failed to identify the winner following good performance by all the participating groups.
Ndau said culture is an important element in the society which he said complements development efforts of the country.
“We cannot talk about people without mentioning their culture. The same people that belong to one cultural group are the same people that participate in the development of the country, hence we cannot talk about development without mentioning culture,” said Ndau.
The MP said he was also planning of holding the Ngoni Cultural festival where Ngoma dancers from TA Kwataine, Makwangwala and Champiti are expected to participate.
Group Village Headman Gwaza of the area commended the parliamentarian for sponsoring the festival which he said promotes unity amongst people living in the area despite having different cultural beliefs.
“We saw Chewas and Ngonis coming together through this function even though it was meant to be a gule wamkulu function. This is what we want as chiefs- to have our people united despite belonging to different cultures and political parties,” said Gwaza.
A total of nine groups of Gule wamkulu took part in the festival.