Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Michael Usi says the government will do all it can to support the ‘Bwalo la Achewa’ Heritage Foundation in its quest to promote the Chewa culture and heritage in this country.
Usi said this on Monday, July 20, 2021 when he attended a meeting of the foundation at Senior Chief Kaomba Headquarters also known as Chilanga at the invitation of the foundation.
He said he was happy to attend the function because one of the mandates of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife is to promote culture and to ensure that it is a tool for promoting tourism in this country.
He added that the fact that the Chewa Heritage Foundation has created a framework for promoting their culture is a step in the right direction and that government will ensure that it creates an enabling environment to allow the foundation attain its objectives saying that is the reason why he made sure to attend the function.
“I will make sure to come to the induction functions that you have invited me to attend on the Augusta 5 and on August 7 in Kasungu and Dowa respectively depending on other factors such as the prevalence of Covid 19 because I believe your culture concept fits in our tourism promotion strategy as a ministry.
“With that my ministry will give you all the necessary support to ensure that the Chewa culture does not die a natural death, but that it is passed on to the next generations,” said the minister.
Usi also said his ministry, in consultation with the Chewa Cultural Heritage Foundation, will ensure that the Khulubvi Chewa traditional heritage centre is fully operational and that it is documented as one of the tourist attraction sites in this country.
He then advised the chiefs to ensure that they sensitize their subjects about the dangers of the Covid-19 pandemic so that all necessary preventive measures are taken to stop the virus from spreading.
In his remarks, Senior Chief Kaomba thanked the minister for attending the function and asked him to extend best wishes to President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima from the Chewa chiefs and their people.
“You must take our humble message to President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President, Saulos Chilima that we wish them all the best and that their alliance must grow from strength to strength,” said Senior Chief Kaomba, adding that he has all the hope that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife would continue to give them guidance on how to promote their culture as well as how to package it as a tool for promoting tourism in Malawi.
The traditional chief also said Chewa chiefs would continue to work hand in hand with the ‘Bwalo la Achewa’ Heritage Foundation to sensitise their people about the Covid-19 pandemic and how to take preventive measures.
“We will make sure that we take measures to sensitize our people on the dangers of the pandemic so that it is eradicated from our midst. We are currently observing its progression and even if it means changing the dates of our induction ceremonies in August, we will do it. We are also ready to work with chiefs from other ethnic groups to ensure that the unity so that,” said Senior Chief Kaomba.
Earlier, Executive Director for the Chewa Heritage Foundation, Reverend Flywell Somanje informed the minister that there are 13 million Chewas in this country living across all the regions of the country. He said the foundation was established after a comprehensive research on why the Chewa culture was declining in the country and what needed to be done to stop the trend, adding that they decided to create a semi-autonomous union here in Malawi rather than always relying on decisions from Zambia.
Somanje said the headquarters for the foundation are in Dowa but there are district committees in all districts across the country. He added the patron of the grouping is Paramount Chief Lundu, who is also a relation of Nyangu and Gawa Undi from Zmabia,
The Reverend disclosed Lundu is the most senior Chewa chief in Malawi and that he was installed by the first President of the country, Hastings Kamuzu Banda in 1969.
He said the foundation has so many plans that have been lined up to help promote Chewa culture particularly among the youths.
“Among other things, our foundation would have a herbal clinic at out headquarters in Dowa. We are also advocating for a chief’s council and we are proposing our Paramount Chief Lundu to be chairman of this chief’s council,” said Somanje.
The meeting was spiced up by Chewa traditional dances and a display of some of their traditional artifacts.
Among some of the Chiefs who attended the function were Traditional Authority Nyanja from Kasungu and Traditional Authority Ndayenda from Dowa.