Culture activist Ben Mankhamba has decried the lack of support towards his Chingalire Cultural Heritage Centre which seeks to nurture and promote the teaching and learning of local cultural values and practices.
The award-winning musician, who traded as Ben Michael, started the project in 2010 after being installed as village head Chingalire in Lilongwe.
Speaking on Sunday during Africa Day commemoration, Mankhamba said the initiative is facing various challenges, including lack of electricity.
He said: “We are appealing to the government and all well-wishers to assist us to rehabilitate our bridge and dam that were washed away some years ago.
“In order to make this place a model area, we are also asking for your support towards construction of a conference hall, modern shelters and a modern amphitheatre because the one we use is just temporary.”
In an interview, Mankhamba said due to lack of support, he opted to use other means to keep the dream alive.
“Since I started, there has never been support from the government. Even the bridge that is used when coming here, I had to use my own initiatives to fix it for the minister and ambassadors to pass through,” he said.
In his response, Minister Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi assured Mankhamba of his and government’s support.
“We will engage chief Chingalire and look at avenues that can help realise his dream,” he said.
The Africa Day commemorations attracted members of diplomatic corps from African countries represented in Malawi, arts and culture sector stakeholders as well as the public.