Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi has urged people in the country to celebrate and be proud of their cultural heritage.
The minister was speaking at Dinde Primary School in Nsanje District this week after touring Khulubvi heritage site.
Said Usi: “Culture is not for poor people, but it is for those who call themselves as people. Whether someone attains higher education or gets rich, he or she has a home village; hence, the need to observe culture as it is universal.”
The minister then challenged the youth to utilise traditional songs, saying their friends are doing well in different countries by producing songs inspired by their traditions. He also warned against promoting foreign cultures.
Senior Chief Malemia of Nsanje asked the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife to pump in more money for the Khulubvi heritage site to have either a hotel or lodge which will be used as a source of revenue for the people in the area.
The traditional leader said the place, which was endorsed by Unesco as a world heritage site, needs to have a good road infrastructure as students from different universities both local and international visit the place.
He said Nsanje is a historical district, saying all early Europeans and Asians who first came to Malawi passed through it.
He gave the example of Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone who came to the country through a place called Mark A which is now called Marka.
He added that Asians constructed their houses at Chiromo where the tomb of Charles Fredrick MacKenzie, who succumbed to malaria was found, but nothing has been done to preserve these historic places.
On his part, Traditional Authority Ngabu, who is a custodian of Khulubvi Shrine, said there is lack of clothes which visitors use when they want to access the shrine.
He said: “Your ministry should come up with a fee for those who want to see the place so that we can have a source of revenue for buying food for Mbona’s wife and her servants who stay inside the shrine. We can also use it to buy black wrappers to be worn by those who want to visit the area.”
On her part, Mgumano wa Asena ndi Amang’anja women’s wing chairperson Mary Antonyo said wrappers used by visitors have become rags and there is need for new ones.
She also asked the minister to sponsor them to go to either Mulanje or Lilongwe so that they can learn other cultures.