The Zwangendaba Jere Ngoni of Mzimba have asked the Department of Culture to borrow a leaf from the Tanzanian Government which takes a leading role in supporting cultural activities.
Mzimba Heritage Association secretary Ndabazake Thole said this in an interview yesterday after returning from the Maji Maji Rebellion Commemoration at Songea which took place last weekend.
Thole, who was part of the Ngoni entourage which included Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa V, Senior Chief Mtwalo and traditional authorities Kampingo Sibande and Jalavikuba, said Tanzanian Government was the lead organiser of the event.
“The Government of Tanzania was responsible for most of the logistics and operations. This is despite that the Maji Maji war was between the Ngoni tribe and Germany.
“We would love our government to do the same in supporting our cultural activities,” said Thole.
The Maji Maji commemoration is done in memory of the mass killings of the Ngonis in Tanzania during the struggle for self-rule and cultural nationalism against Germany.
But Thole said the Mzimba Ngoni have several cultural activities that promote tourism, identity and unity, but do not enjoy the support of government.
“Up to now, I can’t say government supports the Umthetho Cultural Festival. It only comes in to clear the land when the Head of State is earmarked to attend the event. Otherwise, most of the support we get is from the corporate world,” said Thole.
Director of culture in the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Elizabeth Gomani-Chindebvu, said the ministry needs to learn from their Tanzanian counterparts on procedures followed when supporting the activities.
‘It’s true that culture needs support. But we need to learn from our counterparts on how and why they support such activities before we start doing the same,” she said.