The nationwide hunger that has affected nearly three million people has not spared the Ngonde tribe in Karonga which has since cancelled their cultural festival, Ubunyabo baBangonde.
The tribe has cited the hunger as the reason they will not be celebrating their cultural heritage scheduled for late November. There is widespread hunger in the district as a result of this year’s poor harvest.
Paramount Chief Kyungu, while calling upon stakeholders to intervene, said the hunger situation is dire in the district.
Said the chief: “We cannot be celebrating when our people are suffering. There is no food in the district. We are appealing to the donor community and government to prioritise Karonga people to be assisted in terms of food relief.”
The Ubunyabo baBangonde celebrates the Ngonde culture in terms of food, clothing, language (Kyangonde) dance and history through showcases.
Some of the food items that are showcased include mbalagha, wali wa mayawo (kondowole), rice which is taken with chambiko (butter milk), among other foodstuffs.
“We needed to demonstrate to the head of State what Karonga produces.
Let him taste our food such as mbalagha, which are plenty here. But we cannot do that when there is no food in homes,” added Kyungu.
He, however, could not provide a budget for such events. He said the event will return next year if people have good harvest.
The Ngonde migrated from across the border in the north, just like other Bantu tribes, and settled at the extreme north of Malawi. The centre for the Ngonde is the sacred hill of Mbande, which stands in the bed of the North Rukuru River.