There was a unique scene at Chonde in Mulanje on Sunday when Lhomwe and Maseko Ngoni cultural groups came together to showcase their traditional dances, foods and beliefs.
The venue was Mulhako wa Alhomwe headquarters at Chonde in Mulanje. The Lilongwe-based Maseko Ngonis, but originally come from several parts of the country such as Ntcheu, Dedza, Mwanza and Mchinji, among others, travelled approximately 380 kilometres to Chonde for the event.
Dressed in their war-like regalia, the Maseko Ngonis performed their popular ingoma dance. They also enjoyed local beer prepared for them by their hosts.
On their part, the hosts also displayed their traditional dances such as manganje and tsoopa.
On display were also the sexual enhancement herbs that Lhomwes have long been associated with. The clear common ground between the two sides was their love for beer and food.
The unity that the two groups brought about transformed Chonde into a festive atmosphere as Mulhako wa Alhomwe leadership held a preparatory meeting for this year’s event which is slated for October 10.
Mulhako wa Alhomwe board chairperson Leston Mulli said what people saw on Sunday was a warm-up of what is expected during this year’s event. He said the presence of the Maseko Ngonis signified an invitation to all Ngonis to come and be part of the event.
“We are basically one people. Some Ngonis have married Lhomwe women. Even beyond the intermarriages, we share a lot in common such as our love for beer, women and food,” he said.
Representative of the travelling Ngonis, Frank Weston Nkhoma echoed Mulli’s remarks and stressed on the need for Malawians to unite at every level for the country to make progress.
He said: “There is nothing like a wrong tradition or cultural belief. We can coexist like this and create a beautiful and strong Malawi. Let us come together and learn from each other.”
Lhomwe acting Paramount Chief Kaduya of Phalombe said as traditional leaders, they are ready to welcome visitors from all over Malawi during this year’s event. She said preparations for the event are in their final stages.
Mulhako wa Alhomwe chief executive officer Pius Mvenya said they will observe strict Covid-19 preventive measures during the event adding that the vast ground of the venue is ideal to allow reasonable social distancing between patrons.