Malawians celebrated the 53rd Independence Annivesary with traditional dances, firework displays, music performances, a football match and street military parades in all the major cities.
In Mzuzu, the celebrations started on Tuesday with a sweeping exercise in the city led by the mayor. The celebrations climaxed Wednesday evening with traditional dances, military parade, martial arts and musical performances.
In Zomba, celebrations started with a get-together on Wednesday evening which went up to midnight where patrons were treated to fireworks displays. Then yesterday the main celebrations took place at Gymkhana ground where a military parade and military displays took centre stage.
According to Zomba City Council publicist Mercy Chaluma, the day was also characterised by traditional dances.
“We also had an aircraft flypast by our military,” she added.
In Blantyre, the story was no different as celebrations started on Wednesday morning with a military parade from the Clock Tower to the Independence Arch.
In the evening, there were performances by the Mizu and Mibawa bands and finally fireworks displays at midnight.
A member of this year’s celebrations Nicholas Dausi, said they decided to scrap off the usual fanfair to save costs.
He, however said the city celebrations were designed to ensure that many Malawians are involved.
“The main activities for the day are the prayers,” said Dausi.
The prayers took place at Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe.
Random interviews with some Malawians, who witnessed the fireworks displays at Independence Arch in Blantyre, indicated that many were pleased with the city celebrations.
Said Phylis Mituka: “I have come here because it is closer to home. I have enjoyed the food, the music and the fireworks.”
Edgar Chikalipo, a Zingwangwa resident in Blantyre, said the celebrations were made simple and accessible to many.
“Those national celebrations are restrictive. Many of us find it hard to participate, but this time all those who wanted to come are here and in other major cities,” he added.
Meanwhile, other institutions have joined in the Independence celebrations with Sunbird hotels taking the lead.
Alex Kachepa, Sunbird Tourism sales executive, said music performances took place at Sunbird’s two premier lakeside resorts: Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi and Sunbird Livingstonia Beach in Salima yesterday.
The fun kicked off yesterday at Sunbird Nkopola Lodge’s Leisure Centre with a two-day event dubbed Independence with the Legends. n