Mulhako wa Alhomwe cultural celebrations will this year take place for three days.
Vice-chairperson for the event Johne Lundu-Phiri said events to mark this year’s celebrations will start from Friday until Sunday, which is the day for the main event.
According to the event’s schedule, on Friday the tone of the event will be set in motion with a performance by Skeffa Chimoto. On Saturday, Chonde, the headquarters of Mulhako wa Alhomwe in Mulanje, will be adorned by traditional dances as well as music performances by Fuggie Kasipa, Njati Njedede and others.
The climax of the event will, however, be saved for Sunday when the actual feast is expected to take place. The activities on the day will be capped by a live music performance by reggae band Black Missionaries, which has been touted to be a dusk till dawn event.
Lundu-Phiri said they will ensure the event has all the ingredients that Lhomwe’s pride in such as food, dances, traditional beer, display of their traditions and customs such as offering sacrifices to their ancestors.
“We have mobilised all Lhomwe’s from all the districts where they are found across the country. We will have our traditional foods such as nandolo, kalongonda, makaka, among others. We don’t want anyone to be left behind,” he said.
This year’s event is taking place under the theme Strengthening Lhomwe Cultural Values.
Lundu-Phiri said in line with the theme, the event’s main focus will not be on the Lhomwes, but how they can use their strengths to forge a strong working relationship with other cultures.
He said: “We have a lot of values as a culture and one area of focus is building communities, families and strengthening ties. So, as a culture, we believe that we can live peacefully and coexist with other cultural groupings in Malawi and outside.”
Lundu-Phiri said they are doing their best to make sure that all the Covid-19 preventive measures are adhered to. He said they have partnered with the Mulanje District Health Office who are providing guidance on how best they can deliver a safer festival.
It is not clear if the group’s patron who is also former president Arthur Peter Mutharika will attend the event following pronouncements by the groups leadership that it wants to detach itself from politics.
In the past, Muhlako wa Ahlomwe, which was founded by the late Bingu wa Mutharika, was closely linked to the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party.