Malawi is rich with folktales, proverbs, languages and traditional dances. If promoted and preserved, the country could mould its own identity for tourist attraction, research and entertainment.
That is the message Mzuzu University (Mzuni) First Year students presented on Thursday during a Malawian Oral Night that took place for the second time since 2000.
It was not a mere cultural event, but a night of laughter and awe as the students took to stage traditional dances performed in various parts of the country during initiation ceremonies, funerals, festivals and public events.
Mostly, it was traditional dances that involved much shaking of the waist by ladies that attracted the loudest applause. Also, it was those that required individuals to dance seductively in pairs that were a toast of the night.
These are initiation dances such as m’bwiza and njole of the Yao in Mangochi and the Sena in the Lower Shire, respectively. Again, illuminating the night were gulewamkulu and mganda of the Chewa which were loved for their ingenuity and energetic performance.
In an interview, Mzuni lecturer Misheck Mzumara said the event was meant to revive oral literature that is fast disappearing in communities.
“Oral literature is what defines us as Malawians. It is transferred from generation to generation through word of mouth. It is a living reality that needs to be performed for people to enjoy it,” he said.