Ethnic groups in Nkhata Bay have formed an association to champion the preservation of culture.
Presently, the brains behind Nkhata Bay Cultural Heritage Association are holding meetings nationwide to sensitise potential members to the cause, said coordinator Goodwin Njikhu.
“We are mainly targeting the youth to revive our traditional practices as we seek to create a useful generation. From experience, our culture is not visible among the youth,” he said.
Njikhu said the district on the northern shorelines of Lake Malawi has lost its cultural heritage as the youth prefer western tendencies to their own traditions.
One of the dying beauties of Nkhata Bay culture is Malipenga dance which is dominated by the old guard.
“Malipenga used to enforce discipline and neatness among the youth. With the slow death of Malipenga, our children are very unruly. We want to change this,” he said.
The association’s steering committee, headed by University of Malawi (unima) Vice-Chancellor Professor John Saka, is working hand in hand with all 13 traditional authorities in the district.
“We appreciate the roles of chiefs as custodians of culture. We want the association to be as inclusive as possible regardless of the fact that some chiefs are Tongas and others Chewas,” he said.
The association joins the Mzimba Heritage Association, Mulhakho wa Alhomwe, Chewa Heritage Foundation and Karonga-Chitipa Cultural Heritage in promotion of tribal way of life. n