Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi says Malawians should be proud of their culture and at the same time embrace other cultures.
The minister made the remarks on Friday during the official opening of the sixth edition of Tumaini Festival at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa.
The four-day event had a huge turn out and impressive performances from both local and international acts who took turns entertaining patrons.
Addressing the crowd at the festival, Usi urged both Malawians and the refugee community to be proud of their respective cultures.
He said: “We should be proud of our cultural dances and music. Some people feel ashamed or embarrassed to promote their cultures when they are educated. Being educated doesn’t mean we should forget our culture.”
During the event, the minister danced to some rhumba sounds.
He also encouraged the audience to embrace their cultural values, saying culture and dance are part of tourism products.
“Don’t be ashamed to dance to your traditional songs,” he said.
Also present at the event was the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees representative Henok Ochalla who expressed optimism on the event and its objective.
“There are so many good stories despite the challenges. We are proud to have Tumaini Festival which is the first and only festival hosted at a refugee camp,” he said.
Later, Usi inspected Ubuntu Nation and Dingilo Arts and Craft pavilion.
Ubuntu Nation is an art and craft comprising players from Brazil, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Madagascar and Malawi, among others.
Dingilo Arts and Craft founder Dingilo Daka said a multicultural event is key to tourism.
He said: “These are the only events where we get to exhibit our arts.”
The event, which started on Thursday, went on until on Sunday.