Africa is a rich continent with remarkable cultural diversity and affluent natural resources yet for so long it has been marginalised, termed as a continent of backwardness and darkness.
As Malawians in the UK celebrated Malawian culture Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, John Tembo Jnr. said Malawians are a cultured people and must show that to the world.
“It high time we start talking the positive side of our country. We must promote our country as one of the best destinations in the world. We must talk about the warmth our people, our beautiful lake and mountains; not about Aids, famine or poverty as it is commonly but wrongly portrayed. We must change our attitude about our own country. We must talk with words of enlightenment,” said Tembo during a day-long inaugural Malawi Cultural fête.
The Malawian youthful envoy to the Queensland, Tembo, said Malawi as a country is like a treasure trove that is locked tight.
“From untapped natural resource, to people with warm hearts and raw talent that can impact the world in a positive way, Malawi has a lot to offer if utilised. It is for us Malawians to unlock our treasures for all to see. Our cultural heritage is so rich and diverse,” he said.
Tembo then asked Malawians in the diaspora to remain committed in assisting the government and the people of Malawi in raising the image and the profile of the country to the rest of world by continuing representing their motherland with decorum.
He said: “Every Malawian in the diaspora is an ambassador of our country. We must embrace ourselves to promote our country socially, economically and culturally. We are one of the best cultured people in the world and so we must show it that we come from a God-fearing nation. Our good behaviour is always our springboard to creating a good image for our nation.”
Tembo then advised Malawians with children born and bred in the diaspora to teach them more on traditions and cultures saying that a blend of witty talented young people from the diaspora can bring new ideas and innovations to their homeland.
He said the Malawi Mission in London is open to all Malawians seeking advice on how to invest in Malawi.
In his remarks, Malawi Association Midlands (MAM) chairperson, Boniface Chimpango said the idea to organise the Malawi Cultural gala was to bring together all Malawians and celebrate Malawi’s cultural heritage and at the same time showcase to the world the Malawian way of life.
“Culture defines who you are and we wanted to celebrate our way of life and share it with others. We wanted to show that we are a happy people,” said Chimpango.
During the event, there was Malawian food, traditional music and dance, folktales, poems and the spoken word.
Malawi’s gospel artist, Gertrude Munthali performed gospel hymns, fused with traditional beats.
A hip-hop group of three young men calling themselves 3-Dees performed a rendition of Malawian national anthem milled with some local Malawi folklore music.