The Umthetho Cultural Festival kicked off on Wednesday in Mzimba with a two-day workshop for the district’s traditional leaders and their spouses.
The festival is expected to continue today with traditional dances and a visit to gravesite of M’mbelwa I at Mzalangwe to pay homage to the fallen Ngoni leader who is considered the father of the ethnic group.
The event will climax tomorrow at Hora Mountain Heritage Centre where various dignitaries, including Vice-President Everton Chimulirenji, are expected to be present.
Speaking in an interview at the end of the workshop yesterday, Mzimba Heritage Association (Mziha) secretary Moses Mkandawire said the workshop was held simultaneously with another one for the youth on climate change adaptation and disaster response.
“We are tackling issues of climate change and disaster response through the youth.
“The youth will also talk about child marriage, mining and governance, leadership, human trafficking, and find solutions to these problems,” he said.
Inkosi ya Makhosi M’mbelwa V, who officially opened the workshop, said the festival will be commemorated under the theme Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Response.
He said the M’mbelwa Chiefs Council settled for this theme to raise awareness on protecting the environment and reduce the risk of disasters.
“The past seasons, we have noticed an increase in disasters like floods and hailstorms. All these are manmade. So, we want to raise awareness among our people to take care of the environment and reduce the risk of disasters,” he said. n