Group village head (GVH) Nthikira of Traditional Authority (T/A) Bvumbwe in Thyolo says involvement and participation of the youth in different cultural festivals is one way of preserving the country’s cultural values.
He made the remarks last Sunday at Magombo Village in T/A Likoswe in Chiradzulu where village head Magombo organised a Sopa Dance Festival commemorating those who introduced the dance and other cultural beliefs such as kuthira nsembe, a ceremony of appeasing the dead.
“In the past, the dance was performed mainly to ask ancestral spirits to provide rain whenever there was drought, especially in October, but nowadays the dance is performed to preserve culture as well as kuthira nsembe,” said the GVH.
The traditional leader further said it was pleasing that many youths participated in the festival, saying they are vital for cultural preservation.
“The presence of the youth at this event is very commendable and this is a sign that we are together and that we will never lack leaders in future,” said Nthikira.
Commenting on the festival, Freza Makawa, 12, of Nthikira Village, T/A Bvumbwe in Thyolo said he was proud of the dance which has a lot of cultural value.
“I urge my fellow youths to listen to what parents are advising, especially when preserving culture for we will be parents in future and others will need to learn from us,” said the Standard Four pupil at Nahachi Primary School.
In his remarks, a drummer for the Sopa Dance, Victor Mazinga, 17, of Juma Village in T/A Bvumbwe said he started beating the drums in 2013 and has embraced the Lhomwe dance over the years.
The Lhomwe Sopa Dance is performed by people chanting songs while moving in circles. n