Author Mavuto Kapyepye has published two books to help promote and preserve the Lhomwe language and culture.
In an interview, he said the books, Lhomwe Names, A collection of 500+ African names of the Lhomwe Tribe in Malawi and Lhomwe Proverbs, give meanings of Lhomwe names and proverbs and their embodiment of culturally rooted wisdom.
Kapyepye said: “My inspiration to write the books comes from my passion for knowledge management in general and indigenous knowledge in particular.
I discovered that there was not much documented on certain aspects of the culture, among them proverbs and names and I felt duty-bound to make a modest contribution to the preservation of these important components of culture.”
The two books give a detailed list of Lhomwe names and proverbs translated in Chichewa and English. They give simple meanings and explanations as well as intended meanings of the proverbs.
The proverbs book reads in part:
“Lhomwe: Obale thinikhuva khunumta
Omawa nikhuva, khunanta
Chichewa: Chibale ndi fupa sichiola
English: Blood is thicker than water”
Meanwhile, Kapyepye was last Sunday awarded for his role in promoting the Lhomwe culture during the annual Mulhako wa Alhomwe Cultural Festival.
In reaction, Kapyepye said he was humbled by the recognition.
“I do not take the award for granted. It is an honour to realise that the Muhlako leadership saw the value of my work to the extent of considering issuing an award,” he said.
Outgoing Mulhakho wa Alhomwe chairperson Leston Mulli said it is paramount to recognise individuals that have played outstanding roles in uplifting the Lhomwe culture in different ways such as publishing literary material as Kapyepye has done.
“Lhomwes are very much part of Malawi’s history. The contribution that they have made in different areas such as business and politics cannot be undermined. When you see individuals such as Kapyepye making efforts to further the history of the Lhomwes it brings a good feeling,” he said.
Mulli then announced that he has stepped aside as chairperson for the cultural ethnic grouping having served two consecutive two-year terms.
He said: “It is not a lifetime post. It is important to observe democratic principles in every institution as we serve the people in different capacities. It has been a fulfilling journey for me and I am stepping aside a very proud man.”
Meanwhile, former Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services chief immigration officer Elvis Thodi is the interim chairperson for the group as it awaits an elective general assembly to take place soon, according to Mulli.