Malawi featured prominently at this year’s Kulamba ceremony which was held at the weekend in Katete, Zambia.
The country’s delegation of traditional leaders, dancers and participants was the largest and the nation paraded more than half of the region’s 213 Chewa chiefs during the ceremony.
Malawi’s former vice-president, Dr. Justin Malewezi, was clearly a top aide of King Gawa Undi’s inner circle, as he was seen in the exclusive privilege of often consulting the regional leader directly.
Leading the Malawi delegation was Local Government Minister Tracizio Gowelo, who said the Malawi Government greatly values and supports the Kulamba ceremony “because it is proof that good cultural values can forge good governance, unity and brotherhood among nations”.
“People without culture are like a tree without roots,” Gowelo said.
The country’s delegation included former first lady Callista Mutharika, Malawi’s opposition leader and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera, Chewa Heritage Foundation (Chefo) chairperson Professor George Kanyama Phiri and members of the Chefo executive.
Mulhako wa Alhomwe was specially welcomed as one of the non-Chewa dancing troupes to have continued with the tradition of exchange visits with the Chewas on special occasions.
Kalonga Gawa Undi’s other name, Kapandamalire (literally meaning without borders), was evident when Department of Immigration officers in the three countries waived stringent border protocols by allowing the Kulamba delegations easy passage merely on being official lists authenticated by the ceremony’s organisers in the region.