Written by Pephero Kawale
The State President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, as well as the two former State Presidents Dr. Bakili Muluzi and Dr. Joyce Banda, will join Paramount Chief Sultan Kawinga, all his fellow Yao Chiefs and their subjects from all walks of life to the official launch of Chiwanja Cha aYao, the Yao Tribe Cultural Heritage Group.
The function will take place this weekend at Mmanga Primary School grounds in Liwonde on Sunday, January 6th from 11am when APM is expected to arrive as guest of honour.
Following in the footsteps of other tribal groups, Yao people want their group to be holding annual cultural festivals aimed at uniting the Yao people and promoting cohesion.
According to Rhodrick Kalumpha, one of the founding members, confirmed President Mutharika will grace the launch and that former President Muluzi, a Yao, will be in attendance. Immediate past President Joyce Banda, also a Yao, has been invited to attend.
Kalumpha said the group will also strive to enhance visibility of Yaos and their contribution to national development.
“Yao people are hard-working and have been contributing to national development. We will be celebrating and encouraging more of that,” said Kalumpha.
He said they have made sure the involvement of all Yao traditional chiefs led by Paramount Chief Kawanga of Machinga, saying Chiwanja Cha a Yao is purely a cultural heritage and they are avoiding politics, “bearing in mind that Yaos are people with different political affiliations.”
He said that a special cloth for the ceremony has been designed and no party colours will be entertained during the ceremony.
But since Bakili Muluzi was the president at that time, and being a Yao himself, the idea was shelved because they did not want to be seen using his position to prop up one tribe.
He said after Muluzi’s term, around 2009, efforts were made by a group of individuals to revive it but it hit a snag again and for a while the idea was just being fine tuned throughout the years until recently when they went full throttle.
The ceremony will be fully packed with a variety of activities which will symbolise the Yao way of life culture and tradition. These will include traditional Yao dances and performances like poetry recitations, drama songs, good displays of art and artifacts which displays the yao culture.
Other tribes such as the Llomwes, Chewas and Ngoni’s also have their own cultural heritage groups such as the State President’s Mulhakho wa aLlomwe.
Written by Pephero Kawale