By George Bulombola
Mzimba, Mana: Traditional leaderships of Ngoni people from different countries have agreed on the need for regular interactions amongst their subjects to foster unity and cultural preservation regardless of their nationalities.
The leaders sealed the agreement over the weekend at Zongendaba Primary School in Mzimba District where representatives of the Ngoni people from Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia commemorated 200 years of the Ngoni migration from South Africa dubbed Mfecane following the war which was led by Shaka in 1822.
Speaking at the ceremony, Paramount Chief Gama Zulu from Songea in Tanzania who was the guest of honor, said unity is of paramount importance amongst different tribes of people for enhanced peace, values and cultural preservation.
Gama said following their migration from South Africa, the Ngoni people settled in various countries such as Botswana, Mozambique, Uganda and Zimbabwe among others across Africa and that their nationalities should not cause divisions amongst them.
“There is unity in diversity, there is power in unity so let us continue to be united as we preserve our identity,” said Gama.
Senior Chief Kampingo Sibande who represented Paramount Chief M’mbelwa V said it was a blessing for Malawi particularly for Mzimba to host the international ceremony.
He said the Ngoni people have a very wide history which needs to be well consolidated and jealously preserved for future generations.
Leader of the South African delegation, Professor Emeritus Jabulani Maphalala advised the Ngoni people against cerebrating their stories which are told by others other than themselves.
“We know better our history, others write or say what they were told. Let us be proud of ourselves and coexist with other tribes wherever we are.
We are very excited to be here. We interacted with people whenever we went out and we have noted that Malawians are peaceful people,” said Maphalala.
According to Regional Tourism Officer for the north, Japhet Kuweluza, the commemoration spiced up the closure of Tourism Month and commended the delegates saying they had in one way of the other promoted the country’s tourism sector.
“I hope, you will sell out our tourism initiatives to your people whom you have left in your respective countries,” said Japhet.
The ceremony was organized by Khaya Cultural Heritage Foundation.