Malawi Government has hailed Tumaini Festival which is held annually at Dzaleka Refugees Camp in Dowa saying the festival is promoting peaceful co-existence of refugees and Malawians across the country.
The remarks were made by Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development Grace Chiumia during the well known annual festival called Tumaini at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa district.
Speaking to the media on sidelines of the festival, Chiumia said the annual festival gives a best platform to the refugees to interact with the world since the festival brings together people from across the country and some countries in Europe, Asia and America.
“The festival is really great since it is bringing the world together. I have seen that there are a lot of activities here some from United Kingdom. This is fueling exchange of cultural practices and in so doing all people including the refugees are benefiting since them too are showcasing their talents,” Chiumia said.
“Refugees won’t stay here for good and when they will go back to their respective countries they will still have a picture of Malawian culture through Tumaini festival and indeed this festival is of great importance to the nation,” she added.
Chiumia further assured refugees and all asylum seekers in the country of full support through the leadership of Democratic Progressive Party led government.
“His Excellency President Peter Mutharika is committed to see all refugees and asylum seekers to be living freely in the country and government is ready to support them (refugees) in any means,” she said.
In her remarks, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Country Representative Monica Ekoko also hailed the festival saying that it has become one of the well-known festivals in Malawi.
“The festival is really awesome since it promotes mutual existence of refugees and other people from Malawi and it reaches over 40 thousand people worldwide,” Ekoko said.
Tumaini festival is the brilliant idea of one of the Congolese nationals Manes La Plume and it this was the four years since the first festival was held.
In his remarks, La Plume said the idea of coming up with the annual festival was to unite the refugees at Dzaleka and the world through artistic expressions.
According to La Plume, the festival also contributes to the country’s development since people do sell their commodities such as foods, beverages and arts and crafts to the people who come to witness the annual festival.
This year’s annual festival which was celebrated under the theme “Let’s stand together with Refugees” brought together over 10 thousand people from Malawi and the world.
Among other performers during 2017 Tumaini included Annemarie Quin from United Kingdom, Iyco and Kaka Furaha from Japan, Hazel Mak and Malawi’s well known musician Tay Grin.