New cultural initiative ‘Tidziwane’ launched


For those looking for fun and at the same time learn different aspects of Malawian cultural practices, should try one of the newly launched Tidziwane cultural event.

Launched over the weekend in Lilongwe at Black Pepper, in Area 3, Tidziwane brought some memorable moments to the audience who besides having fun, appreciated the richness of Chewa culture and the meanings of their cultural practices.

The audience learnt a lot from the Chewa people of Group Village Headman Miyowe, Senior Chief Chauma in Dedza district who mainly shared their traditions around chieftaincy through narration and performance.

Among others, the performance included, Njedza, a dance by chiefs, Chinana, Gule Wamkulu and enactments of protocols around the selection of a chief.

Sharifa Abdulla Bunn, one of the founders of the Mudziwathu Initiative said Tidziwane is a cultural acknowledgement and appreciation platform where different cultures and ethnic groups share their values, beliefs and practices in order to promote unity and understanding through diversity.

Bunn said it uses the very cultural differences that “separate us” to “unite us.”

Abdulla Bunn (L)

She elucidated that Mudziwathu (Our Village) is a participatory model that works with cultural knowledge systems and structures in collaboration with cultural authorities and communities to identify and respond to issues related to national unity.

“We are working towards building partnerships that will support full implementation of the model, however, taking proactive step to start with what we can is a necessary move.” Bunn said in her speech during the event.

Traditional dances during the launch

One of the Chewa members of the audience hailed the initiative saying: “It was an eye opener, I even learnt some new things about my culture that I was not aware of.”

The Tidziwane coordinator, Rhoda Malowa assured the audience that Tidziwane project shall continue to host similar events where different Malawian ethnic cultures shall be sharing different aspects of their traditions.

“We are not focusing on any particular tribe, but we shall be bringing in various cultures such as Lhomwe, Ngoni, Tumbuka, Yao, Sena, and many others. Also, having explored chieftaincy issues among Chewa, that’s not the end of it as there are many other traditions practiced in various stages of life for instance, initiations, marriage, and other ceremonies that are important to the people,” She explained.

She added: “We also understand that there are some variations within ethnic groups living in different locations and Tidziwane platform has the potential of exploring those variations.”