Mashi Community Celebrates Tulikonge

Cultural gurus were among the thousands that converged on Choi in Zambezi Region to celebrate the annual Tulikonge cultural festival.

Each year Chief Joseph Tembwe Mayuni of the Mashi Traditional Authority – attired in a headdress fashioned from a leopard skin symbolising his wisdom – leads multitudes of people at Mashi Traditional Authority to mark the cultural festival.

Choi the traditional seat of Chief Mayuni is located 115 kilometres west of Katima Mulilo. The festival, in its 10th year, has become one of the prominent cultural events in the Zambezi Region.

The young and the old descended on Choi to celebrate their cultural heritage and feast on mouth-watering traditional food.

A variety of cultural performances, among them Pela, a popular traditional dance native to the area, were showcased to instil cultural pride among the Mafwe people who gained recognition as an independent tribal authority in 2004 and have come to be known as the Mashi Traditional Authority.

Some delegates came from as far as neighbouring Zambia, accompanied by their Induna to join in the daylong cultural festivities.

Speaking at the event Zambezi Regional Governor Lawrence Sampofu appealed for the restoration of cultural values and the need to care for natural resources. “I thank parents who are teaching their children about our culture because culture instils discipline which is lacking in many of our children. I also call upon our people to take care of the environment and bio-diversity. If we deplete our resources we will have nothing for our future generations. Let’s do away with overfishing and poaching,” appealed Sampofu.

Sampofu further appealed to parents concealing people with disabilities to take them to the relevant authorities for them to register in order to benefit from social grants from government. “Let’s not hide people living with disabilities in our villages. Let’s register them with the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare so that they get grants,” stressed the regional governor.

He is also concerned with the constant problem of tribalism which he noted has haunted the Zambezi Region for a long time. “Let’s do away with tribalism in this region. It has been a disease for a very long time. We call upon those who practise it, to please stop it. Let’s be united as one region and one nation. Where there’s tribalism, there’s no development. We want this region to be clean of tribalism so that we develop like other regions,” said the Zambezi regional governor.

Kongola Constituency Councillor David Muluti highlighted some of the development that has taken place in his constituency that falls under the jurisdiction of Chief Mayuni. “We have the Manyeha crocodile farm under construction, the Kongola market, poultry project, vegetable gardens, electrification of schools and six boreholes. Kongola will also soon be proclaimed as a village council after Bukalo,” he said amidst loud applause and ululation.

Chief Joseph Tembwe Mayuni echoed similar sentiments of gratitude for development in his area. “Let me applaud government for good governance. Rural electrification in villages and schools has been done. The Kongola police station was also officially opened recently. I and my subjects are very happy with government development plans that are being implemented in our area, the region and nationwide,” said the chief.

Chief Mayuni said, “We would want to have a grain storage that can store our harvests. My subjects had a bumper harvest and are unable to sell their produce. We also urge government to upgrade the Sesheke clinic and build more clinics at Masida, Singalamwe and Lizauli. We also want a hostel for Kongola as contained in NDP3 and the rehabilitation of fort Kongola as an accommodation facility,” noted Chief Mayuni.

He urged his subjects to join in the fight against the HIV and AIDS pandemic. “I want to urge my community to get tested in order to know their status. I know government is making an effort to buy ARVs to support communities living with HIV and AIDS. I also want my subjects to stop the stigma related to the virus,” stated the chief.

Source : New Era