COVID-19 cancels 2020 Kulamba ceremony

By: Jones Chikazunga

Are you a Chewa from Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, and you are, as usual, getting set for this year’s Kulamba ceremony? Behold: Covid-19 is real. Stay home.

Akometsi can confirm, there is no Kulamba ceremony for this year as organisers feel it is one way of preventing the spread of Corona virus.

The ceremony is held every last Saturday of the month of August, and people converge at a place called Mkaika, Katete in Zambia which also happens to be the headquarters for the Chewa.

Mkaika Traditional Headquarters in Zambia

The Chewas pay homage to their king, Kalonga Gawa Undi, while on the other hand, celebrating their existence.

Confirming the cancellation, Senior Chief Lukwa of Kasungu who represents Kalonga Gawa Undi said this comes as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc in the country and the world as whole.

“This is to confirm that indeed this year’s Kulamba ceremony has been cancelled due to Covid-19. We cannot do otherwise,” explained Lukwa on Times radio yesterday.

The activity attracts Chewas from the three southern Africa countries namely Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique.

Gawa Undi: The Chewa paramount chief

During the ceremony, Chewa Chiefs give honor to their king Kalonga, also known as Kamphambe or Mwini (owner).

The Chiefs brief the King on the situations in their chiefdoms highlighting major issues and developments.

History is that the function is believed to have been started way back in the 15th Century by Kalonga Mazizi who led the Chewa out of Congo to Malawi in search for a more peaceful environment as the tribe is, by their nature, a peace-loving one.

They were fleeing from the brutality of King Mutanyamvi who started grabbing land and animals from his subjects to enrich himself. This scared many of his subjects.

Among others, the ceremony is a major uniting factor among the Chewa of today.

 

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