Original Research

“Inkosi Yetu Ngu Kamuzu Yedwa” (Our Only King Is Kamuzu): The M’mbelwa Ngoni’s relations with Hastings Kamuzu Banda in Malawi from 1964 to 1994

Jamu Nyirenda
New Contree | Vol 87 | a17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.54146/newcontree/2021/87/06 | © 2023 Jamu Nyirenda | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 January 2023 | Published: 30 December 2021

About the author(s)

Jamu Nyirenda, University of Botswana, Botswana

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Abstract

This article examines the cultural experiences of the M’mbelwa Ngoni who occupied the modern Mzimba District in Malawi from 1964 to 1994. Using written (primary and secondary) and oral sources, the article argues that although Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda (the first president of the Republic of Malawi) seemed to favour the Chewa people in his cultural policy, he was also on good terms with the M’mbelwa Ngoni compared to other groups in the country. Besides, the article argues that the M’mbelwa Ngoni took advantage of the seemingly dictatorial cultural policy under Dr Banda to preserve their unique traditions such as Ingoma (traditional Ngoni war dance but now performed during political and public events) among others. The article, thus, demonstrates that Banda’s cultural policy also allowed some cultural groups such as the Ngoni of Mzimba to promote their culture.

Keywords

Malawi; Mzimba District; M’mbelwa Ngoni; Cultural policy; Ingoma dance; Kamuzu Banda

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