GOVERNMENT has called on Zambians not to fall prey to foreign culture and norms but to preserve the country’s traditions.
Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila said it was important for Zambians to embrace cultural heritage such as the Likumbi Lya Mize of the Luvale people in North-Western Province.
“Likumbi Lya Mize is one of the two cultural ceremonies that have received proclamation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for being a masterpiece of cultural heritage for posterity.
This is a rare honour and privilege for our country because there are only a few cultures that have received such proclamation worldwide,” he said.
Mr Mwila was speaking at a Likumbi Lya Mize fundraising dinner at Government Complex on Friday night. The ceremony is scheduled for August 29.
He said Government has ensured that traditional leaders are well taken care of by improving their welfare.
“Government is mainstreaming culture and traditions on its developmental agenda established under the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs,” he said.
Mr Mwila said culture has evolved overtime and in the process greatly contributed to promoting team building among institutional co-workers.
“Culture fundraising nights have become prominent features on our hospitality calendar, thereby promoting tourism. It is a well-known fact that tourism is not only about wildlife and natural wonders but most importantly about people and their culture,” he said.
Mr Mwila said traditional ceremonies bring together people of different cultures clearly showing unity among the Zambian people.
“Events of this nature do not only provide entertainment but also offer unique platforms for sharing and understanding our various diverse cultures.
It is imperative that we give necessary support in preserving our cultures, values and norms for the benefit of our future generations,” he said.
Mr Mwila urged the custodians of Likumbi Lya Mize to always engage government in promoting and safeguarding its important heritage.
And Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Dr Joseph Katema has pledged full support for cultural events to ensure that such interactions among the people of Zambia are not lost.
“My ministry, being responsible for cultural affairs, will ensure to support these events in their completeness and fullness,” he said.
Dr Katema was speaking during the Mutomboko cultural fundraising dinner dance on Friday night in Lusaka.
Proceeds will go towards the hosting of the Mutomboko ceremony, which will take place in the newly-created Mwansabombwe district in Mwata Kazembe’s village in Luapula Province in July.
“The fact that all of you here present come from different sections of society, nationality, and institutions to support this event, signifies how important the event is in our cultural calendar,” he said.
He urged the audience to visit Mwansabombwe, which is one of the biggest villages in Africa with well-structured streets, and to also see for themselves how colourful the event is.