Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tribalism is slowly creeping in Malawi

Am proud to be a Malawian and i love everything good that has to do with my beautiful country. Despite the fact that my parents come from the northern part of Malawi, i don't like to be described as a northerner because i consider myself a Malawian first.

Am very worried at things that are being said in our beautiful country regarding certain tribes. It is very unfortunate that people have chosen to ignore the unity and closeness we have had as Malawians for a long period.

What is giving me sleepless nights is the fact that the very same leaders we trusted with guiding us, are dividing us. Church leaders, politicians and even traditional leaders are making divisive speeches, forming regional parties, and encouraging tribalism.

As someone who has travelled to many districts in Malawi, knows what it is like to live together as different tribes. I was born and raised in Blantyre, has worked with the Sena in Chikwawa and Nsanje, worked with the Chewa in Salima, Yao in Balaka, Zomba and Mangochi. I have also shared jokes with northerners in Mzimba, Rumphi and Nkhatabay. In all these cases i was treated well as a fellow Malawian. In fact there are lots of Malawians from different tribes staying together.

If people take heed of what these leaders are telling them, we are surely on our way of making a new Rwanda. They are sowing seeds of hatred that will still live on after they are gone. Just look at the comments you get on Nyasa Times. Almost every story published reader's comments end up in one tribe or region up against another. This is not good for the warm heart of Africa. The sooner we realise how deep these comments go, the sooner we will save our country and maintain the peace we enjoy.