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MINISTER ‘MANGANYA’ TO HIKE WITH LAWI TO SAPITWA

 South Africa-based musician and producer Lawi is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to protect the environment.

Lawi’s songs are masterclass and he has proved over the years that he is one of the best composers the country has ever produced.

The singer and guitarist, with albums such as Lawi in his cabinet, has recently won hearts of many with his songs ‘Zitsulo’ and ‘Phukira’.

His songs are a symbol of a mature musician, who strives for quality.


The artist, has built a massive following over the years and it is this trend and richness of his music that compelled Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT) to reach out to him to be the Ambassador for Mulanje Mountain.

MMCT has been busy speaking about Mulanje Mountain and calling upon people to protect it because it is a treasure for the nation.

There have been changes through awareness made by MMCT but there is still more to be done to protect the mountain which is the largest in the country and is vital in tourism growth in the country.

Lawi attributes his quality music to a lot of things and this includes the environment hence pulling all his resources together to fight for the protection of Mulanje Mountain.

Mulanje Mountain faces many challenges including rapid deforestation which has seen Mulanje Cedar for instance facing extinction.

“This is a special tree; we need to protect it. We want to bring awareness to people about Mulanje Mountain because this is a treasure for the nation. Nature needs us right now not because nature needs people but because as humans we are responsible for the destruction of a lot of nature and this has led to global warming. This is why we thought of hiking to Sapitwa. The hike will run for three days up to Sapitwa Peak, the highest point,” Lawi said.

While on the mountain, there will be bonfires, storytelling, poetry and music.

The hike runs from August 27 to 29. The hike has since received a boost with Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi announcing that he will be part of the hike.

Usi, who recently called on artists to be on their toes and use their talents to market Malawi as it hosts Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) meet this month, said he is ready to go on this expedition and that he has already started his preparations.

“This is for a good cause and it augurs well with my ministry’s commitment of selling Malawi to the world and uplifting domestic tourism among others which is key in the country’s development,” the minister said.

He hailed Lawi for the move and called on other artists to rise up and be part of change by initiating different programmes.

“I know for sure there are a lot of artists doing various projects aimed at bringing change but we need not stop but continue. We are there to offer entertainment but we are also a voice in tackling various issues. Lawi has done well, this is for a good cause and I thought I should join,” Usi said.

He said he was not afraid of the challenge to Sapitwa and that as an artist, he was also calling upon various stakeholders to be part of the hike.

Lawi said he was excited and honoured to be joined by the minister.

“The support we are getting from government shows its commitment to improve the conservation of our nature and protect our environment,” the ‘Amaona Kuchedwa’ star, said.

He added: “We would like to encourage the private sector to participate in nature, climate and environmental protection efforts. This is not just government responsibility but it is citizen responsibility. If government is on board it shows how important this issue is.”

Lawi said the hike will also be exciting in that there will be music coming from both local and international acts.

“So far, we are concluding discussions with fellow musicians from South Africa. We will announce the names of all performers soon ahead of the hike but we are set and good to go,” he said.

Recently MMCT, a team of hikers including Paulendo and Mervis Maigwa and Lawi group held a press conference at Mulanje Gold Club where it assured people that all was set for the hike and called on stakeholders to be part of the expedition.

“We want Chief Executive Officers, top managers and all other players to be part of this hike. We realise that we have Covid and so we are targeting a good number and this is why the fee is on the higher side. We would have loved to have everyone be on this hike but with Covid, we also have to play it safe,” Emmanuel Maliro of the Lawi Group, said.

He said that through the hike, they also want to raise awareness that Mulanje Mountain is a treasure for Malawi and that Unesco has to list it as a heritage site.

Director of Museums and Monuments in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Lovemore Mazibuko said recently that the government once made submissions to Unesco twice for the listing of Mulanje Mountain as a heritage site but it did not succeed.

He said having failed twice, they were looking at engaging various stakeholders to beef up the submission.

Mazibuko said, for a site to be inscribed as a heritage site, they look at outstanding universal values.

~Reporting by Sam Banda Junior, Times Group

 

 

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