Tawanda Marwizi Arts Correspondent
Several Nyau groups unite for their season’s annual shutdown to be held in Mufakose next week. The shutdown festival will be held for three days at different venues. Organiser of the event Notice Mazula said like any other group, Nyau has its own season that begins in January ends in October and they found it fit to have a massive festival celebrating this year’s annual shutdown.“We are making it a three-day event with several groups expected to participate. Usually we would just gather for few hours marking the shutdown,” he said.
He said they were open to work with any group from different parts of the country.
“This is a season shutdown so we have invited groups from different parts of the country and 24 of them have so far confirmed,” he said.
Some of the groups include Malamulo Gule from Mbare and Makholo Achewa.
“We have our season that kicks off in January and ends in October. Several activities take place during this season,” he said.
Explaining the break, said they respect the month of November that has been considered as special.
“We also compliment other cultures and we respect the months of November and December,” he said.
Nyau is a secret society of the Chewa, an ethnic group of the Bantu people from Central and Southern Africa. The Nyau society consists of initiated members of the Chewa and Nyanja people, forming the cosmology or indigenous religion of the people. Their wide network of Nyau cut across central and part of the southern regions of Malawi, eastern Zambia, western Mozambique and Zimbabwe. During performances with the masks women and children often seek refuge in their own homes when a Nyau performer threatens, as the masks are worn by only male members of the society and represent male knowledge.