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The Dying Nyau Masquerades of Malawi

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Nyau is a secret society of the Chewa, an ethnic tribe of the Bantu.

The Nyau consist of initiates that are regarded as mature members of the society. The Nyau society is made up of people from the Chewa and Nyanja people.

Whenever the Nyau performs with the mask, women and children run away into their houses because they are considered fierce representing male knowledge.

There are men that wear the masks and are considered as the spirits of the dead. And understandably as spirits, the masquerades may act with impunity and allegedly there have been attacks and deaths during performances in the past. But due to westernization, the activities of the Nyau has reduced.

This Nyau tradition is very old and dates as far back as the 17th century and their belief includes communication with the dead. And they also believe that God is present in every life form. They believe that God is both male and female. The male god is in the sky and the female is on earth.

Read also: Ancient village that predates pharaohs discovered in Egypt

The initiation of men into the secret society starts with the men living in a wooded grove where dead people have been buried in the past. They scare people who try to interview them by saying in their native tongue ‘you are now playing with fire you will get burnt’.

Typically, the Nyau perform their masked dances during burial ceremonies, memorials or during their initiations.

Girls are also initiated into this society, for them, it is called Chinamwali.

During the dance, each person represents the mask of the animals which they wear. There is a hierarchy in the different forms of structures worn and the wilder the animal the fiercer their performance.

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Veteran Nigerian entertainer Charly Boy vows to divorce wife if Kamala Harris doesn’t win US presidential election

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Veteran Nigerian entertainer, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, has vowed to divorce his wife of 47 years if US Vice President, Kamala Harris, does not emerge victorious in the US presidential race in November.

Charly Boy, who is called Area Fada, made the vow in the wake of President Joe Biden’s recent decision to step down as the Democratic Party’s candidate and endorsement of Harris as the party’s flagbearer.

Charly Boy who posted the vow on his Instagram page, said he strongly believes that after Barack Obama became the first Black male President, the time is ripe for America to elect its first female President.

The activist described Harris as his “crush” and emphasized the significance of her potential presidency for both the U.S. and global politics.

Writing in Pidgin English, Charly Boy said:

“If dis my crush, Kamala Harris no win the USA presidential election, I swear, I go divorce my wife of 47yrs.

“After the first Black Male President, America deserves the first Black Female President. Sorry rednecks. Dats how we Roll,” he added.

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Culture

19th edition of Egyptian Book Fair attracts summer visitors to Alexandria

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The 19th edition of the Egyptian Book Fair currently holding in the coastal city of Alexandria has seen thousands of summer visitors flocking into the country for the two-week event which will run until July 28.

The event is held at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the modern Library of Alexandria, an elaborate piece of architecture which opened in 2002.

Media reports say “stacks upon stacks of books are lined up on the shelves, tables and walls as over 77 publishers are participating at this year’s fair while an entire section is dedicated to children’s literature.

Mohamed Soliman who leads cultural outreach at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, told journalists that some visitors are bringing their children to the book fair for the first time.

“The two-week exhibition will feature 160 cultural events involving around 600 artists and intellectuals,” Soliman said in a statement posted on the library’s website said.

Ahmed Diouf, director of Koutoubia publishing house, also said there are increasingly more events in the book fair every year.

“The exhibition is growing. You see new events every year, along with new publishing houses.”

“The timing of the book fair is convenient for visitors from out of town who are already streaming into Alexandria,” said Yousef Shammah, who is touring the exhibition.

Shammah said he was impressed with the variety of books on display.

“As for the prices, I think that they are neither expensive nor cheap given that prices have generally gone up,” he added.

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