Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Minister Michael Usi described his experience at Sapitwa Peak as the best way to understand the importance of Mulanje Mountain as an important ecological feature.
The Minister was speaking on Sunday August 29, 2021 at the end of a Voice-of-Mulanje-Mountain hiking expedition where he joined renowned South Africa-based Malawian musician Lawi and other hikers in Sapitwa Peak atop Mulanje Mountain and became the incumbent premier to do so.
The minister said that Mulanje Mountain is a place of indescribable beauty, still teeming with unknown flora and fauna, and the only way to understand one’s mind is to go there. He told the Nyasa Times in an interview that he was extremely happy to have climbed Sapitwa Peak for the first time and that he would always have a positive story to tell about the highest mountain in Malawi and Central Africa. , for he would do so from a position of depth and knowledge.
“Before I came here, I heard various stories about how physically taxing it is to climb Mulanje Mountain, not to mention reaching Sapitwa Peak and how so many people have fallen by the wayside. trying to make the trip. I am happy to have now entered the books as one of the people who have reached this peak.
“While it is true that the trip can be physically taxing, the serenity and beauty that comes with the experience surpasses everything and melts away the physical challenges,” said the Minister.
He added, however, that it is sad that this exceptional ecological feature has suffered deterioration due to the deliberate actions of people who engage in prohibited behaviors such as burning charcoal; plowing along mountain slopes and indiscriminate felling of trees. He said that it is for this reason that as Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, he decided to be part of this initiative which aimed to make the world aware of the importance of conserving the mountain. .
“I liked being among the people and participating in the activities. I enjoyed Lawi’s music; he is an extraordinary musician. The stories are positive and I learned a lot from all the great people around me on this trip. I wasn’t sure I had the energy to conquer Sapitwa but I’m glad I did. This expedition is not just about hiking, but also about giving Mulanje Mountain a voice and marketing it as a feature to visit, which all Malawians should be proud of and protect, ”the Minister said.
Usi was actively involved in various mountain activities and even started a song, which he hastily composed at the top of the mountain to the delight of hikers. Many hikers were also impressed with how quick and energetic the Minister displayed during the hike.
“A lot of us thought the minister would be one of the slow members, but we were surprised that it was us young people who had to play catch-up most of the time,” said one of the young hikers.
For his part, Lawi, who signed a contract as a Special Mountain Ambassador with the Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT), said he was delighted to have reached the top of Mulanje Mountain while struggling for a cause to save the mountain, adding that it was a dream come true to work alongside Minister Usi on the initiative.
“We have been successful in all of our attempts to reach Sapitwa and we, as a united team, have worked in synchrony to achieve the set goal.
Being in Sapitwa with Dr Usi has been a huge achievement as he is the Prime Minister of Malawi to travel to Sapitwa for a noble cause as great as this, ”Lawi said.
During the trek, Lawi treated the hikers with his music, saying it was a good time to celebrate as going to Sapitwa was a milestone for a good cause and deserved to be celebrated.
Many hikers from across the country participated in the event, including MDF soldiers who made up the expedition’s rescue team. The Tourism Department, Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust, Malawi Gaming Board, Old Mutual, GIZ, Amaryllis Hotel, Malawi Airlines were some of the sponsors of the trek event.
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