Many non-Muslims in Malawi are brainwashed and taught to believe that Islam is only for the people of a Yao tribe just because most of the Muslims are Yao. Yet, there are other Muslims, plenty of them too, who are from other tribes such as Tumbuka, Lomwe, Sena and other tribes in the country.
In light of this, one of the victims who is also a veteran nasheed artist Kadhaf Ahmad Pilo, has released a new nasheed called Ndine Mjomba Yaye (I am not Mjomba) which is aimed at raising awareness that Islam is a most diverse and multicultural religion in the world.
“It’s been painful to see every time I dress Islamically and move in town to find people calling me mjomba without bothering of asking my tribe. When I walk to the bus depot the minibus conductor and the calling boys use to call me mjomba. So I had to argue with them and explain the difference between Islam and Yao. You will see this scenario in the very first verse of the video,” said Pilo.
Pilo who rose to fame in 2009 after releasing his first album called Shukran (Thank You), said he is a Tumbuka by tribe and just like other Muslims from other tribes being a Muslim doesn’t make him a Yao.
“I am a Tumbuka because my mother was from Northern region (Chatoloma, close to Nkhamenya) and my father was a Shona. So, I decided to come up with this nasheed (Islamic song) to let people know that not everyone who has dressed Islamically is a Yao because this is also what makes other people fail to embrace Islam – thinking Islam is only for the Yao people,” he said.
According to Pilo, the nasheed which also features another upcoming Muslim artist Abdulmajeed Ntenje, has already been shared with different radio and television stations to make sure every Malawian should get the message.
He said: “On top of that, I am also spreading it through social media and when I share it with a person I am advising that person to share with others so that it reaches as many people as it can.”
In Yao language, Mjomba means Uncle and according to Pilo, by being a Tumbuka he should have also been called Sibweni which also means Uncle in Tumbuka language.