Tea enthusiasts and industry stakeholders in Mulanje recently came together to celebrate International Tea Day, a vibrant event that highlighted the importance of this beloved beverage and its impact on the local economy. The day commenced with a spirited solidarity walk, where participants gathered at Chitakhale in Mulanje and made their way to Mulanje Park. The Minister of Trade and Industry, Honourable Simplex Chithyola Banda, graced the occasion as the esteemed guest of honour.
Minister of Trade and Industry Hon. Simplex Chithyola during the tea day commemorations.
The event kicked off with a series of engaging speeches by distinguished personalities, including the Guest of Honor, the Board Chairperson of the Tea Association of Malawi, Mr. Sangwani Hara, TAML Chief Executive Officer Mr. Tonda Chinangwa, National Small Holder Tea Grower Association Chairperson, Mr. Jones Muhilima and Mrs. Beatrice Mkwenda from Trust Africa.
The speeches emphasized the significant role tea plays in Malawi, not only as an economic powerhouse but also as a cultural symbol deeply rooted in the community. Tea in Malawi employs over 60,000 people during its peak season and is the second largest forex earner after tobacco.
A moment of silence was held, to honour the over 20 small holder farmers who lost their lives earlier in the year due to Cyclone Freddy.
The successful execution of the Tea Day celebrations was made possible through the invaluable contributions of event partners Trust Africa, Water Witness and The International Labour Organisation (ILO). Their support and collaboration were instrumental in creating an unforgettable experience for all attendees.
In addition to the speeches, the Minister of Trade and Industry also took a tour of the pavilions, which showcased the products and innovations of various companies and institutions associated with the tea industry. The Research Foundation of Central Africa(TRFCA) also had a stand where they presented some of the latest scientific advances in tea cultivation.
Honourable Chithyola Banda, looks on as an exhibitor showcases their products.
A comedy presentation by chi’ngani’ngani brought in some entertainment and laughter during the festivities. Attendees of the event were treated to tea and snacks, as we celebrated our much loved beverage.
As the festivities drew to a close, it became evident that International Tea Day was not just a celebration of a beverage, but a testament to the collective efforts and passion of all those involved. It highlighted the unity and collaboration among stakeholders, fostering a sense of pride and appreciation for the region's rich tea heritage. The event not only promoted the local tea industry but also offered a platform for networking, learning, and discovering new possibilities.
Participants dancing in celebration, at the 2023 International Tea Day commemorations.
The International Tea Day celebrations in Mulanje, served as a joyous occasion that united tea lovers, industry experts and stakeholders alike. With the Minister of Trade and Industry as the guest of honor, inspiring speeches from notable individuals, the event highlighted the immense value of tea in the community. It was an opportunity to recognize and honor the contributions made by the tea industry to the local economy, while also nurturing a sense of shared identity and purpose. The successful collaboration between event partners and the presence of various companies and institutions further enriched the celebrations.
Tea Day in Mulanje was truly a remarkable gathering that celebrated the flavors, culture, and unity that tea represents.