Chicaia: winner of the Manda Wilderness Football league 2010
On a sun-beaten New Years day, the soccer stars of Manda Wilderness competed in the finals of the biggest sporting event of the year - the Manda Wilderness Football League. Chicaia deservingly won a 1-0 victory against the previous 2-times champions, Chigoma village in a thrilling, and sometimes gruelling, match watched by eager, ululating supporters from both sides. This year the competition involved 32 hard-fought games, with teams sometimes walking 2 days to face the challenge of their rivals, in an event that has helped strengthen the identity of the Nyanja communities
For next year the organisers are hoping to go for a 64-match competition, the biggest tournament yet seen in Manda Wilderness and the first proper football league. MWCT regularly supports community events such as the football league, the choir festival and the annual canoe races.
John, Paul, George, Ringo and now….
Haliplus Watsoni! A new species of beetle has been
discovered in the Manda Wilderness area, and has
just been recognized by the scientific community.
During his stay at Nkwichi, while he carried out his
research, Will Watson braved swamps and streams
and trekked through miles of unchartered bush to
make his discovery. The 2.7mm Diving Beetle,
named after its discoverer, is just one of several new
species that have been found in Manda Wilderness
since the project began. Many more are still waiting
to be unearthed…
Umoji: One green footstep closer to realising its potential
After a process of 4 years of negotiation, planning and more bureaucratic wrangling than a small Soviet state, the community association Umoji, comprised of the 16 villages of Manda Wilderness and Nkwichi Lodge, have just had their plan of development for the area approved by the provincial Government. The final stage of the process is to present the plan to the government in Maputo and once ratified, will see the creation of the first community-owned conservation area in Mozambique. The communities will then be able to attract more investment, helping more tourists to experience one of the last great wilderness in Africa. As well as meaning a more sustainable development of the area, this will help preserve some of the lost treasures inside, from the pristine Miombo woodland to the roaming African Wild Dog.
A new team.....
Nkwichi is lucky to have 3 figures of outstanding
character here to look after your stay and make
sure it’s filled with stories and smiles. Andrew
Kaiwala (Staff Manager), Rebecca ‘Big Mama’
Mswachi (Assistant Staff Manager, pictured
here) and Francis Makawila (Guest Manager),
have recently been promoted into the top
management positions. From being at Nkwichi
since the early days, this talented trio have risen
through the ranks with hard work and
determination. They head a team of over 60
lodge staff, all from the local villagesand keen
to show off their heritage with their
Education is just a bunk bed away...
Last year the Manda Wilderness Community Trust
raised enough funds to start the construction of a
girls’ dormitory near the Secondary school in
Cobue. Women remain a disadvantaged group
in this remote corner of the country and often have
less chance to attend secondary education, a point
recognized by the communities when they first
asked the Trust to help. Some of the villages of
Manda Wilderness are up to 3 days walk from
Cobue so the MWCT boarding house will improve
opportunities for girls in the area to realise their
potential. Showing its support for the scheme,
the Government has promised to install solar
power to supply electricity.
Julius Nkambula, known to many Nkwichi visitors from his time at the Lodge, has just been appointed manager for the project, and he's put together a 12-member building squad. Work is moving along at a rapid rate; the foundations are almost finished and the completion of the dormitory is expected for April.
Row, row, row your boat! The much-anticipated Annual Canoe Race, this year at Mataka village, is due to take place on March 19th.
Tirarai Mpofu, Nkwichi’s new resident permaculture expert, is set to introduce a Chicken Tractor to the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project. This poultry-powered device will help fertilise the soil and keep the hungry insects at bay.
The Nkwichi Waterfall is flowing again. Another secluded picnic spot not to be missed!
Finally, a big thank you to all who joined us at Kampfumo restaurant at CFM in Maputo for our evening on the Manda Wilderness Project in January. The night was a roaring success and saw 2 lucky prize winners win a holiday to Nkwichi to experience it for themselves. We hope to see everyone else here some time soon too!