2018 Kungoni Cultural Festival


Kungoni_Open_Day_2018By Robert Kalindiza

As Malawi prepares to conduct a tripartite election, Father Claude Boucher Chisale decided to pass the message of elections in this year’s cultural performances.

Before different dances, there was a traditional Mass. The preacher was Bishop Montfort Sitima of Mangochi diocese. Over six priests accompanied Father Boucher including Father Michel Sanou as the official representative of the Missionaries of Africa in Malawi. Many people from different parts of the world were also in attendance.

Over thirty dances were showcased.

Big celebration in Mua, Malawi.


15 BBy Landry Busagara, stagiaire in Mua.

Saturday on the 23rd September, Mua Parish was celebrating its 115 years of existence. Mua mission was established by three Missionaries of Africa in September 1902 and has since grown to have 25 churches and about 25 000 Christians. Moreover, it was the golden jubilee of priesthood of Father Claude Boucher who has been living in Mua for more than 40 years. The parish was also celebrating 25 years of service of one of its catechists: Abambo Simoni Panyani.

Many people came from different places to congratulate and share our joy. We were honoured by the presence of the Vice President of the Republic of Malawi, the Ambassador of Germany in Malawi, the Provincial of Southern Africa, the MPs, Chiefs, Priests, Sisters, brothers and parishioners who came in large numbers for the event.

The Eucharist was presided by the Bishop of Dedza Diocese, Bishop Emmanuele Kanyama. Time was given to present the amazing journey of Father Boucher Chisale, the founder of the Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art. It was a celebration to remember all the missionaries who contributed to the life of the Christian community over so many years. “Following that example of the bounty of God, said the Bishop, we are called to do the same, we need to love one another, to forget our ego and live together as brothers and sisters without conflicts and quarrels, and to be thankful to God and to the missionaries.

21 ABeing in Malawi for so long, Father Boucher, as he said, became a Malawian and happy to be so. His regret is to see how people are becoming careless about the environment and the culture. As a matter of fact, Father Claude, now 75 years old, has been working and doing research in anthropology and the local culture all his life. He wrote many books and received many awards for his tremendous achievement. He asked the Lord to grant him some more days to continue working in his vineyard.

Father Felix Phiri, our Provincial, expressed his joy and congratulated everyone. In his view, it is rare to see Missionaries of Africa celebrating 115 years of presence in the same parish. Usually, they start a parish and, after some time, move elsewhere. Father Claude Boucher should be a good example for all missionaries for his closeness to the people and his care for the nature and preserving the local culture.

The Vice President Saulos Chilima was also very happy to be present and thankful for the invitation. “We should not forget our beautiful culture in exchange with foreign ones. We were not supposed to wait for missionaries to teach us how to preserve our culture and traditions. We need to keep our identity. Nowadays, he continued, people are more aggressive towards the environment. We are more zealous in destroying than in building. The way we cut trees, the way we use water… and we do not realise that what we are doing will cause us problems in the future.” He also talked about demography in Malawi. If we do not pay attention on how we make children, it will be very hard in the years to come. We should give birth to children that we are capable of raising up.

Before the final blessing, the Bishop congratulated Father Claude Boucher who has sacrificed his whole life for others, caring for the nature, the culture, being one of the people. He asked us to take into consideration that good example.

Link: Mua Parish Celebration in Dedza diocese, Malawi.

Mua Parish Celebration in Dedza diocese, Malawi.


Mua 08
Vice-President of the Republic of Malawi Dr Saulos Chilima making a speech.

By Robert Kalindiza

On Saturday the 23rd September 2017, Vice-President of the Republic of Malawi, Right Honourable Saulos Klaus Chilima, attended an important celebration at Mua parish which was celebrating 115 years since its establishment. At the same occasion, Father Claude Boucher Chisale celebrated his golden jubilee of priesthood while the catechist Simon Panyani celebrated his silver jubilee.

Highly attended, the Kungoni troupe dance formed some twenty years ago by Father Boucher, gave a great performance. Mgr Emmanuele Kanyama, Bishop of Dedza diocese, enhanced the occasion with over twenty diocesan and missionary priests in attendance. Even Juliana Lunguzi, Member of Parliament for Dedza East who happens to be a Christian of Mua parish, was present.

During his speech, Father Felix Phiri, Provincial of the Missionaries of Afrika commended Father Claude Boucher for planting good seeds in the hearts of Mua people and elsewhere through the preservation of African culture. Nowadays, few missionaries can expect to remain for very long at the same place. Father Boucher is one of the few. But, as he says; “an old tree cannot be replanted, otherwise it will die.”

The Vice-President also commended the work of Father Boucher Chisale thereby urging other people to do the same. He also advised the gathering to take care of the environment in order to avoid contributing to faster climate change. The celebration ended with a great feast at the Fathers’ house.

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Honorary Doctorate Degree in Culture and Social Anthropology awarded to Father Claude Boucher, M.Afr


Philip MerabaGreat Works Attract Great Admiration and Recognition.

By Philip Meraba, M.Afr.

Our Confrere, Fr. Claude Boucher, founder of the popular Kungoni Centre for Culture and Arts under Mua Mission in Malawi, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Culture and Social Anthropology by the Malawi Campus of the United Kingdom based Share-World University in 2014 during a colourful graduation ceremony.

Mzuzu a dHistory repeated itself this year when on the 24th of March 2017, Fr. Claude Boucher, M.Afr, received his 2nd Honorary Doctorate Degree in the same discipline by the University of Mzuzu at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe, Malawi. The 18th Congregation (graduation ceremony) of the Mzuzu University that lasted for four hours drew thousands of people from various part of the country. 851 graduated with Diplomas, first Degrees, Masters and P. HD in different fields.

Fr. Claude Boucher was honoured alongside two other hardworking and exemplary Malawians; Mr. Napoleon Dzombe with Doctorate in Entrepreneurship (Honoris Causa) and Mr. Felix Mlusu with Doctorate in Business Leadership (Honoris Causa).

Mzuzu 3b

The enriching heroic profile of our confrere about 40 years of intensive research in the Malawian Culture and languages attracted a lot of applause from the crowds and feeling of amazement and curiosity at the same time as the whole hall stood up to catch the glimpse of this unique cultural Priest not confined   in the sacristy. Mrs. Mercy Kaunda Chinula who read out the biography and presented him afterwards to the Vice-Chancellor of the Mzuzu University, Dr. Robert G. Ridley to confer on our confrere the award stressed that Fr. Claude Boucher well deserved the merit because of his love and respect for Malawi, her citizens, culture and languages, combined with the tireless research on blending culture with religion. This was an encouragement and a challenge to the newly graduates not to excel only in academics but to prove efficient in the field, putting into best the knowledge acquired during long years of intellectual formation and contribute their quota for the growth of the Nation. ‘‘Hard work pays, therefore, graduates of today, work hard and the society shall admire, recognize and honour you like Fr. Dr. Claude Boucher’’, said one of the organizers.

The ceremony was climaxed by interviews on different topics patterning to culture with the new Doctor of Culture and Anthropology. Fr. Claude recurred and narrated to his confrere who represented the White Fathers at the function when many years back he was requested by his Superiors to pursue further a Doctorate Degree in Culture and Social Anthropology after obtaining his M.A. and his reply was, he shall do the Doctorate in the field. This is a dream come true, with two Doctorates in the field. Big congrats Dr. Dr. or Dr² Claude!

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Share WORLD Open University – Honorary Doctorate Award given to Fr. Claude Boucher Chisale, M.Afr


IMG_6418 Receiving Honorary degree-m - Copie_modifié-1MISSIO Conference on Inculturation on 23/11/2014, Lilongwe, Malawi. Sharing by Fr Claude Boucher Chisale, M.Afr

“This talk is going to be more of a sharing of experiences of 48 years of practical inculturation within the Malawi context both on catechetical, liturgical and artistic inculturation.”

Those are introduction words of Father Boucher giving his talk to a group of experts convened by Missio who met recently in Lilongwe and Mua. On the eve of the meeting Claude received an honorary doctorate from Ivan Reed, the Chancellor of the Share World Open University, at the Bingu International Conference Centre, Lilongwe. 

Find the content of the life story of Father Boucher in the following PDF file given at Missio Conference on Inculturation on 23rd November 2014.

IMG_6430 Receiving Honorary degree-m - Copie_modifié-1Our sincere congratulation to our confrere Claude Boucher for this remarkable achievement. The following are his conclusive words: “The unfolding of the Kungoni activities as a Centre for Culture and Art followed very much my own personal growth. Though inculturation was the ultimate target right from the time of my arrival, the years 1967 to 1970 had to be spent in learning to speak. The period of 1970 to 1976 taught me to think in the culture. The period of 1977 to 2000 brought about the possibility of acting in the culture by establishing the Kungoni Centre and its various activities. The period of 2001 to 2014 was blessed with several publications and the need to reflect on the past and on the history of the Centre. Together with a team, I look forward to publishing online the summary of its activities and its major achievements. This is the database mentioned above. As an appendix to this work, the urgent need to show greater concern for Malawi’s environment that is presently at risk. I would very much like to spend my remaining years and energy on browsing over my voluminous notes and do more publishing for further generation. I am presently working on a pre-Christian spirituality of the Chewa. I would also like to spend more time at painting my inner experience of my real home, my only home, Malawi.”

IMG_6432 Honorary Degree-m - Copie_modifié-1Share WORLD Open University – Honorary Doctorate Award

Upon the authority of the Senatus Academicius through the University Council of Share WORLD Open University, and the nomination and recommendation thereof Fr. Claude Boucher Chisale is awarded the Degree of Doctor in Philosophy in Cultural Anthropology and Heritage Management, Honoris Causa will all honours, rights and priviledges belonging to that Degree. In witness thereof we have signed and sealed this instrument on the 22nd day of November 2014.

Chancellor Yvan Reid