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2 German artists to perform at BAF

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Two artists from Hannover, Germany will perform at the 2017 Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) to be held at Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) formerly French Cultural Centre.

The two artists—Arne and Masha—will be performing at the festival courtesy of the Cultural Office of the City of Hannover and Friends Circle Malawi.

BAF returns to the fold having missed out last year due to shortage of funds.

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BAF has also partnered with Jacaranda Cultural Centre which will also see some of the performances being held at this venue.

The festival has this year received funding from Hivos through the Cultural Fund Malawi.

Masha and Arne confirmed of their performance at the festival.

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“Yes it’s true I will be performing at Blantyre Arts Festival with Arne. This will be my first time and I am excited. Again after the festival I will also be on attachment at HBI in Blantyre,” she said.

Masha said the internship at HBI which is situated at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre is part of building cooperation between Malawi and Germany and that her main focus was on development.

“Through this internship I will do more because I will stay for three months and hope to learn more but also share my skills,” said the artist.

While it will be the first time for Masha to perform at BAF, it will not be the first time for Arne.

“I am happy to perform again at BAF and this time around with new things and I am also looking forward to interacting with fellow artists,” he said.

Greeting me in Chichewa “Muli bwanji achimwene” just to show he was not new to Malawi, Arne, who will stay for three and half weeks said he was prepared and that people should expect new things.

He said he befriended several artists during his first outing citing among others, ethno-musician Waliko Makhala and Ben Mankhamba, who is now Village Headman Chingalire in Lilongwe.

The two artists performing at BAF is also part of the partnership of two cities, Hannover in Germany and Blantyre in Malawi.

The partnership between Hannover and Blantyre was founded in 1968 and next year there will be celebrations of the 50th anniversary.

BAF Executive Director Thom Chibambo said they were happy to welcome Arne back to the festival as well as Masha for the first time.

“We would like to thank the Cultural Office of the City of Hannover and Friends Circle Malawi for their support making it possible for the two artists to perform at the festival and their performance will add depth to the menu,” he said.

Chibambo said this year the festival will have a more local representation and that the idea is to give more local acts a platform.

The festival has in the past years brought several well-known international acts such as Mali’s Salif Keita, Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi and South Africa’s Rebecca Malope and Jamaica’s Mutabaruka through Poetry Africa.

The festival which started in 2009 has been on the up especially when it had Poetry Africa.

However since Poetry Africa moved out, the festival has failed to impress.

But Chibambo said all was good and that people will see a lot this year.

Some of the local acts on the menu which is still in its infancy include Snowden Ibbu, Blaze, Princess Chitsulo, Ethel Kamwendo Banda and Khuza Rampi.

Meanwhile Friends Circle Malawi chairperson Silvia Hesse has revealed that they have secured equipment for the Jacaranda Cultural Centre whose container has already been shipped.

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