Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre was lively on Wednesday night as artists gave the audience a treat during the farewell event of Friends of Malawi team from Hannover, Germany, led by Silvia Hesse.
Hesse and the team, which included teachers and students from IGS List School, who are partners with Jacaranda School for Orphans in Blantyre, left the country Thursday, having participated in a number of projects including tree planting at Mudi River in partnership with Art Malawi and the 13th edition of Blantyre Arts Festival (Baf).
The event, which attracted the Deputy Mayor of the City of Blantyre Fanny Balaba Kanojerera and other councillors, saw performances from, among others, veteran poet Alfred Msadala, Keturah, Agorosso, Waliko Makhala and Jalawe Band, Jacaranda Cultural Troupe, Chigo Nyasulu, Temp Trio and IGS List School from Hannover.
At the event, JCC Director Luc Deschamps, who is also French Honorary Consul, and his wife Marie Da Silva, who is Jacaranda School for Orphans founder, presented a tree artwork made from recycled metal scraps done by visual artist Samuel Ndalema to Hesse, who has been instrumental in linking Blantyre and Hannover, which are twin cities.
“We are thankful for all you have done in the country, you love Malawi and you have supported it in a number of projects,” Da Silva said.
Deschamps also recited a poem that he dedicated to Hesse and it spoke volumes of her good deeds in Malawi.
Hesse, through Friends of Malawi, has also supported projects at musician Ben Mankhamba’s Chingalire Cultural Centre in Lilongwe.
She has also been instrumental in supporting the establishment of a studio at Jacaranda School for Orphan in Chigumula, with the first session recording musician Skeffa Chimoto and Jacaranda Cultural Troupe.
Hesse has also supported former Ntopwa United coach Karen Chawula with uniforms, having been inspired by her story in football circles.
“Over the years, the relationship between Hannover and Blantyre has not been that vibrant and, so, we want to work together and grow this relationship,” Hesse, who also initiated the first trip for artists Agorosso, Mankhamba and Giddes Chalamanda to Hannover, Germany in 2009, said.
The deputy mayor said he enjoyed the performances on the night and hailed Hesse for initiating projects in the country.
“All the players here, including the artists in their performances, have highlighted the works of Silvia Hesse. We applaud her (Hesse) for this and may this continue,” he said.