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Artists off to USA

Reuben Salima and Clement Kammwamba were young when they enrolled at Jacaranda School for Orphans in Blantyre but today they are grown up and have utilised their talent to stand out in the society.

The duo have among others, embraced visual arts, music and dance and have gone on to shine during different outings including during some of the well-known festivals in the country.

Their impressive works in the arts has gone on to attract the interest of schools in China and United States of America where they have managed to go to showcase their works.

But their impressive work has not stopped there as they recently earned themselves a four month scholarship at Watson Institute in United States of America (USA).

The two left the country on Friday through Chileka International Airport in Blantyre and are expected back in May.

Salima said he did not see this coming as such opportunities are rare.

“It is all praise to God for the talent but also we would like to thank Jacaranda for all these opportunities. We will work very hard and we are looking forward to share as well as learn,” Salima said.

On their return from USA, the two are also expected to initiate a youth centre project.

“The idea of the youth centre came after we saw the challenges that are in the community, most youth have finished school but have nothing to do while some have failed to go far with their studies so, we thought of having a youth empowerment centre to encourage each other and also work on different projects,” Salima said.

Kammwamba said art has been the key to opening doors for them.

“All the opportunities we have got are because of art. And through art we know we can make our own money and not depend on employment,” he said.

Salima said the youth empowerment centre will also help push youth to be responsible and utilise their talents.

“I would like to call upon fellow youth to work hard in whatever they do but also make sure they do not sit on their talents. Let them embrace their talents and they should not look down upon themselves. They should believe in themselves that everything is possible,” he said.

This is not the first time for the two to go outside the country for studies.

“This time around, there is more to learn and some of the subjects we are going to learn include fundraising, entrepreneurship and team building to run the centre,” Kammwamba said.

Jacaranda School for Orphans Executive Director, Luch Deschamps, said they were excited for the two artists.

“They started at Jacaranda in standard one and throughout their school time at primary and secondary they have been very active. They are talented in art and have been drawing at a very young age. They are also hip hop dancers and have been part of Jacca Steppers. They have been role models for fellow students,” Deschamps said.

He said the school always wants their students to be active.

Deschamps said Salima and Kammwamba have been to China and USA but for short trips.

“But now they are attending a prestigious semester at Watson Institute, this is a social and entrepreneurship programme where they will learn a lot including fundraising and communication,” he said.

He said the two artists have also been doing a year of service at Jacaranda.

“They will be back in May to work and develop community programmes for the youth in Chigumula in Blantyre and that is the goal of Watson Institute to train young leaders from around the world to develop skills,” Deschamps said.

Meanwhile, Deschamps has also revealed that in September some of their students will also be going for studies in Kenya, Rwanda and Botswana for bachelors degrees in different disciplines.

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