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Birth of vintage squads

Youths’ love for unfashionable

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NEW ENTRANTS—Mizu

In today’s world, everything works with modernity and this includes dressing when one has to avoid being labelled old-fashioned.

With technology moving at a fast pace, the current generation wants to attach itself to new and fresh things.

In music, for instance, young people have nothing to do with traditional instruments that were on song in the past years and, for them, these instruments have past their prime and it is time for modern instruments to occupy the galaxy.

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But while the current generation is obsessed with modern things and not wanting to be attached to the old, there are young people who are enjoying vintage materials.

To them, the past is there to learn from and build the future and that one cannot progress by forgetting the old.

This brings us to vintage forces that have been on the market exciting people with, among others, dressing in vintage clothing.

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The crews have been offering their services to various clients including musicians by spicing up their music videos with vintage attires.

To these squads, vintage is good and it this love for old-fashioned that compelled them to venture into vintage showcase through dressing in old attires as well as collecting some of the old materials such as radio cassettes and suitcases among others.

Today, the country has a number of vintage crews and they include Blantyre-based Power Mwee which through its concepts has over the years won the hearts of many people.

Power Mwee Director Temwa Mhone said recently they have expanded as a group and they are no longer where they were in 2019.

“The market was a little bit mean when we were starting but we have grown and we have received tremendous support. Today, our brand is visible and we even have printed T-shirts of Power Mwee just to keep the fire burning and this is all because of the support that people have given us over the years,” Mhone said.

He said they will continue to utilise their vintage concept in offering various artistic services in outlets such as weddings and engagements and that this is part of promotion and preservation of culture.

“We have inspired people to wear vintage clothes. We have even inspired fashion designers to revisit some of the fashion trends that were on song in the past years,” Mhone said.

He said Power Mwee is now becoming a philosophy that keeps people in a beautiful state of being.

“It is a happy reminder. We represent the Malawian touch in our works that locals easily associate with. We are humbled by the love of Malawians on our concepts and work,” he said.

Mhone recalled that by public demand and goodwill, Malawians helped them win Sobo Moments in Pictures competition.

“Now we have seen more vintage groups being born and, for us, this is good development. This is good for the growth of the creative industry. As a brand, we are having a great environment to do our work,” he said.

Power Mwee based in Bangwe Township is made up of young people who, among others, engage in different performances by dressing in vintage clothes.

But while Bangwe, Blantyre has Power Mwee, Lilongwe also has its own known as Soweto Vintage.

The Lilongwe-based group also showcases the best of vintage through different art disciplines.

And now there is also another vintage crew in the commercial city going by the name Mizu (roots) which is slowly gaining ground.

Based in Ndirande Township, Mizu is a 14-member troop which started its craft last year and, to them, they would want to show the best of the old which they described as deep-rooted.

Some of the members that form Mizu include Lucas Mwaungulu, Misheck Paul, James Kazembe and Flora, who is also known as Miss Mizu.

“We are new on the market, we know we have some of the already established groups ploughing in vintage but we are here not for competition but to use our talent to show what young people have,” Miss Mizu said.

She said they struggled in their early days but now people are utilising them.

“We are a crew that has members with many talents and so it is not only about showcasing vintage clothing but also talents. We dress in these vintage attires and then show drama, poetry, dance and music skills,” Miss Mizu said.

She said they are not selective in their routines.

“We are open and always willing to offer our services as young people. We perform in weddings and engagements and other shows. The only setback that we normally encounter always is that sometimes some players who hire us pay us peanuts,” Miss Mizu said.

Mwaungulu said they are a disciplined group built on principles and they follow the rules and regulations.

“A lot of young people are being involved in unnecessary behaviours and, through Mizu, we want to show fellow young people that we have potential to grow our talents as long as we stay focused,” he said.

Paul also said, through the group, they to tackle issues affecting young people in the country.

“We have companies and organisations that target young people or their services target young people, they can use us in reaching out to the masses. At times, we have failed to go as far as the Northern Region because of lack of funds and resources,” he said.

Paul said they are calling for support from well-wishers to help them in their studies.

“Education is the key to success but many of us are failing to attain proper education because we come from poor families and our parents struggle to pay school fees.

“We have members in the group who failed to sit for their examinations last year and for others, we have to depend on the little we make through our performances to pay fees but it is not enough,” he said.

Paul said for them to get the vintage clothes, they use the little money they get from performances and also the money given to them by their parents.

“We would love to have sponsors help us so as to get more in terms of resources. For us to get these vintage attires, we need money and 2022 we are hoping to make more connections, otherwise as young people, we are not idle and we have shown we are creative,” he said.

In different artistic disciplines, young people have soared to show what they are made of and they have used this to tackle important issues affecting society and for those who love vintage, then watch the space for more performances from vintage crews.

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