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Blantyre Cultural Centre wall falling

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Part of the Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) formerly French Cultural Centre wall facing the Chichiri Shopping Mall is falling down.
Part of the Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) formerly French Cultural Centre wall facing the Chichiri Shopping Mall is falling down.

Part of the wall has already fallen off while the other part has taken a bend and is facing an imminent collapse.

This is happening as the government, which bought the once entertainment Mecca from the French government at K300 million, is yet to rehabilitate the place having been ransacked by thieves.

The government has delayed to put the place in shape since it was ransacked and this forced them to close the venue forcing some artists to complain.

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Last month Kwathu Drama Group premiered their fourth production Kulira kwa ana and the group’s director Eric Mabedi called on the government to keep the venue open saying this was one of the convenient centres to host different artistic events.

Some artists said yesterday that the falling of the wall is another huge blow to them as once it falls down it means the government has to plan for its renovation, which they fear would take ages.

“We hope the government will work on this otherwise this is another challenge for them as they are also yet to rehabilitate the amphitheatre and other buildings inside. If they kept the place active and not closed it, all these things could have been maintained in time,” said an actor, who declined to be named The Daily Times noticed the BCC’s wall falling last week but part of the wall which is off was still intact.

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A visit to the entertainment centre, which was opened by the then Minister Gwanda Chakuamba during the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) regime in 1973, saw workers maintaining the grass thatched roof of the amphitheatre particularly where the audience seats.

The government already maintained the roof of the amphitheatre where performances are held but several other things like wiring is supposed to be done.

Last week when contacted on whether the venue will be opened for activities having hosted a Kwathu performance, Director of Culture Elizabeth Gomani Chindebvu could not shed light saying with the festive season holidays they were yet to meet.

Apart from Robin’s Park, Comesa Hall and College of Medicine Complex among others, Blantyre Cultural Centre has been the most convenient venue for performances for many artists. The venue has hosted acts by artists both local and international including Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi, Mali’s Salif Keita, Jamaica’s dub poet Mutabaruka, Ivory Coast’s Dobet Gnahore and Benin’s Angelique Kidjo.

Apart from the venue being convenient in that it can host different artistic events, artists have found it cheaper in terms of spending to hold their activities.

The centre was bought by the government from the French government; however, there was no proper handover which left the place unattended to for some time before thieves ransacked it.

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