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Cultural revolution

By Sam Banda Jnr:


An Ethno Music Camp spearheaded by Music Crossroads Malawi that took place at Chingalire, Village Head Chingalire, in Lilongwe in May this year has spurred youth in the area to form a dance troupe.

Musician Ben Mankhamba, as Village Head Chingalire, used his artistic trade to breathe life into Chingalire by introducing initiatives aimed at empowering people.

Famed for songs such as ‘Kaambanga Mwala’ and ‘Moyo’, the award-winning musician, who used to dominate the disbanded Malawi Gin and Kuchekuche Music awards, has contributed greatly to the development of music in the country.

During the Ethno Music Camp, youth in his area were treated to traditional dances performed by Hear Us Children from Music Crossroads Malawi. The children showcased traditional dances such as chisamba which is performed in the Central Region.

Mankhamba wrote on his Facebook page that the youth in the area were now on a journey of showcasing traditional dances performed across the country in a bid to promote and preserve Malawi’s culture.

“We are serious about this initiative and, as such, need choreographers who can help us. We will provide basic food and accommodation for their stay during the training,” he said.

Macdonald Maluwaya, who has published a book on dances with a focus on Ingoma, congratulated Mankhamba and commended him for the initiative.

“We really need more of such [initiatives] to make the dance sector flourish,” Maluwaya said.

MOTIVATED—Chingalire Dance Troupe learners

Some of the traditional dances the dance troupe is training in are mganda, beni, chisamba and malipenga.

“We want to get established and cover different traditional dances and at the same time reach those levels where the group can be hired. By being hired, the dance troupe would be generating its own money,” Mankhamba said.

He hailed Music Crossroads Malawi for creating the event which has motivated others.

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