Daliso stars for Friends of Mulanje fundraiser in UK
By James Sweetnam and Sam Banda Jnr:
The country’s United Kingdom-based comedian Daliso Chaponda recently produced two incredible sets to raise money for Friends of Mulanje Orphans (Fomo).
The comedy icon, who held performances in the country recently, left everyone at Hutton Village Hall in high spirits, as he helped the Preston-based charity in United Kingdom accumulate a whopping £2000 for disadvantaged Malawian children.
Back in 2000, touched by the harrowing stories that she had heard from her friends and relatives in Mulanje, Mary Woodworth and her husband Keith decided to visit the area, where they witnessed first-hand the desperate circumstances faced by people there.
Although coming to terms with the harsh reality of life in the poverty-stricken area was difficult, it sparked a positive reaction, as the pair of kind-hearted individuals made the call to start what is now referred to as Fomo.
23 years on, the charity has gone from strength to strength.
Trustee, Emma Whitlock, explained: “We run daycare centres for children to come and visit every day for a hot meal, sometimes the only meal they’ll have. We provide health care through our clinic and essentials like clothes, toiletries and school equipment. We actually run a secondary school over in Malawi.”
In a testament to her drive and creativity, Woodworth is always trying to find new ways to raise money to help others.
On this occasion, she reached out to Daliso’s dad, a Member of Parliament and former cabinet minister and asked if his talented son would be willing to do a gig. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Daliso said he was approached by two people on the issue.
“I guess they got my number from either my dad or someone, they emailed me if I was okay to do a fundraiser, they send one container every year of different things such as clothes and this year because of Cyclone Freddy, they said they wanted to do two containers and so I came in,” Daliso said Thursday.
Daliso added: “I think that comedy is very good for fundraising because you don’t need to drag people to come to the show. It was a small venue, but it was totally packed, and everyone was fully engaged. It was wonderful.
“Everything was perfect. Donate to Friends of Mulanje Orphans. It’s a tremendous cause, and it’s a pleasure to be involved with them.”
Furthermore, the organisers put on an auction, which went down a storm, with the crowd bidding on an array of items from a Spiderman bicycle to a signed Morgan Schneiderlin, Manchester United, shirt.
Whitlock told Rock FM that the fundraiser was all about raising money targeting 11,000 pounds for a container that they would be sending to Malawi.
“We do this most years; we fill it with goods that people have generously donated to the charity, things like equipment for school, textbooks, lab equipment, tables, chairs, football kits and all sorts of essential things that are difficult to get in Malawi,” she said.