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Ethno Malawi kicks off

Ethno Malawi, formerly Pakhonde Music Camp, started on Sunday night at Kayesa Inn in Mchinji District and will end on April 7.

Music Crossroads Malawi Director, Mathews Mfune, said Monday they were excited to host Ethno Malawi, which has attracted participants from Brazil, Mozambique and Norway.

“All the participants have arrived and the works have started. The community is also involved and there is a lot to do,” Mfune said.

This year, the music camp is taking place in Mchinji, shifting from Ntchisi District.

Ethno Malawi, among other things, is aimed at the promoting playing of traditional instruments.

Mfune said, on the last day there will be a public concert at Kayesa Village Ground where there will be several performances including traditional dances such as Ingoma, Chitelele, Vimbuza and Mitungu.

Mfune said the rebranding this year from Pakhonde to Ethno Malawi follows their connection with at parent organisation.

“Our parent organisation is Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) and, so every country runs using its name; hence, the name Ethno Malawi and not Pakhonde,” Mfune said.

Ethno is JMI’s programme for folk, world and traditional music.

Founded in 1990, it targets young people (13-30 years) with a mission to revive and keep alive global cultural heritage.

Present in over 13 countries including Malawi, Ethno engages young people through a series of annual international music camps, workshops and concerts, working together with schools, conservatories and other groups of youths to promote peace, tolerance and understanding.

JMI is the world’s largest non-profit organisation, enabling young people to develop through music.

On shifting the event from Ntchisi to Mchinji, Mfune said this was because of space.

Mfune said the idae of Pakhonde Ethno-music camp was hatched by him and ethno-musician Charles Charamangwere Mkanthama, having noticed that the art of playing ethno-music instruments is declining and that there are few initiatives done to ensure that the skill and practice of ethno-music is passed down through generations.

He said that people in Mchinji will also have a chance to watch a concert on April 6 at Booze Den, which will feature Daughters Band, Move International Band, Chavalamangwere, Mbira and Kaligo masters.

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