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Ethno Music Camp, DJ Lab postponed

Music Crossroads Malawi said Monday that they have postponed the Ethno Music Camp which was expected to take place next month and the DJ Lab due to coronavirus fears.

Music Crossroads Malawi Director, Mathews Mfune, said as an institution, they have been affected greatly in that apart from postponing the Ethno Music Camp and DJ Lab, they have also suspended classes until further notice.

“Although our facilities are still open for individual practices for students, the classes are suspended. Just to make sure that students do not miss out, teachers will be available to give online classes and assignments during this period,” Mfune said.

He said as an office, they were still open to attend to issues but were doing it on a slow note.

“The Ethno Music Camp is one of the huge events we run every year, it is special in that we are promoting and preserving culture through playing of traditional instruments. Since we started, the response has been great and we have been receiving artists from different countries every year but this year those who applied having difficulties to travel because of coronavirus fears,” Mfune said.

He said for now they were not ready to announce the new dates but will be monitoring the situation.

“When the situation normalises then we will see the next move. We have to reschedule because we have more international applicants this year and they could not travel due to restrictions in force,” Mfune said.

Last year, the Ethno Music Camp took place at Chingalire Rural Growth Centre in Lilongwe where participants came from Malawi, Mozambique, Norway, United States of America and Brazil, among others.

The success of last year’s event also saw one of the Ethno Music Camp Malawi, bassist Phalyce Kumdana, attending the Ethno Music Croatia.

On the DJ Lab, which debuted last year with funding from European Union (EU) and saw DJs undergoing a workshop facilitated by DJ Mukambo from Belgium, Mfune, said the event has also been postponed.

“We had made progress in terms of preparations and we were set to hold it in May but the same issue of coronavirus fears has made us postpone it,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mfune has also said that the Musicians Organisers Volunteers Exchange (Move) programme has been affected by coronavirus fears.

“We normally receive volunteers from Brazil and Norway and then in turn we also have our team going to Norway, Brazil and Mozambique. But with the situation on the ground, the Brazilians and Norwegians have gone back to their countries. We only have Mozambicans,” Mfune said.

He said all the activities they are involved in have been suspended for now.

On the Malawian volunteers on the exchange programme, Mfune, said they were still outside.

“They are in self-isolation as no activity is happening and we felt they could be infected during their travels and so, we thought they are safer where they are at the moment,” he said.

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