This year’s Ethno Music Camp held at Chingalire Cultural Centre in Lilongwe ended on Saturday with the final concert seeing participants perform close to 15 songs which they put together.
Despite participants coming from different countries of Malawi, Uganda, Mozambique, Congo and Tanzania, they connected and toiled since last Monday to create traditional music.
Ahead of the final concert, participants also had time to warm up with traditional dances at one of the trading centres and bring awareness to the community about Ethno Malawi Music Camp.
Some of the songs that participants created through workshops are own songs while others are folksongs.
Meanwhile, Music Crossroads Malawi Director Mathews Mfune has said they are targeting Ethno Music on the road.
“These young people have worked hard to put together these songs and we will package them into an album and then we can attempt Ethno Music on the road, where participants can tour countries,” Mfune said.
One of the participants from Uganda, Andereya Baguma, who has an album titled Andereya and contributed his track ‘Andereya’ to the list, described his participation in the camp as an exciting experience.
“It has been great, we have learnt from each other and Africa has beautiful music and all we need is to stay focused and not let modernity have an effect on our music,” Baguma, who also plays the guitar said.
Mangochi-based musician Santy Ementi said she had benefitted a lot from the camp.
“This has been an eye-opener, I am no longer the same in terms of composition, networking and creating traditional music,” Santy said.
Christopher Magomero from Malawi National Commission for Unesco, who was the guest of honour, said he was impressed with the performances of the participants and hailed them for creating rich music.
“Having Ethno Malawi Music Camp final concert today is something special because it opens up a lot in terms of appreciating creativity. Today (April 30) is International Jazz Day and then, coming up later this month, we also have Africa Day; so Ethno Music has started it all,” Magomero said.
The Ethno final concert attracted an impressive audience that opened with traditional dances from Chingalire and Ethno before moving to performances from the participants.
Musician Ben Mankhamba, who is also Village Head Chingalire and spearheads Chingalire Cultural Centre, also had his share, reminding people of his music exploits.
“I am excited to have performed and backed by an international band made of participants from Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Congo and Mozambique. I am also happy that Ethno Malawi Music Camp took place here. We just want to call upon people out there to utilise this place,” Mankhamba, of the ‘Cassava’ and ‘Kambanga Mwala’ fame, said.
The final got spicier when the audience also sampled performances of Blaze and Wikise.
The presence of the two youthful artists created hype as the audience sang along to most of their songs.
Blaze kept the audience on the dance floor with songs such as ‘Mwini Zinthu’ before he paved the way for Wikise of the ‘Chikamphulikire’ fame.