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Feast of art at Tumaini Fest

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Young and Menes eat chips

The eighth edition of Tumaini Festival ended on a high note on Saturday, when people were treated to a feast of performances from different artistic disciplines including music, poetry, theatre, traditional dances, face painting and fashion in the dust as well food at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa District.

The festival opened with workshops on Thursday, shared by creatives, some from outside the country, and there were also film screenings before moving to performances on the second day, and then more performances on the last day with a surprise act coming from Phungu Joseph Nkasa and Malinga Mafia, who, apart from serving their music, raised awareness on human trafficking.

Some of the artists who starred on Friday included veteran gospel musician Ethel Kamwendo Banda and Mitengeli.

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With five stages namely Elikva, Cultural, Kwizera, Poetry and Theatre corners, people had to move within these platforms to sample performances of their choice on Friday and Saturday.

For theatre lovers on Saturday, the Theatre Stage offered them performances from Blantyre-based group YDC Theatre, who brought their play titled Journey to Lampedusa while Lilongwe-based group Rise Arts dished out From Jail to Wonderland.

Poetry Corner served poetry and performances came from, among others, Vilipanganga Poetry Movement from Blantyre, Chris Msosa, Neil Nayar and Phindu Zaie.

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The Cultural Stage also offered excellent performances and they included fashion in the dust where people appreciated designs, Dzaleka Acrobatics, Capoeira group and Amahoro Dancers.

Kwizera and Elikva stages also stood out with musical performances on Saturday featuring artists such as Nyandoro Mthenga, Joram Nyirongo, Kefasi, Madalitso Band, the duo of Yobu Maligwa and Yosefe Kalekeni, Sam Shaba, Sindi, AB Deevado, Don Tarz, Wikise, ProVoice, Gwamba, Blaze, Magetsi Band and DJ Hugo who closed the curtain.

United States of America (USA) Ambassador David Young was one of the people who patronised the annual free-of-charge festival on the last day and at one-time took to the stage to show his dance skills.

“I have had a wonderful time, Tumaini Festival is really fantastic. It is a wonderful celebration of cultures here at Dzaleka. All of us need to be welcoming of refugees, we need to support them. These are people who fled their homes and this festival is a great way of starting to do that,” Young said.

Founder of the festival Menes la Plume, real name Tresor Mpauni, said they had a difficult journey in that they nearly cancelled the event due to inadequate funds.

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