Festival to support Cyclone Freddy survivors

World Day of Theatre for Children today


As the country grapples with the effects of Cyclone Freddy, which has claimed lots of lives and property in the Southern Region, organisers of Easter Theatre Festival have said they will channel 20 percent of the proceeds to survivors of the cyclone.

Solomonic Peacocks Director McArthur Matukuta, whose theatre outfit leads the fiesta, said this on Friday during a press conference held at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre.

Easter Theatre Festival, dubbed ‘People’s Festival’ and in its fourth edition, will take place at JCC starting from March 31 through to April 2 under the theme ‘Everyone Counts’.


“During Covid, we did the same; we supported fellow artists and, this time, we have launched a campaign where we are mobilising resources so that we can support Cyclone Freddy survivors. The people, who have been affected are the ones who patronise the festival and support the arts and some of them are artists. Let us come together and support those who are in need,” Matukuta said.

He then said 20 percent of the proceeds from the festival will be channeled to supporting people who have been affected by Cyclone Freddy.

“This festival is for everyone, hence the theme ‘Everyone Counts’, and this is also why we are looking to support Cyclone Freddy survivors. We can only develop as a nation when we support each other in good or bad times,” Matukuta said.


He said the festival is unique in that it targets theatre as well as other disciplines such as stand-up comedy, storytelling, poetry and dance.

“Art is important to any nation, it is a tool for social change and we, as a festival, are there to showcase and unearth talent and at the same time develop the nation since we are also bring acts from outside the country,” he said.

The festival, which Matukuta said is running under a small budget and with support from players such as JCC and the French Embassy, will bring acts such as Kwathu Drama Group, JCC Director Luc Deschamps, Jacaranda Cultural Troupe and 2023 French School Drama Festival winners Jacaranda School for Orphans Secondary School.

The others are Ching’aning’ani ndi Sasoka, Dikamawoko, Chichiri Prison Cultural Troupe, Young Travellers, Yona Mlakatuli, Yereva State Puppet Theatre from Armenia, Solomonic, Native Eye Arts from South Africa, Siegmar Schroder from Germany and St Andrews High School.

Pachalo Zimba from JCC said they were happy to partner Solomonic Peacocks to host Easter Theatre Festival, saying their aim is to help grow all the artistic forms.

Contortionist Shando, who spiced up the presser with a performance, said he believes in the power of art and that, for art to grow, there is a need for artists to have enough platforms to showcase their work.

“I would like to thank organisers of the festival for making it possible to have the event once again this year and for engaging a variety of performers,” he said.

Meanwhile, today is World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People.

This is an initiative led by the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (Assitej) with the purpose to communicating and promoting the phrase: “Take a child to the theater, today”.

The goal of Assitej is to unite theatres, organisations, and individuals throughout the world.

In another development, the World Poetry Day will be commemorated Tuesday as it falls on March 21 every year.

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