French Embassy engages creatives


French Embassy Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Action Ludovic Cocogne said Wednesday he was awe-struck by the talent he has seen in the country and promised Frances’ support to the country through some of its programmes.

Cocogne, who is based in South Africa, an office which looks after South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi, said this in an interview on Tuesday after interacting with creatives from different art disciplines at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre.

“I have seen great talent tonight and I have been able to listen to great ideas from the artists. Most of them alluded to the fact that they are in a box and need exposure; they want to meet other artists and, so, our role is to try to make things possible,” Cocogne, who also watched the 33rd French Schools Drama Festival held at Likuni Boys Secondary School in Lilongwe on Saturday, said.


The French deputy ambassador, who had time to meet Ministry of Education officials in Lilongwe, hinted that, in their new programme for next year, their focus is on Malawi.

He described the interaction with the creatives as fruitful and that they discussed several topics aimed at building the partnership between France and Malawi.

“I am impressed with the generosity of the people here, the talent of the artists is amazing and most of them want to cooperate with France and, so, we cannot ignore this demand. I will go back with plenty of ideas and views and projects in mind. This is my first visit but, sure, it will not be the first one,” he said.


Luc Deschamps, who is the French Honorary Consul to Malawi and JCC Director, hailed Cocogne for his visit to Malawi as well as setting up an audience with a number of players including creatives.

“He has seen for himself the talent which is here; creatives are trying and pushing but they need support, they want partnerships, art residencies, scholarships, exchange programmes to grow and we are looking forward to the support,”  Deschamps said.

Solomonic Peacocks Director McArthur Matukuta, whose outfit hosts the annual Easter Theatre Festival, described the meeting as productive.

He also took time out to sell the Easter Theatre Festival which is supported by French Embassy and this year will take place from March 31 to April 2.

Some of the creatives, who presented their artworks during the gathering included veteran filmmaker Shemu Joyah, budding filmmaker Bright Makina, who recently premiered his film Nelia’s Dream, visual artists Ellis Singano and Prudence Dziopani, former minister and legislator Aaron Sangala and French teacher Steve Kungala.

The gathering was brightened up by performances from ethno-musician Waliko Makhala, Agorosso and Keturah, who is set to launch her album, which she recorded in United States of America in May.

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