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French senators engage creatives

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Some artists in the country on Friday interacted with French senators at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre, where they pitched and marketed their work through performances and screenings.

The meeting came barely three weeks after French Ambassador to Malawi, Lesotho and South Africa, Aurelien Lechevallier, networked with the business community and creatives at the same venue.

During the gathering, which lasted hours, the French senators spoke highly about the relationship between France and Malawi and that there are opportunities to develop the country.

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“There are lots of opportunities. For instance, the country needs more investors to develop. Our visit here is to consolidate the relationship between Malawi and France, economic and cultural relationships. We have seen great performances here,” Senator Stephane Piedoir said.

He said they were hoping for the best for the creative sector and that they would like to see artists from France performing in Malawi at festivals; likewise Malawian artists showcasing their works in France.

JCC Director Luc Deschamps described the meeting as vital, adding that the French senate has a friendship group with Southern Africa.

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“We had the president of the group and the vice president. Before meeting the business community and creatives, they also met Speaker of Parliament in Lilongwe. Their mission was to visit Malawi and understand the country and see how further ties can be established between the two countries,” Deschamps said.

He said he was looking forward to more opportunities after the senators said they would report to their colleagues in the senate and the French government about all the issues presented.

Some of the artists who presented their work included visual artist Prudence Dziopani, musicians Waliko Makhala, Agorosso, Keturah, Chigo Grace, contemporary dancer Robert Magasa, poet Robert Chiwamba, Solomonic Peacocks and filmmaker Bright Makina.

“We need these opportunities as creatives and we are looking forward to the exchange programmes,” McArthur Matukuta from Solomonic Peacocks, who staged a short play with Lydia Banda, said.

There was also a fashion show organised by former student of Jacaranda School for Orphans Mayeso Bamusi.

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