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Funding hiccups keep Talent project off

By Sam Banda Jnr In Forde, Norway:

Talent project, which has been a key part of the Forde Traditional and World Music Festival for years, has not been implemented for two years due to lack of funds.

But the festival’s director, Per Idar Almas, Wednesday said they were working around the clock to bring the festival back.

The development comes at a time the festival is celebrating 30 years of its existence this year.

Malawi, alongside Kenya, last participated in the talent programme in 2016, when Asante Maulidi, Thokozani Mdoko and Patrick Chimbewa represented the country.

The three artists participated in drumming workshops, among other things, in a programme that also involved hosts Norway.

“A lot of people have talked about the talent programme and we are looking into the issue.

“The government stopped funding it and we want to approach government officials again. We would also like to reach out to other players for funding,” Almas said.

He said many artists had benefited from the project.

“This year, we had Seckou Keita from Senegal, who was part of the talent project in 1996. He was among artists that performed this year,” the artistic director, who has succeeded Hilde Bjorkum, said.

Having taken part in the Talent project through Music Crossroads Malawi, Maulidi, Mdoko and Chimbewa have continued to expand their base.

Chimbewa has gone on to expand his base by creating an extension of the traditional instrument known as nsansi.

Mdoko, on the other hand, is a member of Hear Us Children and part of Daughters Band while Maulidi also performs with Hear Us Children.

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