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German Embassy pledges to support Baf

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German Ambassador to Malawi0, Juergen Borsch, has pledged more support to Blantyre Arts Festival (Baf) which will be held from October 5 to 7.

Borsch said they were impressed with the festival last year and that it was in this vein that they were committing more support to Baf this year.

Since its comeback last year after a one-year break, Baf has been on its feet hosting trainings for youths in a project known as Fit for Life.

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Despite its return last year, the festival was not 100 percent as there were lots of gaps, including failure to keep time.

But Borsch said, despite the gaps, they observed that the festival has potential and that last year they managed to exhibit photographs telling the story of Berlin.

“This is part of strengthening the relationship between Germany and Malawi. We will be there supporting Baf and there will be a lot to celebrate,” Borsch said.

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He said the exhibition by the embassy last year gave people a chance to learn more about Berlin, appreciate some of its historical places, the culture and the different languages.

He further said that Hannover in Germany and Blantyre in Malawi are twin cities and that this is strongly strengthened through the festival.

The Germany Ambassador said he was pleased to see that Baf has a continuity programme which has kept the festival vibrant.

“This is a sign that Baf is really making strides in Malawi. Fit-for-Life Youth Creative training programme is one of the powerful tools to develop the creative industry in Malawi as it is equipping youths with skills,” Borsch said.

Baf Executive Director, Thom Chibambo, said the festival will be held at Blantyre Cultural Centre.

Chibambo said that one of the German Bands from Hannover has already booked its performance for this year’s festival.

The Baf team had an audience with the Germany Ambassador.

“We are thankful to the Germany Embassy for the support. We are also thankful to the support from other partners. We want to do more this year and this is why we are on the ground with the Fit-for-Life project,” Chibambo said.

He said the Fit-for- Life project is aimed at empowering youths from all walks of life.

“This programme is being funded by Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, Hivos Foundation through Cultural Fund Malawi and the Germany Embassy is also our partner,” he said.

Chibambo said that Baf’s Fit-for-Life programme is also targeting marginalised students and they include students from Mountain View School for Deaf in Thyolo.

The programme, targeting more than 1,000 youths, is running in nine districts with the participants set to showcase their skills at the main festival.

Some of the skills the youth are being drilled in are poetry, theatre and painting.

The districts that have been covered in the programme are Blantyre, Mwanza and Thyolo.

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