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Jacaranda Cultural Centre left without a home

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Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) and Maison de la France in Blantyre is to have no home, come May 1 this year.

This follows the end of its lease at Mandala despite JCC renewing its three-year rental contract last year.

JCC Director Luc Deschamps has confirmed the development, saying the entertainment mecca, which turned into a home for creatives in the commercial city, would no longer be available from the end of April.

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“It is a huge blow for us but they want the space so, we have no choice but to move out. We just hope other partners can come in probably to help with another space,” Deschamps said.

He said for now, they have no place and no idea on where to take JCC and Maison De la France.

“Let’s see what we can do but it is difficult for us and for artists in all the artistic disciplines, it is a blow because this is where they were offering their artistry. We need to get this art going and I hope we will get partners, who can help us get another space,” Deschamps, who is also Jacaranda School for Orphans Executive Director and French Honorary Consul, said.

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According to the rental agency, the owners of the premises are going into major renovations and that they intend to use the space as offices.

The rental agency said there was nothing wrong with JCC and Maison de la France, describing it as an exceptional tenant and that they were paying rentals timely.

Apart from JCC and Maison dee la France, some firms that were also accommodated in the premises would be affected.

Opened in 2016, JCC and Maison de la France opened up to creatives by hosting art exhibitions and other performances, including Sounds of Malawi Acoustic Session.

Deschamps said Sounds of Malawi is now a brand and that since its inception, people have keenly followed it hence they would try as much as possible not to kill it.

Some of the artists that have starred at the venue include ethno-musician Waliko Makhala, who is also the host of Sounds of Malawi Acoustic Session, Lucky Stars Band, Snowden Ibbu, Agorosso, Keturah, Ben Mankhamba, Patrick Chimbewa, Erik Paliani, Peter Mawanga, Daughters Band, Britt Cee, Madalitso Band and Estiner Katengeza.

JCC was also vital in offering French lessons and examinations.

Meanwhile, some artists have described the development as not good for the creative industry.

“We do not have enough venues in Blantyre that can accommodate different artistic disciplines and JCC was among those that were open to all artists. We call upon players out there, including the government, to help secure them a place for the development of arts,” Solomonic Peacocks Director McArthur Matukuta said.

Matukuta and group have been hosting events at JCC, including Easter Theatre Festival, which will run from March 31st to April 2 at the same venue before its vacation.

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