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‘Jinkelinke’ serves Malawi’s lovely culture

VITAL—A scene in Dikamawoko’s play

Nkhonjera shares a story

Dikamawoko Arts Saturday afternoon starred at Theatre in Mandala at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre, staging a musical and dance theatre production titled Jinkelinke.

The play seems to have come at the right time as the country is celebrating tourism month, highlighting the beauty of the country through, among other things, arts and culture.

The performance, however, failed to pull a huge audience.

But the few that came enjoyed a different style of theatre that gave people an insight into the country’s culture.

The audience was treated to traditional dances, with Dikamawoko journeying with people to the three regions of the country.

Some of the dances that people sampled included beni, a popular dance performed in the Southern Region which involves men of all ages in which dancers dress up like soldiers in home-made uniforms.

Dikamawoko also offered Vimbuza, a healing dance popular in the Northern Region, and Malipenga which is also performed in the Northern Region.

Inside the traditional dances, people appreciated some of the cultural aspects of the country and they included traditional games such as phada and ndado.

Before the performances, Theatre in Mandala curator Tawonga Taddja Nkhonjera shared a story, rekindling memories of the past when, at a tender age, children used to listen to stories by the fire from grandparents.

Nkhonjera told a story of Kalilima, which is in his book.

“We had to bring something different to the audience and this was all about music-and-dance theatre. It was all about making people appreciate the beauty of our culture,” he said.

Theatre in Mandala has hosted a number of drama groups such as YDC with their play Leaders at Crossroads whereas Scar of Life staged The Predicament.

Umunthu Theatre also staged a play titled Sometimes in July which revisits July 20 2011 demonstrations during the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s reign.

“The platform aims at giving a chance to theatre practitioners to showcase their productions but also get critiqued,” Nkhonjera said.

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