By Chris Loka, contributor:
Lilongwe Music and Arts Festival (LiFest) has unveiled musician Nyago as the ambassador for gender-based violence (GBV) and mental health project.
The project aims at engaging artists in the fight against GBV and addressing mental health issues using their talents.
Nyago was unveiled on Friday at Latitude 13 in Lilongwe during sponsors and partners cocktail ahead of LiFest set for October 29 to 30 at Lilongwe Golf Club.
LiFest Project Coordinator Maya Kalumo said, despite that some players have already started addressing issues to do with GBV and mental health, they have decided to take a different approach in order to bring about change.
He said they have observed that many people especially young people, suffer in silence and that when they are heavily burdened, they end up committing suicide.
Kalumo said they picked Nyago as an ambassador considering that she has a triumphant story when it comes to GBV and mental health.
“It feels bad to see young people losing lives due to depression, yet there are people who can help them and, so, we have decided to encourage young people to be able to speak out when they face challenges and, so, we are using art as a tool,” Kalumo said.
Nyago, whose music is deep-rooted and has embraced traditional values, said she was excited that LiFest has trusted her to be the agent of change.
“I have gone through a lot in my life and it’s taken strength to be where I am. I have experienced GBV as well as mental health. Getting out of mental health is not easy but it is now time for young people to normalise sharing solutions and I am here to use music to tackle this,” she said.
Deputy Minister of Labour Vera Kamtukule, who graced the occasion, commended LiFest for choosing Nyago.
“This is a perfect choice because Nyago has the legitimacy to speak on issues of GBV and mental health considering that she has gone through it and she has so many lessons to share and she can only do it through music, which is her talent,” Kamtukule said.
Apart from local acts, LiFest has announced international acts such as Nigerian Joe Boy and Jamaican artist Chris Martin.