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Malawi Folk Dance Music looks at 2023 with hope

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Malawi Folk Dance Music and Songs Society (MFDMSS) has said it wants to engage more partners this year to initiative a number of projects aimed at uplifting the association.

The association’s chairperson James Kitchen said Sunday they made strides last year.

Kitchen also said that the association will this year be holding its annual general meeting (AGM).

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“The association has been inactive in the other years but, last year, we managed to walk the talk including securing partnership with Admarc Sacco,” Kitchen said.

He said in 2022 they launched and established an Arts Production Centre where they are rearing goats and pigs as a resource mobilisation activity for the association.

“Through the Arts Production Centre, we are also trying to register more members and the benefits are that those who pay their membership in good time, or I should say the earliest birds, will be given goats or pigs,” Kitchen said.

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He also said the initiative is part of instilling a spirit of entrepreneurship in artists and also encouraging them to expand their base by investing in farming.

“We have the talents which we use to make a living but then we can also do other things to support our craft and that is where farming comes in. Many artists are struggling to make ends meet because they are only looking at one side of the coin,” Kitchen said.

He said the creative sector suffered greatly in the past two years due to Covid and that artists could not make money in the absence of performances.

“Covid taught us a lot of things and, so, we need to look at both sides of the coins if we are to make progress. We are not saying we will be dumping our artistry but we need to look at other support systems that can help grow our talents,” Kitchen said.

He also called upon institutions and organisations in the country to take interest in supporting the creative sector.

“The creative sector has shown over the years that it has potential to help grow the country’s economy and, on top of that, it has been vital in disseminating messages aimed at bringing about change,” Kitchen said.

He described MFDMSS as an important art discipline that has kept people entertained through folk, dance and music.

“In 2023 we are looking at creating a platform known as Patsinde Cultural Festival and then we will also continue to hold 50 Knockout Dance competitions in all the regions. We created this competition last year and the response was overwhelming,” Kitchen said.

Mzuzu Prison Cultural Troupe and Dikamawoko were among the winners in the 50 Knockout Dance competition.

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