Michael Yekha features at Malaria Art Exhibition


By Sam Banda Jnr:

Music against Malaria, an initiative driven by musicians Code Sangala and Annemarie Quinn in partnership with Art Malawi, on Saturday officially opened the Malaria Stories Art Exhibition at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre, which will run up to July 13 2019.

The art exhibition, which attracted an impressive audience, is aimed at raising awareness on malaria using art as well as raising funds for Chikwawa District Hospital A& E Department.


The art exhibition saw music and visual arts rising to the occasion to show the beauty of art.

The art exhibition saw several artworks on display talking about the dangers of malaria as well as some of the ways that can be used to prevent it.

Apart from the works from visual artists— William Chikomo, Taz, Hamilton Kameza, Kondwani Hara and Gilbert Mpakule—the art exhibition also displayed pictures from different people, all inspired by real life malaria stories collected by Music against Malaria, ranging from local tales to research wards.


But the key highlight from the art exhibition is that it features Michael Yekha, a renowned artist, who entertained the country with his songs and died of malaria.

“All we want is to bring awareness about malaria disease, which is killing a lot of people and yet it is treatable and can be prevented. If you go through the works, you will see that we have musician Michael Yekha, who is the main highlight. He was a talented musician but died of malaria,” Annemarie Quinn said in her remarks before she later offered a performance, dishing out some of her songs.

Annemarie said the idea to hold an exhibition stemmed from their meetings at Kwa Haraba Art Gallery and Café, where Music against Malaria interacted with Art Malawi led by Manota Mphande.

“The question that Manota Mphande asked me was that why only music in the malaria project? The answer basically was because we are Music against malaria. But then we thought we should widen it to art; hence bringing out this exhibition and the artworks produced by the artists are just amazing,” Annemarie said.

The artwork of Michael Yekha by Kameza was taken from a picture of the artist playing a banjo and drum with his foot during one of his shows.

Code, a former Big Brother Africa representative, has been in the forefront in the fight against malaria, having been attacked by the disease and nearly died of it.

The artist also performed on the night, taking people down memory lane when he offered some old songs performed by other artists in the country as well as his own songs.

“We urge people to come and patronise this art exhibition and buy the artworks. The money raised will go to Chikwawa District Hospital,” Code said.

He said later that nine paintings had been sold on the opening day at the total sum of K850,000.

Music against Malaria has also raised funds for Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre and is set to hold the Music against Malaria Festival in October this year.

Mphande said they were happy to be part of the Malaria Stories Art Exhibition to play a role in disseminating messages on the dangers of the disease.

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