Moya Malamusi talks of Arts Award


Moya Malamusi, who won the Arts Award in the 2016 Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Innovations Awards, has said he is happy that the country has decorated him.

Malamusi, who is in Austria, said he never saw an award coming his way and that it was unfortunate he was not there to receive it.

“Sometimes you just have to be patient. I didn’t know that the work I am doing is being monitored. The Chileka project, where we are preserving music, started in 1989,” said Malamusi.


Malamusi said his late sister, Lidiya, was interested in story-telling and collecting stories from other story tellers dating back to the 1980s.

“We both made many recordings of story-telling sessions as well as music and dances,” said the anthropologist.

He said the Oral Literature Research Programme’s objective is the systematic contextual recording and documentation of orally transmitted African cultural traditions, notably oral literature, including story-telling, riddling, proverbs, sayings, song, dance, musical instruments, local technologies and ritual events.


The centre in Chileka, Blantyre, includes an office, archival collection, guest rooms for researchers and a special building – Jacaranda House— serving as a Museum of Ethnographic Objects that is open to schools and students.

Last year, the Arts Award went to visual artist Elson Kambalu, who is the owner of La Galleria in Lilongwe. The visual artist is set to release a movie Mlandu Wa Njinga.

Several people were decorated in the MBC Innovations Awards, with Malawi Queens coach Griffin Saenda claiming the overall Innovators of Innovators on top of the Sports Award.

Just like all the other winners in various categories, Malamusi received in absentia a certificate, trophy and K1 million.

He is also expected to go to China.

“I just want to say thank you to everybody who contributed to this award. I am very happy and I say thank you to MBC,” Malamusi said.

Malamusi, who earned his masters degree in ethnopology (cultural anthropology) from the University of Vienna in Austria in 1999 is expected back home in February.

Every year Malamusi and other members visit Austria and Germany for performances but also lecturers.

The trips started in 1979 and were spearheaded by Donald Kachamba, who used to go around the world playing music.

This is why the Kachamba brothers of Donald and Daniel will always be part of the country’s music history.

They helped uplift the country’s music including exposing it outside the country.

Through Donald who used to play the clarinet was born in the Kwela Heritage Jazz Band.

The band still exists but usually plays outside with Austrian ethnomusicologist Gerhard Kubik, who used to perform with the Kachamba brothers who were driving the project.

Apart from Malamusi, the other members are Sinos Mulendo.

“We have five gigs and three lecturers in Germany coming up and I have already had lecturers at the University of Vienna,” Malamusi said.

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