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Mphatso Chidothe in Uganda for festival makers gathering

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CHIDOTHE—This is crucial in terms of sharing ideas

Malawi has a representative in a gathering of 27 emerging festival makers from 18 countries currently taking place in Kampala, Uganda, to reflect on the role of festivals in today’s world.

The Festival Academy started on Monday and will end on Sunday. Festival Academy is an initiative of the European Festivals Association, which is hosting the Atelier Kampala in partnership with Bayimba Foundation.

The country is being represented by Mphatso Chidothe, who is participating in the gathering as a creative consultant, cultural custodian and events and talent manager under Music Crossroads Malawi in anticipation of Pakhonde Ethno Music Festival coming up in Lilongwe in May.

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Chidothe, who is also a manager for Daughters Band, an all-female musical outfit, yesterday described the gathering as an eye-opener with sessions highlighting critical topics with discussions also focusing on the Covid era which has affected festivals.

“This is crucial in terms of sharing ideas about growing and sustaining our festivals, different models of curating and building audiences/ communities and several other topics aimed at propelling arts and culture,” she said.

Chidothe, in her presentation, shared the story of Pakhonde Ethno Music Festival, a threeday annual cultural festival designed and managed by Music Crossroads Malawi in collaboration with The Festival Institute and Chingalire Cultural Village.

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She said the festival is a multi-disciplinary celebration of indigenous music from around the world and will take place at Chingalire Cultural Village spearheaded by musician Ben Mankhamba on May 27 to 29.

“The festival’s main aim is to be a leader in social activism with its inaugural theme being ‘Preserving Africa’ with the focus on Environmental Sustainability and Cultural Preservation,” Chidothe, whose role at Pakhonde is to work in the Pamchenga Kids Nature Adventure, said.

Bayimba Foundation and Festival Artistic Director, Faisal Kiwewa, said Uganda was the second country after South Africa to host the Atelier for Young Managers on the continent.

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